Pay-to-play?: 3 alderman ask SEC to investigation Chicago pension funds and Emanuel's campaign operations

Date: 
11/19/2014
EManuel

Mayor Emanuel

In response to statements in the International Business Times (IBT) about investment fund executives contributions to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's campaign, three aldermen John Arena (45th Ward), Bob Fioretti (2nd Ward and Mayoral Candidate) and Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) sent a letter on Nov. 18 to Andrew Ceresney, Director, Division of Enforcement, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), requesting an investigation. 

RFioretti

Bob Fioretti

Waguespack

Scott Waguespack

IBT's initial story began, "Executives at investment firms that manage Chicago pension funds have since 2011 poured more than $600,000 in contributions into Mayor Rahm Emanuel's campaign operation and political action committees (PACs) that support him, according to documents reviewed by International Business Times. These contributions appear to flout federal rules banning companies that manage pension funds from financing the campaigns of officials with authority over pension systems, say legal experts." 

JArena

John Arena

The aldermen's letter included that the "pay-to-play actions of these Chicago Municipal Fund Advisors in conjunction with Mayor Rahm Emanuel's campaign operation and political action committees (PAC's) like 'Chicago Forward,' have violated the public trust and are a breach of the fiduciary duty of the givers and recipients. As you may know Chicago has a deep history of pay-to-play. Our goal is to end these tactics and protect the citizens of Chicago and employees' investments" and that their "goal is to end these tactics and protect the citizens of Chicago and employees' investments."  

They went on to state that the SEC's investigation will help them "determine what corrective steps need to be taken by the City Council of the City of Chicago."

"There have been fines levied for such illegal political pay-to-play activity in Philadelphia by the SEC, for a much lesser amount of funds," according to Waguespack."

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