Emanuel Campaign Scores Concert Donations

Rahm Emanuel is making a bid for re-election as mayor of Chicago in coming weeks, and he’s apparently got some concert industry players on his side.

Campaign finance records obtained by WBEZ’s Jim DeRogatis found that principals from C3 Presents – the producer of the annual Lollapalooza festival – as well as Live Nation and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment are backing the Emanuel campaign.

Records show C3’s Charlie Jones and his wife donated $10,600 and were matched by Charlie Walker and his wife, plus Lollapalooza found Perry Farrell and his wife.

C3’s Charles Attal gave $5,300. Live Nation’s regional president of North America concerts, Mark Campana, gave $10,600 along with his wife.

WME contributed $10,500 and two of its partners, Mike Simpson and Rick Rosen, each gave $5,300, according to the documents. WME co-CEO Ari Emanuel is Rahm Emanuel’s brother.

While campaign contributions certainly aren’t unheard of, DeRogatis noted that Emanuel signed an executive order early into his first term that prohibited both the mayor and city employees “from accepting political contributions from persons doing business with the city.”

Meanwhile, Lollapalooza secured a contract extension for the city’s Grant Park and Live Nation was allowed to expand its venue on Northerly Island during the same period.

Kelley Quinn, spokeswoman for the mayor, responded to WBEZ in a statement that “the contributions noted are fully compliant with the law and the higher standards the Mayor voluntarily imposes on himself per his executive order. “In fact, since taking office Mayor Emanuel has strengthened city ethics and campaign finance rules, including mandating unprecedented restrictions on mayoral fundraising,” Quinn said.

Additionally, when questioned by the Chicago Tribune about a conflict with Lollapalooza and or Live Nation, the administration noted Emanuel’s order didn’t apply as Lollapalooza and Live Nation’s deals were with the Parks District rather than the city.