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Voldemort Elected Mayor of Chicago

Not the choice for changeRahm "Voldemort" Emanuel — ballet dancer, corporate hack, and Democratic-party politico — has won the 2011 Chicago mayoral race. He skirted a bid to oust him from the ballot on a technicality, and outraised funds against his combined five mayoral opponents by a 5-to-1 ratio, playing off positive vibes as "Obama's guy".

Emanuel's political career is rife with controversy, conflicts of interests, and corporate kowtowing. He worked as a consultant to Richard M. Daley (whom he's succeeding as mayor) while illegally consulting for bond firms which did business with the city. He joined the Bill Clinton campaign and served as arm-twister-in-chief to marshall Democrats' votes in 1993 to approve the controversial NAFTA treaty.

Emanuel called Clinton's welfare "reform" efforts "the most successful social policy experiment in a generation" (meanwhile, child poverty in the USA has climbed to 22% by 2010). He left the Clinton administration to become an investment banker and vice-chair of the Chicago Housing Authority, during which time he contributed to the CHA's controversial Plan for Transformation, demolishing public housing structures without replacing them.

Emanuel ran for Congress in 2002, vying for the seat previously held by Rod Blagojevich, and won the seat courtesy of the illegal efforts of city water workers whose boss plead guilty to bribery charges. In Congress, Emanuel orchestrated opposition against progressive Democratic candidates, admitted to a pro-Iraq-war stance even without evidence, and accumulated a massive bankroll as the largest recipient among U.S. House representatives of donations from the financial services industry.

Emanuel was plucked from Congress in 2008 to serve as President Obama's White House Chief of Staff, during which time he tried to stymie Obama's modest health care reform plan, attacked liberal Democrats critical of Obama's lukewarm efforts, and criticized organized labor.

In his bid for Mayor of Chicago, Emanuel falsely claimed high results from Chicago charter schools, received considerable campaign contributions from the financial sector, and has ties to the firm that won Chicago's controversial parking meter lease.

Emanuel all but echoes Daley's opposition to antiwar and grassroots activists, privatization of Chicago public resources, and ties to big business. And with Chicago still America's largest city without mayoral term limits, Chicago could well face more of the same policies from The Fifth Floor for quite some time.

Past Indymedia coverage: Local war-mongering anti-immigrant NAFTA-pusher named White House Chief of Staff | Illinois Occupation Project: 2 arrested at office of Rahm Emanuel | Chicago Independent Television: Video of 2008 Protest at Rahm Emanuel's office

Additional Resources: AREA Chicago: Rahm Emanuel Notebook | SourceWatch: Rahm Emanuel | Twitter feed of "Mayor Emanuel"


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