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Braun seeks federal probe of Emanuel campaign tactics

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2011

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Chicago, IL – Flanked by scores of black, white, Latino and Asian supporters, mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun Monday laid out a series of alleged serious breech of ethics by her opponent, Rahm Emanuel, and later called for a federal probe of his campaign tactics she says has reaped him millions of dollars when he was a public servant and allowed him illegal access to city employee records for political gain.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Braun asked that office to investigate Emanuel’s alleged use of confidential personnel records of city workers she claims were given to him for political purposes. It is a charge Emanuel denies.

She is also seeking an investigation of his alleged access to secured areas at O’Hare Airport by supervisory airport staff to offer food and beverages to city workers “while discharging their official duties as employees of the city of Chicago.”

In her letter, Braun said, “Such allegations give rise to reasonable inferences that (1) the anti-electioneering provisions of the consent decree in the captioned Shakman case were violated; (2) airport ethics rules were violated by the offerings of food and beverages and (3) City of Chicago and federal security regulations were violated by providing access to supposedly “secure” areas of the airport to this candidate; and in each case, voter intimidation and/or coercion may have occurred under the color of official sanction.

“Such violations as may have violated privacy rights of workers, or security mandates at the airport, meet the requisite standard for federal jurisdiction,” wrote Braun who asked this office to investigate these alleged violations.

“As a former Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District, as a former member of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, as an attorney-at-law of long standing, and most importantly as a citizen, I am concerned deeply that (1) the laws be executed faithfully and (2) there be no (a) actual impropriety or (b) appearance of impropriety in the forthcoming municipal election,” she stated.

During her press conference, when a reporter asked one of her supporters, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7th), about his political ad running on WVON that says his father told him that anyone not supporting his own is worse than an infidel and wasn’t that racist, Davis quipped, “the commercial is designed to help people understand self-interest. It has helped people understand self-interest.”

Among those standing with Braun at the press conference, held at the Parkway Ballroom, 45th and King Drive, was Illinois Senator Martin Sandoval said Rahm Emanuel is “bad” for Chicago because “Rahm has made his life making millions off the middle class his entire career. Carol Moseley Braun’s public service career is impeccable and is dedicated to the working class and the working poor.

“Rahm Emanuel had an opportunity to provide the best public policy and advice to President Barack Obama, my former colleague, to pass immigration reform and he (Emanuel) called it the ‘third rail politics,’ and during his tenure as chief of staff, more Latinos were deported during all eight-years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

“This is not a man that’s going to bring people together. This is not a man who has the best interest of the Latino at heart,” said Sandoval.

 “There is no doubt in my mind that block-by-block, ward-by-ward that Carol Moseley Braun is the best candidate….

“This election is a disgrace to democracy in America,” said Sandoval. “There is no doubt that there has been a conspiracy on the behalf of the journalists, the newspapers, the Board of Elections and the Supreme Court…. It’s a shame that in 2011…as we knock off blacks, Latinos and white ethnics off the ballot to run for city aldermen…Rahm Emanuel, a carpetbagger is allowed to stay on board as a candidate…. That is appalling….. It’s a disgrace….”

“More Latinos have been deported today as a result of Rahm Emanuel’s policies because of my colleague, President Obama, a fine man, stood with us in the legislature supporting immigrant rights of the indigent, supporting health care.

“But when he (Obama) got to Washington, Rahm Emanuel hoodwinked my President and led him believe that the right way to move America was without Latinos. More Latinos have been deported during Rahm Emanuel’s tenure of chief of staff than all the years of George W. Bush,” Senator Sandoval said.

He accused Emanuel of  “Making money selling mortgages and made money putting people into foreclosure. This is not the man that the city of Chicago can afford to live with for four-years.” He hopes everyone will support Braun.

Braun said one of the mayoral candidates recuse himself while he was a member of Board of Education while he was privatizing education of Chicago, giving out contracts to friends and foe recuse himself from 100 votes and never told us who he was recusing himself for, what the conflict of interest was or whether it had anything to do with his getting richer and richer.”

Braun said this Board of Education member “when he crashed a law firm that he was managing partner of did not follow-up to assist the 600 employees who lost their jobs to get reestablished in any way.”

In terms of Freddie Mac Braun said has been described as being at the center of the mortgage meltdown in this country. We still haven’t gotten the minutes from the board meeting of Freddie Mac to know how it was that he (Emanuel) was able to sit there as a board member and missed or doing anything about or calling the roll on a $9 billion accounting error.

“Huge amount of money disappeared over night and gave rise to the mortgage meltdown that we’re seeing right now,” she said referring to Emanuel. “Then going back into the House of Representatives and serving on the very committee that was involved with these things without even recognizing that there was a conflict of interest as he served on the board of  Freddie Mac.

“Then he (Emanuel) comes back into the private sector after that term in congress and go to work for a company that paid him $18.5 million and for two-years never registered for a lobbyists. If he had, we would have at least know who it was his clients expected him to vote to ‘manage relationships ‘ with but we never found that out,” said Braun. “So, we do not know what he did to earn $18.5 million.”

Braun said Emanuel does not have a CPA degree, is not a lawyer or have an MBA “so to get a job that pays you $18.5 million in two-years and not make a phone call says to me that something is rotten in Denmark. No offense to the Danes.”

She made it clear about the fallout of what Emanuel behavior resulted in. “When I talk to pillaging and plundering, among the things that came out of that involvement was 3,000 Chicagoans lost their jobs in the merger that he was supposed to have facilitated….

“What you’ll find is someone (Emanuel) who has been on his own side. He’s been on the side of deep pockets. He’s been on the side of special interests over the years and was paying himself trickery…as another kind of public servant in this election,” said Braun. “I have always been on the side of working people. I have never profited personally from any of my public involvement….”

Braun disputed some media reports about her organic company saying “It is doing fine” and that she never reached out for government contracts to sustain her company.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host.

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