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Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “Whose Your Daddy” When It Comes To Transparency On What Chicago Is Promising Amazon For HQ2  

 

Date:August 20, 2018
Contact:mediacenter@freeandfairmarketsinitiative.org 

Taxpayers in Chicago were dealt a setback last week when judge ruled that the city did not have to reveal the details of what was being offered to Amazon in an effort to land HQ2. 
“An Illinois judge ruled last Thursday that the city of Chicago does not have to reveal the details of its bid to become the site of Amazon’s massive new headquarters, shielding the city’s offer of huge tax breaks and other handouts from public view. Lucy Parsons Lab, a digital rights and transparency advocacy group, filed a public records lawsuit against Chicago in February after the city refused to disclose its bid, citing a competitive advantage exemption. Since the corporate giant announced in 2017 that it was seeking a site to build a second headquarters, nicknamed HQ2, major cities across the U.S. have been vying for Amazon’s favor, often dangling billions in tax breaks and other incentives to the company.”  (Reason Magazine, “Judge Rules Chicago Can Keep Its Amazon HQ2 Bid Secret, Rejecting FOIA Lawsuit,” C.J. Ciaramella, 8.13.2018)  

Mayor Rahm Emanuel communicated directly with a former White House colleague who is now an executive at Amazon about the secret deal in e-mails, bragging, “Whose (sic) your daddy?”
“Then Emanuel replied: “Whose (sic) your daddy? Talk soon. Hope family is good.” The email exchange reveals that Emanuel has a direct line of communication with Amazon, as Chicago remains in the running for the site of the company’s second headquarters, which is expected to bring as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs and a $5 billion investment by Amazon.” (Business Insider, “’Whose your daddy?’: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s private emails with Amazon are exposed in new report” Hayley Peterson, 5.24.2018)  

In 2011, then-candidate Rahm Emanuel ran on a pledge to usher in a “new era of transparency.” 
“Rahm Emanuel has portrayed himself as Chicago’s reform mayor.  As a candidate in 2011 he promised to “turn the page and bring a new era of transparency, accountability and end business as usual in city government.”” (The Chicago Reporter, “A closer look at Rahm Emanuel’s record of reform,” Curtis Black, 12.11.2014) 

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The Free & Fair Markets Initiative (FFMI) is a non-profit coalition of businesses, consumer advocacy groups, workers and community activists committed to scrutinizing and highlighting emerging market trends that are stifling competition and innovation, influencing federal and local government spending, putting consumer data in harm’s way and limiting consumer choice. For a list of members, please visit https://freeandfairmarketsinitiative.org/about-us/members/. For more information on the Free & Fair Markets Initiative, please visit https://freeandfairmarketsinitiative.org. 

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