Tribune: Rush's campaign receives financial support from some of Emanuel's closest political backers
learned has help from the state House Speaker Michael Madigan. Bobby Rush is getting help from embattled Mayor Emanuel's financial backers:
With longtime U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush caught in a heated re-election battle for Congress, he's receiving major financial support for the first time from some of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's closest political backers.
The money comes as Rush has become a supportive voice for Emanuel in the African-American community, even as the mayor has struggled to regain trust with black voters after the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a white police officer.
Though Rush and the Emanuel confidant who organized the fundraising effort deny any connection between Rush's support for the mayor and the contributions, records show they were made a little more than one month after Rush flanked the mayor and turned aside calls for Emanuel's resignation.
Led by close confidant and hedge-fund boss Michael Sacks, 16 top Emanuel supporters in February contributed more than $64,000 to Rush's campaign fund, according to newly filed federal campagin finance reports. Except for a small donation more than a decade ago, it is the first time any of the donors have ever given Rush political money. Their contributions account for most of his individual contributions since the campaign went into high gear, records show.
Rush and Sacks said the donations are a product of getting to know each other independent of Emanuel and that they have been working on projects to stem violence in the city and generate jobs.
Rush, in fact, said it was "absurd" to suggest a connection with Emanuel. Still, the congressman has refused to join calls for Emanuel to resign from protesters angered by the mayor's handling of the McDonald situation.