Front-runner Chicago mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel brought in former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday to rally support and raise some campaign cash. But Clinton showing up in Chicago gave rivals Gery Chico and Miguel Del Valle a peg to slam Emanuel Tuesday for his tenure at Freddie Mac, the government sponsored enterprise that melted down during the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Clinton named Emanuel to the board--a sought after political bonanza--in 2000. The Chicago Sun-Times Abdon M. Pallasch and Fran Spielman have the story here.
Chicago Tribune March, 2009 story detailing how little work Rahm Emanuel did for at least $320,000 at Freddie Mac is here.
below, release from Gery Chico campaign....
Time for Emanuel to tell "hard truth"
Chico: Chicago can't afford a mayor who looks the other way
(CHICAGO) With former president Bill Clinton stumping in Chicago for Rahm Emanuel today, mayoral candidate Gery Chico asked Emanuel to tell the truth about his tenure on the Freddie Mac board, to which Clinton appointed Emanuel in 2000. Under Emanuel's watch, an Enron-type scandal took place costing taxpayers more than half a billion dollars, according to news reports.
In his latest ad, Emanuel calls for politicians to begin telling the "hard truths." Today, Chico called for Emanuel to take responsibility for his own hard truth.
"When Rahm Emanuel had the chance to blow the whistle on corrupt activity taking place on the Freddie Mac board, he sat on his hands, looked the other way and took the cash," Gery Chico said. "It was a character test and Rahm Emanuel failed."
According to a Chicago Tribune news report, Emanuel was paid roughly $400,000 to attend no more than nine meetings as a member of the Freddie Mac board. During that time, Emanuel was informed by board executives of a scheme to mislead shareholders about profits, leading to an Enron-type scandal that cost taxpayers more than half a billion dollars in settlements and legal fees, according to the report.
That wasn't the only scandal that brewed during Emanuel's tenure. According to the Tribune, while Emanuel was on the Freddie Mac board, the Board was also made aware of a scheme that led to a record $3.8 million fine from the Federal Election Commission for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. Emanuel benefited from one of those parties when he ran for Congress, according to the Tribune.
"Running for public office is not just about having the experience and qualifications to get results for people. It's about having the guts to do what is right," Chico said. "In exactly five weeks, Chicago will choose its next mayor. We can't afford a mayor who looks the other way when presented with corruption."
Freddie Mac is one of two federal agencies responsible for the nation's economic crash. Its demise hit the local housing market particularly hard - Chicago has one of highest foreclosure rates in the country.