WASHINGTON---Mayor Rahm Emanuel hits New York on Thursday to headline fund-raisers for the Obama re-election campaign, as the campaign starts rolling out "speakers series" with high profile surrogates in and out of the administration. The Boston Globe broke the story that the location of an Emanuel event was changed after the Globe raised questions about coziness with a special interest group.
Last week, Emanuel headlined a fund-raiser in Chicago with Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina.
In the fund-raising business, sending Emanuel --a former Obama White House Chief of Staff and Bill Clinton White House top staffer--to Manhattan appeals to the following targets:
*Wall Street honchos has been generous donors to Emanuel's various fund-raising ventures--including his mayoral campaign-- for years. (Emanuel served on the House Financial Services and Ways and Means Committees)
*Former Hillary Clinton major supporters who the Obama team wants to engage and fund-raise off of in 2012.
*Jewish donors, who are the backbone of major Democratic fund-raising.
The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson reported: "President Obama's campaign committee is moving a fund-raiser featuring Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel from the Pfizer world headquarters to another location in New York City after The Boston Globe inquired about the propriety of a major pharmaceutical company hosting an event that could benefit the administration regulating it."
"This is a general fund-raising event for the campaign that has nothing to do with a specific company and the attendees will not be from any one company or sector," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt told the Globe.
More from Johnson's Globe story on why this was an ethical issue: Pfizer's "activities are regulated by, among others, federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration. September 2009, Pfizer pleaded guilty to the illegal marketing of four of its drugs in which became the largest case of health care fraud in US history. It also received the largest criminal penalty - $1.2 billion - ever levied.
The settlement was the fourth by the company with the US Department of Justice during the prior decade. The fund-raiser is now being held at the University Club in New York.