A fond farewell or a major mayor payback?
A longtime vocal critic of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) sharply raised eyebrows in the mayoral race when he endorsed the man he repeatedly warned the city not to support.
Fioretti did so after his failed bid in the first-round mayoral race.
Now, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned that the mayor will be featured as the “special guest” at a Thursday fundraiser for Fioretti at Manny’s Deli where tickets cost $200 to $10,000. Also listed as hosts: Ald. Ed Burke and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. The event at Manny’s Deli is billed as a retirement party of sorts.
“Thank you for your service, Bob Fioretti,” the fundraiser invitation states.
On the eve of the Feb. 24 city election, Fioretti told the Sun-Times he would support “anybody but Rahm” if Emanuel didn’t get the majority vote he needed to avoid Chicago’s first ever mayoral runoff. He later retracted support for Emanuel challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and put support behind Emanuel.
When asked at the time if Emanuel would help Fioretti retire his campaign debt, the mayor responded: “Of course. I don’t have a problem with that.”
On Tuesday, a Fioretti spokesman said the endorsement was never contingent on a promise for money and the mayor has not promised any money. “No he has not. Nor have we asked him for any money. He will simply be attending the event,” Fioretti spokesman Michael Kolenc said. “Bob has been very clear that he has outstanding debt from his campaigns and would like to make everyone whole. He has been working since the election to raise funds, and we hope that the event this week is successful.”Fioretti finished fourth in February, with 7.4 percent of the vote. He said he shifted positions to back Emanuel because he supported his fiscal policy. Activists accused Fioretti at the time of selling them out.