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Emanuel’s Hollywood Agent Brother Raising Cash For Him

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Big money – millions of dollars — is pouring in to potential candidates in the race to succeed Mayor Daley.

It’s not only coming from the usual suspects close to home. It’s also, for at least one candidate, coming from those who have little or no ties to Chicago, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

While Rahm Emanuel was touring Southwest Side charter schools yesterday, his campaign-finance people were hard at work, organizing a Hollywood fundraiser for next month. It will be thrown by Emanuel’s brother, Ari, the entertainment super-agent who inspired the Jeremy Piven character on “Entourage.”

Lou Weisbach is a Bill Clinton friend and former fund-raiser, founder of the American Center for Cures, which seeks to eliminate deadly diseases. But he’s still a player when it comes to fund-raising.

Even though he has ties to President Clinton and his wife, Hillary, one would think he’s supporting Emanuel, a former Clinton adviser. Instead, Weisbach is supporting Gery Chico.

“I’m friendly with everyone that was in the Clinton administration, and Rahm Emanuel has obviously done amazing things in his career, but the right man for the job to run the city of Chicago is Gery Chico,” Weisbach told Levine.

Weisbach will raise money for Chico, who claims he has raised millions since Mayor Daley’s announcement. Tom Dart, who basically ducked the question, saying he’s not a candidate yet, has raised about $200,000.

It’s not known how much money Emanuel has raised. One report, denied by a spokesman, says Emanuel has raised $3 million since leaving the White House. The spokesman wouldn’t say how much Emanuel has raised or what he expects to collect in Hollywood.

“I think Rahm’s running a national campaign,” Chico said. “I don’t think this is a national campaign. This is about neighborhood service delivery, quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

The Emanuel campaign says Ari Emanuel is a Chicago native who “still considers himself to be a Chicagoan.”

“Rahm will never be shy about promoting Chicago wherever he goes,” the campaign said.

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