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Emanuel Defends Secrecy Of World Business Chicago Group

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel (CBS)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel — who prides himself on open government — is defending the secrecy that surrounds the work of his business group World Business Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports from City Hall, Mayor Emanuel acknowledges a Chicago Tribune report that World Business Chicago, which recruits firms to come to the city or expand here, meets behind closed doors.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports


But the mayor touts all the formerly undisclosed information that his administration has made available to the public, and in fact, he produced a list.

But he says the executives who make up World Business Chicago often have to keep their work secret.

“Some companies are public,” he said. “They don’t want the decisions they’re going to make, because they’re against competitors, public. If I told them all the meetings were going to be public, guess what – we wouldn’t have real companies coming to expand.”

The Tribune article by reporter Jeff Coen, published Tuesday, says the mayor has about doubled the size of World Business Chicago since he was elected, and its members are responsible for more than $1.2 million in political contributions to Emanuel.

The article also says an oversight board for the Tax Increment Financing system might also potentially meet closed doors to discuss city incentives and tax breaks generated by the property tax diversion program.

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