Chicago

Financial Disclosure Shows Rahm Emanuel Keeps Failing Up

CHICAGO — It’s no secret that public service helped make former Mayor Rahm Emanuel a really wealthy man.

He made thousands and thousands as an funding banker after leaving the White House, received a reasonably first rate buck as a marketing consultant and even picked up a $77,000 advance for writing a revisionist historical past guide, in accordance with his personal financial disclosure statement submitted in April earlier than Emanuel received tapped by President Joe Biden to function U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Tucked into that disclosure is an fascinating Emanuel aspect gig linked to his tenure as mayor and his affect within the Biden administration that did not get as a lot consideration in national news stories about his personal finances because the $300,000 he received paid as an ABC News political speaking head.

But, to me, Rahm’s gig at GoHealth — a agency that was a part of his first-term “signature initiative” known as Skills for Chicagoland’s Future — is one other instance of why America does not want the assistance of a political alchemist who transforms his public-policy advocacy into big-time paychecks.

GoHealth makes money through the use of propriety software to funnel prospects to medical insurance corporations. And one of the vital important threats to the company’s business is government-sponsored medical insurance applications corresponding to “Medicare for All,” in accordance with public records.

In 2013, Emanuel praised GoHealth at a mayoral information convention for being “uniquely positioned as a leader of a fluid, changing market and is well-poised to continue its success in the city.”

In February 2020, Chicago’s former mayor joined GoHealth as an “independent manager” on the publicly traded firm’s board of administrators.

That was about 4 months after Emanuel — who had been quietly advising Biden’s profitable presidential marketing campaign whereas pimping his opinions ABC News — penned a Washington Post op-ed titled “Someone must say it: Medicare-for-all is a pipe dream.”

He obtained $150,431 in “director fees, along with stock valued between $265,00 and $550,000, according to the disclosure statement filed in April.

Over 11 months in 2020 — a pandemic-plagued year that included millions of Americans losing health insurance benefits — Emanuel’s total compensation from GoHealth was $763,514, according to public records. And in May, Emanuel scored another 11,905 shares of stock.

The connection between Emanuel’s mayoral agenda and “what’s finest for America” punditry to his for-profit “consulting” and voice on corporate boards is a detail that major news outlets gloss over as if it’s not indicative of a troubling pattern found in how Emanuel operates.

Rahm isn’t just a failed mayor whose administration covered up video of a Black teenager murdered by a Chicago cop until his hotly contested re-election bid ended in victory.

He’s a know-it-all power broker and bully who continues to personally profit despite the wake of failures and racial and class inequities left behind policies he’s pushed.

It’s always worth repeating that Emanuel was the co-architect of the “three strikes” crime bill that lead to the mass incarceration of African Americans, the North American Free Trade Agreement that sent American jobs across borders, and so-called welfare reform that made extreme poverty worse.

When news broke that the 2020 census showed that Chicago’s population grew slightly, even though Black residents fled the city, Emanuel quickly bragged the population count “bears out” the success of his strategy to turn around the city.

Really? For whom?

Certainly not for Chicagoans living in poor, minority neighborhoods plagued by crime in the heart of food and medical and mental health deserts.

But do you know who loves Rahm Emanuel?

America’s elite and corporations, such as GoHealth, who hired Emanuel citing his “monetary experience and a few years of management expertise.” Those included the former mayor’s 13-month stint on the board of directors of Freddie Mac starting in 2000 during a scandal that some economists cite as the beginning of the country’s economic meltdown; and his stint on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange board of directors, which later kicked in more than $270,000 to his campaign fund.

Like some of Rahm’s previous public and private jobs, he left GoHealth a little richer, and his employer in worse shape than when he arrived.

GoHealth went public in July 2020 with $21.30 per share stock price and an initial public offering that raised an “blockbuster” $914 million that so far hasn’t paid off for investors.

On Aug. 27, GoHealth’s stock price was $4.76, and had a net income of negative $44.4 million over the last four quarters.

Emanuel resigned his seat on the GoHealth board three days later in preparation to represent the U.S. in Japan if he gets the U.S. Senate’s blessing.

The guy keeps failing up.


Mark Konkol, recipient of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting, wrote and produced the Peabody Award-winning series “Time: The Kalief Browder Story.” He was a producer, writer and narrator for the “Chicagoland” docuseries on CNN and a consulting producer on the Showtime documentary “16 Shots.”

Read More From Mark Konkol:

Back to top button