Mayor Bragged About Eliminating Health Care, Plus More #RahmDump Revelations
By Stephen Gossett in News on Dec 22, 2016 4:21PM
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday evening released more than 2,000 pages of personal emails as part of a settlement with the Better Government Association. The watchdog organization last year filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain emails the mayor sent from his unofficial, nongovernment account. The Chicago Tribune sued the city as well on similar grounds.
As we continue to sort through the documents, so far the notable findings in the massive email dump range from mildly embarrassing to alarming. Here are some highlight revelations:
Rahm brags about eliminating health care for retired city workers.
Emanuel’s controversial call to phase out Chicago’s retiree health program will leave some 10,000 of workers on the hook for coverage—a move he publicly touted as a regrettable but necessary cost-saving measure. In the email, however, Emanuel comes off as downright boastful about the move. Wealthy investor Henry Feinberg asks, “Since when did Rahm Emanuel let a judicial ruling get in his way and not find a creative work around solution[?]” Emanuel replies, “Never which is why I eliminated health care. Only elected official to eliminate not cut or reform a benefit. Thank you vey much. A 175 million saving!”
Legal consultants pushed for privatization of Midway and portions of public parks and half of public housing.
In a presentation sent to the mayor, legal consultants Jones Day suggest a variety of privatization options, including the request of 11,000 public housing units, "the largest request of any US city."
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood sought permission from Rahm before publishing a pro-Uber op-ed in the Tribune.
The timing of this came as the mayor sought to pass restrictions on the rideshare service in through the City Council.
Rahm channels his inner Trump, calls the Tribune "a failing paper."
In an exchange with Melinda Kelly, of the Chatham Business Association, about bringing trade programs to Dunbar High School, the mayor signed off with this decidedly Donald-esque bon mot:
The full, 2,697-page email dump is available here.