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Rahm Emanuel Given $100,000 By Comcast Before Backing Merger

How much does it cost to get Rahm Emanuel to shill for your cause? Over $100,000 according to a new report in the International Business Times. Emanuel has reportedly received over $100,000 from Comcast in the course of his political career, support that was seemingly paid back in part when Emanuel signed on to support the Comcast-Time Warner merger.

At the behest of Comcast, Emanuel wrote a letter to the FCC saying the merger would be good for Chicago. The letter was then cited by David Cohen who is the Comcast lobbyist managing the merger. What Cohen did not disclose the financial support Comcast has shown Emanuel over the years. Support that goes from Emanuel’s career in Congress through his campaign for Mayor of Chicago.

For example, during his time running for and serving as mayor of Chicago, Emanuel has received large campaign contributions from Comcast and its employees, including from Cohen himself, who contributed $5,000 to Emanuel’s mayoral campaign in February 2011. Cohen also contributed $10,000 to the Chicago Committee, which the Chicago Tribune has described as Emanuel’s “other political fund (which) he uses for political activities that support his policy initiatives at City Hall.” In all, records from the Illinois State Board of Elections show Emanuel’s mayoral campaign and his other municipal political organizations have received $50,000 from Comcast employees since he began running for mayor in 2010.

Similarly, Comcast was also one of the top donors to Emanuel’s congressional campaigns, giving $46,000 to Emanuel between 2003 and 2008, according to records from Open Secrets. Additionally, employees of Comcast made more than $25,000 worth of contributions to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when Emanuel chaired that organization, according to data from

Though Emanuel claims in his letter that the Comcast and Time Warner merger will have no negative effects on consumers, those that actually understand the issue and have not taken cash from Comcast beg to differ. Comcast and Time Warner already have some of the lowest scores on customer satisfaction with Harold Feld of Public Knowledge telling the Washington Post that “When you put two bad companies together, they don’t remain equally bad. They get worse.” Something almost hard to believe after knowing that the now notorious “call from hell” – when a Comcast employee would not allow a customer to discontinue the service – was actually standard company policy.

The merger is a bad deal for consumers and would give the new mega-corporation 40% of the market. Of course, from Emanuel’s perspective that would mean Comcast would have even more money to send his way.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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