Former Chicago Bears Head Coach Mike Ditka, a well-known conservative, contributed $2,500 last month to the mayoral campaign of Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti, a Democrat, according to the Chicago Sun-Times
The donation was less about Ditka's unwavering support for Fioretti than it was about his disdain for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is seeking re-election next month.
"Well, I think anything is better than what we have," Ditka said. "Same with the governor. That was proven already. Chicago is a great city. You deserve leadership and straight-up people to operate it. You know, shame on you."
Ditka said Fioretti is a regular customer at one of Ditka’s restaurants and that he knows him "pretty well."
Ditka told the newspaper that he hopes Emanuel will end up like former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, whose November ouster came from Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.
Ditka shot a campaign commercial with Rauner.
After rocky approval ratings earlier last year, Emanuel appears to be coasting toward re-election, according to Crain’s Chicago Business
, which last week published the results of a survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research showing Emanuel with the support of 50 percent of likely voters.
"That's the magic number he needs to win outright on Feb. 24, and the percentage could rise because the poll found 9 percent of voters still undecided," according to the publication.
Crain’s attributes much of Emanuel’s rise to a saturation of television ads.
Emanuel’s campaign war chest is in the $10 million range, according to the Huffington Post
. In November, the International Business Times
reported that Emanuel is under "scrutiny" for accepting some $600,000 in contributions from financial firms that manage the city’s pension funds, something that "could be considered illegal campaign cash."
Three city councilmen, including Fioretti, have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate what they characterized as "pay-to-play actions" that "have violated the public trust and are a breach of the fiduciary duty."
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