If you followed the Blagojevich trial beyond the allegation of attempting to sell the president's vacated Senate seat, you would have learned of other predicate acts including an alleged Chicago-style shakedown.
As the allegation goes, back when Emanuel was an Illinois congressman, he asked for a state grant to improve an experimental school in his district.
Blagojevich allegedly held back the funds in an attempt to squeeze the Hollywood hotshot fundraiser out of Ari Emanuel. Brother Ari is the Co-CEO of WME entertainment, which makes him a high-profile Hollywood agent. In fact, legend has it; he is the inspiration for the foul-mouthed and abusive character Ari Gold in the HBO series ‘entourage.' But it puts him in tight with big money Hollywood types.
Blago never got his fundraiser, didn't get convicted for a shakedown and the school got its grant.
Now Deadline.com is reporting that Ari is calling out the deep pockets in the West Coast, along with: David Geffen of DreamWorks, Bob Iger from Walt Disney, Producer Peter Chernin and Haim Saban, the guy who brought the Power Rangers into your home, he is hosting a fundraiser far away from the City of the Big Shoulders.
Rahm Emanuel's spokesman, Ben Lebolt, declined to confirm or deny the facts in the Deadline.com report. He promised instead to call back at an undetermined time. As of this writing, there has been no follow up communication.
So, there is no reason to believe that Rahm is not getting what Blago wanted: West Coast dollars to help him win votes in the Midwest. It appears blood is thicker than...well...a connection to a governor trying to bully money out of you.