By Teri O'Brien -
Given all the earth-shattering stories occupying everyone's attention over the last couple of weeks, including the mystery of deflated footballs and Bruce Jenner's gender-bending drama, I think I can be forgiven for not noting an importance confluence of news stories that happened last week. First, last Friday, on January 30, those crusading seekers of truth at the Chicago Tribune ran an interesting story about Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's awesome fundraising machine.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is building the most potent political cash machine in Chicago history by focusing on an elite circle of donors who frequently receive City Hall benefits, ranging from contracts and permits to appointments and personal endorsements from the mayor, a Tribune investigation has found.
Emanuel has tapped these roughly 100 most loyal contributors for more than $14 million — nearly half of all the money he's raised since he left the White House to run for mayor. All those key donors — consisting of individuals, couples, business partners and firms — are repeat givers. …