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Can't Buy Me Lollapalooza

CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Looks like Rahm Emanuel has some pretty lofty connections in the race for Chicago mayor, including support from Ticketmaster/Live Nation.

Executive chairman Irving Azoff, who started as manager of the Eagles and is now known for jacking up ticket prices, has contributed $10,000 to Emanuel’s campaign.

Michael Rapino, Ticketmaster/Live Nation CEO, has reportedly contributed $5000 to the cause, according to WBEZ.

Additionally, no fewer than 15 employees at William Morris Endeavor, the Hollywood super-agency run by Ari Emanuel, have donated a total of $141,000 to his brother Rahm’s campaign, according to WBEZ. William Morris co-owns Lollapalooza, which has a tax-free sweetheart deal with the city of Chicago that keeps it in Grant Park through 2018.

However, Emanuel is reportedly is vowing to step aside and not involve himself in negotiations with Live Nation Entertainment and/or Lollapalooza, according to TicketNews.

The decision to stay out of any negotiations is to avoid any perception of favoritism or conflict of interest because Ari Emanuel, is a member of the Board of Directors for Live Nation. In addition, Ari also is the CEO of WME Entertainment (WMEE), the high-powered talent agency that co-owns Lollapalooza, according to TicketNews.< P>
The situation is being watched closely by Chicago music promoters Jam Productions, which is in litigation with Live Nation to get out of its contract. Jam has long held sway over the Chicago market, but Live Nation would love to add a jewel like Chicago to its crown reported TicketNews.

Rahm Emanuel, a self-professed Wilco and Smashing Pumpkins fan, hasn’t spoken much about his vision for music in Chicago, aside from mouthing a few platitudes in TimeOut Chicago’s survey of the candidates’ stances on the arts (“The arts help to define who we are, and they make our city an exciting place to work and live while attracting business and tourism”). He also added his signature to Arts Power Chicago’s feel-good “Principles for a 21st Century Creative Chicago,” according to WBEZ.

— Crystal Lynn Huntoon