Indeed, the mayor faced a drumbeat of outstanding journalistic exposés all throughout the campaign. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Deborah Quazzo, an Emanuel school board appointee who runs an investment fund for companies that privatize school functions.
They discovered that five companies in which she had an ownership stake have more than tripled their business with the Chicago Public Schools since she joined the board, many of them for contracts drawn up in the suspicious amount of $24,999 — one dollar below the amount that required central office approval. (Chicago is the only municipality in Illinois whose school board is appointed by a mayor. But activists succeeded — in an arduous accomplishment against the obstruction attempts of Emanuel backers on the city council — to get an advisory referendum on the ballot in a majority of the city’s wards calling for an elected representative school board.