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City-backed organization footing the bill for Mayor Emanuel’s trip to Rome

CHICAGO -- Mayor Emanuel's scheduled trip to Rome is raising a few eyebrows.

The mayor, his wife and a mayoral delegation are heading to the Vatican to see the elevation of Chicago's Catholic Archbishop Blaise Cupich to Cardinal. But the mayor isn't footing the bill.

Governor Bruce Rauner and Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner are paying their own way, as is U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and his wife. But Emanuel is letting World Business Chicago pay for him and his mayoral group. World Business Chicago is a City-funded economic development organization tasked in part with promoting tourism to Chicago. The mayor said "no taxpayer money" is being used for the trip they claim is designed to help raise the city's profile.

"There are no city tax dollars involved for the Rome delegation," a World Business Chicago spokesperson said. "WBC helped organize and raise private funds for the Mayor and staff for this delegation."