January 25, 2011

Rahm Emanuel for Mayor... Maybe Not.

As my fellow Chicagoans and those of you that closely follow politics may have heard, the Illinois State Appellate court has ruled that Rahm Emanuel does not meet the residency requirements and must be taken off the ballot for the upcoming election for the mayor of the City of Chicago. I won't get into all the legal details because all it really boils down to is that because he was living in Washington the last two years he doesn't qualify to run as mayor even though he was serving at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

I know that if you read what the election law says its pretty clear that you have to maintain residence in the City of Chicago for at least 1 year prior to the election and he rented his home out. He was eligible to vote in Chicago and paid income taxes in Illinois even though he was working for the President in Washington. While I don't entirely disagree with the Appellate court's ruling, I do think this is an exceptional case. He was born in Chicago, he served 5 terms as a Congressman from a Chicago district and only left because he was called on by his country to serve in the federal government.

I was planning on voting for Emanuel. I've always liked him despite (or because of) his strong arm tactics and the influence he has been able to gather for himself. You can't really make it as Mayor of Chicago without a strong personality and extensive political connections. It may be shocking to some but from an institutional perspective the position of Mayor of Chicago is a relatively weak one. The power all resides with City Council and to be honest I don't trust City Council to do anything right when left to their own devices. I know I won't win any good governance points for this but I kind of like that Emanuel would have the ability to keep them in line and actually get things done much like Daley and his father before him.

I also like that he yells at people a lot. For some reason, that just seems like something the Mayor of Chicago should be good at. Perhaps Gery Chico and Carol Mosley Braun should have a yell-off at the next debate to see who I think deserves my vote. Here's one of the many rants by Daley to illustrate what I'm talking about:


  1. I’m no huge Rahm fan, but you’re right: It seems like it’s a poor idea to make people ineligible to run for mayor if they’ve been out of town serving the public in some other way. I haven’t looked at the statute or ordinance at issue, but surely it wouldn’t make someone serving in the Armed Services ineligible to run upon their return!

    In the end, though, Chicago is allowed to pass dumb laws. So long as it’s not infringing on anyone’s rights, that is.

    I doubt a residency requirement to run for mayor is going to be viewed as a violation of anyone’s rights…

  2. So he can pay taxes because he couldn't break residency, but he can qualify for residency to run for office? That seems a bit ridiculous. Although, one is a state law and the other is a Chicago ruling... Won't stop him in the future though, I guess.

  3. Katy: Well, we do seem to be pretty good at passing dumb laws.

    Carolyn: Seems a bit backwards to me, we'll see how it all shakes out.

  4. I did not know much about this guy beforehand, but just knowing that Chicago is his town and yet he wasn't able to run, did piss me off. Yeah, if he had been off in Miami clubbing it up for two years, I totally get the whole disqualification thing, but he was working for the gov...ummm...okay. I just don't understand stories like this one. :S

    PS. I thought you would appreciate Charlotte! I was actually going to make it all hot princes but realized I have a lot more straight male readers recently. So I googled "hot princesses" for you guys. And maybe instead of a sea of diamonds you could ravish her on powdered gold or something...I dunno. Haha! :P

  5. I'm with you ~ smells to me like some political swag wash going on in the background, nothing unusual for Chicago

    Just an example of Chicago politicians at their finest: http://www.liveleak.com/view?c=1&i=124_1229373830

    Not quite convinced it's for real, but it's hilariously amusing just the same :)

  6. i like rahm - he's got balls. wish more dems did. it'd be a helluva lot sexier. saw van jones speak tonight, now that's a guy who makes a difference.

  7. How excellent.

    I wish our politicians were as interesting as yours.

  8. Jennifer: Me either, and yea she was HOT! Very considerate of you to help us guys out.

    City Girl Chicago: No, if they don't let him back on it's going to be a mess because I guess Anne Burke is on the IL Supreme Court and her and her husband Ed Burke are pretty powerful and they're Chico supporters. And yea, that transcript was hilarious!

    Eco: Yea, I think he'd be a good mayor for that reason.

    margg: It has its pluses and its minuses, I enjoy it though.


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