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January 24, 2011 6:04 PM   Subscribe

Rahm Emanuel is ruled ineligible to run for Chicago mayor.

An Illinois state appellate court has ruled that Rahm Emanuel should not appear on the mayoral ballot because he does not meet the residency standard, failing to meet the requirement of having lived in Chicago for a year prior to the election.

Emanuel argued that he and his family may not have physically resided in the city but that he continued to own a home in the city and had always planned to return. He testified back in December that his 100 boxes full of family possessions - including his wife's wedding dress and the family china - were left in his Chicago residence.

Emanuel's testimony, however, has been undermined by the woman who is currently living there, and who wants $100,000 to break the lease and move out early.

With the February 22nd election right around the corner, The Chicago Board of Elections has ordered 2 million ballots without Emanuel's name; it's also going forward with touch-screen early voting beginning Monday and mailing out absentee and military ballots."

Ruling is available here. Emanuel's fate now hangs on whether the seven-member state Supreme Court will agree to hear his appeal.
posted by phaedon (200 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Emanuel is taking it hard.
posted by hellojed at 6:06 PM on January 24, 2011 [37 favorites]


...and had always planned to return.

This is like that time I got sent up for robbing a bank even though I, like, totally planned to give that money back.
posted by DU at 6:08 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


And yet Alan Keyes remains a free man
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:10 PM on January 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


I think the FPP was remiss in failing to note Roger Ebert's tweet regarding this development.
posted by eugenen at 6:11 PM on January 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


fwiw, not included as a direct link but two previous rulings said he was eligible. This ruling overturns those, but I'd be at least mildly surprised the the ISC refuses to hear the case if only because it has not been a clear cut decision.

My personal bias, which may have nothing to do with reality or the actual law, is he should be allowed to stand for mayor as he was performing a temporary job for the Federal Govt.
posted by edgeways at 6:12 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Interesting detail from that Salon article about the tenant:
Halpin and her husband Rob refused to move out of Emanuel's house when he wanted to break their lease and move back in as he ran for mayor. Rob Halpin also filed paperwork to run for mayor but withdrew from the crowded field shortly after.
Also:
Meet Rob Halpin, the latest maybe-possibly-sure-why-not contender for City Hall's fifth floor. Halpin is the guy who refused to leave when Emanuel, who was returning to Chicago for a potential mayoral run, asked him to vacate.

"It's not a joke," said Halpin, speaking from his place in line at O'Hare. Halpin, who works in industrial building construction, was on his way down to Georgia for business. Halpin argues the city needs someone with his business acumen.

"I'm a Catholic kid from the northside of Chicago," said Halpin. "And I've seen and read who is thinking of running and I just think there needs to be someone of my background. I'm also a businessman, not a professional politician, I will be a little bit different than the other people running."

Halpin says he was approached by "businessmen from the Southside of Chicago" to run for mayor, and that the overture took him by surprise.
The popcorn just pops itself.
posted by maudlin at 6:14 PM on January 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


The way Chicago politics go, I still project him to win.
posted by CNNInternational at 6:15 PM on January 24, 2011 [26 favorites]


Now he's stuck with a huge crate of neck stabbing pencils that he's not going to get to use.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:15 PM on January 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Emanuel is taking it hard.

Double birds to the motherfucking world. TO THE MOTHERFUCKING WORLD.
posted by Beardman at 6:16 PM on January 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


You'd think someone as driven as "Rahm-bo" would make damn sure he had all his ducks in a row for something as crucial as this (and not something flimsy like that rented condo or whatever it was). Doesn't he have "people" to handle stuff like that, at least? I mean, he was White House Chief of Staff, he's got to know how to delegate.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:16 PM on January 24, 2011


The dissenting opinion is marvelous, and well worth a read.
posted by Malor at 6:17 PM on January 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


The "MayorEmanuel" twitter feed was hilarious when Bill Clinton was in town.
posted by readery at 6:18 PM on January 24, 2011


Now he's stuck with a huge crate of neck stabbing pencils that he's not going to get to use.

If this doesn't get resolved in his favor quickly, you can bet he'll have to order more crates of neck-stabbing pencils.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:18 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that the residency requirement seems relatively clear-cut. My understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong), is that any candidate for Mayor has to have been a resident for the past year. I don't think any reasonable person could make the case that Rahm has been a resident for the past year. People (including edgeways) have pointed out that he has been performing a temporary job as a member of the Federal Government, but I think that doesn't particularly matter; he hasn't been a resident for the past year.

Personally, I think that this rule is silly, but I don't think there's a lot of wiggle room as to what the rule actually is. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that the lower courts ruled in his favor.
posted by Betelgeuse at 6:22 PM on January 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


What's the whoop? This is Chicago. Rahm has the Daley Family blessing, doesn't he? We're not idiots, you know. In Chicago, we know how this is gonna end, even if we don't know yet all the details of the Keystone Kops climax that gets us to that Final Scene... I've lived here thirty years and you can take this to the bank: Rahm Emmanual and the people who want him to be mayor Will. Find. A. Way.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 6:22 PM on January 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


What if he had been in Iraq for the past year and just left the service?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:23 PM on January 24, 2011


What if he had been in Iraq for the past year and just left the service?

Then he would be a hero, and above reproach, duh.
posted by Mister_A at 6:25 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Eh, this will be clearly be overturned on appeal but it totally muddies the waters for Rahm.
posted by unSane at 6:29 PM on January 24, 2011


What if he had been in Iraq for the past year and just left the service?

That sounds like the start of some pretty great Rahm-fan fiction.
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:31 PM on January 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


To be fair, though, it's not like it's really all that hard to live in Chicago for a year. It's not like he needed to live there for two whole years.

Geeaauugh.

Just kidding I love Chicago.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:36 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that the residency requirement seems relatively clear-cut.

The Constitution requires that senators and representatives be residents of their states at the time of election, but I don't think that anyone believes that going to DC invalidates their residency claims for the next time around. Now, Federal law is not the same as state law or city law, but it's not completely out of line.

Presumably he files Illinois state income taxes, which implies that he's a resident of Illinois. He's got to live somewhere.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 6:36 PM on January 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just in: Rahm Emanuel has re-formed the band, now leading high-speed police chase to Cook County Assessors office.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:39 PM on January 24, 2011 [37 favorites]


You guys in Chicago are tough on expats. Folks in Houston were willing to let Poppy Bush be a "Houstonian" when he was "officially residing" in a downtown hotel while he was president. (Mind you, I love my hometown, but it does roll over for famous people.)
posted by immlass at 6:40 PM on January 24, 2011


I don't think any reasonable person could make the case that Rahm has been a resident for the past year.

He voted and paid his taxes in Illinois, and the Illinois residence that he owns is in Chicago. Only Illinois residents vote and pay taxes in Illinois, and there is no location other than the city of Chicago that he could be considered to have been a resident of.

There. A reasonable person's case.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:40 PM on January 24, 2011 [17 favorites]


How many dead fish does it take to win a motherfucking election in this place?
posted by blucevalo at 6:42 PM on January 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Only Illinois residents vote and pay taxes in Illinois, and there is no location other than the city of Chicago that he could be considered to have been a resident of.

Huh? Anyone who owns property in Illinois pays property taxes here, whether they live here or have never set foot outside of Uzbekistan.

The voting eligibility requirements are irrelevant, because Illinois specifically allows non-residents to vote when they are not resident because they are on US business. Since such an exemption does not exist in the statute in the requirements for ballot eligibility, and, moreover, since those requirements specifically state the you must be a voter and a resident to appear on the ballot, a reasonable person would draw the conclusion that the General Assembly intended to set a higher bar to appear on the ballot than to cast a vote.

He filed his state income tax as a part-time resident.
posted by enn at 6:45 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Betelgeuse: the exception for a temporary job for the Federal Government is a exception in state law for residency as it applies to voters. The question that the appellate court differed from the lower court was that the locality residency requirement of a year (up from 30 days for a voter) doesn't have the Federal Government exception. The appellate court took the narrow reading of the law that it does not have any exception.

The problem that the dissent brings up (that I agree with) is that with such a narrow reading of the law, it's not clear how much time a candidate has to "actually live in" the location to be valid. Can they, for instance, take a two-week holiday?
posted by demiurge at 6:47 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


There. A reasonable person's case.

Sounds reasonable to me. I have no love for Mr. Emanuel, but the dissenting opinion in the case appears pretty convincing.

Of course, the fact that Rahm quit his day job without making sure he satisfied the residency requirement suggests that he is perhaps fucking ret...

Oh, never mind.
posted by steambadger at 6:48 PM on January 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Emanuel was encouraged by his mother to take ballet lessons as a boy and is a graduate of the Evanston School of Ballet as well as a student of The Joel Hall Dance Center (Northside of Chicago) where his children also took dance lessons. He won a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet but turned it down to attend Sarah Lawrence College, a liberal arts school with a strong dance program.

I did not know this.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:50 PM on January 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


He filed his state income tax as a part-time resident.

Is a part-time resident not a resident? It seems to me that a part time resident is, in fact, a resident.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:53 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


R.E. is clearly a voter as well as a candidate. He is clearly a resident when considered as a voter. The ruling implies that he has different residence statuses as a voter and a candidate, which is truly incoherent.

Also, the effect of the ruling is to make highly qualified people less likely to choose federal government service if they have regional political ambitions, which would appear to be fairly clearly non-optimal and is the kind of thing that is often taken into account in interpreting ambiguous statutes.
posted by unSane at 6:53 PM on January 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


A part-time resident is not a resident the duration of an entire year as required by the statute.
posted by enn at 6:54 PM on January 24, 2011


A part-time resident is not a resident the duration of an entire year as required by the statute.


But he is a part-time resident for the duration of an entire year, and a part-time resident is a kind of resident!

Any other standard is truly absurd: can a candidate for the mayorship of Chicago not leave Chicago for the year prior to their candidacy?
posted by mr_roboto at 6:57 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, you can't interpret "entire year" as "every single moment of an entire year". That interpretation is absurd.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:58 PM on January 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


The ruling implies that he has different residence statuses as a voter and a candidate, which is truly incoherent.

If it's incoherent, it's the law that's incoherent, not the court's interpretation of it.

Here is the text of the statute:
(65 ILCS 5/3.1‑10‑5) (from Ch. 24, par. 3.1‑10‑5)
Sec. 3.1‑10‑5. Qualifications; elective office.
(a) A person is not eligible for an elective municipal office unless that person is a qualified elector of the municipality and has resided in the municipality at least one year next preceding the election or appointment
It would be meaningless to specifically say that the person must have "resided in the municipality at least one year" immediately after saying that the person must be able to vote (be a qualified elector) if it was the intention of the legislature that all of the exemptions under which non-residents are allowed to vote should also apply to officeholders.
posted by enn at 6:58 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Betelgeuse: “I think that the residency requirement seems relatively clear-cut. My understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong), is that any candidate for Mayor has to have been a resident for the past year.”

You are incorrect. The law requires that the candidate "has resided in the municipality at least one
year next preceding the election or appointment." That's significantly different.

Rahm Emmanuel clearly resided in Chicago more than one year preceding this election, so that isn't in dispute. The dissenting opinion (thanks, Malor; it is indeed entertaining and worth a read) points this out, and further points out that the whole thing hinges on a question: when is residency terminated? The dissenting opinion points out that a hundred years of precedent dictate that residency is terminated by intent to leave. Rahm Emmanuel clearly did not have intent to abandon his Chicago residence; his driver's license, his vehicle and voter registration, for god's sake his doctor were all still in Chicago, and he returned many times even before the election.

“I don't think any reasonable person could make the case that Rahm has been a resident for the past year. People (including edgeways) have pointed out that he has been performing a temporary job as a member of the Federal Government, but I think that doesn't particularly matter; he hasn't been a resident for the past year. Personally, I think that this rule is silly, but I don't think there's a lot of wiggle room as to what the rule actually is. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that the lower courts ruled in his favor.”

You're right; there's not a lot of wiggle room. The law is clear, and by the law he's been a resident. The only way you can say he wasn't is if every previous case deciding residency is thrown out. That's what this decision does – it throws out all previous cases. (Some of which, the dissenter amusingly points out, was precedent set in cases in which the majority on this opinion actually presided. Which means that the court in this case is throwing out some of its own decisions.)
posted by koeselitz at 6:59 PM on January 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ahh, so the statue doesn't say "entire year"!

Seriously, the key here is the definition of "resided", not the "at least one year" thing. What's the statutory definition of residence?
posted by mr_roboto at 7:00 PM on January 24, 2011


What does he need, a birth certificate?
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 7:00 PM on January 24, 2011 [19 favorites]


But he is a part-time resident for the duration of an entire year, and a part-time resident is a kind of resident!

Any other standard is truly absurd: can a candidate for the mayorship of Chicago not leave Chicago for the year prior to their candidacy?


By your standard anyone who spent a week working in their employer's Chicago office but the rest of the year living elsewhere—which person would be required, at least in theory, to pay Illinois income taxes as a part-time resident on his earnings during that week—would qualify as having "resided in the municipality at least one year." I think that's pretty absurd.
posted by enn at 7:00 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Although I disagree with the decision, I'm grateful to the Illinois state appellate court for quickly knocking the "boohoo the Bears lost" conversation out of the #1 spot. I was not prepared for the inevitable three or four more days of Bear coverage we would have gotten.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:02 PM on January 24, 2011


What's the statutory definition of residence?

To my knowledge there is no statutory definition of the phrase "has resided in" (the word "residence" as such does not appear). Which is why this is going to the IL Supreme Court.
posted by enn at 7:03 PM on January 24, 2011


By your standard anyone who spent a week working in their employer's Chicago office but the rest of the year living elsewhere—which person would be required, at least in theory, to pay Illinois income taxes as a part-time resident on his earnings during that week—would qualify as having "resided in the municipality at least one year." I think that's pretty absurd.

Well, as the dissent points out, the test for residence is a lot more nuanced than that, and includes things like intent to reside, which can be indicated by visits back home, location of physician's office, real estate holdings, etc. By that standard, your example wouldn't cut the mustard.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:03 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


mr_roboto: “Seriously, the key here is the definition of "resided", not the "at least one year" thing. What's the statutory definition of residence?”

I don't think that's the key. Residence seems pretty elementary, at least on a basic level; your residence is where you choose to live and work, your home. And every party in this case agrees that Rahm Emmanuel was a resident of Chicago at some point. The question this hinges on is how residence is terminated. At what point can you say that he stopped being a resident?
posted by koeselitz at 7:07 PM on January 24, 2011


Sure, but Rahm's intent to reside is open to debate. It's not as clear-cut as the people saying, "well, he's registered to vote so he must be a resident" are making it out to be, and things like assertions of part-time vs. full-time residency on tax forms play into the determination of that intent.
posted by enn at 7:09 PM on January 24, 2011


At what point can you say that he stopped being a resident?

When he rented out his home to strangers and his new lodgings were not in Chicago but in Washington, DC? Someone compared this to congresspeople above; congresspeople usually maintain an actual home of some sort in their district.
posted by enn at 7:10 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only reason I was going to vote for Rahm was to keep him out of national politics.

To say he is not a resident of Chicago as defined by the standards of the ruling majority also excludes most of our representatives in congress. How can they run again if they haven't spent 24/7 in their districts?

This will be tossed by the Illinois Supreme Court, if not, get ready for Mayor Carol Moseley Braun, lets hope she spends her time in Chicago and not hanging out with Nigerian dictators or she won't be able to run for election again either.
posted by Max Power at 7:15 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Enn you have no argument.
posted by Max Power at 7:16 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


To say he is not a resident of Chicago as defined by the standards of the ruling majority also excludes most of our representatives in congress. How can they run again if they haven't spent 24/7 in their districts?

Because the requirements to run for federal office are defined by federal law and not the Illinois state law that sets out the requirements to run for state and municipal office? This has nothing to do with anything.

Enn you have no argument.

You have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by enn at 7:17 PM on January 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


You have no idea what you're talking about.

No you don't.

Nice that the judges decided he could still vote here, pay taxes etc, but not run for office? garbage, you know it and your hair splitting smacks of desperation.
posted by Max Power at 7:26 PM on January 24, 2011


Rahmen Emanuel
posted by Sailormom at 7:27 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


As I understand it, the issue, at least in part, is that the statute defines residency, for the purpose of being a candidate, with reference to residency, for the purpose of voting. And the latter -- let's call it "voting residency" -- requirements provide that anyone who leaves due to federal government service can maintain voting residency. So when the statute says this:

(a) A person is not eligible for an elective municipal office unless that person is a qualified elector of the municipality and has resided in the municipality at least one year next preceding the election or appointment.

...it's a bit circular, depending on how you interpret "resided in the municipality." If "resided" here equals "resided, for the purposes of voting," then Emmanuel has in effect resided in Chicago for the required year, because the exception for federal service gave him legal "voting residency" for the entire year. Indeed, he never left, technically speaking.

Am I way off?
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 7:28 PM on January 24, 2011


Nice that the judges decided he could still vote here, pay taxes etc, but not run for office?

It's almost as though they think you can have different requirements for different things! Next thing they'll be telling me my dog license isn't good enough to fly a 747 and who knows where it'll end.
posted by enn at 7:28 PM on January 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


One of the seven justices on the state’s high court is Anne M. Burke, the wife of veteran Ald. Edward Burke (14th Ward). The Chicago News Cooperative reported in November that Burke’s political organization has aided the campaign of Emanuel’s mayoral rival, Gery Chico.

Chico would not address Burke’s potential role Monday at a news conference scheduled in response to the ruling
.
posted by Sailormom at 7:30 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


dixiecupdrinking: I think that's right. One of the problems the dissent had with the majority's argument is that if the second "has resided in" requirement is different than the first, then they don't outline what the specific requirements of that "has resided in" consists of.
posted by demiurge at 7:32 PM on January 24, 2011


Its almost as if the judges ignored the Illinois state constitution which gives exemption for government service.
posted by Max Power at 7:32 PM on January 24, 2011


I don't live there, I don't care, but has anyone ever told this guy "no" and made it stick? Rather than prattle about the voters' right to choose, why doesn't he just say okay and do something else? So he misses out on a couple of years of privilege.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:33 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Read the statute carefully. If you are presently an elector in Chicago, and you have resided in the municipality for at least one year, you are eligible.

It doesn't say "the year immediately preceding the election", it says "a year", period. And Mr. Emanuel has clearly lived in Chicago for at least one year.
posted by Malor at 7:33 PM on January 24, 2011


I wish that some of the big-boy attorneys would weigh in on this here (I'm but a wee attorneylet), but for further reading, some of the comments at Volokh are a bit illuminating.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 7:33 PM on January 24, 2011


Malor: It doesn't say "the year immediately preceding the election", it says "a year", period. And Mr. Emanuel has clearly lived in Chicago for at least one year.

This is wrong. The statute clearly says "...and has resided in the municipality at least one year next preceding the election or appointment."

"Next preceding" = immediately preceding.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 7:35 PM on January 24, 2011


Random thoughts that I haven't seen in the news coverage yet:

1. Let's say the courts keep Rahm out, but there he is, sitting with $10 million in campaign funds. Some new lackluster mayor gets elected with the bare minimum of support. (Chico?) Does Chicago municipal law allow for a recall or an impeachment under any practical circumstances? Can Rahm put his $10 million into the Committee To Recall The Phony Mayor And Have A Real Election?

2. Does Rahm have any shot in federal court if the Ill. Supreme Court turns him down? I think there is a U.S. Constitutional right to access to the ballot. Challenge the 2-year residency requirement as interpreted as unconstitutional? Hard to see the 7th Circuit going for that.

3. Who the fuck is even on the Illinois Supreme Court? Oh, ok. So you have 7 justices on the court, but 3 are Republicans. Pretty unlikely that a Republican is going to look to help Rahm out, especially if the issue is whether you should read a statute in a strict or expansive manner. That leaves 4 Democrats, but, as the media is already point out, one of those 4 (Burke) has already endorsed Rahm's main opponent. So, based on a 60-second analysis, this does not look so good for Rahm. Is there anything about the Court that looks favorable for Rahm? I'm not seeing it so far.
posted by Mid at 7:41 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gotta love Chicago style politics. Even when it seems clean, there's always something going on.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:44 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


This isn't over by the longest shot. It's just another Illinois stunt. Probably one of those Springfield boys.
posted by Bonzai at 7:49 PM on January 24, 2011




There is a god. The law designed to protect the machine is keeping the machine from selecting the mayor.

This may be the best break my fair city has ever gotten.
posted by eriko at 7:52 PM on January 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


I know more about this than you could possibly imagine!

Rahm Emanuel is my mother.
posted by hermitosis at 7:54 PM on January 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


enn: “When he rented out his home to strangers and his new lodgings were not in Chicago but in Washington, DC? Someone compared this to congresspeople above; congresspeople usually maintain an actual home of some sort in their district.”

Well, first of all, by doing so he did pointedly maintain his lodgings in Chicago. His rental agreements in DC were much more short-term and made it obvious he was coming back. And your interpretation is open to the same difficulties as others are having above; how much is enough "lodging" to remove residency? One night? One week? So he sublet his house out; he made a provision in the lease that he'd come back, and that he'd come back soon. And there are a host of other details that indicate that he planned to come back.

But second of all: as the dissenting opinion points out, this has happened before. People have spent most of the previous year technically living elsewhere and still retained their residency in Chicago for legal purposes, and have been elected to similar offices legally. There's a precedent. This is supposed to hinge on intent to be a resident. What's more, the court seems to agree that his intention was to be a resident. Where they differ is that they have some hand-wavey definition of a true standard of residency. That's not really correct, in my book.
posted by koeselitz at 7:54 PM on January 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


It seems like a time honored tradition to win in Chicago via getting your opponents tossed off the ballot. Obama did it. Nothing wrong with enforcing the law but it always feels somewhat shady.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:55 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not as clear-cut as the people saying, "well, he's registered to vote so he must be a resident"

Except they're not only saying voter registration… they're also saying personal property and real estate and doctors.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:00 PM on January 24, 2011


Also, the guy is a multimillionaire. Why, oh why did he rent the house out?
posted by Mid at 8:00 PM on January 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rahm Emmanuel clearly resided in Chicago more than one year preceding this election, so that isn't in dispute.

No. Emmanuel clearly did not reside in the City of Chicago for any time preceding this election. He resided in the State of Virginia for the last two years. He owns property in the state of Illinois, but owning property is not repeat not residence.

He made his bed. He could have stayed in Illinois and kept trying for the goal he so desperately wanted. Instead, he gave up and moved away. The fact that a window has opened means nothing.

The Appellate Court is exactly correct here. Rahm Emmanuel is not legally qualified to be the mayor of Chicago.
posted by eriko at 8:04 PM on January 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Presumably it's easier to stay a multimillionaire when you don't pass up income opportunities that require minimal investments of time, effort and capital. Notwithstanding unforeseen future legal battles...
posted by Benjy at 8:05 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fuck you Rahm.

Love,

The Democratic wing of the Democratic party
posted by bardic at 8:15 PM on January 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


hermitosis: I know more about this than you could possibly imagine!
Rahm Emanuel is my mother.


Carol Moseley Braun is my mother, yet I wouldn't for a second claim that I know anything about the law here.
posted by mjbraun at 8:15 PM on January 24, 2011 [32 favorites]


me: “Rahm Emmanuel clearly resided in Chicago more than one year preceding this election, so that isn't in dispute.”

eriko: “No. Emmanuel clearly did not reside in the City of Chicago for any time preceding this election. He resided in the State of Virginia for the last two years. He owns property in the state of Illinois, but owning property is not repeat not residence.”

So you're shooting to argue that Rahm Emmanuel wasn't a resident of Chicago when he was born in Chicago; when he was attending a conservative Jewish elementary school in Chicago; when he went to high school in Wilmette; when he was a fundraiser for Richard Daley's reelection campaign; etc, etc, etc? You're arguing that he has never been a resident of Chicago?

Because that seems like a very difficult argument to make.

Again, all sides in this case agree that at some point in the past Rahm Emmanuel was a resident of Chicago. You seem to be the only one disagreeing with that.
posted by koeselitz at 8:20 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


one of those 4 (Burke) has already endorsed Rahm's main opponent

Isn't it bad form for judges to endorse candidates?
posted by kenko at 8:21 PM on January 24, 2011


It's just another Illinois stunt. Probably one of those Springfield boys.

Yankton cocksuckers...
posted by Joe Beese at 8:21 PM on January 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, the guy is a multimillionaire. Why, oh why did he rent the house out?

Why pay someone to house-sit to make sure the place is OK when you can rent it out and make the money instead? It'd definitely not do to have the house remain completely vacant.
posted by explosion at 8:30 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


If he can't sort this out, he's not ready for Chicago.
posted by SPrintF at 8:32 PM on January 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's almost like sometimes if you spend your whole life being an asshole to everyone, it comes back to haunt you.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:34 PM on January 24, 2011 [17 favorites]


HAHAHAHA.
ha
posted by clavdivs at 8:37 PM on January 24, 2011


People, people -- have no fear. The fix is in. This is all just to hide the fact that the fix was in when it goes Rahm's way on appeal.

You know, they can't be all obvious about it. They have to make a gesture of due process, at least.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:39 PM on January 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


there IS a god.
posted by clavdivs at 9:06 PM on January 24, 2011


Carol Moseley Braun is my mother, yet I wouldn't for a second claim that I know anything about the law here.
posted by mjbraun


... Wait, seriously?
posted by rkent at 9:21 PM on January 24, 2011


Aside from the immediate local implications, the thing that first struck me about this whole fiasco is that it does so much to explain the past two years of incompetence at the White House.
posted by HumuloneRanger at 9:27 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


... Wait, seriously?

By then Braun had graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, gotten her law degree from the University of Chicago and worked as an assistant U.S. attorney. She married Michael Braun, a white lawyer she met in law school, and added his last name to hers. They settled in Hyde Park and had a son, Matthew Braun. Outside political circles and away from glaring TV cameras, Braun is a “proud nerd,” and devoted “Star Trek” geek, who enjoys riding horses and on occasion motorcycles.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:32 PM on January 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


So you're shooting to argue that Rahm Emmanuel wasn't a resident of Chicago when he was born in Chicago; when he was attending a conservative Jewish elementary school in Chicago; when he went to high school in Wilmette; when he was a fundraiser for Richard Daley's reelection campaign; etc, etc, etc? You're arguing that he has never been a resident of Chicago?

Because that seems like a very difficult argument to make.


Heritage or personal history does not equal residency. Over the past 15 years I've spent a lot of time outside of my birthplace, British Columbia, in Canada. BC *residents* are entitled to a lot of great things, including the right to vote and enrollment in the BC Medical Services Plan (socialized healthcare).

If I leave BC for more than three months (say to go back home to Japan for a visit), I generally lose BC residency. This means that when I return to BC I cannot vote in municipal and provincial elections, and I have to get private medical insurance. It takes 6 months for me to re-establish residency.

Rahm lived in Virginia or wherever while he was Chief of Staff. It's not the same as a Congressman or woman, or a member of the Senate; these folks presumably are considered residents of their home constituencies while they work in Washington.

Rahm is not an elected official. He took a job, and lived out of state for several years. There is no way that he can claim to have maintained a residence in Chicago.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:33 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Carol Moseley Braun is my mother, yet I wouldn't for a second claim that I know anything about the law here.
posted by mjbraun

... Wait, seriously?


also very curious
posted by angrycat at 9:40 PM on January 24, 2011


I love city politics.

There is no way that he can claim to have maintained a residence in Chicago.
posted by KokuRyu

I believe this is the bottom line unless owning property equates residency.

why did he leave the WH again, because that job is worth 4 years of no sleep.

Chicago: "Once, hey, sure. twice, in the breadbasket."
posted by clavdivs at 9:49 PM on January 24, 2011


angrycat: also very curious

I am curious about your curiosity. What has you intrigued?
posted by mjbraun at 9:49 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Michael, if you really are her son.... we're not used to real life intersecting much with Metafilter, especially not capital-N News. It's odd to have a MeFite this close to a story.

If you are that Michael, consider yourself prompted for interesting stories about Chicago politics. :)
posted by Malor at 10:03 PM on January 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay, scenario: I go on a business trip for three weeks. As it happens, a friend is driving through the country and wants to crash at my house for a week while I'm out. He offers to pay me $30/night to cover the cost of electricity, heating, etc. since it's way cheaper than a hotel room. I agree.

Am I still eligible to run for mayor of my city? If not, what's the difference between my scenario and Rahm's?
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:04 PM on January 24, 2011


If not, what's the difference between my scenario and Rahm's?

49 weeks?
posted by enn at 10:06 PM on January 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Are you saying Rahm spent zero days in Chicago in the past year? Because, he didn't.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:07 PM on January 24, 2011


He spent zero days in his house. He made no provisions for moving back into that house before the 1-year lease expired and indeed has not been able to do so. It's true that he has spent some unknown amount of time in the condo he acquired after announcing his run for office. That amount of time is obviously much closer to three weeks than it is to a year.
posted by enn at 10:09 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it mattera whether you pay taxes in Illinois.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:11 PM on January 24, 2011


If you are that Michael, consider yourself prompted for interesting stories about Chicago politics. :)

I don't know who Michael is, but I'm interested to hear interesting Chicago politics stores from Matthew.
posted by hippybear at 10:11 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


the wind/sail effect. i here alot of typing.

"it is elemental that
domicile and residence are not synonymous." Pope v. Board of
Election Commissioners, 370 Ill. 196, 202, 18 N.E.2d 214 (1938).
As the supreme court further explained in Pope, the legal concept
of "residence" requires a permanent abode.'

pg 8 pdf

"An opinion of such wide-ranging import and not
based on established law but, rather, on the whims of two judges,
should not be allowed to stand."

Ibid.

This ruling should be interesting. IMO the law was used and the decison of two judges shall be put to the test, but not in time for the election.
posted by clavdivs at 10:15 PM on January 24, 2011



He spent zero days in his house. He made no provisions for moving back into that house before the 1-year lease expired and indeed has not been able to do so. It's true that he has spent some unknown amount of time in the condo he acquired after announcing his run for office. That amount of time is obviously much closer to three weeks than it is to a year.


Ok, but how many weeks does he need to be on the ballot and point to the law that defines that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:15 PM on January 24, 2011


Michael, if you really are her son.... we're not used to real life intersecting much with Metafilter, especially not capital-N News. It's odd to have a MeFite this close to a story.

If you are that Michael, consider yourself prompted for interesting stories about Chicago politics. :)


Actually, Michael is my father (I'm Matthew, the son) but your point is taken. Just so you know, I'm more of a huge computer dork (for example, see this) than a political wonk and I just usually lurk around these here parts but, well, "This is Relevant to my Interests" and I felt the urge to pop in and say hi.

So, uh: "Hi."
posted by mjbraun at 10:15 PM on January 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


I have Guzik stories to deploy, no faction-typing please.
So, dirty trick or legal means and why did not Rahm see it coming?
posted by clavdivs at 10:18 PM on January 24, 2011


Can we come up with some kind of "point system" for determining residency, where you get more points if you're able to spend the night in a home you own, slightly less if you're in a condo you own that is not your primary residence, slightly less than that if you're in a condo you rent, even less if you're in a hotel in the city in question, maybe some bonus points if you're away on official business related to the city, negative points if you're in a city that has a sports rivalry with the city in question?

Since the majority didn't even bother to provide a concrete applicable standard for future cases, we're going to have to do it ourselves.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:22 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ok, but how many weeks does he need to be on the ballot and point to the law that defines that.

There isn't one, but the question is, what reasonable number could you (or the court) come up with that Rahm could meet? He hasn't even spent half the year here—if the residency requirement doesn't require that then it's hard to see how it means anything at all.

Candidates around the state are routinely removed from the ballot for residency violations just like this.
posted by enn at 10:27 PM on January 24, 2011


He voted and paid his taxes in Illinois, and the Illinois residence that he owns is in Chicago. Only Illinois residents vote and pay taxes in Illinois, and there is no location other than the city of Chicago that he could be considered to have been a resident of.
This is a tricky point, but the law doesn't say you have to be a "resident" (i.e. someone who officially lives there but may not be present) it says you have to physically live in Chicago. There may be exceptions for federal campaigns but apparently there isn't anything for city campaigns.

And if you think about it, in general this is a really reasonable law. You wouldn't want people in random cities being the mayor of other cities just because they own property in them, that would be ripe for abuse, especially in a state with as much corruption as Illinois.

It seems pretty obvious that, whatever tax forms, etc that Rahm actually filed, he didn't actually live in Chicago during the past year.

Given that Obama got his first state senate seat by bumping all his opponents off the ballot, I find this pretty ironic.
This will be tossed by the Illinois Supreme Court, if not, get ready for Mayor Carol Moseley Braun, lets hope she spends her time in Chicago and not hanging out with Nigerian dictators or she won't be able to run for election again either.
I'm not sure what's wrong with Carol Moseley Braun? And I was going to say that before I found out her son was in the thread! Since he is I'll throw in that I liked her in the 2004 presidential primary.

Also Nigeria is a democracy.
posted by delmoi at 10:37 PM on January 24, 2011


No no, it's a Monarchy, I've been conversing with the Prince via e-mail and...
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:41 PM on January 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


The law is just words until interpreted by a court, which has happened several times here and is likely to happen again at the IL state supreme court.

All this hemming and hawing about the meaning of residency and whether or whatnot is what courts and judges are paid to decide.

So all your passionate arguments about Rahm's residency is, quite literaly, moot.

I find the more interesting discussion is whether or not the justices and legal system are completely corrupt.
posted by j03 at 10:53 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


A lot of residency stuff is BS anyway. My mother way back in the day worked for a state senator who lived in the area's toniest suburb in a huge mansion, but was the rep for a dingy neighborhood miles away where he kept a tiny condo. He was bright enough to not rent it out, mind.
posted by maxwelton at 10:54 PM on January 24, 2011


Also Nigeria is a democracy.

Not in 1996, it wasn't.

Senator Carol Moseley-Braun (DIL) has caused an uproar because she recently visited Nigeria and met with the country's military dictator Gen. Sani Abacha.

The trip to Nigeria drew the wrath and disappointment of human rights leaders and politicians and the resignation of the senator's top aide.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said, "It is unfortunate that the senator's trip gives the impression of lending legitimacy to an illegitimate regime in Nigeria."


[slate][trib archives]

I wore out shoe leather for her, but she had clearly been promoted beyond her capabilities.

Residency is a complicated matter. Locally, we had a State Senator who separated form his wife and took over a house they owned outside his district, but nobody registered a formal complaint with the Attorney General, so *shrug*. He was then challenged by a guy who lived outside the district, won, then claimed he was living in his brother's basement in the district; the other party complained that on tax rolls the basement was listed as unfinished, so called for an inspection, which ultimately he passed -- by then the guy had an apartment with a lease. Then again, our state laws don't have a one-year residency requirement, allowing the voters to elect a carpetbagger if they want.

Cases have been as divergent as Hillary Clinton moving to New York to run for the Senate and Dick Cheney, who had moved to Houston to work for Halliburton, establishing a mail drop back in Wyoming so he and George W. Bush would not be from the same state on the ticket, a constitutional requirement.

I have to say the part that astonishes me in all this is the way Mayor Daley left things in disarray. The guy has run the city with a motorman's hand on the deadman's switch zeal, and to just walk out and not have a welded-in-place succession plan doesn't seem like him. Maybe he has been spooked by the investigations. Surprised he didn't give Rahm enough of a heads-up, surprised he doesn't have an anointed successor (especially with brother Bill succeeding Emanuel in DC), surprised he'd allow it all to fall to a third-string State Senator and City Hall protege who once stumbled into higher office. Stunned, really.
posted by dhartung at 11:48 PM on January 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


A rather prescient graphic from a pro-Braun blog.
posted by benzenedream at 11:52 PM on January 24, 2011


Explosion asked: Why pay someone to house-sit to make sure the place is OK when you can rent it out and make the money instead?

Because his legal fees fighting the challenge will be much greater than any rent he may have received. I can't see why he would have done this if he intended to return to Chicago politics. It has just been massively expensive and - if his challenge succeeds - will probably end up costing him votes.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:17 AM on January 25, 2011


He probably didn't expect his tenant to shiv him in the back. I wonder who paid him off.
posted by delmoi at 12:41 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


He didn't expect Daley to retire in the first place.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:55 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


which brings us back to rule 1#.
posted by clavdivs at 1:21 AM on January 25, 2011


...never start a land war in Asia?
posted by Evilspork at 1:48 AM on January 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, if Rahm isn't a Chicago politician, who the fuck is?
posted by snofoam at 2:52 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, the guy is a multimillionaire. Why, oh why did he rent the house out?

Mid, it says in the dissenting opinion that "although he and his wife were initially reluctant to lease their Chicago home, they heeded the advice of their friend and real estate consultant to lease the home during their absence for safety purposes." Doesn't sound too outlandish to me.
posted by Devika at 3:15 AM on January 25, 2011


Yes, but to someone who either had run or was interested in running for mayor? Not the wisest choice of mayor. Also I probably would have gone for a six-month lease over a year term.
posted by longdaysjourney at 3:23 AM on January 25, 2011


Gah. "Not the wisest choice of tenant" rather, not mayor. *wanders off to get coffee.*
posted by longdaysjourney at 3:24 AM on January 25, 2011


Dhartung - good point re Daley. The rumor I have heard is that it was a surprise to his closest aides and that it may be related to his wife's health.
posted by Mid at 4:21 AM on January 25, 2011


God forbid you should serve your country in government if it involves moving temporarily.

Stupid decision, Chicago's loss.
posted by spitbull at 4:30 AM on January 25, 2011


I'm not sure what's wrong with Carol Moseley Braun?

posted by delmoi



In many Chicagoan's opinions, a whole lot. I know more people upset about the Rahm thing not because they were so hot for him to win, but so badly want her to not win.

But I don't want to go into it because her son is in the thread now and I'd feel weird.
posted by Windigo at 5:09 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I don't want to go into it because her son is in the thread now and I'd feel weird.

My opinion as well. CMB is the first politician who broke my heart (I used to be a true believer) and I'm not over it yet. There's a lot going on here but I think there is confusion because the machine itself is split and Daley did really shock people with this announcement.
posted by readery at 5:30 AM on January 25, 2011


Just so that we clarify: the standard of residency that's being applied here is that Rahm needed to have had a place that he could call his own, that he could legally occupy any old time he wanted--whenever he came back to Chicago, he could put the key in the lock, hang up his suit, sleep there overnight, practice ballet routines in the nude, whatever. Subletting an apartment probably would have been OK; getting a buddy's spare key with informal permission to crash on the couch any old time, probably not. Leaving some boxes of stuff in the crawlspace of the house that he leased out to someone else, said lease not letting him turf them out on short notice, doesn't seem to count, although the courts seem to not be able to agree on that.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:57 AM on January 25, 2011


I notice that the fake Rahm Twitter feed has acquired about 4,000 new followers in the last day.
posted by Beardman at 7:25 AM on January 25, 2011


You wanna know how to get elected? They get an apartment, you buy a condo. He rents out his house, you live in yours for a year. That's the Chicago way!
posted by kirkaracha at 7:26 AM on January 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


Every newspaper article I've read about this has some moron in the comments section weighing in with "THAT'S CHICAGO-STYLE POLITICS FOR YOU". I'm not sure they could tell Chicago style politics from Chicago style pizza.
posted by electroboy at 7:27 AM on January 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I understand that Chicago politics are corrupt, and that the Mayor is a powerful office with the ability to steer a lot of money and power to his friends. But I'm surprised its so powerful that the President's Chief of Staff, a guy right at the center of power of the entire United States would quit that job at the drop of a hat for the chance to be Mayor of Chicago.

That puzzles me a lot more than whether or not he meets the residency requirements.
posted by Reverend John at 7:37 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Windigo: "In many Chicagoan's opinions, a whole lot. I know more people upset about the Rahm thing not because they were so hot for him to win, but so badly want her to not win."

Actually, voicing your opinion here is a Good Thing and I assure you that, absent flamey "CMB SUX, GRAR!" type stuff, I'm not one to get all riled up about it. Rather, it helps me funnel comments and criticisms to my Mother so that she is informed about what people think and she can then act accordingly.

Of the comments above, one that I was dwelling on referenced Mother's Nigeria trip. To my knowledge, at no point was she actually accused of doing anything illegal or unethical. It was more guilt-by-association than anything else rather than a hard accusation, which seems to me a bit, well, unfair. But, as one might suspect, I'm just a wee bit biased...
posted by mjbraun at 7:52 AM on January 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Springfield politicians are still mad about this.

One of the more juicier moments in Chicago politics.
posted by Bonzai at 7:57 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I'm surprised its so powerful that the President's Chief of Staff, a guy right at the center of power of the entire United States would quit that job at the drop of a hat for the chance to be Mayor of Chicago.

He can't be Obama's Chief of Staff forever. He probably couldn't be president either. On the other hand, he could conceivably be Mayor of Chicago for the rest of his working life.

I think it makes much more sense in that context.
posted by rollbiz at 8:02 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


And he's a young man. Congressman, Chief of staff, Mayor...

I don't think we could ever underestimate Rahm's ambitions.
posted by readery at 8:07 AM on January 25, 2011


I would bet dollars to doughnuts that if you asked the same appellate court if the President was a resident of Chicago it would be a resounding HELL YES. Somewhere, somebody got their hands greased on this one.
posted by Ber at 8:21 AM on January 25, 2011


Still, its not like there wouldn't be another election after Obama's term in office is done, and look at the current crop of candidates. It doesn't seem like any of them are going to build the kind Daley-style machine that Emanuel couldn't overcome a little further down the line.

Honestly, to me he looks kind of like a Palin-style quitter trying to cash in.
posted by Reverend John at 8:22 AM on January 25, 2011


Colbert should run for Mayor of Chicago.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:26 AM on January 25, 2011


Doh! Shoulda kept the day job in D.C.
posted by VicNebulous at 8:26 AM on January 25, 2011


Still, its not like there wouldn't be another election after Obama's term in office is done, and look at the current crop of candidates. It doesn't seem like any of them are going to build the kind Daley-style machine that Emanuel couldn't overcome a little further down the line.

posted by Reverend John


But Chicago needs someone who can work towards turning our budget (amongst all the other) problems around NOW, not four years from now. I want the next four years here to get better, not worse.
posted by Windigo at 8:31 AM on January 25, 2011


I don't have strong feelings one way or the other regarding Rahm's mayoral ambitions. I was just pointing out that if you want to have a fairly safe chance at being a lifetime politician, the mayor's office is a great place to do that. Since the 30's, almost every person selected for the job has served 10 or more years.
posted by rollbiz at 8:32 AM on January 25, 2011


I'm so bummed my candidate of choice, Miguel Del Valle, seemingly has no chance.

I have nothing to add to the residency debate, but something about Emanuel really rubs me the wrong way; it's like he feels he's entitled to the mayorship. And supporting Daley for re-election...ugh.
posted by Jess the Mess at 8:33 AM on January 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Suntimes editorial
posted by Bonzai at 8:35 AM on January 25, 2011


Can we come up with some kind of "point system" for determining residency

5 points - for legacy residency (father or grandfather was resident)
10 points - SAT over 1200 (old system) or 1800 (new system)
5 points - outstanding essay
10 points - outstanding athlete (20 if you are a shooting guard)
5 points - underrepresented demographic
-20 points - Rahm Emanuel

Yeah, this could work.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:43 AM on January 25, 2011 [2 favorites]



I would bet dollars to doughnuts that if you asked the same appellate court if the President was a resident of Chicago it would be a resounding HELL YES. Somewhere, somebody got their hands greased on this one.

Obama got elected to a national office - he's still a Chicagoan. Rahm took a job elsewhere and moved out of state. You can call it serving his country but it was a job he chose to get.
posted by codswallop at 9:16 AM on January 25, 2011


Same here, Jess the Mess. Although if this ruling is upheld Del Valle might have more of a chance than people have thought; a lot of moderate-progressive people I know have been supporting Rahm (though I can't for the life of me figure out why) and I'm not sure they'd be more likely to break for Chico or CMB than Del Valle in the event Rahm isn't on the ballot.

The real shame here is that the other stronger candidates—Gutierrez, Dart, and Davis—dropped out so quickly.

if the President was a resident of Chicago

The president didn't rent out his house. He stays there when he is in town. Rahm stayed in hotels up until a couple months ago.
posted by enn at 9:18 AM on January 25, 2011


mjbraun: The bit about "Rahm Emanuel is my mother!" is a reference to a thread gone awry wherein a poster appealed to authority in a tricky matter by saying pretty much verbatim what hermitosis said... except in all seriousness. I think the subject was molecular biology? Anyway, the full quote was something like "I know more about this than I think you can possibly imagine! My mother is a molecular biologist!"

And now that it's been explained, it's way less funny.
posted by sonika at 9:36 AM on January 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think I'm feeling a mixture of hope, schadenfreude, and frustration.

Hope, because I really want to see Del Valle elected mayor, and I don't understand why he's polling so poorly (well, it's mostly because he has like 6 bucks in his campaign account, since he's refused to take money from entities that do business with the City) -- but he does have strong name recognition, and a reputation for progressive, effective and honest executive leadership, and I don't see why that hasn't translated into a bigger projected vote share.

Schadenfreude, because it would be a wonderfully ironic thing if the candidate closest to the zombified corpse of the corporate-Democratic machine got taken out by the arcane election rules established to keep Chicago firmly in the hands of the party bosses, aldermanic clans and business interests.

And finally, frustration -- because although I think there's a decent case to be made that Rahm does not meet the requirements to be a candidate for mayor, it's pretty clear that those kinds of rules (see also: the absurd number of signatures required to get on the ballot; the way that Obama (in)famously challenged everyone else off the ballot when he ran for state senator), although they may be in the best interests of the city in this particular case, are generally anti-democratic and seve no-one's interests in the long term except the corrupt pols and contractors.

This is, I think, the big problem with this city: that the reformist elements are so easily co-opted into the System. The Daleys were masters at this, at forcing the opposition onto the ground of arguing against what the Mayor had been able to accomplish, as opposed to how he did it.

Progressives shouldn't allow themselves to be constantly manoeuvered into the discussion about whether bulldozing Meigs or establishing TIFs or tearing down public housing or privatising the parking meters have been good things or not. I mean, there's obviously a place to discuss the merits of those and other issues; but if all we talk about is what has been done, as opposed to the undemocratic, corrupt and fly-by-night way in which city government has been and continues to be run, we're tacitly approving the soft-dictatorship form of government.

Just because corrupt rules have worked in our favour this time doesn't mean we should be happy.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:45 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Windigo: "But Chicago needs someone who can work towards turning our budget (amongst all the other) problems around NOW, not four years from now. I want the next four years here to get better, not worse"

Heh, well, the country needs someone who can work towards turning its budget around (amongst all the other) problems around NOW. He was in a position to make a big difference there, but he traded it all for a chance to be the Mayor of Chicago. Doesn't really add up for me, unless the Mayor of Chicago has more world power and influence that the President's Chief of Staff (seems unlikely), or the Mayor of Chicago can more easily use the power and influence he does have for his benefit and the benefits of his friends (seems more likely). Maybe there's a third explanation I'm missing?
posted by Reverend John at 9:50 AM on January 25, 2011


I am not saying he is the bestest, Reverend John. I will say I trust him before I would trust Braun or Chico (I don't think Del Valle stands much of a chance if it's a three-way). The lesser of the evils.

Mostly, I was arguing against what I read as dismissive in your post, that no matter who gets the job it won't matter because it's only 4 years.
posted by Windigo at 10:13 AM on January 25, 2011


That was quick
posted by IndigoJones at 10:15 AM on January 25, 2011


ugh what a mess.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:26 AM on January 25, 2011


Though I know I should be wary
Still I venture someplace Daley
Chicago politicking I turn on
Rahm, Rahm, Rahm!!!!!!!

(Cuter if you imagine a goth Winona Ryder)
posted by geoff. at 10:32 AM on January 25, 2011


(And Jeffrey Jones as Axelrod)
posted by geoff. at 10:34 AM on January 25, 2011


Oh hell, I'll just go all the way: Illinois Supreme Court, Rahm doesn't fuck around.
posted by geoff. at 10:38 AM on January 25, 2011


This seems like a blip to me. I'm just surprised the mid level appellate court got it so wrong. From a policy point of view, the ruling makes no sense -- the potential field of candidates shouldn't rule out the local folks that happen for a time to hold federal office or political jobs in D.C.
posted by bearwife at 10:42 AM on January 25, 2011


That was quick

The Machine works!
posted by Joe Beese at 10:45 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Windigo: I see where you're coming from. I also agree that he's probably no less trustworthy than the other contenders (I don't really know too much about them, being a suburbanite and not having a vote in the matter). I definitely wasn't trying to argue that it doesn't matter who holds the office, only that his move really highlights the apparent value of the Mayor's office, far out of proportion to what I would think is reasonable.
posted by Reverend John at 11:10 AM on January 25, 2011


QUICK! SOMEONE HIDE THE KNIVES IF HE LOSES.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:24 AM on January 25, 2011


But I'm surprised its so powerful that the President's Chief of Staff, a guy right at the center of power of the entire United States would quit that job at the drop of a hat for the chance to be Mayor of Chicago.

The mayor of Chicago potentially has an inside track on Illinois senate and/or Illinois governors seats.

Presidents get elected based on mayoral, senatorial and gubernatorial experience.

No President has been elected with their No. 1 claim to fame being Chief of Staff. In fact, I don't even know if any White House Chief of Staff went on to become President.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:25 AM on January 25, 2011



Not so fast!
posted by VicNebulous at 11:28 AM on January 25, 2011


mind you, Rahm is running against the machine here. Gery Chico is most definitely the machine candidate. Whoever Ed Burke supports is the machine candidate.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:44 AM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's what's so interesting, there is something of a split going on. It's just been a weird race to watch and handicap. A lot of things don't add up as simply as you'd expect.

I was surprised when Danny Davis was willing to give up a comfortable House seat to run, but then he deferred to Carol Mosely Braun who I think does not really have a chance? But if the fix is in, whose fix is it? And why?
posted by readery at 11:55 AM on January 25, 2011


It's meaningless to talk about "the machine" as a unified entity in 2011. A lot of powerful interests in Chicago (and Illinois) are backing Chico and a lot are backing Rahm.
posted by enn at 11:56 AM on January 25, 2011


ok, who put gum on the bat signal.
posted by clavdivs at 12:04 PM on January 25, 2011


Chico gets firefighter endorsement, Emanuel backed by Teamsters

Police have already backed Chico.
posted by readery at 12:07 PM on January 25, 2011


The Gothamesque Doge machine.
posted by clavdivs at 12:07 PM on January 25, 2011


I don't even know if any White House Chief of Staff went on to become President.

Nope (of course, the office of CoS hasn't existed for all that long). The closest is Ford's CoS, Dick Cheney.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:08 PM on January 25, 2011


And now that it's been explained, it's way less funny.

It made me go back and revisit that thread. A Metafilter classic, really.
posted by longdaysjourney at 12:08 PM on January 25, 2011


Cool Papa Bell: "No President has been elected with their No. 1 claim to fame being Chief of Staff. In fact, I don't even know if any White House Chief of Staff went on to become President"

Meh, by the same logic you could say no Mayor of Chicago has gone on to become President. Again, he walked away from a position of, in the words of the Wikipedia page, "The Second-Most Powerful Person in Washington", "The Power Behind the Throne", and "The Co-President". If the guy wanted to be in the Oval Office it sure seems funny that he'd leave it early. The only plausible explanation I can think of right now is that maybe he's decided that the Obama Presidency is a sinking ship, and like a rat he wants off.
posted by Reverend John at 12:11 PM on January 25, 2011


Clinton is on board for Rahm. This guy is a show horse and work horse.
election over.
posted by clavdivs at 12:13 PM on January 25, 2011


He was widely rumored to be on his way out as chief of staff anyway, Reverend John. I think it's very understandable that when Daley announced he was leaving Rahm would jump on it as a way to make a dignified exit on his own terms and to take a shot at fulfilling a longstanding ambition at the same time.
posted by enn at 12:14 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dissenting Judge Lampkin makes a lot of sense (and she doesn't always). I don't see how the Supreme Court could uphold this ruling - he clearly deserves to be on the ballot.
posted by agregoli at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2011


Presidents get elected based on mayoral, senatorial and gubernatorial experience.

Not since Calvin Coolidge (Northampton, Mass.). (Before him, Grover Cleveland (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Andrew Johnson (Greeneville, Tenn.). We had more patience back in the day.

This guy is a show horse and work horse.


Or a mad bull
posted by IndigoJones at 12:24 PM on January 25, 2011


Sure, CMB's kid showing up in-thread is awesome, but I would like to point out that I live just a block and a half from the house in question, so, clearly, I'm the one whose presence people should feel halfway awkward about.

Moreso than usual, at least.

Really though, thanks for stepping up and mentioning who you are. I love it when that kind of thing happens here.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:13 PM on January 25, 2011


Clinton is on board for Rahm. This guy is a show horse and work horse.

At this point it may be a dead horse. Time to put on the boots and start kicking unless your boots were made for walking.
posted by Sailormom at 1:22 PM on January 25, 2011


Emmanuel has the backing of Obama, Clinton I and Daley II.

For him to not become mayor of Chicago is almost beyond comprehension.
posted by Bonzai at 1:36 PM on January 25, 2011


Reverend John: “Again, he walked away from a position of, in the words of the Wikipedia page, "The Second-Most Powerful Person in Washington", "The Power Behind the Throne", and "The Co-President". If the guy wanted to be in the Oval Office it sure seems funny that he'd leave it early. The only plausible explanation I can think of right now is that maybe he's decided that the Obama Presidency is a sinking ship, and like a rat he wants off.”

That people are even debating this seems insane to me. Look at the options: first of all, he's in a position where he has to fight like a crazy person for his job every four years; second, he's in the center, the very center, of politics in the United States; third, he has to answer for everything the president's office does, every day, which is an extraordinary amount of stress, I'm certain. And his family is in a town they've never lived in and only just moved to; his kids had to change schools, etc.

In the Chicago Mayor's office, his options are astronomically better. It's a job that has some pressure, but certainly not as much as the White House Chief of Staff. It's probably a job that pays a hell of a lot more. It's virtually assured that he will be able to remain Mayor for the rest of his working life, as was stated above. He's in his hometown, where he grew up and where he wants to live. The working hours are certainly better. The whole job is a better deal.

Seriously, I have no idea why anyone would choose to be a White House Chief of Staff over being Mayor of Chicago. I know, I'm not Rahm Emmanuel, and I certainly have no idea what ambitions he nurses, but people seem to have assumed that every politician has some weird reptilian drive to become all-powerful. Chief of Staff is a relatively shit job, no matter how close you get to stand to the Commander in Chief, and I imagine that's occurred to Rahm Emmanuel.

Besides, lots of people have been Mayors who went on to be Presidents. It can happen from there just as easily as it can happen from being Chief of Staff. The difference is that Mayor is a much, much better fall-back position. And one gets the impression that Rahm might actually prefer to be a politician in a position where he can probably remain, and where he can probably fit in a hell of a lot more comfortably.
posted by koeselitz at 1:49 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, it's a small but heartening consolation to know I'm not the only one here on Team del Valle. I don't care how slim his chances are, I'm still voting for him. To me, it's not really clear that there is any lesser of the evils among the other remaining candidates (nothing personal, mjbraun).

God forbid we elect an honest mayor with the citizens' best interests at heart instead of whoever's got the most famous connections or is closest to us in race/ethnicity.

Sorry, ten years of Chicago politics has made me rather bitter.
posted by Jess the Mess at 2:10 PM on January 25, 2011


I think Chico is gonna win.

It just all seems too convenient, what with how the two Appellate Court judges responsible for tossing Rahm Emanuel from the ballot both won their jobs after being anointed by Edward Burke. Who strongly supports Chico. And whose wife sits as a justice on the Illinois Supreme Court.

Game over.
posted by Windigo at 3:32 PM on January 25, 2011


Everyone seems to agree that the fix is in, but there's no consensus on who the fix supports. Not sure what that means, exactly. But I do have a feeling that all these reflexive assumptions that everything is the result of conspiracy are wrong. At least I hope so.
posted by Mid at 7:59 PM on January 25, 2011


It's Chicago. The fix is never out.
posted by unSane at 8:13 PM on January 25, 2011


The police union is a negative valued endorsement as far as I'm concerned. I have no idea which candidates I dislike the least; I was hoping that I'd know who was on the ballot before voting started. If RM is ineligible, it's a pretty bizarre situation in that in polls he's crushing the field. Since his name is going on the printed ballots, the ineligible candidate could get the most votes.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:11 PM on January 26, 2011


lots of people have been Mayors who went on to be Presidents.

No, only three, as I said
posted by IndigoJones at 5:00 PM on January 26, 2011


Chief of Staff is a relatively shit job.
two days later....
posted by clavdivs at 10:52 AM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rumor in Chicago today: The Illinois Supreme Court will issue an opinion this afternoon, and it will be for Rahm.
posted by Mid at 1:45 PM on January 27, 2011




Rahm is rocking the Twitter with the news that HES BACK, MOTHERFUCKERS:
Hambone is fucking humping every fucking leg in sight.
posted by Justinian at 3:14 PM on January 27, 2011


I told you the fix was in.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:23 PM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The excerpt from the ruling in that article is pretty great.
The novel standard adopted by the appellate court majority is without any foundation in Illinois law.
posted by misskaz at 3:24 PM on January 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Politico story about our favorite Twitter feed

"I will give Green Bay this: They have the most incredible display of man-tits I have ever fucking seen in my life."
Shear genius
posted by readery at 3:50 PM on January 27, 2011


Rahm is in!
posted by Windigo at 3:59 PM on January 27, 2011


Shear genius

Compressive genius, even. Or tensile, I dunno.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:56 PM on January 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


This just-deleted thread has good links on the Illinois Supreme Court ruling.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:23 PM on January 27, 2011


Let's hope Rahm Emmanuel's opponents find cause to file an emergency motion in federal court. Only the mild tones and saintly calm of Judge Easterbrook could bring calm to these stormy judicial waters.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:50 PM on January 27, 2011


Thank you jabberjaw!
posted by gjc at 7:49 PM on January 27, 2011


Not a federal issue, at all.

Three of the four bodies that have say over this have ruled for Emmanuel, I think that is less of a political "lock" and more of "that's the law".
posted by edgeways at 7:59 PM on January 27, 2011


I'm sure very few people are reading this right now, but I wanted to jump in to clarify a couple of things. Attaining residency and keeping residency are two different things. Emanuel attained residency years ago, and he did nothing to give it up. Residency is not where you take your morning dump. It is where you vote, where your drivers license is from, where you pay taxes and where you intend to return from living temporarily away.

What you do with your property in the meantime is irrelevant. Because we eliminated owning property as a requirement for being a fully vested citizen a few years back.

And, as pointed out in the supreme court ruling, the election law points back to the voting law, which means its use of residency should be construed to be mostly the same as how it exists in the voting law.

AND, going back to the point of the law, it is to keep interlopers and carpetbaggers out. Emanuel was the congressman for half the city. He is not a carpetbagger. When a technicality is unclear, the courts are supposed to construe them with the point of the law in mind. Not to mention the idea that the VOTERS should decide who their mayor is, not the courts.

Funny thing: the lawyer who filed this suit will not say who is paying his legal bills.
posted by gjc at 8:16 PM on January 27, 2011


Funny thing: the lawyer who filed this suit will not say who is paying his legal bills.

You can bet its Chico.

The fact that Clinton and Daley are for Rahm doesn't mean that Chico isn't the establishment candidate. Ed Burke fucking slates the Dems for Cook County. That's called running the show.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:02 AM on January 28, 2011


You can bet its Chico.

That would be my guess as well.
posted by Windigo at 10:16 AM on January 28, 2011


kids got wiggle yeah
posted by clavdivs at 10:42 AM on January 28, 2011


In other Chicago campaign related news, Carol Mosely-Braun accused one of her opponents of being a crackhead at a recent candidate forum.
posted by electroboy at 7:14 AM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Carol Moseley Braun is Chicago's equivalent to Sarah Palin.
posted by Windigo at 11:59 AM on January 31, 2011


A very nice update to the MayorEmanuel Twitter feed...
posted by artof.mulata at 8:06 PM on February 22, 2011


rule #3, never underestimate Chicago politics.
posted by clavdivs at 9:25 PM on February 22, 2011


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