Rahm Emanuel Tossed Off Chi Ballot For Residency Requirement
Rahm Emanuel, who was leading the polls (and the spending) in the Chicago mayoral race, was suddenly thrown off the ballot Monday by a State Court of Appeals, which stated that he did not meet residency requirements. Emanuel survived two other lower state challenges that challenged him, saying his two years of residency in Washington, D. C., as President Barack Obama's Chief of Staff negated his prior years as a Chicagoan. However, the state law is tricky, it maintains that a person must maintain a legal residence to remain an Illinoisian, and throughout his time in D.C., Emanuel retained his North Side Chicago home, renting it out, but keeping some of his possessions in the crawl space of the home.
The elections board and a lower court accepted this as keeping a stake in Chicago, the appeals court ruled 2-1 that it did not. But the dissenting justice, Bertina Lampkin, was absolutely blistering in her dissent, claiming the majority had come up with a "newly-minted standard," that showed "careless disregard for the law shortly before an election for the office of mayor in a major city."
Possibly empowered by the power of the dissent, Emanuel, who only has four weeks until the Feb. 22 election, is going to appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court. Time is of the essence and it may be too late, because the board of election commissioners said they are going to print the ballots minus Emmanuel's name. There is no word on whether a positive outcome of a Supreme Court hearing would force the election commissions to reprint the ballots. However, both Chicago daily newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times have come down strongly against the court's decision. The Sun-Times has even hinted that wrong-doing might be afoot if the Supreme Court does not take the case.
"I have no doubt that we will, in the end, prevail at this effort," Emanuel told reporters at a hastily called press conference. "As my father always used to say, 'Nothing is ever easy in life.' Nothing is ever easy. This is just one turn in the road."