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Rahm Emanuel’s sins against the progressive movement

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Best Buddies
Rauner and Rahm, Best Buddies…

Progressives do have a history with Mayor 1%, Rahm Emanuel, and it isn’t a pleasant one. Sadly, it does look like Rahm-bo might squeak out a win over Chuy Garcia, but the special runoff election isn’t until April 7th, so there is still hope.

Digby writes, in part, a bit of the history:

Way back in the day (a decade ago) when the Progressive Netroots were just starting to organize, the first “scalp” any of the left leaning movement activists took was that of a Democratic hack from Maryland named Al Wynn when they backed a progressive challenger by  the name of Donna Edwards. Edwards defeated Wynn in 2008 and is now running to replace Senator Barbara Mikulski who recently announced her retirement. In each congressional cycle Netroots progressives have fought a number of hard-fought primaries, losing more often than they won (just like the Tea Party) but slowly managing to make the House of Representatives a bit more progressive than it was before. Congressional representatives like Matt Cartwright, Beto O’Rourke and Senators like Jon Tester were backed strongly by the grassroots of the party and managed to unseat incumbents. Nobody in the beltway noticed or cared, of course. (Progressives always forget to order their tri-corner hats and Betsy Ross wigs…)

But over time, it’s had an effect and not just because of the “scalps” they took, but because all of those hard fought races, whether won or lost, showed the incumbents that there was a restive group of activists out there who could challenge the status quo.  And aside from primary challenges, progressives in congress from Keith Ellison and Alan Grayson in the House to Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin in the Senate were enthusiastically supported by Netroots groups like, Move On, DFA, PCCC and Blue America (disclosure: I am a principal in that group) among a number of others, a support which translates into small donor involvement, campaign volunteering and strategic advice as well as engaged in grassroots activism for progressive congressional initiatives.  It’s made a difference.  The House and Senate today have progressive wings that are active and vocal in a way they did not a decade ago.

Rahm Has A Message For You
Rahm Has A Message For You…

Back in 2006 when all this really started to come together there was one Democrat who quickly determined that this nascent progressive movement was a major threat to the status quo. His name was Rahm Emanuel who was, at the time, an Illinois congressman in charge of candidate recruitment for the congressional Democrats. If there’s anyone who can take credit for being the catalyst for this long term Netroots commitment to elect progressives to congress it is him. His crude dismissal of grassroots concerns was blatant. His contempt for anyone who disagreed with his centrist Blue Dog/New Democrat philosophy was palpable.  While his wholehearted support for big money interests was seen as the ultimate in strategic brilliance by the beltway elites, it repelled Democratic activists everywhere.

Despite the fact that lame-duck George W. Bush and the war in Iraq were so unpopular that virtually anyone who could draw a breath who had a D after his or her name could have won, the conventional wisdom said that Emanuel’s DCCC win in the off year election of 2006 was a validation of his political savvy. (In case you were wondering, Emanuel wasn’t elected to congress until after the Iraq war resolution but was on record supporting it, saying that the U.S. needed a “muscular projection of force” there. You can let the shrinks sort out just what that language says about him …)

When the newly elected President Obama tapped him as chief-of-staff, you could hear progressives screaming “nooooooo” across the land. And when he departed to run for mayor of Chicago, the collective sigh of progressive relief (everywhere but Chicago) was just as audible. He is, in other words, the symbol of everything progressives are trying to change about the Democratic Party.

And right now, in Chicago, a progressive is giving him the personal challenge of his political lifetime. Political observers were stunned last month when a longtime Illinois politician by the name of Jesus “Chuy” Garcia forced Emanuel into a runoff for his second term as mayor. Perhaps stunned isn’t really the right word. Apoplectic is more apt. After all, Emanuel has a seemingly unending supply of money with which he tried to buy off every bit of institutional support and his network of elite friendships goes all the way up to the White House. But it turns out that his arrogance and corruption may be too much even for a city that is anything but starry-eyed about such things.

(click here to continue reading Why the left hates this man: Rahm Emanuel’s sins against the progressive movement – Salon.com.)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 23rd, 2015 at 8:47 am

Emanuel’s Ballot Access

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Broken History

In case you haven’t heard, last October Chicago’s Mayor-For-Life, Richard M. Daley suddenly announced he wasn’t running for re-election. Within a week, Rahm Eamanuel quit his job as Chief of Staff for Obama, and announced his candidacy for mayor.

He’s having some difficulties:

CHICAGO — With only a month to go until Election Day, more than $10 million in campaign money and an overwhelming lead in the polls, Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, was disqualified on Monday from appearing on this city’s ballot for mayor.  A panel of Illinois Appellate Court justices, in a 2-1 ruling, found that Mr. Emanuel failed to meet a state code stipulating that candidates for mayor reside in the city they hope to lead for at least a full year before an election.

Mr. Emanuel maintains that his time in Washington, which ended in October, was always meant to be temporary and ought not affect his legal status as a resident of Chicago. He filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court late Monday to stay the appellate court decision and expedite an appeal.

(click to continue reading Rahm Emanuel Tossed Off Chicago Mayor Ballot – NYTimes.com.)

Gapers Block’s Ramsin Canon has written an excellent overview of the Rahm Emanuel case, including this:

The decision was split 2-1. The majority opinion is seductively argued. Basically, they build upwards from the idea that the Chicago election law is conjuctive and not disjunctive—in other words, it is an “and” not an “or.” Where there is an “and” in a statute, that means that two distinct, non-redundant elements are necessary. The two elements in question here: (1) Is candidate a qualified elector? and (2) did candidate “reside” in Chicago for a year before the election?

The majority finds that he meets the first element but fails the second and, therefore, fails to qualify. The reason he fails the second, they argue, is because the legislature must have intended “reside” to mean something different from merely “have a voter-qualifying residence.” Here they draw a distinction between “constructively” residing (think of this as “residing as a matter of law”) and “actually” or “factually” residing (think of this as “residing in the common sense”). Emanuel’s attorneys anticipated this problem by arguing that he meets an exception to this requirement as he was away due to business on the behalf of the United States—typically considered a “service member” exception, i.e., you don’t want soldiers to lose their residency because of their military service. However, the majority doesn’t think this applies to candidacy but rather only to voting. Citing a case called Ballhorn, the majority holds in other words that legislators wanted candidates to actually live in a place in order to represent it:

Those [residency] requirements ensure “that those who represent the local units of government shall themselves be component parts of such units.” This intent of the legislature moved the majority to find that Emanuel failed to meet the intent of the legislators in creating these requirements. The majority is concerned, so they say, about the rules of “statutory construction” which require them to respect the legislature’s intent in writing laws. One of the basic rules of statutory construction is that courts shouldn’t assume words are superfluous or redundant, and that if something was included, it was included for a reason. If the legislature had merely wanted candidates to be qualified voters for a year prior to elections, rather than qualified voters who also resided in the district for a year, then they would not have made a distinction.

Importantly, the majority did not give a Rule 316 certification, meaning basically that they added a hurdle to Emanuel’s appealing their decision. Had they given the certification, it would have gone straight to the Supreme Court.

(click to continue reading Make Sense, Be Honest: Emanuel’s Ballot Access – Gapers Block Mechanics | Chicago.)

If you recall, Cecil Adams argued that Emanuel *should* be on the ballot, but we’ll see what the Supreme Court of IL has to say, as I’m sure the appeal is being furiously written right now.

Whether or not, Emanuel has further options is unclear…

What happens if the state Supreme Court  declines to take the case or affirms the decision of the appeals judges that he cannot be on the ballot—and that would also mean, says Tenenbaum, that Emanuel would not be eligible to be a write-in candidate—can Rahm take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court?

“The only way to get to the U.S. Supreme Court is through a petition for certiorari, and [Rahm] would have to raise a United States Constitutional issue,” Professor Tenenbaum said. “I have not seen one, although he could try and argue that if residence has one meaning for voting purposes [Rahm has consistently voted here] and another for candidacy, it denies equal protection, but that would probably be a stretch.”

(click to continue reading Northwestern Law Prof on Rahm’s Prospects Now – Felsenthal Files – January 2011.)

Looking up at the Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune editorialized, in part:

With startling arrogance and audaciously twisted reasoning, two appellate judges ignored more than 100 years of legal precedent, invented a new definition of “residency” and ordered Rahm Emanuel off the Feb. 22 mayoral ballot.

With the election just four weeks away, the appellate panel voted 2-1 to reverse the decisions of the Chicago Board of Elections and a Circuit Court judge. It’s an adventurous, flawed ruling that has immediate and profound consequences. The case is headed to the Illinois Supreme Court, but the ballots are headed to the printer — without Emanuel’s name. Early voting begins Monday.

In a blistering dissent, Appellate Justice Bertina E. Lampkin accused her colleagues, Thomas E. Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, of “careless disregard for the law,” and harshly criticized them for refusing to ask the Supreme Court for an expedited review.

Lampkin accused the majority of ignoring case law that clearly supported Emanuel’s argument —including a significant case in which Hoffman prevailed.

“The majority’s new standard is ill-reasoned and unfair to the candidate, voters and those of us who are charged with applying the law,” Lampkin wrote. The decision “disenfranchises not just this particular candidate but every voter in Chicago who would consider voting for him.”

…Instead, the two appellate justices twisted themselves into a pretzel to come up with an argument to disqualify him. Insisting that they had “no Supreme Court directive” on which to rely and hanging their hat on an interpretation found in a case they acknowledge “lacks precedential force,” the justices decided that the phrase “resided in” has one meaning when applied to voters and another when applied to candidates.

This distinction, Lampkin notes, “is a figment of the majority’s imagination” and “a standard that the majority just conjured out of thin air.” In the process, the justices disregarded a case that has guided residency rulings for 122 years, she wrote.

“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,” Lampkin wrote. Amen.

(click to continue reading Rahm Emanuel knocked off mayoral ballot – chicagotribune.com.)

Written by Seth Anderson

January 25th, 2011 at 9:18 am

Posted in Chicago-esque,politics

Tagged with ,

Rahm and the residency requirements for mayor

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Layers of Meaning

Cecil Adams wields his logic knife1, and slices, dices the controversy about Rahm Emanuel’s residency.

[Rahm Emanuel’s residency] is the most ridiculous controversy to come down the pike in, oh, a good two months. For example, John Kass writes [in his basement, probably]:

I appreciate and respect Rahm. Sure, he’s profane, but so am I when I’m not typing, and he’s got a great sense of humor. And I believe he should be on the ballot.

Still, there’s that nagging issue. It’s called the law.

Please, spare me the melodrama. While wacky things have been known to happen in Illinois courts, under any reasonable reading the law squarely favors Rahm.

 

(click to continue reading Straight Dope Chicago: Does Rahm meet the residency requirements to run for mayor?.)

Witchy oops in Oak Park

and the main reason Rahm has residency, as Cecil Adams see it:

Chapter 36, Section 3.2(a) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes includes the following provision:

A permanent abode is necessary to constitute a residence within the meaning of Section 3-1 [which says who’s allowed to vote in Illinois]. No elector or spouse shall be deemed to have lost his or her residence in any precinct or election district in this State by reason of his or her absence on business of the United States, or of this State.

Nonetheless, it seems clear the Illinois election code is meant to cover similar situations: if you go to work at the White House, or become an ambassador, or perform some comparable public service, you retain your state residency during your absence. It’s not necessary to delve into who’s currently renting your house or any other such nonsense.

(click to continue reading Straight Dope Chicago: Does Rahm meet the residency requirements to run for mayor?.)

Seems pretty straightforward to me, especially since the main people raising objections seem to have solely political motivations.

Footnotes:
  1. whatever that is, I assume my metaphor is not so obscure as to be confusing. I’ll admit to needing more coffee []

Written by Seth Anderson

December 3rd, 2010 at 9:17 am

Posted in Chicago-esque,politics

Tagged with ,

Chicago Has The Worst Mail Delivery In The US

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Mail Acceptance

My congressman, Danny Davis, when he isn’t busy being a lapdog to Reverend Sun Moon in crazy Moonie ceremonies, is planning to run for mayor of Chicago. I don’t think he’d be a very good mayor, actually. Congressman Davis has been on the awkwardly named standing committee United States House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the District of Columbia for years, even been its Chairman for a while, and Chicago’s mail is still the worst in the nation.

The audit found that first-class mail sent between Chicago ZIP codes made it to the correct address the next day 91 percent of the time. The cities that fared best in the audit had deliver rates of around 97 percent. The audit was for mail delivered between June and September of last year.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago), who heads a congressional subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service, said he has urged officials to do whatever they can to fix the delivery problems in Chicago.

(click to continue reading Chicago Has The Worst Mail Delivery In The US – The Consumerist.)

Doesn’t bode well for Congressman Davis’ ability to improve Chicago’s infrastructure, or be an effective mayor for that matter. When I moved to Chicago in the mid-90s, Chicago mail was a national joke1. Well, fifteen years later, Chicago USPS is still a joke.

Footnotes:
  1. remember reading a long article in the New Yorker about it back then, but am too lazy to locate it at the moment []

Written by Seth Anderson

November 11th, 2010 at 8:15 am