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Rahm Emanuel Tue Jan 25 2011
There ain't enough words in Tunisia to fully describe everything that transpired in Chicago yesterday. (Although Gapers Block's own Ramsin Canon's "Make Sense, Be Honest: Emanuel's Ballot Access" sure comes close.) By now, the details surrounding the Appellate Court ruling striking down Rahm Emanuel's candidacy for mayor have been aired and established, and as the former frontrunner's camp gears up for appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, the shadow of powerful 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke , an avowed Chico supporter, looks increasingly ominous.
As the Chicago Tribune's David Kidwell revealed last night, Burke is responsible for slating both Thomas E. Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, the two Appellate Court justices who wrote yesterday's majority opinion. There is no direct implication of Burke's involvement with the ruling, but if the state's high court does choose to hear Emanuel's appeal, the Honorable Anne M. Burke, the Alderman's wife, awaits their argument. It would appear that Burke would recuse herself from the case, although that's unknown at this time. Whatever the end result, Ald. Burke has cast a large presence over the election.
The day's cinematic arc was topped off by the quickly assembled and quickly dispersed Rally For Rahm at the corner of Washington and Dearborn last night. As a bevy of emotional Emanuel supporters chanted "We Want Rahm! We Want Rahm!", the large outdoor television screen affixed to the side of the CBS building across the street played a Chico For Mayor commercial, as if on cue. Of the relatively small, but diverse and loud crowd assembled, the most common sentiment as seen on their signage read "Let the Voters Decide!"
An Emanuel supporter who gave his name as Randall carried one such sign. When pressed to explain whether the message on the sign was intended to mean to let voters decide the interpretation of the residency law, or to determine the outcome of the election (which they will), Randall stated he felt the court was "taking away the opportunity to vote for the candidate who I feel is best for the city." A former constituent of Emanuel's when Emanuel served in the U.S. House, Randall believes President Obama's former Chief of Staff is the only candidate for mayor that exhibits "a world-class quality that Chicago, as a world-class city, needs." Asked if the ruling were to stick, if he believes Gery Chico would gain the majority of what is now Emanuel's support, including his, the Chicago Public Schools elementary school teacher stated that Chico "shouldn't rest on his school credentials," as in some cases CPS is "worse off than it was 10, 15 years ago. Chico does not have the executive experience that Emanuel brings to the office."
As the crowd further dwindled down, Randall exclaimed "He [Emanuel] is the only one who has the qualifications to lead. At the end of the day, I think the Supreme Court must side with the Cook County Circuit Court and the Board of Elections to let him run."
We all wait to see.