This is the best way to sum up the case regarding Rahm Emanuel and his desire to become the next mayor of Chicago. This summary below will be heard before the Illinois Supreme Court. It might be interesting to know that just last week there were polling numbers showing Emanuel might prove so successful in the primary that no run-off election would be required.
CP thinks, and has always thought, the residency argument against Emanuel to be flawed. I think the Supreme Court will also view the argument flawed, and allow Emanuel to be on the ballot. Clearly with a house, property taxes that were paid, and a driver’s license from the Land Of Lincoln the issue of residency is pure politics.
In its 2-1 decision Monday, the Illinois Appellate Court noted that both sides in the case have always agreed on the basic facts — including that Emanuel owns a home on the North Side, that he has paid property taxes and kept a driver’s license, that he left to go to Washington to work for President Barack Obama, and that his house was not available to him when he returned because he had rented it out.
Noting they had no clear case law to rely on and even turning to a dictionary for help, two appellate judges said their decision turned on the statutory requirement that candidates be a resident of the city for at least a year before an election. What matters is the interpretation of what it means to “reside in” a community in order to be eligible to run for office, the judges said.
In a 25-page majority opinion written by Appellate Judge Thomas E. Hoffman and concurred with by Judge Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, the judges said their decision came down to their interpretation that Emanuel needed to physically live in Chicago for the year preceding the election.
Appellate Judge Bertina E. Lampkin wrote a sharply worded dissenting opinion that accused her two colleagues of making things up as they went along.
“The majority’s application of a new standard … shows a careless disregard for the law shortly before an election for the office of mayor in a major city,” Lampkin wrote.
Using page three of the decision from the Appellate Court comes these sentences.
At all relevant times, including the time he was in
Washington, D.C., the candidate continued to pay property taxes for
the Hermitage house, continued to hold an Illinois driver’s license
listing the Hermitage house as his address, continued to list the
Hermitage house address on his personal checks, and continued to
vote with the Hermitage house as his registered voting address. He did, however, pay income tax in 2009 and 2010 to both Washington,
D.C., and Illinois.