The history of Chicago may have changed forever this day as the candidacy for Mayor of Chicago of Presidential advisor millionaire Rahm Emanuel, brilliant and fiery, has been found inconsistent with guidelines by an Illinois States Appeal Court. At the time of the January 24, 2011, ruling, at 2:45 P.M., Emanuel was viewed as the front runner to fill the vacancy produced by the forthcoming retirement of long-time Chicago Mayor Richie Daley.
Emanuel has already amassed in excess of $10 million for the run. In addition, he has been endorsed by former Democratic President Bill Clinton. The high profile and high level of name recognition nationwide made Emanuel seem a likely victor in the upcoming February 22 election. A poll by the Chicago Tribune last week showed Emanuel with the support of 44 percent of those surveyed; more than double any of the other candidates.
Although the Illinois Municipal Code demands that Mayoral Candidates have resided in Chicago for a year preceding the election, there was some apparent leeway in light of Emanuel’s move to Washington D. C., a move he deemed temporary, to work for the public, indeed to work as Chief of Staff for the President of the United States. He had leased his Chicago home to new occupants, with no indication of an end date to their occupancy; Emanuel in fact had some belongings stored in the house at 4228 North Hermitage in Chicago, listed by the State Board of Elections as his residence. The Board of Election made a finding that the candidate would be allowed to run; his name would be placed on the ballot. Now, in a 2-1 ruling, an Illinois appellate panel has said that Emanuel does not meet the residency requirement. His name will not appear on the ballot. And in the event of even an overwhelming write-in victory, Rahm Emanuel will not be permitted to serve.
The three top contenders for the Mayoralty, former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, former schools President Gery Chico and City Clerk Miguel del Valle have all been critical of the initial decision to allow Emanual; they call him an outsider who “doesn’t know” Chicago.
Emanuel was born in Chicago November 29, 1959. He attended Anshe Emet Day School, on Broadway, on the Northside of Chicago, near Wrigley Field. The family moved to Wilmette, a near suburb, where he attended Locust Jr. High School, and New Trier West High School. Encouraged by his parents, he took dance lessons at the Northside Chicago Joel Hall Dance Center. Emanual received an M.A. in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in Evanston, adjacent to Chicago, in 1985.
At an afternoon news conference today, January 24, Emanuel said he would appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.