Just 29 days remain, my friends. Who is running? We still aren't positive, but that doesn't slow things down!
One day after an Illinois appellate panel kicked him off the ballot, the state Supreme Court ordered that Rahm Emanuel's name stay on--at least until they are able to decide the case. We also saw President Obama come to Rahm's defense (via Valerie Jarrett) and wondered about the political motivations behind the appellate court's ruling.
Stay tuned to HuffPost Chicago from now until February 22 for "The Countdown," a daily roundup of election news, gossip and other fun tidbits. You can also sign up to receive "The Countdown" via email daily by checking the "Chicago Brief" box here.
RESIDENCY RULE UNDER FIRE
Rahm Emanuel isn't the only person who has a problem with Chicago's residency rules. For years, (some) police officers, teachers and firefighters resented the law that forced them to stay in the city limits in order to keep their jobs. On Tuesday, mayoral candidate Gery Chico took a rather surprising stance on the residency policy, telling a group of union firefighters that he would consider abolishing it.
The Sun-Times reports that the residency policy was "rigidly enforced" by former Mayor Richard J. Daley and his son to "prevent the city's middle class property tax base from fleeing to the suburbs." But Chico said on Tuesday that Chicago doesn't need that policy anymore.
"Now, we're absolutely mature enough to put the issue on the table and at least discuss it," Chico said. "... If I thought it was threatening to the middle class, I wouldn't have put it on the table."
Candidate Carol Moseley Braun--who has definitely won the name-calling and smack-talking prize in this election--slammed Chico for the proposal.
In a statement, she said abolishing the residency requirement would be a "direct threat" to the city's middle class and Chico's "dangerous and capricious" idea would lead to a "mass exodus" of city employees.
Candidate Miguel del Valle accused Chico of pandering to police and firefighters unions. Oh, for the record this would not apply to the residency law that Emanuel is grappling with at the moment.
As a lifelong Chicagoan who for years has watched city council members swoon over Mayor Daley's words and rubber stamp his policies, it's kind of bizarre to see so many people saying negative things about what he has done with the city. From the aforementioned residency rule to the parking meter lease--high-profile candidates are doing some serious hatin' on the guy that brought some of them up in this rough political world.
Daley would likely stroll into office easily if he were running this year, but he had to work a lot harder in 1983. Chicago Magazine shared some very striking audio of Daley during his '83 campaign for mayor.
"The mayor's only answer to fiscal problems has been to mortgage the future," he said of then-Mayor Jane Byrne. He accused Byrne of using pension funds to pay the city's bills and overreliance on one-time revenue streams. More than 20 years later, Daley leased the city's parking meters for 75 years to a private company.
Though some of Daley's contradictions are a sign of the times (and economy) check out Chicago mag's whole roundup here.
WATCHING LENO SO WE DON'T HAVE TO
NBC Chicago shared a clip of Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" monologue from last night. It included a "joke" about Rahm Emanuel AND Jay Cutler.
Allow me to share it with you:
"Earlier today, a court has ruled against Rahm Emanuel, saying he is not a resident of Chicago, therefore he cannot run for mayor," Leno said. "You know who else will not be elected mayor of Chicago? Quarterback Jay Cutler."
ED BUS: A MAN OF THE PEOPLE
I kind of hate myself for not mentioning this sooner, but Justin Kaufmann's alter-ego Ed Bus has been on fire in recent weeks. By day, Kaufmann is a content producer at Chicago Public Radio, but by evening, he is the tough-talking alderman of the fictional 53rd Ward. The hard hat-wearing Ald. Ed Bus sat down with "his best-friend," former 42nd Ward Alderman Burt Natarus last week to discuss the mayoral race.
Natarus calls him a "hick," hilarity ensues.
Watch it here:
If you have any juicy gossip about the Chicago elections, or a story you think we should see, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.