Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's press office took advantage of April Fool's Day this weekend by jabbing the local media -- and a GOP presidential candidate -- in a fictional press release.
The release went out to local news organizations, and was titled "EMANUEL FOIAs SELF" -- explaining that Emanuel was requesting Freedom of Information Act documents to “learn more about himself":
“I look forward to receiving a response from the City of Chicago within the five business days prescribed by law,” Emanuel said. “I have cleared my schedule for next weekend and look forward to doing a deep dive into the documents. I plan to learn everything I can about myself, and I believe I will enjoy this greatly.”
Emanuel’s administration said this is the first time a Mayor has ever FOIA’d himself, and this is the largest self-FOIA in city history. Given the scope of the documents, the FOIA response will create up to 500 jobs.
According to Emanuel, “It’s a new me. The only four-letter F-word I use now is ‘FOIA.’”
The release went on to tease Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, whose anti-gay stance led to sex columnist and LGBT activist Dan Savage to start a website defining "Santorum" as something quite unsavory (link NSFW):
“I’ve Google’d myself before,” Emanuel said. “Who hasn't? Other than Rick Santorum. I Google’d myself while I was riding the Brown Line to work this morning. But I consider Googling myself a down-payment on what I’m going to do now.”
Emanuel hopes to receive emails, phone records, pictures, text messages, holiday cards, lunch receipts, discarded chewing gum, autographed photos of Ald. Ameya Pawar, and other documents.
As Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times points out, the press office also poked fun at itself for "repackaging old announcements and calling it news.":
There was no indication from Emanuel’s staff as to how the new findings would be used, if the FOIA is even approved. The Mayor’s plan to FOIA himself was previously announced by the Mayor two weeks ago.
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