Emanuel Facing 15 Challenges To Bid For Mayor

CHICAGO (CBS) — Fifteen separate challenges have been filed against Rahm Emanuel’s candidacy for mayor. Opponents claim he hasn’t been a Chicago resident for a full-year before the February election, as required by law.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports that Emanuel is trotting out experts and allies to direct the debate back to campaign issues.

But that hasn’t stopped Emanuel’s opponents from beating a path to Chicago Board of Elections’ offices with challenges to Emanuel’s candidacy.

Most of the challenges appear linked to perennial candidate William “Dock” Walls, who has been conferring with those filing the objections, even providing the notary to sign them all.

But there were several other filings which don’t appear to be connected to Walls.

One of them, from election law specialist Burt Odelson, seeks to shoot down Emanuel’s likely defense that he qualifies to run because he was out of state in service to the country.

“Service to the United States is when you’re in the military, that’s when your serving the United States,” Odelson said. “It’s not when you’re in service to the President of the United States.”

Odelson’s argument was countered by U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Emanuel’s former House colleague during a conference call set up by the Emanuel campaign on Friday.

“The chief of staff for the president, if that isn’t public service and a reason to leave the city to serve your country, I don’t know what is,” Schakowsky said.

With Emanuel on the West Coast over the Thanksgiving weekend, celebrating the holiday with his family, his campaign staff offered two conference calls in three days, calling the residency issue one of intent.

They claim he qualifies to run because he intended to return to Chicago after joining the Obama administration.

“The law says you have to have a physical presence, not just intent,” Odelson countered. “I’ve heard all these notions about intent, intent. It’s the physical presence; it’s where your wife lives, where your children live, where they go to school. Intent is minor.”

Ironically, Odelson once represented former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas on the other side of a similar case when Vallas, then working out of state, was seeking to return to Illinois to run for governor in 2006. Vallas lost that fight.

“Odelson is more than happy to argue either side or all sides of this issue,” Schakowsky said.

Odelson also represents State Sen. James Meeks, who also is running for mayor. Nonetheless, Odelson said Meeks had nothing to do with the challenge, which he said was on behalf of two of nearly 100 e-mailers who’d asked to be involved.

The Emanuel campaign wasn’t buying it.

Hearings on the challenges will begin after Dec. 6.

  • GRoman

    Working in Washington is not serving in the military. In any case, what about Emanuel dual citizenship and so where is his loyalty.

  • Retired

    Considering they do not allow a person to run, when He is serving as member government. Then I guess all of our service members are not residents.
    WHAT A JOKE !!!!!!!

    That is these so called do gooders from the coumunty who can not win without putting dirt into a campagn.

    SICK OF THE TRASH IN GOVERMENT, bleeding the poor to get richer.

  • Let Him Run for Mayor

    Mr. Obama comes home Chicago, and Emanuel lived here many years and also calls this home he is not a stranger to Chicago and its politics. I say let him run for Mayor. He is not someone who just has a home here and there. This man resided in Chicago and left to serve his president and i really feel his home is Chicago.

  • Bill

    All city employees,as a condition of employment are required to be actual residents of the city.That word actual means just that!Royalty think they can redefine the rules.He chose to go to washington.You can’t have it both ways!




    You want to bet it will all go away………..ITS THE CHICAGO WAY

  • Angel

    What would Chicago prefer, the right individual as mayor, to lead the city into the next generation, or to just have limited resources… let the best person, lead…dont limit our choices, to the worst of the worst.. have an open race… what are the other candidates afraid of ???? The competition.. Lets deal with the issues that need to be addressed, Education, Taxes, Crime, Social Services for the Elderly, Jobs, Increase Revenue…..and Increase the pride and distinction of being a resident of THE GREAT CITY OF CHICAGO…

  • Taxes

    Why can’t they just see if he paid Illinois state income taxes last year? When I temporarily moved to another state (which doesn’t have state income taxes) I still had to pay taxes on my income in the other state to Illinois. This is because Illinois always considered itself my permanent residence because I intended to return. If he didn’t pay Illinois state taxes, he’s not a resident.

  • george beck

    They all know the exemption for military and public service employes.
    This includes State department and presidents cabinate.
    Thousands retain their residential status presently. If the law is redefined for
    Emanuel then all the votes from the military will be wasted.

  • Kimmy

    Check income taxes otherwise he isn’t. Its that simple. I wanted to go to a CPS school, but because I had lived in the suburbs, I wasn’t considered a resident even though we owned a rented apartment in Chicago. But wait, because he has connectons he gets to defy the law when I couldn’t. I say its not fair.

  • streamwod bill

    MARK CARTER is also making noise about Rahm and his residency. Funny that he isn’t concerned with his scandal.

    Individual F: Mark Carter, a West Side Activist who claimed to have taken over Arrei Management from Oglesby. (Note: he is also the same person who co-authored a campaign poster against White Machine Democrats against Stroger)

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  • Jeffrey Littleton

    This is where he votes right? Obama is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces which should count for something I would think. First and foremost why not let the people decide, no more ballot games.
    Mr. Rahm is a Chicago boy to and through no matter who you like. I personally have no idea who to vote for, only that I am less likely to vote for anyone associated with a game like this. Paul Vallas at the time was working for the New Orleans Public Schools, an important job no doubt in the service of that city and Louisiana, but national service…not so much, that is why he lost the case. Unfortunately we got Blago but thats another can O worms. Its too bad because I would have voted for him, it was the right call legally to disqualify him, not in this case, President Obama is federal, no? Let the people of our Chi-town decide!

  • Patrick McDonough

    The Office of the Inspector General should, with all their expertise, make a determination on this issue. Rahm is applying for a city job like it or not. The Office of the Inspector General has fired City Workers for less blatant violations that this guy has. Rahm did not live here and only had income property. He is getting toasted by many Chicago City Workers fired for less. It is time to visit the residency issue once again.

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