Mayor’s April Fools Joke: I FOIA’d Myself
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UPDATED 04/02/12 5:33 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel poked a bit of fun at himself while playing an April Fools Day joke on Sunday, when the mayor’s office announced he was filing Freedom of Information Act requests to “learn everything I can about myself.”
Early Sunday morning, the mayor’s office issued a fake press release, claiming it was the first time a mayor has ever issued a FOIA request about himself.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports
Said the mayor in the release, “I’ve cleared my schedule for the next weekend, and look forward to doing a deep dive into the documents.”
The announcement mocked Emanuel’s regular announcements crediting himself for job creation, and his well-known penchant for using profanity.
“This is the largest self-FOIA in city history,” the announcement said. “Given the scope of the documents, the FOIA response will create up to 500 jobs.”
Emanuel was quoted as saying, “It’s a new me. The only four-letter F-word I use now is ‘FOIA.’”
The FOIA process is sure to turn up a wide variety of documents and records, including “e-mails, phone records, pictures, text messages, holiday cards, lunch receipts, discarded chewing gum, and autographed photos of Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th),” the mayor said in the release.
The mayor even appeared to reference Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum well-documented Google search dilemma. That problem was created several years ago when sex advice columnist Dan Savage asked readers to come up with a new definition for Santorum’s name that references a deliberately repulsive sexual term, in protest against Santorum’s opposition to gay rights.
“I’ve Google’d myself before,” Emanuel said in the release. “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.”
The mayor also went so far as to include a purported quote from one of the best-known anti-corruption hawks in Chicago.
“The Better Government Association fully supports Mayor Emanuel in this objective, and we have committed to FOIA’ing the Mayor’s FOIA immediately,” Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association supposedly said in the release.
The mayor’s office has come under fire in recent months for repeatedly denying Freedom of Information Act requests from the media, in particular over his controversial plan to install speed cameras in Chicago.