As the Illinois Appellate Court ruled Monday, "a candidate ... must have actually resided within the municipality for one year prior to the election, a qualification that the candidate unquestionably does not satisfy." Well, we could have challenged this officious law together in a show of bipartisan comity, but Rahm was apparently too proud. Now he will just have to go it alone. Harsh winter has set in, and I am unlikely to go back to Chicago until spring.
As I wrote in an earlier column, Rahm gave little thought to running for mayor this time around until Sept. 7, when Mayor Richard M. Daley abruptly announced his retirement. Then Rahm kissed his wife goodbye and headed for Chicago, that little residence requirement be damned. Well, in Chicago no one is above the law -- or at least only a few thousand are above the law, but Rahm apparently is not one of them. Indigenous Chicago fixers are out to sidetrack his candidacy. He has taken his shabby case to the Supreme Court of Illinois. Whatever is decided, Chicago is now a laughingstock. Had he agreed to allow me to join his side of the case, it would have been done at least with dignity and possibly a better outcome.
Not only is he subject to derision but also it appears that if he does not actually win the right to run for mayor, the mayor's office will be inhabited by Carol Moseley Braun, who is runner-up in the polls. She is an amusing creature who has not filed income tax returns for two years. Moreover, she has $2 million in mortgages on her home and God knows how many other skeletons in the closet. Frankly, she is running because she needs a job. Surely there were better-qualified candidates for the position, and one would have stepped forward had not the insufferable yuppie Rahm Emanuel hogged the show.
But like the Tammany pol George Washington Plunkitt, Rahm "seen his opportunities, and he took 'em." The problem is that Chicago is going to have to pay for his recklessness. I love the city of my birth and wish it a better fate.