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The Chicago Way

Dan Collins has an interesting post up on the shenanigans going on in the Chicago mayor's race. As most of you already know, Rahm Emanuel has been certified as a candidate to run -- despite not having actually lived in Chicago for a couple of years, renting out his house, and declaring his official residency a condo that he apparently rented sight unseen and has barely seen since.

But the real story, lost in the Rahm entertainment, is about another guy who wanted to be mayor. "Wanted," as in past tense -- he won't be on the ballot. Tom Hanson, a very wealthy Chicagoan who's invested a hell of a lot in the city, spending a lot of his own time and money in improving the lot of some of the most disadvantaged Chicagoans, did all the paperwork to run and submitted it to the city.

Which then "lost" a good chunk of it.

No matter. Hanson has a receipt from the city, so he's fine.

Whoops, my bad. This is Chicago. No paperwork, no ballot listing. As a city election official said, "tough luck."

This is how things are done in Chicago. The Democratic Machine doesn't have to steal elections. They rig things well in advance of election day. The people have the right to vote for any candidate they like -- as long as it's one of the candidates that the Machine have allowed on to the ballots.

Rahm Emanuel knows all about this. In 2004, Emanuel -- a freshman Congressman seeking re-election -- was facing a potentially tough primary opponent in one Mark Fredrickson. Emanuel got Fredrickson tossed off the ballot.

And if that sounds familiar, then you might remember Barack Obama's first race for public office in 1996. He took on a sitting state senator, and his campaign managed to get her taken off the ballot -- leaving him essentially unopposed.

And then, when he ran for the US Senate in 2004, he was facing millionaire businessman Jack Ryan (not to be confused with the Tom Clancy hero). Ryan was divorced from actress Jeri Ryan, and the records were sealed. Obama's staffers urged reporters to dig into the records, and eventually they were unsealed -- and the unsavory details were enough to get Ryan to withdraw from the race.

And let's not forget the move during the 2008 campaign (aborted, but still pushed) to challenge John McCain's Constitutional eligibility to serve as president, due to the circumstances of his birth (in the Panama Canal zone while his father was stationed there by the Navy). Part of that was a bit of payback for the "birther" movement against Obama, but it was still fully congruent with the Chicago Way.

What's going on with Emanuel in Chicago isn't an election, it's an attempt by the Chicago Machine to keep the mayor's seat in their hands. And it's part and parcel with how Obama himself has built his political career.

Never let that be forgotten. Barack Obama is a creature of the Chicago Democratic Machine, and has never once stood up to the rank corruption and sheer cupidity that embodies it. He has never once challenged it, stood up to it, or even openly chosen to stand against its most venal acts. He has no problem with it, unless and until it threatens him in some way -- and at that point, he will regretfully distance himself from the scandal and insist that he was shocked, shocked that such things were going on.

It's the Chicago Way.


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Comments (11)

Also, Obama was nominated t... (Below threshold)

Also, Obama was nominated through "Acclimation" at the 2008 Democrat Convention, not through a full democratic voting process.

I live here. Our recent pas... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

I live here. Our recent past mayors have been lovable characters (Daley, Washington, Burne) this guy is anything but. He has trouble qualifying as a human being as far as I'm concerned. This isn't going to be good for the city or the state of Illinois.

Hell, if NO ONE showed up a... (Below threshold)

Hell, if NO ONE showed up at the polling stations on Election Day, the Democratic machine would still have the vote "tally" up 1 hour after poll closing.

Obama's staffers urged r... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Obama's staffers urged reporters to dig into the records, and eventually they were unsealed -- and the unsavory details were enough to get Ryan to withdraw from the race.

Obama urging reporters to dig into someone else's records? My ironymeter just blew up. What Obama had for lunch is top secret, eyes only information.

I wish someone would "urge reporters" to dig into Obama's records. You want unsavory details? I bet they abound there. In fact, I bet items would range from "unsavory" through "criminal" to "treasonous."

They cant govern, cannot do... (Below threshold)

They cant govern, cannot do for anybody but themselves. Just what the hell are Rahm and Barry good at? Oh, thats right. Running a community organised crime syndicate.

And while they are playing ... (Below threshold)

And while they are playing their power-grabbing games, it's the (not-undead) voters who get screwed. Just lovely. Freaking Chicago.

The people of Chicago deser... (Below threshold)

The people of Chicago deserve the government they tolerate.

As long as I don't have to pay for it, Chicago and the entire state of Illinois can continue imploding into financial ruin and higher taxes.

Image what will happen in t... (Below threshold)

Image what will happen in the U.s. in 2050 when the U. S. will have the same demogrpahics of Cook County today. National elections will eventually be conducted in the same manner as Chicago elections.

The real question will be who plays the part of the commuters who pay the taxes to keep the system going.

Ryan was divorced from a... (Below threshold)

Ryan was divorced from actress Jeri Ryan, and the records were sealed. Obama's staffers urged reporters to dig into the records, and eventually they were unsealed -- and the unsavory details were enough to get Ryan to withdraw from the race.

Minor correction: The Ryans unsealed their divorce documents themselves. It was their child custody records that had been sealed. There's a good summary at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ryan_%28politician%29#2004_U.S._Senate_race.

The Ryans had fought over custody of their eleven-year-old son. Jeri had won by using nuclear weapons -- she claimed that Jack had tried to get her to go to sex clubs. (AFAIK it was never established whether or not this was true.) Obviously, this was something they didn't want their son to know about. The records were unsealed by a friendly judge who ruled that the "public's right to know" took precedence over the boy's well-being.

Too bad that priciple doesn't apply to college transcripts or birth certificates.

TOM HANSON WILL BE ON THE B... (Below threshold)
B Bentley:

TOM HANSON WILL BE ON THE BALLOT. This is incorrect to say he is "out". he has filed a petition in Circuit Court of Cook County (again the Chicago media sucks and has not covered it despite having been told repeatedly about it ... can we can corruption again?)

Tom is correct under Illinois Election Code. As such, once his petition gets before the Judge Monday Morning, January 3, 2011, he WILL BE REINSTATED and a candidate for mayor. Please follow this story and vote for Hanson! He's awesome.

LOVE this commentary! I ha... (Below threshold)
kristin mitchell:

LOVE this commentary! I have been following the Hanson saga too and am outraged at the lack of media coverage, am totally impressed with Tommy Hanson's depth of sincerity and workable plans and pray every day that when he is in court on January 11 they will see the light (over their payoffs)! I knew Chicago was corrupt but I had no idea they would go to these extremes!






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