Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bob the Punter? Rahm in Rollout? Perrier Instead of Tap? Is there a Resident in the House? Or Do We Simply Sellout?

Punter in my opinion! Okay, I admit that I am still on page four of the 25 page decision. I still remain unconvinced based upon the Trib's excerpts. What about that Illinois Municipal Code? Does it mean anything? Or can Rahm move to Wilmette and govern from the suburbs? Can Chicago have an absentee mayor? That may be an interesting one for both future Justices and the Electorate.

Okay, the good. Rahm has a website fit for President Obama, but it may take more than voters to make it to a second term.  Will there be an unexpected backlash in February? I admit that Rahm is much more organized. That is a fact and the disparity is obvious!

My concern: its just a matter of law. What was done to the Illinois Municipal Code to accommodate Rahm Emmanuel? This has lasting consequences and it needs to be challenged for future candidates. I don't believe that those consequences are 150 years old, as suggested. Burton Odelson is an accomplished election attorney; the Municipal Code was clearly and concisely presented. Waiver? I think that it is a procedural stretch. Judge Hoffman did not deserve the lashing from a Justice who claims to know what it means to be defamed!

The challenge with electing Illinois Supreme Court Justices is that when they are voted out of a job or decide to leave office, they often still want to work! That is why Illinois needs to reconsider merit selection. Also, the appointment of Justices for life with the right to resign. Thomas, among others, needs find a job after this gig is over! Who do you think wrote those briefs to the Illinois Supreme Court? The future employers of clout, perhaps? Judges who are free of such concerns, and have the consent of both parties based upon merit are often more objective while on the bench. I don't suggest corruption; I suggest human nature; conscious or unconscious, pure and simple! This decision helps confirm that merit selection makes sense in my opinion.

If the public could care less, then voters can easily be careless with their votes. Who, other than attorneys, read the Chicago Bar Associations Judicial Recommendations? How many voters actually study the judges or download that CBA form? Our ballot is one big amorphous mass of names to sort through! Even I admit that I have trouble without the CBA Cheat Sheet!

If Bob Thomas is the most Anglicized name, then he is elected. Of course, the name of a Chicago Bears Football player who punted his way into Superbowl History can carry carte blanc. This is particularly among suburban season Bears Ticket holders and remote control jockeys. Now, Justice Thomas, among others, have made their mark on Illinois Municipal Political Law. Did Rahm ever meet Bob Thomas when he was younger? Look, the decision does not sit well with me, even if I eventually learn to appreciate the rationale. There is no doubt that I must accept until another case comes.

Imagine, I can now spend  most of my time in Boca and return to run for political office in Chicago as I please.  I may not be elected, but I can be an 'absentee candidate.' This, as long as I am a snowbird in waiting and the voters are infatuated with me. I need not be 'domiciled' and 'dwelling' in the City of Chicago. All I need is a Chicago address and a tax return. The right celebrity can broadcast on the internet after upgrading the botox, nose job, skin peels, tummy tuck and liposuction. Every school teacher and city employer ever required to reside in Chicago should be seething with jealousy.

I think it was a mistake for the Justices to ignore all of the words in the subsection of the Illinois Municipal Code. However, the vote was unanimous. There is no difference between the right to vote and the right to be a candidate. That is why I will have to read past page four to figure out what the hell just happened!

Summary: Perhaps, too our Justices strive for the charmed silk stocking law firm life after tiring of the job.  Where is Patrick Fitzgerald when you need him? Again, this jury is still out, but the excerpts remain unconvincing. They read like a bulldozing litigator on speed in my opinion.

I'm looking for rationale, Justice Thomas, but then, again, you outrank me and you wear a Superbowl XX Ring!  Perhaps, it is law on a shoestring. I am now obligated to read, perhaps re-read, the next 21 pages with care, contemplation and objectivity. However, Burton Odelson's brief and the Hoffman decision deserved careful contemplation, not clashing condemnation. The decision was no way to treat fellow Judges!

Are there any others licensed to practice law who also think that the Maksym Decision was a Supreme Court mulligan? Is there a desire by Illinois Justices to spend more time at Medina, or in meditation? Either way, as Rahm goes to the final round, I must wonder whether he will turn into another Mayor Michael Bilandic? Will the next Jane Byrne please prepare herself?

How about that $6.1 Billion Budget and the $654 Million deficit?Will we sell off the Water Department next and forfeit its quality based upon dummy-ed up records for political consumption and public poisoning? Perrier anyone?

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Teething of Inner Jealousy: From a Political Voyeur's View. Rahm and Charter Schools

It is difficult to watch a candidate, who has lived much of his life in Washington  and the North Shore Suburbs run for office. It is upsetting to view his comments about sucking up money to substitute Chicago Public Schools with Charter Schools. My children left private school to attend public schools. It was a conscious choice. It is one for which I have no regrets. Yet, as I read Rahm's chatter about Charter Schools, it seems ignorant.  Rahm seems out of touch with our neighborhoods. I can see it in his political rhetoric and position papers.

Rahm Emmanuel is an incredible politician, who has a deft control of his opposition. Strangely, I don't view myself as his opposition. I just wished that he followed the rule of law. He has not dwelled in Chicago within the last year. I wish the that Illinois Supreme Court could have taken a step back and looked at the Illinois Municipal Code with reasonable reverence. However, that is no longer reality.

I have watched the pride of the Chicago School System belittled and underestimated by Oprah, among others. The challenge is parenting, not the schools. Taking the substandard funding from CPS and turning it over to Charter Schools is a mistake.

I know in my heart that Charter Schools are a mistake. The control over learning, once removed from public control, can be manuevered to such an extent as to minimize its effectiveness in order to seek a higher profit for those who work within it. We can ill afford to turn our schools into babysitting services. Chicago needs to find a way to deal with absentee parenting and children birthing children. It will not come from teaching absentenance, but understanding and reacting to reality. These are facts that many politicians politically sidestep.

In Rogers Park, CMSA, that is the Charter School known as Chicago Math and Science Academy on Clark struggles to avoid being viewed as a babysitter service for wannabe gangsters.  Kids who lack structure at home, can lash out at those who they know the least; their neighbors. Many of us remember the shootings of a CMSA Student on Clark by another.  Perhaps, it is an unfortunate anecdotes to a coming age. 

Here are my questions. Does the City of Chicago amass records of violence at Charter Schools? How does it compare? Is there a trend showing that those expelled from public schools are having their impact on the Charters?

My teething sensitivity over this, among other Chicago issues upsets me. Yet, I had a reckoning. I am no more than a political voyeur. I comment, I prophesize, and sometimes I can explain what may be difficult or frustrating to explain for some. Perhaps, it's too complicated for words. Sometimes, its simplistic and sophomoric. Occasionally, I misunderstand, like all others willing to accept it.

The 25 page Illinois Supreme Court decision isn't the issue. I predicted several days ago that Bob Thomas would write it. I feared that politics would dictate a reversal on procedural grounds. The decision seems based upon the failure to object and preserve the issues, perhaps. The scathe from the newest Maksym decision appears like it was written by an upper end law firm and locked in place by the Illinois Supreme Court. I was not surprised.  There was meant to be a distinction, but politics steamrolled over reason.

Chicago has four insubstantial candidates, some whom have actually lived in Chicago for the last year.  There is another who maintains a residence of convenience for his political aspirations.  Yes, a permanent abode, but not a home that has dwelled within for the past year. The storage of personal property was not meant as a sacrifice for physical presence.  I am unaware of any candidate for Mayor of Chicago that has ever spent so little time in the Chicago before an election.

Our Mayoral Candidates are career politicians, who seem too pre-occupied in their ivory towers to appreciate the differing needs of Edgewater and Englewood.  These politicians carry populist, not practical agendas.  Everyone knows that compromise is always on the table, but few appreciate that the dollars spent are often an indicator of where they are from.  There is  a functional disconnect from the City that I was born in. I have physically dwelled nearly 27 of my 48 years on this earth, like others who have similar insight. There is more to Come.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Well, I think that Rahm just bought it

The Illinois Supreme Court, that is, and that is just plain sad to me. This sets a poor precedent.  The law was clear and the Supreme Court just bent it, but not like Beckham, IMHO. 

When high powered law firms can plow our judiciary, we begin to feel that our State is falling to the lows complained about in Texas and West Virginia.

What comes around, goes around. This seems disrespectful. The decision is based more on media hype. Perhaps, I'll have to read the decision and adopt another inconsistent opinion. However, The Court of Appeals seemed extremely pursuasive. I found the Lampkin dissent more questionable.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Will Rahm's 2011 Candidacy be Embalmed upon Our Ballots or Our Memories?

Rahm has bought himself an appeal. The First District has held that Rahm is not a Chicago Resident for candidacy purposes based upon two decisions:

In People ex rel. Moran v. Teolis, 20 Ill. 2d 95, 169 N.E.2d 232
(1960), a party argued that a voter residency requirement should be extended based on the policy embodied by a precursor to the
Municipal Code section now at issue, which provided, as it provides now, that a candidate for municipal office be a qualified elector and have resided in the area at least one year preceding the election. Moran, 20 Ill. 2d at 104 (discussing Ill. Rev. Stat.1957, ch. 24, par. 9-87). The supreme court answered that the statute "differentiate[d] between 'electors' and those persons who may qualify for municipal office." ***." Maksym v. Board of Election Commissioners, 404 Ill. App. 3d ___ no. 1-11-033 at p. 9 (1st Dist. January 24, 2011) [citing Moran, 20 Ill. 2d at 104].

A mere constructive resident has no better opportunities for knowing the wants and rightful demands of his constituents, than a non-resident, and is as much beyond the wholesome influence of direct contact with them.
*** In [the candidate residency statute] the language is not, shall be a resident, but it is, shall 'reside within' ***." Maksym v. Board of Election Commissioners, 404 Ill. App. 3d ___ no. 1-11-033 at p. 13 (1st Dist. January 24, 2011) [citing Ballhorn,100 Ill. App. at 573.]

There were two laws; one covers voters and the other municipal candidates. Candidates must not only be an elector (voter) but also reside in the City of Chicago. To quote:

These two qualifications are stated separately and in the conjunctive. Id. at 14

A constructive resident is only capable of retaining their right to vote, not serve as Mayor. Unfortunately, the politically appointed administrator did not want to read the laws, so it took the First District Court of Appeals.  This is one more reason why we need an independent judiciary. I don't know that elections or merit selection solve this dilemma. However, does Bertina Lampkin, formerly with the night narcotics court appreciate what has happened in this case. In a word, 'clueless?'

When politicians become judges, they hopefully learn to be come objective and independent of the political powers that exist. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s riveting documentary of the West Virginia Coal mess demonstrates how special interests can destroy the integrity of public office.  How will Rahm's Superfund be spent? Will he help Chicago or hurt and cast dispersions upon the independent judiciary?

Rahm should 'take five,' as in five years of residence in the City of Chicago. Maybe he can actually learn something about the City that Works.  Perhaps, his kids can attend the Chicago Public Schools, not The Latin School nor based upon clout. For those legislators who had the insight to enact an amend the Illinois Municipal Code 65 ILCS 5/3.1-10-5(a) (2008), who are still alive or beyond. Thanks, we needed that!

Good luck Carol, Manny, and others, we will have to hope that Justice Bob Thomas, among others, won't punt.  Thanks to Justices Hall and Hoffman, who had the courage to care about Illinois law.

Friday, January 07, 2011

An Incredible Lightness of Brain or What? Who is the Rahminator for $25?

It disappoints me that those who should run from mayor, won't run.  Does it really cost that much? Will it cost you more when corruption creates disruption?

Those who often now run for mayor have less credibility than ever.  This leaves a potential void and vacuum. The two Mayor Daley's worked within the States Attorney's Office. Washington practiced law in Chicago and served for years as a credible representative of Hyde Park.

Danny Davis is gone.  He was a former alderman, postman, and current U.S. Representative. He lived in Chicago for decades. Well, his staff could not figure out the search engine concept, so no one could donate online.  This meant that Rahm website showed up instead of his. Yeah, type in "Danny Davis" and we got Rahm's linked adverstisement. As a result Danny's Staff made him appear less competent due to this tech glitch. It was not a money thing; Danny did not know how to campaign in the 21st Century!

Now, the front runners, and one questionable exception, Del Valle, are all that remain on the ballot. Danny Davis felt that Carol Mosely Braun reflects his mindset.  Perhaps, I agree, but not based upon anything other than the fact that she has been in the area.  The Rahminator just isn't here.

Rahm waltzed into the U.S. Representatives Office after Rod left to seek green pastures. Yep, Rod's misrepresentation to authorities led to his undoing to date.  Who knows how many times Rahm did the same.  It is called prosecutorial discretion, I guess.

Rahm served in the same District that brought us a Republican, Michael P. Flannagan, that ended the 'reign of Rostenkowski.'  In its wake, the Democrats were too ignorant to foster enough contact with the public to train and spawn a credible candidate.  So the District served as a vacuum for a nearly lifelong suburbanite named Rahm.  Rahm brought Mayor Richard M. Daley the suburban financial power needed to overcome the opposition. Rahm claimed that he was somehow a Chicagoan due to a brief stint as a toddler at Anshe Emet before his family moved to Wilmette.  He moved to Chicago to work for the campaign only to end up in Washington, DC for most of his working life. This included his rise to U.S. Representative, where he had questionable appreciation for the needs of urban Chicago.

His time with Federal law, not the inner workings of Chicago Municipal Government create issues.  He is an outsider, who has upset many Alderman, lawful and unlawful immigrants, and Citizens that he seeks to represent.  He has stabbed holes in the political emotions of others with his raspy rhetoric. He appeared divisive and counterproductive to the Federal body politique.  Now a bunch of Chicagoans want this type of politician to serve as our mayor? Or is the money coming from some DNC fanatics.

I just don't understand.  Why will any Chicagoan's put our City in jeopardy just for a name?  Who will we get next, Minister Farrakhan? Reverend Meeks? Why has the Democratic Party alienated so many Chicagoans from running for office? How can it stop mismanagement at the public trough? Yet, enough of us know that both the Green and Republican Parties are no viable option!