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.

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