RAHMSWORLD: Will a bromance with the White House win votes on February 24 (or even get signatures without paying petitioners?)... Mayor's Press Office sends out buddy photos of Rahm and Barack

Rahm and Barack in a photo taken and supplied to the media by Chicago's "Mayor's Press Office" in an official press release released October 6, 2014. In case you missed, it, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his bro Barack Obama got together for a walk around the White House grounds on Monday October 6, 2014. Rahm's "Mayor's Press Officer" photographer was there to catch a couple of shots of the bros bonding. According to the official City Hall press release, Rahm was in Washington, D.C. to help move the Chicago agenda forward.

As the days dwindle down for the November deadlines for nominating petitions to be submitted to the Board of Election Commissioners, it's also possible that even with more than $10 million in the bank, the Rahm Emanuel re-election machinery is creaking and the White House photo op is an example of desperation, not power.

Across the city, Emanuel's paid petition people are circulating his nominating petitions and experiencing unprecedented pushback. Most of those circulating the Emanuel petitions are only doing so because they are being paid to do so, Rahm's mercenaries even though many will not divulge to the curious voter how much each signature is worth.

Rahm has been able to lean on some loyalists with actual organizations (such as alderman Carrie Austin) to get his petitions out on the streets without paying anywhere from $1 to $5 per signature, reports from around the city indicate he's facing more trouble than he did when he was an unknown with a White House buddy in late 2010, And it's not clear how the support of some wrad organizations is going to work when the ward loyalists (the infantry in any election battle) realize they are marching around for Rahm for "free" -- while others (some in the same wards) are getting a stipend for doing Rahm's re-election work. And Rahm has $10 or more million to spend, but is not spending it on the foot soldiers deployed in his name.

The course of the aldermanic and mayoral elections in Chicago are in four parts.

The city is still in the first. From now until November 24, potential candidates are circulating nominating petitions. Those petitions have to be turned in to the Board of Election Commissioners according to procedures and timelines clearly laid out in the Board of Election Commissioners' guidelines and on their website.

The rules regarding turning in the petitions state as follows:

"Where: City of Chicago, 69 West Washington, Chicago, Illinois 60602. [10 ILCS 5/10-6]

"When: Nomination papers shall be filed not earlier than Monday, November 17, 2014 and not later than Monday, November 24, 2014. The office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to Noon on Saturday. No nomination papers will be accepted on Sunday. [10 ILCS 5/10-6(4)]

The second of two photos provided to the media by the "Mayor's Press Office.""How: Candidates may file their nomination papers either in person or by mail. Nomination papers filed by mail and received after midnight and in hand when the office opens on the first day of filing are considered to have been filed as of 9:00 a.m. of that day. Petitions received in the mail prior to midnight of the first day of filing will be returned to the sender. [10 ILCS 5/10-6.2] Nomination papers shall not be considered filed until received by the Board, notwithstanding when such papers, if mailed or messengered, were postmarked or left with a courier for delivery, as the case may be. [5 ILCS 70/1.25]."

Once the petitions are in, the brutal Chicago game of CHALLENGE is played out. In every Chicago election, paid people working for candidates challenge every signature on every sheet turned in by every candidate. Independent candidates have told Substance that in some cases the challenges have gone so deep as to include a challenges to the candidate's own signature while the candidate sat there and watched. Those who handle the challenges are well paid, and the payoff, especially for incumbents like Rahm Emanuel, is often great. Many aldermanic, senatorial and state legislative hopefuls found themselves losing in CHALLENGE even when they brought in triple the number of necessary signatures. One of the reasons there are few options to voting "Quinn-Vallas" in November is that the Democratic Party went after challengers with an almost unprecedented viciousness.

Once the candidates are certain they will appear on the ballot in the February 24 election, a long silence ensues. Nobody who takes their politics seriously in Chicago does much heavy campaigning between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, because most voters are sanely occupied in other activities. After the ritual shooting ends on New Year's Eve a few hours after midnight, however, the real shooting war, metaphorically speaking, begins. The run is to the February 24 voting, with a building emphasis with each passing week and a big thrust on the final Sunday before the voting.

Then comes election day. On that day, serious candidates are working from pre-dawn to well into the night, getting out the votes and making sure that no hanky panky takes place at the voting places. Then there is the long count until the results are announced.

Since his pre-election antics at the 95th St. El stop in 2011, Rahm Emanuel has shown his shameless willingness to prepare every foot of video for possible recycling into campaign mode. So even though the White House bromance of October 6, 2014 may seem a bit early when the election is not until February 24, 2015, what becomes "real" in a TV commercial in mid-February is already in the Rahm playbook.

The official City Hall press release noting that Chicago's mayor spent some time hanging out with his old buddy on October 6, 2014 stated as follows [note that all materials sent to the media by the Mayor's Press Office are paid for by Chicago taxpayers]:


CONTACT: Mayors Press Office. 312.744.3334

Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with President Barack Obama at the White House. The visit to the White House was one of Mayor Emanuel's stops while in Washington, DC today, meeting with Cabinet secretaries and administration officials to discuss his efforts to move the City forward. Photos from the meeting are attached.


Photo Caption: Mayor Emanuel meets with President Obama.

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


October 9, 2014 at 3:20 PM


Rahm and Karen Lewis

I am of the belief that Karen Lewis is the only one who has a chance against Rahm. How do you think the factor of Lewis in the campaign will effect Rahm's chances of election ?

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

5 + 1 =