Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rahm Emanuel's Residency Problem

It turns out Indiana GOP Secretary of State candidate Charlie White isn't alone in battling a residency dispute. Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emauel wants to move back to his home town of Chicago asap to run for Chicago mayor next year after Richard Daley announced he would not be seeking re-election. There is a hitch. In order to be a candidate, Rahm must be able to demonstrate residency in the city for one year prior to next February's municipal primary election. Although he has maintained his voting registration at the home he owns in Chicago, he rented it out to another family in 2009 and renewed that lease for another year to the family just six days before Daley announced he wasn't running for re-election. Rahm wants to move back into his Chicago home, but the family is refusing to budge and won't even allow Rahm to set up residency in the home's basement. The Sun-Times' Michael Sneed explains Rahm's rift with his renters:

"I'm told Rahm and a close lawyer friend made several polite phone calls to [Robert] Halpin last week, but he bumped up against the wrong guy," said a top Sneed source. "Halpin reportedly conducts his business from the house and his two kids are in school. He doesn't want to move."

In a telephone interview, Halpin, who described himself as an industrial real estate developer in the midst of heading to Louisville on business Monday, told Sneed: "Look, according to the lease I am not allowed to speak to the media about the house.

"But I can tell you I have no plans to move."

Through various sources, Sneed was able to piece together the following scenario . . .

"Rahm explored the option of moving back into his house, he offered to compensate [Halpin] for three months of rent and then compensate him for the rest of the lease if he moved out," said Rick Jasculca, a close friend and spokesman for Rahm. "It was cordial, but [Halpin] was unwilling to terminate the lease. So now Rahm will explore other options."

Sneed notes Rahm has been voting in Chicago the past two years using the home he leased to the Halpins as his registered voting address. The Halpins have also registered to vote at same address. Experts offer varying opinions on whether he can survive a residency challenge, but she said you can count on one being filed. "You can bet it's going to be challenged," said an election expert who asked not to be identified. "It's a hot button. Simply owning a building isn't enough. But the terms of the lease might be a different story." Elections law experts agree Rahm would have had no residency issue if he had not rented out the property to another person and continued to maintain his voting address there while living and working in D.C.


Cato said...

This is a tempest in a teapot. you know Rahm's a Chicagoan. I know Rahm's a Chicagoan. Everyone in the country knows Rahm's a Chicagoan.

What, is he stateless because he went to D.C. to work for his country?

These ticky-tack gotcha laws are doing no service to the country.

Rahm will get on the ballot, because nobody will want to punish him for engaging in public service.

Indy Student said...

Emanuel is known for his temper and brutal honesty. I wonder how that might change when he's in the spot light as Mayor/candidate for Mayor rather than as an advisor or legislative member. It seems that those in the executive branch are held to a higher standard than those in the legislative, and Emanuel might need to clean up his act before being a serious candidate.