Just 27 days to go, and things are finally a bit clearer. After months of hearings and debate, Rahm Emanuel's residency issue has finally been resolved. Now we can get back to the regularly scheduled election drama.
Stay tuned to HuffPost Chicago from now until February 22 for "The Countdown," a daily roundup of election news, gossip and other fun tidbits. You can also sign up to receive "The Countdown" via email daily by checking the "Chicago Brief" box here.
NO MORE DRAHMA (AT LEAST WHEN IT COMES TO HIS BALLOT SPOT)
After a very long afternoon of waiting, the Illinois Supreme Court announced their decision in Rahm Emanuel's residency case Thursday evening. In a rather scathing opinion, the justices unanimously decided that Emanuel has the right to run for mayor. They accused the appellate court that booted Emanuel from the ballot Monday of "tossing out 150 years of settled residency law" and called their decision "fundamentally flawed."
Burt Odelson, the attorney who has been trying to get Emanuel off the ballot from the start, left for Florida Thursday after the decision was announced.
"I feel good, as a lawyer, because we did win in the appellate court," Odelson said. "I think we should have won, but I respect the Supreme Court's decision. It's the law of the land."
Just an hour after the Supreme Court decision, Emanuel joined former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico and City Clerk Miguel del Valle in a televised debate. The debate was moderated by Tribune editorial page editor Bruce Dold and WGN News anchor Micah Materre. Dold didn't play nice, grilling Emanuel about his time at Freddie Mac, Chico about his failed law firm, Braun about her late taxes and del Valle about his weak polling numbers. All and all, however, the candidates remained civil to one another.
Miguel del Valle definitely positioned himself as the anti-establishment candidate. He slammed Chicago's revenue tactics, saying that the city has been putting its financial problems on the backs of working and poor Chicagoans while giving big contracts and good jobs to politically connected people. Though he trails badly financially (and in the polls) he is emerging as "the most progressive candidate in the field."Story continues below
Read our live blog of the mayoral debate here.
CHICO GIVES IT BACK
Some digging by the Chicago News Cooperative resulted in candidate Gery Chico returning a few campaign contributions today. Chico's campaign returned four $5,000 campaign donations that were linked to "business associates of controversial taxicab magnate Symon Garber."
Chico has returned a number of questionable donations so far. Read all about 'em here.
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