Free Minds & Free Markets

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Won't Run for Re-Election

The Windy City will be left drowning in debt, despite the high taxes and vicious money-grubbing fines.

Mayor Rahm EmanuelAnthony Souffle/TNS/NewscomChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that he will not be running for a third term next year—a surprising statement, given that he had already raised millions for another run.

In a news conference, he declared: "This has been a job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime."

Certainly not for Emanuel. Over the past few years Chicago has seen a significant jump in violent crime, though that has finally begun to decline. Meanwhile, Chicago's reputation for police misconduct has continued under his administration.

Many Chicagoans will remember Emanuel for City Hall's attempt to block the release of dashcam footage showing police officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting teenaged Laquan McDonald seconds after arriving at a call. Officers on the scene insisted that McDonald had lunged at them with a knife, but the video footage showed that nothing of the sort had happened. A judge had to order the city to release the footage, and Van Dyke was subsequently charged with murder. Probably by sheer coincidence, jury selection for Van Dyke's trial is scheduled to start this week.

Chicago has tried to improve the relationship between officers and the public, implementing body cameras and giving more officers Tasers (though those themselves are a tool that can lead to death and are frequently misused to force compliance).

But mostly it seemed that under Emanuel, Chicago was focused on trying to rake in more money to deal with the growing debt caused by expensive bureaucracies and underfunded pensions. As Reason's C.J. Ciaramella reported earlier this year, Chicago is impounding motorists' cars and collectively fining the owners millions, often for petty crimes—burying them in debt in the hopes of digging the city out of its own debts. Emanuel has also jacked up property taxes even further. Small wonder that the greater Chicago area has been losing citizens for the past two years, including its millionaires.

And yet, through all of this, Emanuel seemed to think that the problem was not enough government meddling in its citizens' lives. Under the mayor's urging, Chicago Public Schools implemented a program requiring high school seniors to submit to a selection of approved post-graduation options in order to actually receive their diploma. "Move as far away from Chicago as I possibly can" was not one of the approved choices.

Emanuel's legacy is to affirm everyone's worst perceptions of Chicago's governance: that it's utterly corrupt and cares more about keeping the revenue streams that line officials' pockets and budgets than about holding itself accountable for serving its citizenry.

To read Emanuel's speech, go here.

Photo Credit: Anthony Souffle/TNS/Newscom

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  • loveconstitution1789||

    I guess he's had enough of running Chicago into the ground. Chicago almost single-handedly has raised the national violent crimes stats.

  • NoVaNick||

    Maybe he realized that he couldn't run it any further into the ground? Mission accomplished.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It can always get worse.

  • Uncle Jay||

    How could it get any worse?
    (Stoning starts without official sanction)

  • DiegoF||

    This guy was practically created in a lab for HnRers to despise. Fortunately, Chicago will no doubt manage to find someone even more perfectly contemptible. They always do.

  • ||

    It's looking like Gary McCarthy, the police chief whom Emmanuel scapegoated for the Laquan McDonald shooting, is the front runner at this point.

    I don't have the exact quote but this is the police chief that effectively said 'Gangs kill members for losing guns. So, to combat gun violence, we should enact laws to do the same.'

    The trouble isn't finding someone even more perfectly contemptible, the problem is that the whole field is utterly despicable.

  • Left ± Right > Hihn||

    And the rat deserts the sinking ship, probably with tens of millions of dollars from graft in his suitcase.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Only 48 of 50 Chicago aldermen are Democrats--so if the solution is to have more Democrats, then they still have two problems sitting on the city council.

    I don't know who else they could blame for the debt.

    I guess they could blame Trump?

    Have any Republicans said anything about "legitimate rape" lately?

    They could point the finger at Sara Palin, maybe?

    Maybe they could blame the NRA?

    They still blame Ronald Reagan for all the homeless, right?

    There's your solution right there: The city is swimming in debt because of Ronald Reagan!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    There isn't a democrat born, outside of Harry Truman, that has the slightest notion of accountability.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    Napolitano (41st ward) is not really a Republican. He is a fire department union plant who ran as a Republican in order to chase out Brian Doherty (not THAT Brian Doherty) who was an actual republican. This is the Pucinski ward, after all.

  • Echospinner||

    I think that Rahm Emanuel is just going for a position of greater power in Chicago. He will be running for leadership in the Almighty Vice Lords.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Getting out before the prosecutor arrives. Always a wise move for Chicago politicians.

  • croaker||

    He sees the blue wave, swirling around the toilet.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The surprise I would feel seeing the Republicans hold the House would almost rival the surprise I felt when Trump won the first time.

    The Democrats still hate the people they need to vote for them in order to win the White House, and they haven't changed a thing about the way they operate the cities and states where they predominate.

    Do you know how bad things have to get before people in these large cities start voting against Democrats?

    At one point, the Detroit fire department wouldn't send engines to burning buildings unless witnesses confirmed that the building was occupied. At around the same time, a plan was put forward to ask the military to come in and take out huge chunks of the city as target practice--to save them the cost of administrating a vacant city.

    Even as bad as that was, the locals still voted Democrat.

    So, two points:

    1) The answer to the question of how bad things have to get before people in our large cities of the northeast and Midwest vote against Democrats is that no one knows. The city will depopulate before they start voting against Democrats.

    2) I think this is why the Democrat need people like Tony, who are incapable of connecting actions and consequences--and there are so many of them. That's why I expect the Democrats to take the House in the midterms despite everything the Democrats are, do, and say.

    It just isn't about that.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I have dealt with enough personal misery at this point based on democrat policies, laws, and regulations, that I actually hope the progs push too far and we have the civil war we need to put an end to progressivism in this country.

    Given how vicious and violent they already are, it's not a huge stretch anymore.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Do you know how bad things have to get before people in these large cities start voting against Democrats

    At this point, it hardly matters. Large cities are one-party institutions now, and Republicans effectively lost what little post-war influence they had when their constituents abandoned the middle-class wards and boroughs for the suburbs, especially in cities where busing took place.

    The residents might vote for radical leftists rather than Democrats (see Seattle), but Republicans will never hold major offices in the cities again short of a major political realignment. The current one that's happening now isn't going in that direction.

  • ||

    1) The answer to the question of how bad things have to get before people in our large cities of the northeast and Midwest vote against Democrats is that no one knows. The city will depopulate before they start voting against Democrats.

    You aborted your line of thinking too early. Plenty won't stop voting Democrat. They'll leave Chicago like they left Detroit and vote Democrat in Baltimore and St. Louis.

  • BYODB||

    Do you know how bad things have to get before people in these large cities start voting against Democrats?

    No, and considering Detroit I wager the answer is at no point do they learn that. They merely move somewhere else and infect that place, leaving the last place to wither and finally die out completely. So, a virus?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    He didn't end his term in jail for corruption, so he couldn't even uphold Illinois tradition worth a damn. Wot a failure!

  • Fist of Etiquette|| more officers Tasers (though those themselves are a tool that can lead to death and are frequently misused to force compliance).

    What else do you think tasers are for? They are compliance tools, not self defense.

  • Uncle Jay||

    That's disappointing.
    Now who will take responsibility for increasing the deaths by firearms in a gun-controlled town?

  • dchang0||

    Oh, they'll just blame and punish millions of innocent, law-abiding gun owners around the country who weren't anywhere near the scenes of the crimes in Chicago--same as usual.

  • BYODB||

    So, he's going to make a run at higher office then.

  • ToddP||

    That piece of shit isn't running again because he knows he will be laughed out of town.

  • Dave Boz||

    Why does anybody want to be mayor of Chicago? It's a violent, bankrupt city where the mayor has little chance to change the trajectory. Government at most levels exists to serve those who work for it, and in Chicago this is true in spades. The city/county/teachers' unions own the city and its treasury, and they aren't interested in anything that would benefit anyone except themselves. They only want to keep squeezing the taxpayers, hence the unstoppable rise in taxes/fines/extortion. Rahm knows all this. What's in it for him?

  • jm15xy||

    And crime, don't forget crime.


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