Thursday, December 10, 2015

HB4356 and 12,500 chicago voter signatures: everything else is conversation...,

NYMag | Emanuel said last week that he has no intention of resigning. "We have a process; it's called the election," he told Politico. "The voters spoke. I’ll be held accountable and responsible for my actions and decisions I make, and that’s how I approach it." There's no way to force Emanuel out, since Chicago has no mechanism for removing the mayor – but now, two state representatives are trying to change that. Democrats Mary Flowers and La Shawn Ford co-sponsored a bill introduced Wednesday night in the Illinois General Assembly that would amend a 1941 law to create a mayoral recall procedure, which would be "effectively immediately."

Under the plan, a recall election could be initiated with signatures totaling 15 percent of the total votes cast in the last election, in this case 12,500 signatures. Ford drew up the legislation two weeks ago and decided to introduce it after seeing Wednesday's protests. "The people have lost confidence in the mayor and until he can regain confidence, we have to have something in place that we can try to bring the city together," he toldCBS Chicago.

It's far from certain that the procedure will be put in place. House Speaker Michael Madigan would have to bring up the bill for consideration, the Democratic-majority House and Senate would need to approve it, and it would require the governor's signature.

Emanuel may be able to smooth things over by following through on his police reform pledge, but if a recall election were held right now, it seems unlikely that he would survive. A recent poll by the online IllinoisObserver found the mayor's job approval is at 18 percent, and his disapproval rating is 67 percent. "Believe me, there’s a lot of buyers' remorse right about now and there's a lot of I-told-you-so right about now and there’s a lot of second-guessing," Chicago political consultant Delmarie Cobb told Reuters. "I do think that if this continues, certainly he would never get re-elected again with 55 percent of the black vote" as he did eight months ago.