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This just in… Miguel del Valle to run for mayor… Rahm’s lame duckiness

Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* 6:44 pm - Sources say that Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle told several aldermen and others today that he’s running for mayor.

Besides the dynamic the former state Senator brings to the race, del Valle’s move also means the city clerk’s office is now up for grabs.

Del Valle had only $948.08 in his campaign account as of the end of June, but he has reportedly told friends that he will quickly ramp up. He reportedly wants to get petitions out on the street this weekend.

* For a bit of comparison, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart had $191,855.67 in his account as of June 30. Sandi Jackson had $66,966.37 in her aldermanic account and $15,716.47 in her ward account. Rahm Emanuel has $1.2 million.

…Adding… And speaking of del Valle’s petitions, Zorn points out a very good reason to get those sheets out on the streets as soon as possible

A voter can sign as many mayoral nominating petitions as he or she wishes, but only the first one counts, as Chicago Board of Elections Commission spokesman Jim Allen reminds us. The second, third and all subsequent signatures are technically invalid and will be erased if challenged.

This means the first mayoral candidate to knock on the doors on your block not only stands the best chance of getting valid signatures, but it also means that any signatures he gathers above the minimum are signatures that other hopefuls can’t get.

He who hesitates will lose.

*** 7:08 pm *** Politico

“I got a call from [someone close to Emanuel] telling me to expect a call from Rahm,” said one prominent Chicago Democrat, who had yet to hear from him as of Wednesday night.

“My sense is he’s got to do an assessment as to what his support would be and what his campaign would look like. . .He’s not in Chicago, so that makes it tough for him to know what people here are thinking,” added the person, who agreed to lobby others on Emanuel’s behalf, if he decides to run.

Emanuel himself, according to administration sources, knows he must make a decision relatively soon to be a viable player back home. But he doesn’t feel that waiting a while will compromise his chances.

Something that I’m not sure anyone has really talked about is the longer this talk lasts about a mayoral bid, the less influence he’s gonna have in the White House and DC in general. He’s gonna become a lame duck pretty darned fast, if he hasn’t already.

* 8:06 pm - OK, this has to be the goofiest write-up about the pending Chicago mayoral race I’ve seen so far. The Washington Times quotes a DC/Pennsylvania-based Republican consultant and a San Francisco-based Democratic consultant about Chicago politics. Sheesh.


  1. - Anon - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 6:47 pm:

    Did he chair the education cmte when he was a state senator?

  2. - haverford - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 6:57 pm:

    I agree with those above that Hinz is off base. Anyone who is anyone is going to be trying to prove their viability, and thus their ability to turn our their base, I.e. democrats. If they can’t produce for the Dems in their respective wards, then they won’t be able to garner support for their candidacies.

    No offense to downstate, but a massive showing in Cook can hold off Brady. Bet some of those Scott Lee Cohen courters are rethinking, too. This is a net win for Quinn.

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 6:57 pm:

    Why not? It might not take much to make the big dance.

    What’s the over/under on:

    # of candidates to make the ballot?

    % of vote it will take to make the runoff (I’m assuming no one breaks 50% in the primary)?

  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 6:59 pm:

    haverford, you’re on the wrong thread.

  5. - haverford - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:00 pm:

    Whoops, my phone chose the wrong post. I’m addicted even on the commute. are you happy, Miller?

  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:00 pm:

    Yes. Very.

  7. - What's in a name? - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:03 pm:

    Can Rahm use the money in a local race? I thought there was a State/Local Federal issue with campaign funds.

    I heard Ed Burke has several million available, I would think he would be the front runner in funds on hand.

  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:04 pm:

    Rahm can transfer that federal money to a state account before the end of the year.

  9. - haverford - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:04 pm:

    I’m thrilled for del Valle. Can you move my obviously crucial comment, or will my words be lost to the ether? Or will I have to figure out copy/paste. The latter might be impossible.

  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:05 pm:

    You’ll have to do it yourself.

  11. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:05 pm:

    I am posting from Rosh Hashanah dinner, that tops commuting. No chance for del Valle. He should stay at City Clerk.

  12. - Richard Afflis - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:13 pm:

    del Valle has a GREAT chance to win this one. He can build coalitions and has a lot of the Daley establishment backing. He could be the right man at the right place at the right time.

  13. - Emily Booth - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:15 pm:

    Del Valle’s machine politician baggage will not go over well with the many voters tired of politicians. Burke, too. Too much same old, same old.

  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:19 pm:

    ===Del Valle’s machine politician baggage===


    I’m not sure what you know about del Valle, but it ain’t much.

  15. - Rayne of terror - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:28 pm:


  16. - Park - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:28 pm:

    Rich, saw your earlier post about ‘will this distract from Quinn’s race’. I think the interest in this latest announcement answers the question.

    Mr. Q, you’re on your own till November. Bigger fish to fry in Cook Cty.

  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:41 pm:

    If nothing else, a mayor’s race might be a good out for Emanuel on his own terms. Chief of Staff, though incredibly powerful, is a murderous, largely thankless job even in the best of times. And these ain’t them.

  18. - Gator - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:50 pm:

    I would rather

  19. - Gator - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:52 pm:

    (sorry, hit SEND too soon). I would rather stick with Daley than Rahm, and I don’t like Daley all that much.

    The Latino and Black caucuses will have their infighting as always and will be so busy taking votes away from each other that Dart or Rahm should be able to easily pull it off.

  20. - Louis Howe - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 7:54 pm:

    Rahm’s not up to “Dancing with Wolves”…He’s all talk…

  21. - BeatlesFan - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 8:03 pm:

    Del Valle already has run city-wide, won and raised the money on his own to do so. He is certainly capable of accomplishing this extraordinary feat once again.

  22. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 8:13 pm:

    So the Hispanic community is throwing down the gauntlet? Can the Black community respond with one viable candidate and not 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6… spoiler candidates? doubtful.

  23. - Gator - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 8:36 pm:

    @ Will County Woman - Well, Dorothy Brown and Burris are out, so there go 2 out of 100 perennial spoilers for the AA community.

  24. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 9:09 pm:

    Rich is right. With Axelrod and Gibbs now saying this is Rahm’s (latest) dream job, he has to leave DC. No one will take him seriously as CoS anymore. He’s done at the White House, right after the holidays. Total lame duck, and that town won’t tolerate a vacuum of that size that close to the Oval Office.

  25. - hmoore3 - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 9:27 pm:

    so with just a bit of lazy prognosticating, say you get 5 serious candidates and a similar number of also rans. does carrying 4 wards (and decent showings in another 10 or so) get you into the runoff?

  26. - the Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 9:27 pm:

    “The second, third and all subsequent signatures are technically invalid and will be erased if challenged.”

    “If challenged” is a big, big if. Think about the logistics of trying to find multiple signers on all the petitions, keeping in mind that objections are due two weeks after the first day of filing. So, yes, it is better to get the first signature; but the reality is that it is highly unlikely that second or third signatures will actually be challenged.

  27. - Yoda - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 9:34 pm:

    “Begun, the Clone Wars have”.

  28. - Gregor - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 9:35 pm:

    The Washington Times is not a paper I’d take seriously at any time. The whole article was just a patent set-up for a Republican slam.

  29. - Lincoln Parker - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 9:39 pm:

    I was the first to mention del Valle yesterday. I’m not sure how he’d be as Mayor, but he has done a good job as City Clerk. Modernized that department, put everything on-line. He also personally helped people in line to buy their city stickers. He also turned down his police detail & drivers that he was entitled to have.

  30. - Been There - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 9:39 pm:

    ===it is highly unlikely that second or third signatures will actually be challenged. ====
    I will bet the house that they will be checked. I might even be one of those down there checking. Leave no stone unturned. This will be a race that every trick in the book will be used. It is not just the potential candidates salivating but all the political junkies aligned with each candidate. This is the golden goose for them also.

  31. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 9:43 pm:

    Rich, why did you waste everyone’s time quoting the Moonie Times. It’s not even worth wrapping spoiled fish with!

  32. - the Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 10:47 pm:

    Been There, no doubt each signature will be checked against the voter record. All that tells you if the voter is registered and if the signature matches. But how do you check to see if a voter has signed someone else’s petition? Think of the logistics — you have two weeks to obtain all the petitions, then figure out how to hundreds of thousands of signatures, many of them illegible, into a database to compare . . . I’ve never seen it done on large scale petition filings.

  33. - Stormy - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 10:52 pm:

    Rich -It’s Jim Allen at the Chicago Board of Elections, not Tom. A former reporter and a good one.

  34. - Been There - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 10:58 pm:

    Other Anonymous, the first thing you do is database all the addresses and then compare those. Difficult with apartments b

  35. - Been There - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 11:01 pm:

    Sorry, fat fingers.
    Other Anonymous, the first thing you do is database all the addresses and then compare those. Difficult with apartments building addresses but not so much with households. Trust me, it will be done.

  36. - the Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 11:11 pm:

    Well, any candidate or campaign that just started and then spends 100s of man hours data entering their opponents’ petitions is not using their resources well. The point isn’t that it’s a physical impossibility; the point is that no one in their right mind would spend the time and money do this on the off chance that they might knock one of six or more challengers off the ballot. More to the point, none of the candidates. (with the possible exception of Emmanuel) has enough money in the bank to even begin thinking of such an expensive operation.

    Checking signatures? Sure. Creating a database with 100s of thousands of entries that have to be manually entered in two weeks or less? I doubt it.

  37. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 11:26 pm:

    Gotta love the domino effect.

    So, Del Valle runs for Mayor, and JJ Jr. - realizing a January retrial of Rod weakens him too much for a February election - supports Del Valle’s run in exchange for Sandi Jackson for Clerk.

  38. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 11:30 pm:

    Valerie Jarrett has an almost perfect mix of political and professional experience to run now, and she has few enemies. Here’s her Wiki page:

    Jarrett got her start in Chicago politics in 1987 working for Mayor Harold Washington as Deputy Corporation Counsel for Finance and Development.
    Jarrett continued to work in the mayor’s office in the 1990s. She was Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Daley… Jarrett served as Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development from 1992 through 1995, and was Chair of the Chicago Transit Board from 1995 to 2005…. Until joining the Obama Administration, Jarrett was the CEO of The Habitat Company, a real estate development and management company which she joined in 1995…. Jarrett was a member of the board of Chicago Stock Exchange (2000–2007, as Chairman, 2004–2007).
    She is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago Medical Center, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago and a Trustee of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Jarrett serves on the board of directors of USG Corporation, a Chicago based building materials corporation.

  39. - Been There - Wednesday, Sep 8, 10 @ 11:47 pm:

    ===Creating a database with 100s of thousands of entries that have to be manually entered in two weeks or less? I doubt it===
    First off, you don’t have to check every candidate that files. Only the ones you target. Also, you don’t have to check all of the signers unless you think you have a chance to knock them off but don’t have enough bad signatures or non-registered signers. It wouldn’t take a half dozen staffers more than a day or two to key in 25,000 addresses.

  40. - IrishPirate - Thursday, Sep 9, 10 @ 12:06 am:

    While I have no doubt Rahm could raise a huge amount of cash I wonder what his natural constituency is?

    Are nine fingered (insert profanity of choice here) really all that popular?

    He is just unlikable. I sat at a table near him at an outdoor cafe on Southport a few years back and the man comes off as a massive hyperactive rooster. Even with his kids with him at the time he still gave off the aura of pugnacity.

    If I had to bet now I’d put my money on Tom Dart facing some serious black candidate in a runoff.

    Of course I figured Daley was running again so take my predictions with a big massive grain of salt.

  41. - the Other Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 9, 10 @ 12:32 am:

    Been there, we may be talking about two different things. Thebarticle talks about signing a petition for Smith and then signing a petition for Jones. Only the Smith petition signature is valid. But for for Smith to challenge the signature, he would have to find the duplicate on both his petition and Jones’s petition.

    I think what you are talking about is someone who signs Smith’s petition twice. Different situation, and I would agree that checking for double signatures on the same petition will probably be done. But that is not the same as checking to see if a signature appears on a different set of petitions — a task that is geometrically more difficult.

  42. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 9, 10 @ 8:19 am:

    Rich you are so right, that D.C. article is ridiculous. as for Del
    Valle, he lives in a world populated by Burke staffers….Burke’s brother was there for a long time. surprisingly, he may not
    even know that some other baggage that surrounds him is courtesy of the Daley bad guys. Dart knows all about Del Valle.

  43. - MikeMacD - Thursday, Sep 9, 10 @ 8:26 am:

    Data checking for signatures on other people’s petitions is not that difficult. As you check for valid voters on an opponents petition every time you get a hit you simply mark it as for that opponent. Your database can then simply look for the duplicates after it’s all done.

    What I don’t understand is how can you tell who got the first signature without each signature being dated? I admit I’ve never gathered signatures for the city before so I’m in the dark about that, but all other petitions that I’ve circulated before did not have the ability to discern when the signature was collected.

  44. - Deep South - Thursday, Sep 9, 10 @ 8:33 am:

    Isn’t the Washington Times considered the print version of Fox News? The article is beyond goofy. It’s flat out ignorant.

  45. - the Other Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 9, 10 @ 11:43 am:

    Mike MacD, what you’re saying is true if yup check signatures against a voter file. But checking against a voter file will only eliminate signets who are not registered or live outside the district. That’s why most checking happens at the Board of Elections, where the checker can also compare signatures. However, this means that challenges are tracked by pen and paper not electronically.

    In order to determine if Valerie Voter signed the petitions of two or more candidates, you have to have a database that contains all the signets from all the petitions filed. With, let’s say, six candidates filing 25,000-50,000 signatures that is a huge undertaking, especially since there is no way to automate this task. And remember, this is in addition to the time spent checking signatures for authenticity.

    You’re also right about figuring out which petition was signed first, although the date of the notarizatioon would probably count as circumstantial evidence.

    I hate being stubborn about this, but every cycle that I’ve been asked to oversee a petition challenge I’ve tried to crack this nut. It can be done, but the cost is great, particularly in a multiple-candidate field with high signature requirements.

  46. - MikeMacD - Thursday, Sep 9, 10 @ 12:26 pm:

    the Other Anonymous,

    I see where you’re coming from. I don’t know the procedures down at the Board of Elections where you’re looking at the facsimile signatures, but if they allow a second person to look over the shoulder of the person doing the lookup I can imagine the second person simply entering the page number, line number of the petition and when there’s a hit recording the voter id number. This data can then be taken back to the office and combed with the voter file to get an output that’s usable. Yes, it’s more costly than my first imaginings but not that much more and I would think very doable.

    As far as the date, that still has me stymied. The date of the notary is when it was notarized not when the signature was collected. There can be weeks between those two events. I don’t know how anybody can make a ruling on that. Of course, I’m probably missing something.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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