Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Conservative Activist Presides Over Rahm Emanuel Residency Hearings

December 14, 2010 - Chicago - Rahm Emanuel continued to be questioned about his Chicago residency today. Running for mayor here, some say that he forfeited his residency status when he moved to Washington, D.C. to be Obama's White House Chief of Staff. Not so, says, Rahm. I've been a big fan of attorney Joe Morris for a few years now, ever since I saw him speak at a conservative gathering at the Lincoln Restaurant. Morris is one of the best-read and most engaging public speakers I have ever had the pleasure to witness. He has a mind like a steel trap and sense of humor as sharp as a titanium blade. The last time I saw him speak, he gave an entertaining lecture about Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" in June, 2010. Morris is a staunch conservative, and he is currently presiding over the petition objections to the mayoral candidacy of Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. Tom Swiss, a local Republican insider, wrote that he is sure "this is not an accident." Swiss wrote that on December 6 on the website of the Chicago Republican Party. I would add that I am sure that Morris is relishing ever delicious second of the hearings, and that I can't wait to hear him describe it all at a future Lincoln Restaurant gathering. Will Rahm Emanual Be Treated Fairly? Does that fact that Morris, widely known in Illinois as "Mr. Conservative," is presiding over a bunch of squabbling Democrat contenders for mayor of Chicago mean that Rahm Emanuel will not get a fair hearing? Probably not. Morris is also known for his expertise in law, but he's also revered for his decency and honesty. Swiss addressed this, and made a prediction, in his Dec. 6 article: "[Emanuel's] 'luck' and Republican's problem is Joe Morris is an honest man." wrote Swiss. "Morris will give Emanuel a fair hearing denied to so many GOP candidates in the past. Morris will correctly rule Emanuel did not forfeit his residency by serving the President of the US." I'm not sure how Tom Swiss could know in advance how Morris will rule on Emanuel's residency issue. Suppose compelling evidence is presented that "proves" that Emanuel actually did lose his residency status? I would contend that Morris, being an honest man, would have to take that into consideration. I have no doubt that Joe Morris would agree with my contention. ChicagoMag.com took a look at Morris today and published her profile of him at ChicagoMag.com. Friend Carol Felsenthal's article, "A Look at Joseph Morris, the Hearing Officer in the Rahm Emanuel Residency Challenge," gives a nice synopsis of Morris's life and then delves into his involvement with the Rahm Emanuel hearings. "His plan," wrote Felsenthal, "is to wrap up the hearing on Thursday [Dec. 16], and then he will consider the testimony and write his recommendation on whether Rahm’s name should stay on the ballot. He will submit it to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, which will decide whether or not to accept it. The board’s decision will likely be appealed—first stop the Circuit Court of Cook County—perhaps up to the Illinois Supreme Court." Felsenthal also notes that Morris has been appointed to be a hearing officer for the Board of Elections a number of times over the past 20 years. Joe Morris is also President, pro bono publico, of the Lincoln Legal Foundation, a member of the national Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union (of which I am a former Assistant Media Director), former Assistant Attorney General of the United States under President Reagan. RELATED: William Kelly Fights Media's Rahm Emanuel Bias CNB Stop Rahm Rules for Radicals RahmStoppers.com