According to Abdon M. Pallasch, lawyers laugh over the bid to knock Rahm Emanuel off the ballot. Enjoy this picture at the Chicago Board of Elections when Abdon made an absolute fool of himself drooling on every word that came out of Rahm's mouth. Abdon even needed to replenish his mouth with fresh Kool-aid from all the slobbering and gushing, giggling and reacting like a little school girl at every action of his boy Rahm. During the entire Board of Elections hearing, Abdon showed complete and utter disregard for his professional ethics in reporting. Abdon took every opportunity to ridicule every objector standing forward to expose Rahm Emanuel and the rigged Board of Elections. Just remember folks, Burt Odelson never should have been put into the same hearing as the other objectors so he could fail by himself. Burt Odelson failed with all the other folks that challenged Rahm. The objectors stood up because they care about the constitution. Burt Odelson got paid for his loss, the other objectors worked for free.
Burt Odelson said, "I tried to separate myself from the crazies". I guess we know Burt is the real asshole and Abdon M. Pallasch can continue to pucker up to it.
I want all the Chicago Clout fans to know, the outcome of Rahm's fate was set in stone before he ever walked up to the plate. I have proof of what happens to Hearing officers that don't get the decision right the first time. I have proof of Hearing Officers fate when they open their mouths and utter the wrong words.
The Chicago Taxpayers lost more than anyone else and they will until they give a damn. Release the video of the hearing ABC7... Photo by Patrick McDonough Rahm Emanuel Objector 007.
Read Abdon M. Pallasch's article here, than use for toilet paper.
11-26-10 Cook County Board of Elections, 69 W. Washington, Chicago - Attorney Burt Odelson addresses reporters after filing an objector's petition against Rahm Emanuel at the Cook County Board of Elections office Friday in Chicago. - John J. Kim/Sun-Times
Updated: November 14, 2011 9:06AM
Lawyers on both sides of the effort to kick Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for mayor divulged some behind-the-scenes antics that went on while Chicago and the nation watched Emanuel subjected to 12 hours of questions by political activists a year ago.
Burt Odelson -- the lawyer who knocked Emanuel off the ballot for two days -- begged the Chicago Board of Elections to separate his case against Emanuel from the 30 amateurs, who he thought would cloud the issue he wanted the state supreme court to address: Did Emanuel violate state residency law by renting out his house and not having a home to go to in Chicago for a year before he ran for mayor?
"I tried to separate myself out from the crazies," Odelson said.
"They said, 'There's no way to separate Burt out from that group,'" interjected Mike Kasper, the lawyer who got Emanuel back on the ballot.
That brought howls of laughter last week at a Chicago Bar Association lunch attended by two dozen members of the small fraternity of lawyers who practice election law in Chicago.
Kasper and Odelson are longtime friends and rivals and deans of the election bar.
As the amateurs asked irrelevant questions of Emanuel (Was he responsible for the Waco massacre?), both Odelson and Kasper knew they were helping Emanuel's side, so Odelson was trying to shut them up while Kasper was trying to stop his co-counsel from objecting to the off-the-wall questions.
"We spent the entire hearing, me waving off the objectors and Mike waving off the lawyers," Odelson said. "I was waving to the left and he was waving to the right to keep the lawyers in the chair from objecting."
"Once Burt sat down, virtually every question was objectionable, 'cause these are just regular folks -- these folks aren't lawyers," Kasper said. "I was sitting with the lawyers who were helping me and steam is coming out of their ears as all these irrelevant questions are being admitted."
Amid the more outrageous questions, some of the more professional among the 30 amateurs and lawyers asked reasonable questions.
But Kasper and Odelson agreed that Hearing Officer Joe Morris made the right call letting so many of the extraneous questions through.
"It was difficult to sit through, knowing that my client was put on the hot seat," Kasper said. "But, in retrospect, [Morris] made the right decision. People were unhappy about the system. But they couldn't say they didn't get to take their shot. That's something to celebrate about the way we do it. In other states, you can't do any of this stuff. You put in your [candidacy] papers and wait for the government to tell you whether or not you qualify."
As a long-time lawyer for Mike Madigan, speaker of the state House of Representatives, Kasper has been involved in writing much of Illinois' election law. More than other states, it gives election lawyers many avenues to try to get candidates on or off the ballot.
"We always get criticized here in Illinois because we have what the critics call a 'Byzantine' system," Kasper said. "But we have the best due-process system. Somebody challenges your signatures, you get to defend every single one of them as long as it takes. We've both been in hearings that lasted days, weeks ... I had one that literally put [hearing officer] Dan Madden in the hospital."
Odelson said the state Supreme Court's ruling for Emanuel drastically changed and complicated Illinois election law: "The gist of this opinion is it will probably equate into more business for election lawyers and more challenges." It also poisoned relations between Appellate and Supreme Court justices who disagreed about whether Emanuel should have been allowed to run, Odelson said.
Kasper said the opposite: "The ordinary concept of 'residency' that we all know and have practiced for a long, long time, was just applied here and I don't think it involves a sweeping change in the law at all."
Referring to Emanuel's tenant Rob Halpin, Kasper said, "The person to whom [Emanuel] rented the house was -- shall we say -- a colorful character. He comes out with these inflammatory statements. He says he's going to run for mayor."
Kasper patted Odelson on the back as he added, "We're not really sure who his election lawyer was," prompting guffaws. Odelson just smiled.
Because Halpin was so controversial, Odelson made what Kasper called the "very very wise decision" to put Halpin's wife on the stand instead of Halpin. Lori Halpin said that, contrary to Emanuel's testimony, there was no storage room in the house full of Emanuel's belongings such as his wife's wedding dress.
That led to a somewhat tense phone call from Kasper's often-profane client, Kasper admitted.
"Without giving too many client confidences, my client says, 'Well, where's my stuff?'" Kasper recounted.
"You edited that nicely," one of the lawyers said.
"Yeah right," Kasper said, laughing. "Expletives deleted."
But the issue went Emanuel's way as the amateurs seized on it.
Odelson said he realized the Halpins "never went behind the shelves to the secret door that held the secret wedding dress and all the stuff."
As the amateurs pushed Lori Halpin about the room, "I could see Burt just sort of sitting there stewing and at one point he leans over and says, 'Can I just stipulate the stuff's in the basement?' And I said, "No way!" Kasper recalled with a grin.
The issue completely backfired on Odelson when Emanuel's lawyers were able to show that there was a storage room with all the items Emanuel had said were there.
Kasper had his own bad days. He had to admit Emanuel revised his tax returns during the residency challenge to call himself a resident of Illinois instead of a resident of the District of Columbia.
"It was an awkward day for the accountant," Kasper conceded.
Odelson smiled and said, "Actually, I had a good time with the accountant."
In the middle of the hearings, Odelson attended the swearing-in of Kasper's wife Laura Liu as a judge. Odelson is now her election lawyer.
"She hired the best election lawyer in town?" attorney Adam Lasker asked Kasper prompting plenty of laughter.
"We'll move on!" Kasper replied firmly.
The lawyers discussed technical points only lawyers could appreciate: the differences between "domicile" and "residence" and "resided in." Odelson said the supreme courts decision changed the rules on them. Kasper disagreed.
"I think this case will provide a headache for us, or maybe a joy, depending on which side you're on," Odelson said. "I think it's going to pave the way for residency cases with policemen and firemen saying they really intend to come back to Chicago and that is their pair of shoes in the apartment they are renting out to someone else even though they have a nice home in Hoffman Estates."
But the real damage may come from the harsh language used by the dissenting appellate justice who disagreed with the opinion that threw Emanuel off the ballot and the Supreme Court majority opinion that likewise belittled the reasoning for throwing Emanuel off the ballot, Odelson said.
"The dynamics of the appellate court and the dynamics especially of the Supreme Court -- I will share this with you and I can't tell you who or what or where or why -- but I can tell you that the Supreme Court, as a result of this case, has difficult personality problems with each other to this day," Odelson said. "The legal profession as a whole, how we treat each other and how the courts treat us and how we treat the courts. I see this as a really bad situation, especially for the young lawyers coming up."