In case you haven’t been following the news, the Illinois Appeals court has ruled Rahm Emanuel ineligible to run for mayor of Chicago due to questions about whether he legally lived in Chicago for a year before running. This post by Ezra Klein brings up a good point about residency requirements for elected officials:
Michael Bloomberg is considered a pretty good big-city mayor. He’s got a good staff around him, and a lot of experience working with city bureaucracy, and an apparent zest for the job. Maybe, after he gets term-limited out in New York, he’d like to continue being a big-city mayor. And maybe Chicagoans would be interested in having him be a pretty good big-city mayor in Chicago. Why should there be a rule against him running in the election? It’d obviously be fair for Chicagoans to decide against electing a New Yorker to lead Chicago, but why should there be a rule on the books denying them the option? What’s the nightmare scenario here? A Californian?
There’s obvious hurdles for say the former mayor of New York to run for the same position in LA but shouldn’t the people decide who they want in office? As time goes on I’m becoming less and less enthused about electoral rules designed to protect the people from themselves. The 22nd amendment? Eh fuck it, bring back Billy C. Mayor Bloomberg wants to run for Governor of California? Good, hopefully someone can figure out how to run that state the right way.
If the free market really works as well as some people allege, then the free market of individual talents only makes sense. If wall street firms can lure successful CEO’s away from other companies, shouldn’t voters be able to make the same choice?