Now that Rahm Emanuel’s residency is being challenged, we thought we’d compare to other unwelcome visitors to Chicago: specifically, the invasive species occupying Lake Michigan. Here’s a rundown of how Emanuel compares to the round goby, the Zebra mussel and the Asian carp.
The round goby originated in the Black Sea and arrived in the Great Lakes by stowing away in the ballast water of oceangoing ships. The short, chubby fish is an irritant to anglers in Lake View, often ending up on the end of hooks baited for perch. If you catch a goby, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources recommends you stomp it to death.
Rahm Emanuel originated in Israel and arrived on the shores of the Great Lakes by stowing away in his mother’s womb. The short, slender congressman was an irritant to commuters in Lake View, approaching them at L stops and asking for their vote. If you see Rahm Emanuel, do not stomp him to death. The Illinois Department of Corrections would not recommend that.
The zebra mussel is a tiny, hard-shelled organism that has made itself a nuisance by attaching itself to boat hulls and water intake pipes. Once there, it is almost impossible to pry off. This mussel is incredibly fecund: females produce anywhere from 30,000 to one million eggs per year.
Rahm Emanuel is a tiny, hard-assed organism who has made himself a nuisance by attaching himself to more powerful politicians: Richard M. Daley, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Once he gets your cell phone number, Emanuel is almost impossible to pry off your ear. As a fundraiser, he is incredibly productive, demanding anywhere from $30,000 to $1 million per donor.
The Asian carp was imported from China to be raised for food, then escaped from fish farms into the Mississippi River. Its approach to Lake Michigan has caused a panic, with commercial fishermen suggesting it could kill off better-tasting fishing by scarfing up all the food supply. Environmentalists have suggested closing off the Great Lakes to keep the carp out. Wildlife officials constructed an electric fence to stop the carp, but the fish has been spotted in Calumet Harbor.
Emanuel’s support of free trade agreements exported jobs to China, which was not considered a fair trade for the Asian carp. The ex-Chief of Staff’s approach to Lake Michigan caused a panic, with commentators suggesting he could kill off better-qualified candidates by scarfing up the money supply. Emanuel’s tenant tried to keep him out of Chicago by refusing to break his lease, but Emanuel slipped through that barrier, and has spotted near the corner of Milwaukee and Ogden.
So far, no invasive species has ever been expelled from the Great Lakes. That’s bad news for those challenging Emanuel’s residency -- and for the other mayoral candidates.