Ward Room
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Outbursts, Birthers and Disorder at Election Hearing

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Outbursts, Birthers and Disorder at Election Hearing
Outbursts, Birthers and Disorder at Election Hearing

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CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 13: Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel announces his candidacy for mayor of Chicago November 13, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. U.S. Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) and state Senator James Meeks are also expected to declare their candidacies to succeed Mayor Richard Daley today. (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rahm Emanuel

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The first day of hearings over mayoral and aldermanic ballot issues turned out to be a heated event.

Mayoral candidate Jay Stone, son of alderman Berny Stone, was escorted from the hearing after calling for the ouster of Chicago Board of Elections chariman Langdon Neale.

"I challenge you Langdon Neale," screamed Stone.  "You make millions of dollars [through your private law practice]," he said, suggesting some impropriety.   Stone has filed only about 250 signatures for his mayoral bid. 12,500 are needed.

Stone wasn't the only one complaining.

Election lawyer Burt Odelson shared the sentiment, and says he wants Neale removed from ruling on  Emanuel's petitions - because Neale has been speaking out in favor of the mayoral candidate.  Officials will hold pre-hearing on that matter.

Still others requested that the board be shaken up, as a matter of principle.

"You all are not credible" said one Chicagoan, who said at the hearing that he wants all of Chicago Board of Election officers removed.   "We pay you -we're the bosses."

Much of the passion surrounded Rahm Emanuel's residency. Two objectors say they want Emanuel to produce his birth certificate.  He says he was born in Chicago and other's want each of the objections to his residency heard.

Election officials, however, suggested they'd "expedite the hearing"  and try to conslidate the numerous ballot challenges dealing with Emanuel's residency into categories. 

Hearing officer Joseph A. Morris says there are four categories for Emanuel challenges - residency, indebtedness (because he didn't have a motor vehicle sticker), failed to file financial interest as required, and some petition papers are photocopied, not original.  

"I'm prepared to work the weekend to get this donel," Morris said.

There will be a follow up Friday at 11 a.m. here.  Morris says he's just setting up a plan, no evidence today.   Emanuel's attorneys have until tomorrow to file written statements. Odelson, who represents several objectors  says he will have six or seven witnesses. 

Morris says "I will not allow you to call Barack Obama to say Emanuel worked for me - that's a waste of time."  Odelson will have a list of facts both sides can agree to.  Two other attorneys say they have 14 witnesses. 

All indications say that Emanuel will have to testify on his behalf.

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