For many candidates running for political office, a campaign is such a consuming endeavor that there's little room in life for anything else. Yet one candidate for Chicago alderman is finding the time these days to spearhead a grass roots push to get Rahm Emanuel off the ballot.
Martavius "Mark" Carter, a self-billed West Side activist, and one of 23 candidates running for alderman of the 24th Ward, sent out a noteworthy text message Saturday, which was obtained by NBC Chicago.
"If u wud lik us2 sho u how2 file an anti-r. emanuel 4mayor object.(on no residency)call 7737074900 we need 1000 pple.he must b stopped."
"If I'm running for alderman, then I have to speak out against anything that's not right," said Carter. "He (Emanuel) shouldn't be able to rewrite the rules."
Carter estimated he sent out 500 texts Saturday, but could not calculate how many people, because of his text blitz, will eventually file a petition to officially object to Emanuel's candidacy.
"We got a bunch of them coming. It's going to be a big surprise for [Emanuel]."
The Emanuel Campaign declined to comment on this latest effort to get Emanuel off the mayoral ballot on the basis of his residency. On Friday, longtime election attorney Burt Odelson filed objections on behalf of two Chicagoans , contending Emanuel, while living in Washington, D.C. as President Obama's Chief of Staff, did not meet the residency requirement mandating that candidates live in the city for a year before the February 22 election.
The Emanuel Campaign has characterized the Odelson challenge as baseless. It's suggested that Emanuel left Chicago temporarily and that his absence was solely for the purpose of serving national interests.
Carter made news last month when the Cook County State's Attorney named him as "Individual F" in the criminal complaint against Carla Oglesby, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. The complaint alleges that Oglesby illegally steered a county contract to a company apparently owned by Carter that may have been unregistered with the state at the time it got the contract.
The contract was just under $25,000, which used to be the dollar amount requiring County Board approval. Carter has denied any wrongdoing.
As of Friday, 14 Chicagoans have filed residency objections against Emanuel with the Chicago Board of Elections. Residents have until Tuesday to challenge a candidate's nominating petitions.