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Mitch Perry Report for 12.3.15 — Rahm Emanuel and Chicago are stuck with each other

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

While the news is all about the latest gun shooting in San Bernadino today, let’s focus here on another death that’s been in the news a lot in the past couple of weeks: that being of Laquan McDonald, the black teenager killed by a white Chicago police officer a year ago.

In between her campaign and fundraising efforts here in Florida yesterday, Hillary Clinton said she wants a federal investigation about McDonald’s death, putting her directly at odds with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former key aide to Bill Clinton.

The recently released video of McDonald being shot 16 times by a police officer in October of last year has sparked outrage and led activists and others to call for the resignations of Emanuel and Garry McCarthy, the Chicago police commissioner. Emanuel canned McCarthy last week, but says he isn’t going anywhere, telling Politico’s Mike Allen yesterday that “we have a process called the election. The voters spoke. I’ll be held accountable for the decisions and actions that I make.”

The reason why people want Rahm to step down is that there’s a legitimate question regarding whether evidence was suppressed by the Chicago Police Department, specifically that damning videotape, which Chicago police had possessed for most of this year. As Emanuel faced re-election earlier this year, the electorate’s mood had already changed significantly since 2011, when he was initially elected. Rahm had to survive a tough runoff against the previously relatively undistinguished Jesus “Chuy” Garcia last April. So it’s hardly controversial for Mrs. Clinton to call on the feds to investigate, since Chicago has shown itself utterly incapable of being direct and honest with its citizenry.

By the way, did you see the interview that Allen and Emanuel had yesterday? To say it was “tense” would be an understatement. You can watch here Rahm freaking out when Allen blurted out that Emanuel plans on taking the family to Cuba for Christmas vacation.

Forget about impeaching or recalling him. Like Florida, Illinois has no such laws that would allow that to happen.

Rahm still has 3.5 years to run Chicago, the nation’s third largest city. Good luck to him, and more importantly, the citizens of Chicago.

In other news …

Kathy Castor has become the latest Democrat to call on Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan to call off upcoming hearings investigating Planned Parenthood, days after the shootings at a Colorado Springs PP facility.

Legislation that would regulate fracking in Florida advanced in the state House of Representatives yesterday, despite the fact that nearly every public speaker denounced the idea of it.

Pinellas County voters may remember the name of retired brigadier general Mark Bircher, who ran finished third in the Republican primary for the CD 13 seat in the winter of 2014, behind David Jolly and Kathleen Peters. Bircher becomes the only Republican to enter the contest to date.

Hillsborough County Commissioners gave the go-ahead in backing the official effort to try to persuade the NFL owners to choose Tampa as a place to host a Super Bowl in 2019 or 2020.

Charlie Crist is psyched after hearing the Florida Supreme Court affirm Circuit Judge Terry Lewis selection of a new congressional map, including in CD 13.

And it was quite a public discussion on Tuesday night in Tampa, as the Hillsborough County Charter Review Board heard LGBT supporters and opponents, as they came together to oppose putting a human rights ordinance including the LGBT community on the 2016 ballot.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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