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Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 09:34 am

Moving on up

Dick Durbin a Chicagoan?

Sen. Dick Durbin, speaking at an event in Springfield.
Photo by Patrick Yeagle


We don’t mean to criticize, but Chicago magazine’s just-published list of the 50 most-influential Chicagoans has us a bit baffled.

Ranked Number 25 is U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, who we always thought lived in Springfield, given the number of times he has held Sunday press conferences outside his house near Washington Park on slow news days. Durbin has made the list for four consecutive years.

Then there is Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is ranked number eight. To be fair, Rauner does, reportedly, have a luxury penthouse inside the city limits, but he also has eight other homes throughout the U.S., including a house in Winnetka that was reported as his primary residence before he was elected governor and made a big deal about moving into the governor’s mansion – in Springfield. Then there’s filmmaker George Lucas, number 20 on the list. Lucas appears to have a fondness for the Windy City, given that he has said that he wants to build a museum there, but he lives in California, according to multiple sources, including Forbes magazine.

Chicago magazine, which informed sources say is based in Chicago, doesn’t say just what criteria it used to determine whether someone is a Chicagoan. Perhaps all it takes is the ability to vote in Chicago, which would surely throw the doors wide open. Maybe being a Bears fan is enough. What if you once had a layover at O’Hare? Perhaps “Chicagoan” is a synonym for “Citizen Of The World.” Who knows? But we do find it interesting that Barack Obama, whose second home is smack in the middle of the city, didn’t make the list.

The magazine in 2012 explained that it omitted Obama from the list that year because his primary residence wasn’t in the Windy City.

“Our only requirement was that the listees’ primary residence be in the Chicago area and that they spend a significant amount of time here,” the magazine explained four years ago, back when the list included 100 names instead of just 50, suggesting that finding folks with clout might not be as easy as it once was.

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.

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