Letters to the Editor 12/23/10
Drive-up liquor, getting published and Rahm Emanuel
Have you ever wondered why Springfield is the only major city (pop. over 100,000) in the State of Illinois that still allows drive-up liquor window sales? Or how about the fact that someone who’s driving on a revoked driver’s license can still legally purchase liquor at a drive-up window? In other words, if “Bud B. Wiser” can maneuver his vehicle up to the window and the clerk asks to see an I.D. and Bud hands the clerk a non-driving state I.D., (because his license has been revoked for three previous DUIs), the clerk can still legally sell Mr. Wiser alcohol even though he/she can clearly see that Bud is driving illegally.
This is the time of year when it seems like every other commercial on the radio is a plea from alcohol distributors for people to “drink responsibly” and to not drink and drive. So why hasn’t there ever been a commercial that asks those who sell alcohol to “please sell alcohol responsibly” or to not sell alcohol to people who are driving? I’d like to send a big “congratulations” to the members of the Sangamon County Board who had the wisdom and courage to act responsibly and reject a proposal for a new drive-through liquor window store.
Now if only the board would adopt the ordinance Alderman Sam Cahnman got passed on the city council, which bans any new drive-ups from opening in Springfield.
UNPUBLISHED DON’T PERISH
Concerning your recent book issue [“Illinois books,” Dec. 16], please don’t think that those who are lucky enough to get published are also the only ones producing important and valuable works. Some of us have found no publisher but are writing interesting manuscripts that deserve to be read by a larger audience, and it would be nice if Illinois Times found a way to encourage this. I, for one, have been submitting letters to publishers for four years but that hasn’t stopped me from writing.
Timothy A. Carroll
The fight over whether Rahm Emanuel meets the one-year residency requirement to run for mayor of Chicago is great political theater, but a tremendous waste of resources haggling over an antiquated law that disenfrachises voters, serves no public purpose and should be repealed or struck down.
Why should Chicago voters be deprived of the right to vote for or against Emanuel based on his qualifications and positions? Why not leave it up to the voters to decide at the Feb. 22 election whether to reject Emanuel because he hasn’t resided in the city long enough, or to elect him because they think he’ll do the best job as mayor?
In my senior year at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana I filed petitions to run for alderman in Urbana. Five months earlier I had moved about a mile, from Champaign to Urbana. I was tossed off the balllot under the same law objectors are using to challenge Emanuel’s candidacy. I took my case to the Illinois Appellate Court in Springfield, which upheld the law because in the court’s opinion the state had a “compelling state interest...in affording voters the opportunity to evaluate prospective candidates” and “in affording the voters the opportunity to select...candidates who possess at least a minimal level of familiarity with issues that affect their constituencies.” (Cahnman v. Eckerty, 40 Ill.App.3d 180, 351 N.E.2d 580 (4th Dist.1978)).
If the objections to Emanuel’s candidacy are upheld, the courts should strike down this law as an unconstitutional violation of the Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions. If the Chicago Electoral Board leaves Emanuel on the ballot, the legislature should repeal this law, which may have made sense in the horse and buggy era, but certainly not in the instant communication world we live in today.
Alderman, City of Springfield