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April Fool's Day: Rahm wants to "learn more about himself," seeks City Hall documents

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel's press office is marking April Fool's Day with a funny release, a fake announcement that Emanuel filed a Freedom of Information Act for documents to "learn more about himself."

The release, written by Emanuel's City Hall press office, cleverly mocks Emanuel on several fronts: his incessant brags on job creation, his constant use of the F word and the resistance of City Hall to grant some FOIA requests from reporters.

The Emanuel press office even mocks its penchant for repackaging old announcements and calling it news, saying at the end of the faux release that the announcement of the plan for Emanuel to FOIA himself was first made two weeks ago.

"Thought we'd have a little fun on April Fool's Day," Emanuel communications chief Sarah Hamilton told me Sunday morning.

With heavy doses of self-deprecation--the best form of political humor--the release stated, "Emanuel's administration said this is the first time a Mayor has ever FOIA'd himself, and this is the largest self-FOIA in city history. Given the scope of the documents, the FOIA response will create up to 500 jobs.

"According to Emanuel, "It's a new me. The only four-letter F-word I use now is 'FOIA.'"

Below, the Emanuel April Fool's Release....

UNDER STRICT EMBARGO UNTIL ANYTIME on APRIL 1, 2012

EMANUEL FOIAs SELF
Mayor is "Very Interested in Learning More"

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that he has filed a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to learn more about himself, a topic that he considers to be extremely relevant and interesting to Chicagoans.

"I look forward to receiving a response from the City of Chicago within the five business days prescribed by law," Emanuel said. "I have cleared my schedule for next weekend and look forward to doing a deep dive into the documents. I plan to learn everything I can about myself, and I believe I will enjoy this greatly."

Emanuel's administration said this is the first time a Mayor has ever FOIA'd himself, and this is the largest self-FOIA in city history. Given the scope of the documents, the FOIA response will create up to 500 jobs.

According to Emanuel, "It's a new me. The only four-letter F-word I use now is 'FOIA.'"

"I've Google'd myself before," Emanuel said. "Who hasn't? Other than Rick Santorum. I Google'd myself while I was riding the Brown Line to work this morning. But I consider Googling myself a down-payment on what I'm going to do now."

Emanuel hopes to receive emails, phone records, pictures, text messages, holiday cards, lunch receipts, discarded chewing gum, autographed photos of Ald. Ameya Pawar, and other documents.

The Mayoral self-FOIA was met with widespread acclaim from the city's transparency leadership.

"The Better Government Association fully supports Mayor Emanuel in this objective, and we have committed to FOIA'ing the Mayor's FOIA immediately," said Andy Shaw, of the Better Government Association.

There was no indication from Emanuel's staff as to how the new findings would be used, if the FOIA is even approved. The Mayor's plan to FOIA himself was previously announced by the Mayor two weeks ago.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 1, 2012 10:06 AM.

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