Credit: AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Dear Aldermanic Runoff Candidate:

In his quest for a wise, independent city council, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel is surveying runoff candidates on their knowledge of city government and pressing Chicago issues. We seek only your frank responses. After the Mayor-elect reviews them, one candidate in each of the 14 races will receive a large, no-strings-attached campaign check from Mr. Emanuel or one of his subsidiaries.

1. The main role of an alderman is

a. faithfully representing his ward and city

b. forming coalitions to build council power

c. cutting ribbons

2. Outspoken aldermen are

a. essential to a city’s healthy functioning

b. a vital constraint on mayoral power

c. replaceable

3. Alderman Ed Burke should

a. retain his chairmanship of the finance committee

b. lose finance, but be given the chairmanship of alley potholes and viaduct lighting

c. be remapped out of the city

d. be remapped out of the country

4. I believe in

a. a strong council/weak mayor

b. a council and mayor sharing power equally

c. a strong mayor/weak council

d. a Rahmocracy

5. True or False: The doctrine of home rule authorizes the buildings department to immediately evict any tenant from the home of any Mayor-elect.

6. My favorite book is

a. The Autobiography of Malcolm X

b. Profiles in Courage

c. Robert’s Rules of Order

d. Green Eggs and Ham

7. I would support a proposal to

a. extend Hollywood Avenue to the south side

b. rename State Street “Paramount Pictures Lane”

c. rename Madison Street “20th Century Fox Drive”

d. all of the above

8. Mayoral appointments should require the approval of

a. a council majority

b. the mayor

c. the mayor plus one member of his family

9. My favorite bird is the

a. eagle

b. hawk

c. owl

d. parrot

10. On a scale of one to five, the Mayor-elect’s plan to privatize Lake Michigan is

a. four

b. five

c. terrific

11. Before voting on a proposed ordinance, an alderman should

a. study it carefully

b. poll his constituents

c. look for a wink

12. Which of these statements best expresses your thinking?

a. I look forward to a cordial relationship with the Mayor.

b. I’m eager to work with the Mayor.

c. I can’t fucking wait to work with the Mayor.

13. How do you feel about more transparency in government?

a. It is essential to winning the trust of citizens.

b. It can help minimize corruption.

c. I just can’t see it.

14. Which saying reflects your philosophy?

a. If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.

b. Knowledge is power.

c. Father knows best.

15. The city budget

a. is the key to understanding how the city works

b. should be studied carefully by every alderman

c. has way too many figures for me

16. Which of these principles is most important?

a. TEAM means Together Everyone Achieves More.

b. There’s no I in team.

c. There’s no we in Rahm.

Thank you for your time and frank responses. The Mayor-elect wishes you luck in your pursuit of a seat in the new, independent city council. Survey winners will receive their no-strings-attached campaign check by mail, along with a brief loyalty oath.