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Emanuel Huffs, Puffs (May Have Threatened to Burn Legislator's House Down)

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Sep 20, 2011 9:00PM

Photo by Flickr user ~ cynthiak ~.

Despite putting a concerted effort to prove otherwise since being elected Mayor, Rahm Emanuel has been known to have a feisty temper and a foul mouth. Given some of Emanuel's recent behaviors, it's hard to just write it off as some kind of urban legend.

During a discussion about pensions for city workers, Emanuel allegedly began swearing at Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris and threatened to burn his house down if he didn't change his position on the legislation. The Tribune writes:

Harris didn't dispute the story but declined to provide details of the conversation.

"It was a really heated exchange, but that's fine, that's politics," Harris said. "People are passionate about their positions, and sometimes things get intense. … I also have a temper, and I know bad words too."

A couple of weeks ago, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said Emanuel got in her face during a private meeting, in an attempt to change her mind about extending the school days for Chicago Public schools. She said he "exploded, used profanity, pointed his finger in my face and yelled. At that point the conversation was over.

Earlier this year, NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern asked Emanuel about his decision to send his children to a private school, a question asked of any politician who makes that decision. While Emanuel didn't threaten her, he did respond angrily and walked out of the recorded interview, which you can view below.

Back in March, Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote, "When will Mount Rahm blow? Never." He said Emanuel's temper is a myth. Also in March, Chicago Magazine's Whet Moser said Emanuel's "Sicilian messages" are probably over. Moser said it's not likely Emanuel would be sending dead fishes to lawmakers or stabbing a table to demonstrate how to deal with those who disagree with him.

So have rumors of Rahm's temper have been greatly exaggerated? Emanuel was a good sport about the @mayoremanuel account that spoofed his foul mouth. He even signed Dan Sinker's book, "You are an asshole." Here is video of Emanuel's exchange with Ahern.

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