Ald. Ameya Pawar , a Democratic candidate for governor, said he’s willing to discuss term limits for state officials but doesn’t think the debate is worth holding up a state budget.
Pawar limited himself as an alderman to two terms, and he's serving in his second now. In speaking on WGN-AM 720, when asked if he thought Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner had done anything correctly, Pawar voiced support for term limits for governor and legislative leaders.
“But we need to also then discuss if we want term limits for rank-and-file legislators. Do we want powerful politicians that we elect or do we want powerful bureaucrats?” Pawar asked.
“It’s not a panacea. It’s certainly not a panacea that creates new jobs. It’s a political move. It’s a public policy change — one that’s worth debate— but certainly not one that’s worth holding up a budget over,” he said.
Rauner has made term limits on Illinois politicians among the issues he has viewed as a prerequisite for his support for raising taxes as part of resolving the state’s historic budget impasse.
The Northwest Side alderman has modeled his progressive agenda on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Great Depression-era economic and social programs known as the New Deal.
“Automation and trade have gutted lots of local economies, and we need to talk about that. And we can’t let another generation of people wither on a vine and expect them to hear Democrats and expect them to vote for Democrats,” Pawar said.
“It’s my job to go out and talk to everybody. I’m going to go to every county in the state, all 102, and go have a conversation whether they’re red counties or blue counties,” he said. “I don’t believe you write people off based on who they voted for in the last election. And as the leader for the entire state, you don’t pit people against one another. You go and hear them out and make decisions to invest in communities and bring them together.”
Pawar acknowledged the wealth of businessman Chris Kennedy, who has entered the race, and potential candidate J.B. Pritzker, who has launched an exploratory committee. But he said it was more important to have foot soldiers. The alderman said he plans on largely raising small donations while fielding volunteer supporters. He said he has volunteers committed in 61 counties across Illinois.
Pawar has raised $71,310 in his campaign fund for governor, including $40,300 deposited Friday, state campaign disclosure reports showed. (Rick Pearson)
What's on tap
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel's schedule wasn't available.
*Gov. Rauner is scheduled to appear at Atlas Tool Works in Lyons in the early afternoon and at the Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism in the evening.
*Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza will appear before the City Club of Chicago.
*Spring has sprung.
From the notebook
*Hoop dreams: The University of Illinois isn’t in the big tourney, but it is part of the hoops field in the National Invitational Tournament.
The Fighting Illini play Monday night at home against the Boise State Broncos .
Of political note, the president of Boise State is Robert Kustra, a former state lawmaker and Illinois lieutenant governor under Gov. Jim Edgar. Kustra, by the way, has a doctorate from the University of Illinois.
The Kustras will be cheering their team on from Idaho. (Rick Pearson)
*The Sunday Spin: On this week's show, Chicago Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson's guests were Mike Gelatka of the Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association, Democratic governor candidate Ald. Ameya Pawar, and Tribune reporter Hal Dardick. Listen to the full show here.
What we're writing
*State Sen. Daniel Biss expected to announce Democratic governor bid Monday.
*Rauner asks state Supreme Court to get involved in fight with union.
*Emanuel challenges Trump budget proposal on its values, priorities.
*City tabs overtime costs for Cubs playoff run at $19.3 million.
*Durbin, Davis to introduce anti-violence bill to address childhood trauma.
*Emanuel names new leader for City Colleges of Chicago.
*Congressman calls for 'transparent' investigation of train derailment.
*Protesters gather for rally at Daley Plaza to spotlight immigrant issues.
What we're reading
*'Biking while black': Chicago minority areas see the most bike tickets.
*As aging anchors retire, Chicago stations hope viewers stay for familiar faces.
*Sarcastic Chris Collins on NCAA apology: 'It makes me feel great.'
*RIP Chuck Berry and Jimmy Breslin.
Follow the money
*The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform gives its weekly campaign donation update, including an ongoing look at the big-money mayoral races.
*Here are the contributions to Ald. Pawar mentioned in our lead item.
*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.
*Confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch start Monday.
*The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says documents show no evidence of Trump Tower wiretapping.
*Health care changes and Medicaid in the Midwest.
*West Mosul battle looks to be deadliest yet for Iraqis.