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Ex Gov. Pat Quinn Pushes For Chicago Mayoral Term Limits

By aaroncynic in News on Jun 15, 2016 9:29PM

Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn speaks at a voter registration drive at Union Park in 2015. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn kicked off a petition drive this week to impose term limits on the mayor of Chicago, as well as one which would provide for the election of a “Consumer Advocate,” who would “ represent the city’s beleaguered consumers and taxpayers.”

“The office of Chicago Mayor belongs to the people of Chicago, and our referendum to put term limits on the mayor will open the doors of City Hall and let the people in,” Quinn said in a press release. “The people should tell the Mayor what the rules are, instead of the Mayor telling us.”

If successful, the petitions would put two binding referendums on the Nov. 8 ballot. If passed, the measures would automatic effect for the 2019 mayoral election. Quinn said that the petitions, being promoted under the banner of a group called “Take Charge Chicago,” both have precedent, and that Chicago mayors "enjoy unusual power over the legislative branch."

“Unlike the chief executives of our nation and state, the Chicago Mayor appoints City Council Committee Chairs, runs City Council meetings and fills aldermanic vacancies,” reads the website. “This added power requires the added check of term limits to restore balance in City Hall.”

The elected Consumer Advocate would replace the current position of Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection—an appointed one. The advocate would be charged with “promoting a healthful environment, “protecting Chicago taxpayers and consumers from unfairness and inequality,” and monitoring FOIA request compliance. The salary would be slightly less than that of the Commissioner, at $133,545 a year.

Quinn also took some shots at Gov. Bruce Rauner, who defeated him in the 2014 election cycle. “When I left the Governor’s office the unemployment rate had declined or been stable for 25 straight months,” Quinn told the Big John Howell Show on WLS. “Now we have six straight months of unemployment going up and an unbalanced budget with deficit spending galore. It’s not good.”