Democratic Party Candidates for Illinois Governor: Paterakis & Pawar

Written by John Biver

Last time we discussed Democratic Party declared gubernatorial candidates Bob Daiber and Chris Kennedy, before that Daniel Biss. Rounding out those formally in the race at this point are Alex Paterakis and Ameya Pawar.

We noted previously that candidate Daniel Biss is young — but he’s not the youngest candidate in the race. That position is held by Alex Paterakis, born in 1987 — and as we go to press he hasn’t seen his 30th birthday yet.

Born in Skokie, a civil engineer and business owner, Paterakis has no chance of winning the primary. Isn’t it a bit early to make such a prediction you ask? It’s not his age, very limited political experience, or lack of money that dooms his candidacy. Rather, Paterakis is against raising taxes. (LOL.) If that doesn’t sound to you like a Democratic Party candidate, you’re not alone.

That won’t fly for an Illinois Democratic Party governor nominee. In a TV news interview last month, Paterakis spoke about how friends and family members were moving out of the state due to the tax burden — property, sales, and income taxes. As people leave Illinois, he said, the burden increases on those choosing to stay.

His website’s banner reads: “We Can Make Illinois Affordable,” and “Together we can make Illinois prosperous once more.”

Does this sound like a Democratic candidate?:

The people of Illinois deserve better. We must make a fundamental decision. Do we want to continue with “Business as usual” or instead achieve actual reform that will not only creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment, but will make this state a better place for the future generations to come? Do we want to continue the policies that continue to add debt and raise our taxes? These are the most important questions of our time, and how we answer them will determine the future of our state.

That, on his website, is followed by this statement that is likely to cause instant cognitive dissonance among Democratic Party primary voters: “Reduce the crippling Tax Burden on families, freezing any property tax increases.” Then this: “Increase funding to K-12 education and childcare.”

Since both cannot be accomplished together, Paterakis might be giving a hint to how a path might be found to cause such a miracle to take place: “Legalize the sale of Cannabis, with tax revenues funding educational programs.” Forty years ago it was the lottery, now it’s marijuana that will “fix” school funding. And it raises the question — what is he smoking?

“Illinois politics have become synonymous with corrupt politicians,” his website reads, and “he intends to change that.” So there.

Do not think that I am mocking this young man’s campaign. In fact, Republicans and conservatives might find they agree with Alex more than they do any of the other candidates:

Residents of Illinois are frustrated with this State’s growing debt, increasing taxes, and shrinking middle class, yet the current Republicans and Democrats running this state have not provided solutions, only band-aids to these problems.

We need leaders who are looking out for the people of the great state of Illinois. Who will take on complex and challenging problems face on and will not sacrifice the hard earned money of the Illinois tax-payer.

Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller quotes Paterakis saying: “I think people are really reflecting the message, which a lot of Democrats have forgotten, which is the middle class. They lost the middle class to Donald Trump.”

Our next candidate is Chicago Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar — who is a long way from being a household name around the state. On his website’s bio page:

Pawar for the people.
The son of Indian immigrants, Alderman Ameya Pawar was born and raised in Illinois. In 2011, he beat the Chicago machine to become alderman of Chicago’s 47th Ward, the first Asian American in the City Council. In 2015, Ameya was re-elected with 82% of the vote, the largest margin in the city.

His website’s homepage banner is this:

A New Deal For Illinois
It‘s time to grab a clipboard, lace up our boots, and work together to restore progressive values in 2018.

Uh oh. Taxpayers hide your wallets.

What does a “new deal for Illinois” look like? From his website:

EDUCATION: Increase funding to all public schools by eliminating corporate tax loopholes and make millionaires pay their fair share.

CHILDCARE: Provide universal access to childcare and support working families with paid sick leave, fair scheduling practices, parental leave, and a living wage.

JOBS & INFRASTRUCTURE: Create tens of thousands of new middle-class jobs with a New Deal infrastructure program.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: Pass criminal justice reform and refocus resources from prisons to diversion programs, job training and placement, and social and mental health services.

While in reality, Ameya Pawar’s chances of winning the primary are not much higher than Alex Paterakis’ chances. Yet Ameya’s rhetoric warms the heart of Leftist tax eaters from Rockford to Cairo, Illinois.

Pawar deserves credit for having already laid out his positions on his website. Often, candidates prefer to be flexible or mysterious and avoid over-committing. Not Pawar. If you think Illinois is a fiscal disaster now, here’s Pawar:

We have the power to use government as a force for good—if we elect people who believe in the power of government to improve the lives of people in every community across Illinois. That’s why I’m running for Governor.

He’s not afraid of giving his positions on issues ranging from allowing for more Syrian refugees to come to Illinois — to supporting taxpayer supported universal early child care.

Read more:

Part 1: Illinois Democrats Line Up to Run for Governor

Part 2: Democratic Party Candidates for Illinois Governor: Bob Daiber and Chris Kennedy

Part 3: Democratic Party Candidates for Illinois Governor: Paterakis & Pawarac

Up next: A review of J. B. Pritzker and two other potential (as of yet unannounced) candidates — Robin Kelly and Kwame Raoul.

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