Pat Quinn Pushing for Mayoral Term Limits, Elected Consumer Advocate

Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is back in the spotlight and campaigning, but not for a political office – or so he says.

Quinn, who made a name for himself as a political gadfly, is pushing a new populist agenda he calls Take Charge Chicago, which calls for a two-term limit on Chicago’s mayor and the creation of a citywide elected consumer advocate. He is expected to head to City Hall on Wednesday to collect petition signatures to put his binding referendums on the November ballot. He will need at least 53,000 signatures before an Aug. 8 deadline, which he says could be a challenge.

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The Take Charge Chicago campaign says in a statement that Wednesday’s signature drive at City Hall is aimed toward “beleaguered Chicago homeowners” who are being hit by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s record high $543 million property tax hike to help pay pensions for police officers and firefighters.

“Ben Franklin once said death and taxes were inevitable, but he never said it’s inevitable to be taxed to death,” Quinn said in a statement. “This tax hike on the backs of everyday people in Chicago underlines the need for mayoral term limits and a full-time Consumer Advocate for taxpayers.”

Quinn argues other major U.S. cities, like Los Angeles and New York, have term limits. He also says term limits will help bring new faces and fresh perspectives to the mayor’s office.

Quinn’s other proposal would replace the mayoral-appointed commissioner for the department of business affairs with an elected consumer advocate watchdog.

Host Carol Marin talks with Quinn about his proposals, whether or not he has his eye set on a political comeback, and what he thinks of the stopgap budget approved last week by state lawmakers. 

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