Alderman-elect Ameya Pawar (47th) is throwing a fundraiser next on Monday May 16, and judging from the invites, he might raise more money in one night than he did during his whole 2011 campaign.
Headlined by a crew of local politicos who endorsed “the other guy” last February, including former Comptroller Dan Hynes and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, Pawar’s invites also show that he has engaged a professional fundraiser, Claire Manois. Manois has led finance efforts for a number of Illinois Congressional races as well as for Ald.-Elect Will Burns (4th).
Tickets are $100 a piece, but you’re also invited to be a $1,500 sponsor, which will underwrite, “the salary of a staffer providing constituent services for two weeks.” Although the event benefits Pawar’s political committee, Friends of Ameya Pawar, he pledged during the campaign to not raise campaign funds. Thus, his invitations remind, “Every dollar you contribute will be used to either hire additional staff, fund community programs and projects and/or offset office expenses.”
As a freshman alderman, Pawar has to come up with funds to build out a new office space, get office equipment and set up a new constituent service team. The city will not pay for anything until Pawar is sworn in and although it will pay for a ward office, the city procurement office is notoriously slow to pay rent. To fill the gap, many aldermen use their campaign funds for these sorts of activities, since it allows them to assign whatever duties they like to non-city staffers, including campaign work.