Ameya Pawar

Man, what a difference a year makes! Last year Pawar was the golden boy of reform, coming from nowhere without any major endorsements to beat the party candidate on a platform of saying no to TIFs, budget gimmicks, and sales of public assets. He even won the Reader‘s prestigious designation as “Best alderman whose dreams haven’t yet been crushed” in the 2011 Best of Chicago issue. Yet within a few weeks he was one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s most loyal council acolytes, happily voting for each and every one of the mayor’s harebrained schemes, including the infrastructure trust, which the mayor can use to privatize schools, buildings, and public transit lines. What happened to Pawar? There are two theories: one, he never really believed all that reform stuff and was just saying it to get elected; or two, he’s afraid of enraging the mayor, who lives in his ward and presumably calls him day and night to curse him out. Come to think about it, who can blame him?