Hoffman opponent says politicians put personal priorities over people
Doug Jameson of Belleville sees some clear facts coming out of the sex scandal in Springfield.
“(House Speaker Michael) Madigan (D-Chicago) didn’t see it as a priority,” Jameson, who is running for state representative in the 113th District, told the Metro East Sun regarding reports that the legislative inspector general position responsible for investigating alleged ethics violations in Springfield languished unfilled for nearly three years.
In that time, at least two dozen complaints of sexual harassment went unchecked.
“The reason I and so many others are frustrated with state legislators is they don’t have a compatible list of priorities with voters, and this is another example of that,” Jameson said. “Leaders had an obligation to fill that position.”
State lawmakers named attorney Julie Porter to the post on Nov. 4, around the same time that Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) introduced legislation to install a hotline as an added channel for handling all such complaints.
Durkin, the House Republican leader, touted his proposed legislation as creating a “safe outlet” for victims in need of counseling, protective services or assistance at any point in the process of filing a complaint.
After Madigan introduced legislation mandating sensitivity training for all lawmakers, political activist Denise Rotheimer told the General Assembly of alleged harassment by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) a year ago. He has since resigned from the Democratic leadership team.
Jameson is running for the seat held by Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea). In early November, he resigned as chairman of the St. Clair County Republican Committee to be able to dedicate more time to his campaign.
“The No. 1 thing that needs to happen is we get Madigan out and get a new speaker,” he said. “Responsible oversight in Springfield has been eroding going all the way back to the days of (Gov. Rod) Blagojevich. When you remove those in a position to audit, less and less will be detected.”
A retired Army veteran, Jameson said he’s not opposed to the idea of a hotline, but stressed that there must be someone there to answer the call.
“Structure is everything,” he said. “There absolutely has to be discipline.”
The 113th House District spans all or parts of Belleville, Swansea, Fairview Heights and parts of Washington Park, Fairmont City, Caseyville, Madison and Granite City.