Silverstein campaign donation might be all for show, Jameson says
Doug Jameson wonders if the Democratic Victory Fund moving to contribute more than $55,000 to the re-election campaign of beleaguered state Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) might be all for show.
“You have to wonder if they would have done the same thing and sent such a large donation if not for the circumstances,” Jameson told the Metro East Sun. “This kind of puts an exclamation point on the message they seem to be trying to send about their candidate.”
The organization’s decision to support Silverstein comes as he continues to be dogged by allegations of sexual harassment.
The allegations by longtime local activist Denise Rotheimer became public in October, when the legislative inspector general post, which handles such investigations, was entering its third year of being vacant, during which time 27 allegations of harassment reportedly languished uninvestigated.
Since then, Julie Porter has been appointed to the post and she recently concluded that Silverstein did not commit sexual harassment, but that he did violate the section of the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act known as the legislative code of conduct. She recommended that he receive counseling from the Senate’s ethics officer.
What some have called a slap on the wrist is apparently enough to put Silverstein back in the good graces of some party leaders.
While Jameson stresses he doesn’t condone sexual harassment on any level, he adds there has to be due process for anyone charged in such an instance.
“The inspector general looked at the Silverstein case and made a ruling,” Jameson, a Belleville Republican running for the seat held by Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) in the 113th District, said. “We have to trust those put in the position to investigate. Right now, the political environment is very circumspect in that mere allegations can easily end a career.”
As for his own campaign, Jameson said he remains cautiously optimistic, given all the resources his opponent has had at his disposal to use against him.
A longtime member of the U.S. Army, Jameson said he has recently had conversations with many voters about the ongoing gun debate now sweeping the country.
“I just think a lot of what’s been proposed would be taking away more of people’s freedoms,” he said of the push to raising the legal age for buying a gun from 18 to 21. “I was 17 when I joined the Army and they put a gun in my hands,” he added. “Anytime we start to erode the freedoms of people I think we should be concerned.”
The 113th House District includes all or parts of Belleville, Swansea, Fairview Heights, Washington Park, Fairmont City, Caseyville, Madison and Granite City.