Rotheimer also said she turned to state Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, for help getting a response to her complaint, but “nothing happened.”
Bush said she was contacted by Rotheimer, who told her that she had been treated in an “inappropriate way” by Silverstein and raised concerns that her complaint was not being taken seriously by Cullerton’s office. Bush said she immediately called Cullerton, who said he was aware of the complaint and already had forwarded the matter and documents provided by Rotheimer to the legislative inspector general.
Bush said after that she did not respond to subsequent calls from Rotheimer because she believed it was inappropriate given it had been referred to the appropriate authorities.
“Any time anybody alleges misconduct, the first thing I am going to do is go to the appropriate authorities. It is not my job to decide,” Bush said.
* Rotheimer shared three documents with reporters. The first (click here) is a letter from the Office of Executive Inspector General telling her the OEIG has no jurisdiction over legislators.
She also shared this complaint she filed…
The first order of business that needs to be established in Springfield is to enact a zero tolerance policy for elected officials who abuse their position of power and require their immediate resignation. I did not deserve to be violated by state Senator Ira I. Silverstein. He sponsored my bill with the intent to degrade me and invade my privacy by messaging me and calling me at midnight–on numerous occasions, by arranging private and personal meetings with me at the park and ice cream parlors, by asking me to be “friendly” and answering personal questions about myself, etc., by telling me he had feelings for me and that I was fun, pretty and very, very attractive, by wanting me to send him pictures of me and telling me that he can’t stop thinking of me, by being mean and hurtful to me on numerous occasions when I tried to talk about the bill, etc. There are nearly 4000 Facebook messages between us since he began “pursuing” me while deceiving me about his motive to support my cause. I told him I would know whether his intent was genuine or not based on the outcome of SB2151. He knew I was committed to this bill and this cause because of all the people who continue to call me and ask for help. All the parents whose children have been raped or murdered and reached out to me and shared their grievances with the system never even scratched the surface of his conscience because his fantasy about me clouted his mind. Liars are master manipulators who betray the trust of those who seek their help with the intent to empower themselves and satisfy their own twisted agenda. Yesterday I filed a complaint with state Senate President John Cullerton on an ethics violation against Senator Silverstein. During the presidential campaign there was a lot of public outcry about Trump’s behavior–I hope the stand that certain elected officials took against Trump’s behavior also stand in support of my complaint. When we mothers whose children have been victims of violent crime and we seek legislative change to prevent other crime victims from becoming further victimized by the system we should not become victimized by any elected official who wants to “play” with us because we “make them smile.”
She also sent a pdf document of their Facebook chats, but said “Please keep the information about any crime victim confidential that are in the fb messages” in her e-mail. So, I’m not linking to the whole thing.
* There is a lot of banter like this…
Ira Silverstein: I will walk behind you and pretend I’m homeless. That way you’ll look good when you give me salami
Denise Rotheimer: great idea and u can then kiss my ring
IS: Oh yes and I will wash your feet
DR: no i have bad feet not many people know that i need a petticure
IS: Do you want me to kiss your toe ring too
DR: how did u know i have a toe ring no one else knows
IS: do u have any tattoos
DR: You’re just that kinda guy. No. Nada on the tattoos
IS: i have one of that lady you love in the attorney generals office
DR: You got a donkey. Where. Your bicep
DR: An ass on your ass. Good one
IS: you finally got one of my jokes not bad for a fake blond
DR: That is too funny
* And this…
DR: I’m in for some kosher food. If you don’t shop for speedos how are you going to buy a new one
IS: i bet you never had kosher food
DR: You lost that bet because I ate at your fundraiser remember. ..
IS: you got me!!!!!!!!! wait a minute that does not count because it is not is a resturant
DR: your the bacon and I’m the egg
IS: bacon is not kosher i am the egg
DR: Wait I meant you’re not your - Mr. correct my grammar whenever you get a chance. Yeah you look more like the egg :)
IS: u r mean
enjoy your popcorn
DR: I knew you would say that. I thought the egg was cute but you think in the negative. Think positive then you wont think of me as mean. Also I ate chocolate ice cream. No popcorn tonight.
IS: ok get fat u need it
DR: I’ll work on it:) by the 2nd I will gain 4 pounds and you will lose 4 pounds. You game?
IS: u r on
how much do you weigh today?
DR: I lost a pound today. I’m skipping the gym. I tried to get up to 115 but I’m stuck at 112. How much do you weigh today?
IS: never ask a man how much he weighs It is like asking a women her age!!!!!!
DR: Come on! How much
IS: no way bring a scale with you to springfield
DR: Are you at least losing like you’re supposed to…since you won’t tell me your weight?
If you tell me I won’t tell, so don’t be shy!!! I told you!!!!!!!!!!
IS: I am shy
DR: Fine. I’ll bring the scale and you bring the corn beef :) since you’re sensitive I won’t make you tell!
IS: deal what kind of bread do you like
DR: Italian. Not rye- yucky. Can you add a banana split to my order
That might - I repeat might - explain the voicemail message from Silverstein about working on her sixpack. But, then again, maybe not.
* And they also talked food and politics during a debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump…
DR: I know you’re a gambling man so if Trump knocks it out of the park during today’s debate you have to buy ice cream after lunch. If Clinton knocks it out of the park I buy the ice cream. Either way I get ice cream :) wanna bet…..
I love ice cream. This will cost u
DR: The ice cream I want is $15
DR: Hillary just threw the first stone. Sign of weakness. I’m going to win!
IS: U r dreaming
DR: No I’m watching :) donald is holding up and being nice! […]
IS: Ok there goes your ice cream
DR: Haha. Bet is still on you can’t back out. Remember your word is your bond :)
she is coming on stronge
IS: i am going to bed i win i heard enough
DR: You’re going to miss the best debate ever. Good night
IS: only kidding
DR: It’s hard to hear about Chicago. He’s right though the blacks are majority victims. Law enforcement and whites keep getting blamed for the actions of the thugs which she propagated and needs to stop.
IS: It is a draw
DR: No pun intended. Glad you’re not taking all this seriously. No one is :)
* The only reference to him pulling support from her bill appears to be a joke, but, remember, he could’ve said that in person, on the phone or whatever…
DR: I respect my elders. After your birthday o can no longer make fun of you
IS: I would not talk at least i do not have grey hair and wrinkes like you
DR: Booya That’s a good one. NOT
IS: insult me one more time and i will remove myself as the sponor of your bill
DR: Ah the threats. You can’t intimidate me silly besides you love the bill as much as me
IS: wait until thursday when u check the status of the bill
* Their last conversation that she shared was from November 28, 2016…
IS: Did u get there
DR: Half way there. At gas station. Figured out Facebook :)
IS: Sorry for blowing up on you
I am just as frustrated as u
DR: Put it on the schedule and let me deal with Fullerton. I just spoke with Rep Greg Harris and Elaine netkoritz at dinner
I will deal with Fullerton
She sent her letter to the OEIG on January 19th. So far, we do not know what happened between those two dates, so I would caution everyone to take a breath and keep an open mind. This ain’t over yet.
Speaker Madigan Passes Harassment Protections through Committee, Announces Creation of Task Force to Recommend Further Changes
CHICAGO – House Speaker Michael J. Madigan outlined a plan to combat sexual harassment in state government Tuesday, passing legislation through a House committee that will require all lawmakers, staff and lobbyists to complete annual harassment training, and announcing the creation of a task force that will study further changes needed to address the problem of workplace harassment in both the public and private sectors.
“Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace. This is particularly true in our Capitol, a building that belongs to every woman and man in Illinois,” Madigan said. “Legislative changes are a critical step, but far from a final step. Ultimately, eliminating sexual harassment will require cultures to change. That’s why in addition to continuing to work with lawmakers and advocates to create the strongest legislation possible, I am forming a task force which will lead a continuing conversation on this topic, and recommend further changes to combat workplace harassment both in our government and in the private sector.”
Madigan’s Senate Bill 402 expands existing sexual harassment protections in the Capitol and legislative offices by requiring all lawmakers, staff and lobbyists to complete annual sexual harassment training, including specific examples of what constitutes harassment. All lobbyists will be further required to prepare and submit sexual harassment policies, like legislators do currently. Madigan’s bill also empowers state inspectors general and ethics commissions to investigate allegations, and assess fines of up to $5,000 for incidents of harassment. The measure received bipartisan support in the House Personnel & Pensions Committee. Senate President John Cullerton, and Republican leaders Jim Durkin and Bill Brady have come out in favor of Madigan’s bill.
Madigan also announced that he will establish a Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment, to be chaired by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie. Listening to input from all stakeholders, the task force will be charged with conducting a comprehensive review of the legal and social consequences of sexual discrimination and harassment in both the public and private sectors, and make actionable recommendations to the General Assembly on changes that will improve reporting of allegations, protect those who report harassment, and prevent sexual discrimination and harassment.
The lack of a legislative inspector general ought to be addressed post haste.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Tony Yuscius at BlueRoomStream.com briefly interviewed Speaker Madigan after today’s hearing. Tony asked Madigan if he feels the issue of sexual harassment has been treated seriously over the years or if it has been glossed over…
I think that historically there have been deficiencies. I know in my office, the Office of the Speaker, we’ve been very aggressive on matters such as this. If we can do better, that’s what we’re going to do. And that’s the commitment we made today and that’s the commitment that we’re making in this legislation. If we can do better, that’s what we’re going to do.
“There were instances where complaints were filed with the ethics officer, people including legislators were called in and told ‘You better knock it off because we won’t tolerate it in the Office of the Speaker,” Madigan said.
But will the new legislation change a “knock it off” culture?
“You’re going to have it in statute, mandatory training. You’ll have it in the statute that the matter is subject to fine,” Madigan said.
And his advice to legislators who perhaps thought they could get away with harassment: “Better knock it off because you’re going to get in big trouble. And you can ask a member of the Senate that question,” the speaker said.
Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) supports Representative Jeanne Ives in her primary challenge to displace Rauner as the Republican candidate for Governor of Illinois.
Rauner has failed as a leader, both as Governor and head of the Illinois Republican Party.
His list of failures as Governor include owning the massive 32% tax hike, which from my perspective, he didn’t raise a finger to stop and contained not a single reform; over $30 Million that will be spent on Medicaid abortions; a backlog of bills that grew to and continues to be over $16B; lack of a budget for two years that forced us to spend billions more than we had; and making Illinois a sanctuary state, just like Chicago is a sanctuary city. His revolving office door of staffers hired and fired could be used for wind power for as often as it turns.
As the leader of the Republican Party, he’s divided it–we can’t even find candidates. Rauner’s GOP couldn’t field candidates for Treasurer or Comptroller–Republicans used to hold those offices. If he is successful in winning the primary, Illinois Republicans will be decimated come November 2018.
* Meanwhile, I told subscribers yesterday that Ives was still passing petitions to run for reelection. She told Illinois Public Radio that others are passing the petitions, but she’s running for governor…
Mackey: Are you still also circulating petitions for your House seat?
Ives: I am not personally circulating petitions. I don’t know if they’re still out there among the committeemen, and they may still be getting signatures for that race as well. I do have the minimum, but I’m not circulating those now. We’re focused on this governor race and getting on the ballot.
Mackey: OK, well that — I guess that is my main question: Are you, with certainty, not running for the House again?
Ives: Yeah, as far as I know, I am not running for the House again.
So, the question for all Republicans now is: Who are you backing for governor in the GOP primary?
*** UPDATE *** The DGA trolls Rauner…
Over the weekend, Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton announced she would begin passing petitions to challenge Governor Bruce Rauner in the Republican primary, just days after Rauner officially announced his reelection bid. In her first few interviews, Rep. Ives went right after one of Rauner’s biggest weaknesses – his aversion to telling the truth. Rep. Ives jumped right in:
“He’s failed the integrity test. No one in the legislature believes a word he says.”(Link)
“Meanwhile, Gov. Rauner’s going to spend a lot of his money to convince people that he’s somebody who he isn’t.” (Link)
(On HB40) “That’s not being honest with folks, especially when you told people you were going to veto it.” (Link)
“Top political leaders have lied to the people about who they are and what they are going to do - and they continue to make promises we cannot keep.” (Link)
One of the main drivers of a primary challenge came when Rauner was caught trying to play both sides of the abortion debate. Republicans are angry that Rauner lied to them this spring when he promised to veto HB40. (Even the Cardinal got involved!)
Rauner’s pertinence for spreading falsehoods has already been a factor outside of the primary. For weeks Rauner ran a television ad that took credit for the state’s new education bill, despite the fact he vetoed it and ran his own ads against it. And who could forget the fact that Rauner lied about his grandfather’s place of birth. Or whether he interviewed his then-new bodyman who was quickly fired for inappropriate tweets.
Perhaps Rauner’s biggest lie is that he deserves reelection.
“Bruce Rauner will spin as many tales as possible about his record but the truth is that he failed the people of Illinois,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “During the general and primary, Rauner will have to answer for the continued loss of people and jobs, increased debt, and failure over two-years to pass a budget. Rauner promised a turnaround, but Illinois is only getting worse under this failed leadership.”
* Denise Rotheimer told the House committee considering sexual harassment legislation today that she filed a harassment complaint against Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) a year ago. Rotheimer had already passed “Jasmine’s Law” which increased penalties for violent sexual offenders and was working to pass yet another bill at the time.
Rotheimer said she lost 20 pounds, her hair fell out and had to admit herself to a hospital because of Silverstein’s behavior.
“He had so much power over me,” Rothmeimer said.
She claimed he told her things such as “I like having meetings with you because you’re pretty to look at,” called her “intoxicating,” etc.
“He would Facebook me at midnight, call me at midnight,” she said.
In April of last year, she claimed, Silverstein killed her bill because “He thought I had a boyfriend.” She claimed he revived the bill when he found out she didn’t have a boyfriend.
Rotheimer said she filed a complaint with the inspector general’s office, but was told to talk to Senate President John Cullerton’s office. From the Senate President’s office…
The Office of the Illinois Senate President was made aware of these accusations in late November 2016.
Senior staff met with Senator Silverstein to let him know such allegations are taken seriously and that this would be reported to the Legislative Inspector General’s Office, which it was.
…Adding… As rightly noted in comments, there is currently no Legislative Inspector General and hasn’t been for years. Under questioning today, Speaker Madigan pledged to get that slot filled soon. We’ll see.
Rotheimer said she approached her state Senator, Melinda Bush, to ask her for help, but nothing happened.
“I want him to answer for it and to know that it is wrong,” Rotheimer said of Silverstein. “It is unconscionable.”
* Rothheimer is running as a Republican in the 62nd House District, which is currently held by Democratic Rep. Sam Yingling. She wrote this on Facebook yesterday…
I have been warned that by testifying tomorrow it could cause a political lash back on my campaign for office, but I replied, “politics neither serve as a motivation or deterrent for the choices I make when I know it’s the right thing to do.”
*** UPDATE 1 *** Response…
Ira Silverstein tells me of sexual harassment complaint at hearing: "I said I'm going to apologize if I made her uncomfortable." #twill 1/
Mackey: I wonder, though — that message, I’ve heard something similar from Gov. Rauner — about we need to be focusing on business and improve the business climate in Illinois. And I think some people might hear about your candidacy and say: We already have a Republican governor. How would you be different?
Ives: Well, you know Gov. Rauner has actually bought into some of the same policies that have hurt Illinois in the past. His energy bailout bill in December basically gave carve-outs and favored status to a company that is — had a $2.25 billion net profit. Who’s saying that’s going to help the average Illinoisan when you’re just going to raise the price for ratepayers to a favored company? That’s the type of stuff that needs to stop.
* This topic came up during an interview with her new running mate, former Rep. Rich Morthland…
Morthland lives in Cordova, which also is the home of the Exelon nuclear plant.
One of Ives’ complaints about Rauner is that he signed a bill that overhauled the state’s energy policy and provided subsidies to two Exelon nuclear facilities — in the Quad-Cities and Clinton, Illinois.
The company, as well as Quad-City business leaders, pushed for the legislation, saying hundreds of jobs were at stake. But Ives called it a bailout financed by higher utility rates.
Morthland says he’s supported Exelon while on the county board. And while he said that he and Ives “haven’t completed our conversation about it,” he notes her opposition to the legislation and that she’s at the top of the ticket.
In 2011, The General Assembly Overrode Governor Pat Quinn’s Veto Of Legislation – SB 1652 – To Grant ComEd Automatic Annual Electricity Rate Increases In Exchange For Upgrading Its Power Grid. “Lawmakers today overturned Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a bill that will allow the state’s two biggest utility companies to raise customers’ rates in exchange for investments in the state’s power grid. Under the plan, Ameren and Commonwealth Edison will be able to increase customers’ rates by 2.5 percent annually in exchange for $3.2 billion in spending on the grid over 10 years. The companies will add smart grid technologies that allow them to monitor transmission and respond quicker to outages. The measure would also require ComEd to create 2,000 new jobs through the plan and Ameren to create 450 jobs.” (Jamey Dunn, “Legislators Override Quinn’s Veto On Smart-Grid Bill,” Illinois Issues, 10/26/11)
Opponents, Including Conservative State Senator Kyle McCarter, Said The Automatic Rate Hikes Were A Giveaway To Utility Companies And Would Drive Business Out Of Illinois. “Opponents say the bill is just a way for the utilities to skirt the authority of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), which rules on proposed rate hikes. ‘I’m not sure smart grid’s really the issue here. It think the real issue is that this is a new way to recalculate rate hikes because Ameren and ComEd didn’t get the approval that they wanted from the ICC. Let’s be honest, that’s what this is about. If you put the name smart grid on it, it doesn’t make it any better,’ said Sen. Kyle McCarter, a Lebanon Republican. McCarter said that increased energy rates would drive business out of the Illinois. ‘One of the last good things we’ve got going in this state for businesses is affordable power. We’ve increased taxes on people, we’ve got high regulation. and we still have high workers’ compensation rates.’” (Jamey Dunn, “Legislators Override Quinn’s Veto On Smart-Grid Bill,” Illinois Issues, 10/26/11)
Morthland Voted To Override Quinn’s Veto And Pass S.B. 1652. (S.B. 1652, House Roll Call Vote, Passed 74-42, 10/26/11, Morthland Voted Yea)
About two-thirds of Illinois public high schools posted below-average to rock-bottom scores on the SAT college entrance exam, given for free for the first time to 11th-graders last spring at school, revealing that thousands of students are still struggling even as the state pushes kids to achieve at higher levels.
Average scores ranged from the low 740s to the high 1300s, reflecting wide disparities in performance at more than 700 high schools statewide, according to data released Tuesday as part of the state’s annual picture of public schools, called the Illinois Report Card.
Black and Hispanic teens fared worse on the exam compared with white and Asian peers, the data show. Some students attend classes in high-poverty neighborhoods, while others are educated in wealthy suburban enclaves and blue-collar and downstate rural areas.
Payton College Preparatory High School, a selective enrollment Chicago Public School, posted the highest SAT average in the state — a 1375. But in pockets of CPS, about two dozen schools posted the worst averages statewide, all under an 800 for math and for reading and writing combined.
The Illinois State Board of Education’s report card is a conglomeration of data ranging from state exam scores for high school and grade school students, to school finance, teacher attendance and evaluations, and enrollment and socioeconomic trends, among other measures made available to families and taxpayers.
* I saw a bit of criticism of AG Madigan on social media and elsewhere for this, but the Tribune notes an important point…
It’s Halloween, that day of the year when kids dress up as their favorite Marvel superhero, “Walking Dead” zombie or Disney princess and ring neighborhood doorbells begging for candy and threatening pranks if they don’t get any.
Against that backdrop of fun and tomfoolery comes Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan with a warning: check the state’s sex offender registry before you head out to trick or treat.
“The number of known sex offenders throughout Illinois is extremely alarming, and they do not live in any one neighborhood or community; they live in every part of our state,” Madigan said in a statement.
Lest you think that was a bit of alarmist hyperbole from the outgoing attorney general, her office included some stats: there are more than 30,200 registered sex offenders on the Illinois State Police’s list, and more than 24,700 of those committed a crime against a child.
Mackey: Do you think it’s possible to balance the budget with the old tax rate — could we forego the current income tax rate? Is that something Illinois could do?
Ives: That’s a great, fantastic question. You know it takes decades — years — for people to really understand the Illinois budget, because it’s so convoluted. But I think that we didn’t try hard enough to make the cuts that need to be made first. That’s what I’m worried about. And I think we didn’t try hard enough to use for the reforms that we have to have.
And I’ll tell you what: I’ve said it before, but the reason you would raise taxes in the state of Illinois is because it’s immoral to hold the amount of debt that we have, and owe people that kind of money. That would be the only reason to do it. But you have to make those reforms, so we don’t get into this bad spending cycle again. And you know, I just don’t think that the conversation was lengthy enough and persistent enough to sell to the people that you cannot raise taxes without these reforms.
Editor’s note: We asked the Rauner campaign if it wanted to respond to Ives’ charge that the governor lied to supporters and taxpayers on public funding for abortions, the Trust Act, and school funding reform.
Spokesman Justin Giorgio emailed the following statement: “Gov. Rauner is focused on fighting for Illinois’ future and defeating Mike Madigan’s machine so Illinois can have property tax relief and term limits, and we can roll back the Madigan income tax hike.”