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*** UPDATED x3 - Silverstein recorded - Madigan responds - Silverstein responds *** Sen. Silverstein accused of harassment during House hearing

Tuesday, Oct 31, 2017

* From today’s House hearing on sexual harassment…



* 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…



*** UPDATE 2 ***  From Speaker Madigan’s press conference…

When asked about the allegations against Silverstein, Madigan said it was the first time he heard them.

“It does not sound good,” the speaker said. “I think it’s a matter that ought to be pursued, it ought to be investigated.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Rothheimer played a recording of a voicemail from Silverstein. He says in the message, “You must be working on your six-pack”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

141 Comments »
  1. - ste_with_a_v_en - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    Names are being named


  2. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    Good for her for speaking out. It’s not easy to do.


  3. - state worker - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    Is she (or was she) a staffer or his employee or a lobbyist?


  4. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    “this would be reported to the Legislative Inspector General’s Office, which it was.”

    You know, the Legislative Inspector General’s office that does not exist. Yea, that one.


  5. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Wow.


  6. - SAP - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    It was reported to the Legislative Inspector General’s Office that hasn’t had a Legislative Inspector General for 3 years? Brilliant!


  7. - Rocky Rosi - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    Wow. He should step down. A blessing is coming to her so she can keep fighting for women. I’m so sorry she had to go through that.


  8. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    I applaud her courage for speaking out.

    I hope everyone who wants to speak out but was afraid will find courage in her leadership.

    At the same time, those who choose not to name names have a right that I respecf.

    Folks have some explaining to do.


  9. - anon2 - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    If the accusation is true, it’s a serious matter. The fact that she did report it a year ago lends her story some credibility. I look forward to hearing the good Senator’s response.


  10. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    No doubt about the appearance of power; he is a Sate Senator, chair of the Dem Caucus and his wife is the 50th ward Alderman .


  11. - cdog - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Wow. (Cap letters and followed by many exclamation points)

    This is the personification of courage, bravery, tenacity, etc.

    It’s impressive that she has attempted to correct this harassment in a professional way, but the system failed and the environment seems to have been allowing.


  12. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    New bills and training are all well and good, but when the place the complaints go to is for all intents and purposes a trash can, that is very, very wrong.


  13. - cdog - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Barbara Lynn Curie’s expression and stare is indecipherable, in the tweeted photo.


  14. - Juice - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Didn’t Leader Lang say that the LIG had not received any complaints since the office had been vacant?


  15. - cdog - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    That’s Madigan next to Curie, too.


  16. - Montrose - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    This testimony on top of the failure to have
    anyone in the position for years makes it clear that there needs to be some type of inspector general/ombudsman for the legislature that is appointed by a body outside of the legislature.


  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    ===Barbara Lynn Curie’s expression===

    Don’t read too much into a single photo. Try to up your game a bit.


  18. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    Here we go…we must thank this young woman for stepping forward and naming her harasser…more to come…


  19. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Very disappointed in Senator Ira Silverstein.


  20. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Allegations of this sort are extremely important and it requires an extraordinary amount of courage for someone to stand up and make them.

    However, Ms. Rotheimer is not the most trustworthy individual in Lake County. She has history.


  21. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    –Didn’t Leader Lang say that the LIG had not received any complaints since the office had been vacant?–

    From Rich’s post of last Friday:

    “We haven’t found an appropriate person but I want to hasten to add that there have been no reports of ethics violations during that period of time so it’s not like there’s something that hasn’t been done,” [Rep. Lou Lang] said.


  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    ===That’s Madigan next to Curie, too. ===

    Because he’s the bill’s sponsor.


  23. - Perrid - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:18 am:

    It’ll be interesting to see how many voters believe her versus how many think she is lying to get attention/votes. For the record I believe her, but at the same time she is getting a lot of publicity, and she gets to be the underdog fighting the immoral (Democratic) political machine.


  24. - Iggy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    =trustworthy individual in Lake County. She has history=

    This comment has no place in today’s political landscape. you might be right, you might have a point, and maybe its worth investigating. But we have moved beyond innocent until proven guilty when it comes to sexual abuse, harassment, and assault. Even if you are innocent, it doesn’t matter anymore. Today, the victim is always right…


  25. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    I’m not trying to score political points with this question, but “Why would the inspector general’s spot be left open for so long?”


  26. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    Sen. Silverstein gave us the following response to the accusation, “I apologize if I made her feel uncomfortable, but I’m going to wait for the ethics commission to see what they say.”

    http://foxillinois.com/news/local/witness-accuses-illinois-senator-of-sexual-harassment-10-31-2017


  27. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    Apparently her harasser has history as well, it’s just been hard to discern…cmon, we all have history…


  28. - Highland IL - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    ====I’m not trying to score political points with this question, but “Why would the inspector general’s spot be left open for so long?” ===

    Someone undoubtedly will….


  29. - Swift - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    I’m tying not be too cynical here, but Rothheimer’s Facebook post strikes me as a bit manufactured. I don’t doubt the veracity of her account of the harassment, but I’m reading the post as an attempt to capitalize on the harassment to further her political career. I appreciate turning a negative event into a positive force for change, but I’m not sure that positive force should be directed towards the goals of an individual as opposed change for the many women who have been harassed, or worse. The quote coming right now, with more headlines to follow, just doesn’t feel authentic to me at this point.


  30. - Dr. Bronners - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    Digusted with Sen. Silverstein. Thank you for coming forward Ms. Rotheimer.

    However, the message is already being lost because of the messenger. Lets hope someone else comes forward that doesnt have the baggage Ms. Rotheimer does bc its obvious (as seen above) that people are already willing to detract from her testimony bc of her political aspirations.


  31. - Roman - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    She listed Silverstein as the leader who “most inspires” her in a Daily Herald candidate profile when running for the county board in 2016.

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20160101/submitted/301019864/


  32. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    “But we have moved beyond innocent until proven guilty when it comes to sexual abuse, harassment, and assault.”

    No, we most certainly have not. And when we convict based on guess, conjecture and speculation, the least powerful among us remain the most vulnerable.


  33. - Responsa - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    Some of the comments on this thread are stunningly and shockingly tone deaf.


  34. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    I wonder if Madigan/staff knew that she was going to say this in her testimony?


  35. - Jake From Elwood - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    Prediction: more names to follow. Harassment victims are emboldened to come forward with their stories and that is a positive thing for our society. Plenty of nervousness in the statehouse these day no doubt.


  36. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    1) my heart goes straight out to Denise Rotheimer. What strength and courage she is exhibiting. That right there is inspiring. She is a leader.
    2) Silverstein needs to resign immediately.
    3) I’m also going to go out on a limb and say Cullerton should consider resigning as well. President Cullerton stuck that report down a dark hole. He knew it wouldn’t go anywhere.

    That is passive perfidy
    President Cullerton
    Passive perfidy
    You threw a woman away.
    Your authority is
    Over
    From here on out
    I give you
    No respect


  37. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    “I apologize if I made her uncomfortable” is the lamest apology possible. I’m not wrong - it’s her fault for being uncomfortable. Try again Ira.


  38. - Commander Norton - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    “However, Ms. Rotheimer is not the most trustworthy individual in Lake County. She has history.”

    I don’t think it’s right to automatically believe the accuser, just as it’s not right to automatically believe the accused. There are processes for investigating these kinds of allegations. But vaguely referencing someone’s “history” with no evidence is exactly the kind of victim-shaming and pivoting of the spotlight onto unrelated facts about the accuser that discourages victims from coming forward, for fear they don’t appear pure enough, with no hint of an ulterior motive, to be believed. I say this as a Democrat who would probably not vote for the accuser if I were in her district. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt on a matter such as this one is completely different from supporting her political aspirations. I don’t know her or anything about her, but I do know that if new, up-and-coming people didn’t have political aspirations, we wouldn’t have an even somewhat functioning democratic government. Saying that a person’s motivations are to be questioned simply because he or she is hoping to move up in politics only reinforces the message - to women in particular - that the wisest course of action is to stay silent and not stick your neck out. The voters of Lake County can do as they wish; there’s no need for us to engage in innuendo and confuse the two issues of sexual harassment and electoral politics.


  39. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    Swift-

    Her facebook account looks manufactured? Really????????
    Please identify a political facebook account that does not look manufactured.

    There are lots of reasons for women to remain silent after harassment. We should not be critical of people when they f come forward. Suggesting she may have came out with this allegation bc purely political reasons is not only wrong, but an odd conclusion to jump to when she tried to work established channels long before going public.

    But if your gut tells you its not authentic, then whatever.


  40. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    The fact that she filed a report more than a year ago shows this as being something more than just a political stunt. But it also raises serious questions about why nothing was done in response in 12 months since its filing.


  41. - Blind - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    If he sent her Facebook messages, you would hope she has them and can prove that allegation. We don’t know enough to
    Judge this either way yet.


  42. - A guy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    ==”I apologize if I made her uncomfortable..”===

    Senator, get some communications help pronto. This is the worst kind of apology. If she can prove the midnight texts (easy) or phone calls (not as easy) and demonstrate you killed a bill and then revived it based on boyfriend status (should be provable); you’re in a heap o’ trouble.
    The non-apology apology only adds to the mess. Something is on file in the Senate President’s office. There may be a record of a conversation as a result of her timely report of your alleged misbehavior.

    Your apology and atonement in private, long before now, may have prevented this. But, alas, the type who behave this way don’t think these things through.

    It was just a matter of time before names started popping up. My guess is the Speaker knew this and acted very quickly as a result. The landscape has changed. About time.


  43. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    Since when is the idea ‘innocent until proven guilty’ a bygone concept? We are not beyond that, I hope and pray, regardless of how angry and disturbed the accusations are to us. Once we shove the constitutional rights aside in order to sate our desire for vengeance, then beware, you many be next. (Iggy - there, I’m naming names)


  44. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    ===you would hope she has them===

    She does and I’ve asked her for them. Apparently, a 400-page pdf.


  45. - Caution - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    A person’s accusation is not a conviction based on the facts. In Sen. Silverstein’s case people should take a deep breath and wait for the facts. He is an admirable person. If the facts prove him to be guilty then that is another matter but accusations are not the end of the discussion.


  46. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    It really takes an extraordinary amount of courage to stand up to an abuser, but less so if an agenda is your support and an office you’ve been seeking for a while is your goal. Worse still, a good, caring and responsive Senator not even the target of the allegation gets a backhand slash in the process.

    We have a Constitution and its protections are afforded to every person in the United States. It protects Denise. But if it doesn’t also protect Senator Silverstein, it’s a worthless bit of old parchment.


  47. - Perrid - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    Guys, I think @Iggy’s comment about being past innocent until proven guilty was them mocking people who are ready to convict Silverstein. I’ve seen a few posts that didn’t seem to get that they weren’t being sincere.


  48. - Montrose - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    A number of the comments on this thread are a microcosm of why so many stay silent on this issue. When the first reaction to a woman sharing her story is to start to question the woman’s character/motives, why would other women add their name in?

    Yes, he or anyone else accused is innocent until proven guilty. The accuser should be afforded the same level of respect.


  49. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    Did the Senate President office admit to sending the complaint to a vacant office?

    Cullerton and his staff seem more competent than that, so perhaps I’m misreading/misunderstanding.


  50. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    Commander Norton:

    Denise’s history is that of making accusations and it is so long and so varied that it is difficult to know where to start. She is also a litigious individual, so I’d prefer those with a greater depth of 1st Amendment protection go into it. This is all so hard because I truly believe that harassment, abuse and even character assassination of the very type I could easily be accused of here is definitely a force that stifles the voice of women in all aspects of our society. But the truth of that cannot abrogate the truism, seemingly confirmed right here on this blog, that the accusation is sufficient to impose punishment. We’re not talking political history here. If only that, it wouldn’t be worth it. There is something else afoot here.


  51. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    I think people are confusing support for someone coming forward with an allegation they believe to be true, with a conclusion that Sen. Silverstein is guilty.

    You can both support her for going public and support Silverstein’s right to a fair investigation.


  52. - Responsa - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    ==A number of the comments on this thread are a microcosm of why so many stay silent on this issue.==

    Yes. Well said. Yet I am almost glad these comments have been uttered/posted here today– because they indisputably prove the point so many good people have been trying to make for some time about professional women in effect (and not so subtly) being told to “shut up because no one will believe you” about being sexually harrassed.


  53. - Fax Machine - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    The late great Avy Meyers would have posted 100 comments on this thread by now if he were still with us.


  54. - Century Club - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    Props to Ms. Rotheimer for testifying. That must have been incredibly hard for her. The response by Senator Silverstein is embarrassing. And President Cullerton should really have a hard time sleeping tonight. Honeybear is right, he put that report down a deep dark hole.


  55. - Huh? - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    Oh, there is tape. Time to turn in the resignation papers. He’s done.


  56. - MG85 - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    While the Silverstein allegations are unnerving, the bigger problem here is the process to filing a claim. If an elected official can hit a dead end like the Senate President’s office admitted, what about all of the paid staff, legislative assistants, etc?

    I hope the facts are brought to light about this case, but right now I am more interested in both Cullerton’s (and Madigan’s) response to exactly what happened and where the complaint is now. If the file is sitting on someone’s desk with no clear path for an investigation, finding, and result, then I fear he needs to step aside while the legislature cleans itself up.

    The response by Cullerton’s office is repulsive.


  57. - Perrid - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    OK, walking back my previous statement. There’s tape. Senator Silverstein, the bell tolls for thee.


  58. - Tom - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    I am happy she came forward. It sure doesn’t seem like a political stunt to me. She should never have to tolerate the type of behavior she endured.


  59. - Chris Widger - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    This is a terrible day for our state. I hope very badly that there isn’t some tone-deaf ILGOP press release soon that tries to score points by attacking Dems for Silverstein’s monstrous choices and Cullerton’s malfeasance in handling the situation. This is everyone’s problem, and this is a good time to be solution oriented.


  60. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    Has anyone asked Cullerton about all of this?


  61. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    Based on Silverstein’s bills, I don’t think he has a good grasp of technology. Someone should tell him Facebook messages and voicemails get saved. Also, tell him to not let the door hit him on the way out.


  62. - College Grad - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    “You must be working on your six pack” is not that damning”, is it?

    Silverstein is just an awkward character who would make a comment like that to a guy or a girl.

    I certainly hope there’s more evidence if people are going to call for his resignation. People (even legislators) still have rights in this country


  63. - Chris Widger - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    ==“You must be working on your six pack” is not that damning”, is it?==

    It’s pretty damning.


  64. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    I don’t think it matters if the accuser is known to be “litigious” or a chronic complainer. All have the right to be heard, just as all have the right to defend themselves. If the facts are there and considered, and the context, the truth will eventually be arrived at. It’s too bad that recording devices weren’t nearly universal back in the day of the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill testimony, otherwise we would likely have more clarity on what happened between two completely different accounts.


  65. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    If the information is true then all involved should be punished and/or resign immediately.

    I respect her for coming forward.


  66. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    Anyone want to defend that?

    Nobody should have jumped to conclusion prior to the video, but why didnt anyone think her running for office would be reason to not publicly disclose the harassment? After all, surely some voters would make conclusions about her if she was unable to prove harassment.


  67. - Iggy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    I’m glad someone could pick up on my tone. Also Silvy the tape has been played, time to hand in the papers, he gone.


  68. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    –People (even legislators) still have rights in this country–

    No one is charging a crime here. I’m not sure what “rights” he has to stay in office if this is true.


  69. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    Chris Widger, I think the Republicans are probably smart enough not to issue that press release. This isn’t a party issue - it is by and large a male issue.


  70. - Perrid - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    @ College Grad ‘“You must be working on your six pack” is not that damning’

    I’d agree that he sounds pretty awkward, but I’d say that he is pretty clearly trying to be flirty, which at a certain point becomes harassment when you don’t take no for an answer. Maybe, MAYBE, if this was the only alleged incident you could say that it wasn’t harassment, but I don’t think so. And a lot of people would say that any kind of flirting between coworkers, especially when one has more power than the other, constitutes sexual harassment. It really depends on how the comments are received, which you as the speaker have little to no control over. With respect and sincerity, and no insult intended, sounds like you might benefit from sexual harassment training as well.


  71. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    Disappointed in Cullerton’s office.

    Hope it’s a woman who replaces Silverstein when he resigns in disgrace


  72. - Southside Markie - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    Interesting and sad that the Tribune has not yet picked this up.


  73. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    Complaint was filed in November of 2016 and the Keystone cops issue a strongly worded statement just shy of one year later. Deficiencies indeed


  74. - Perrid - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    Question: A lot of people are calling for Cullerton to resign over this. Assuming that she gave his office this voicemail and the alleged Facebook communications, I think that his office should be able to say “Yeah, this is harassment.” Assuming all the evidence backs her up, anyway, which I am more than happy to do. So what should Cullterton have done? Gone to the press with it? Pressured him to resign? They can’t fire him, at least not from his seat, which is the usual response. I assume they could fire him as the Whip. I agree that “Nothing” is not an acceptable answer, but I’m not sure what you think he should have done.


  75. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    Answer: You are no longer whip, you are not getting a dime from the party or any other committee, we are going to tell donors you are toxic and we are going to primary you…

    That’s what they could have done if the evidence shows a problem.


  76. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:02 pm:

    –I’m not sure what you think he should have done.–

    First of all, investigate the darn thing immediately, and don’t wait a year. Second, if warranted Senate Rule 11-1 allows the Senate to potentially punish or remove a member for “disorderly behavior.”


  77. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:02 pm:

    Sen. Silverstein’s wife, Deborah, is Alderwoman of the Chicago 49th Ward and presumably a Mayor Emmanuel supporter. The abutting 50th Ward is on the lake and suggested by Crain’s as one of Chicago’s up an coming neighborhoods. I believe part of Sen Silverstein’s 8th is in the 50th. There’s some money and power at play here.


  78. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    My wife kind of sealed the idea for me. I gave her the quick back story (she knows Ira and said she was surprised)and then told her there was tape of him saying the six-pack line in what appears to be a statehouse meeting. Her response: “Oh, he needs to resign”

    ===Hope it’s a woman who replaces Silverstein when he resigns in disgrace===

    I wonder what the weighted vote for that seat is. He’s the 50th Ward Committeeman and his wife is the Alderwoman…if he resigns the Senate seat and keeps the Ward slot, he might be able to appoint her


  79. - pointing fingers - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:08 pm:

    During the testimony, she referenced a letter she got from the IG that referred her back to Cullerton’s office — which had previously referred her to the IG to file her complaint. Why did the IG direct her back to Cullerton? Because the IG didn’t have jurisdiction to investigate sexual harrassment? Or because there is no Legislative IG in place?


  80. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    If you are a Speaker or President of Senate, when a complaint was filed and reached your desk, it was not a problem as much as an opportunity to use leverage on the accused. Quid pro quo - if this complaint doesn’t see the light of day, I’ve got your vote on X,Y, Z…..take your pick. I learned that on the BBC version House of Cards.


  81. - Checkers - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    Silverstein is toast. I’m sure the more evidence and documentation of his harassment will show that Ms.Rotheimer felt more than uncomfortable.

    I’m glad Ms.Rothmeier had the courage to testify.


  82. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    “You must be working on your six pack?”

    What the heck? Who says this to … to anyone? Male or female.

    Who talks like this to a professional colleague?


  83. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    If I were advising political figures, I would tell them to always conduct themselves as if everyone they talk to is wearing a recording device shaped like a cellphone — because they are.

    – MrJM


  84. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    I suggest the Rock test:

    https://medium.com/@annevictoriaclark/the-rock-test-a-hack-for-men-who-dont-want-to-be-accused-of-sexual-harassment-73c45e0b49af


  85. - A guy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    Anyone else wondering how many Statehouse denizens…are holding their breath. Right now?


  86. - A guy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    I hope Ira has an IRA.

    This matinee looks to be closing the curtain.


  87. - John's Daughter - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    I personally don’t think “working on your six-pack” is enough for a person to lose their job over. I’m beginning to see how the Salem Witch Trials started.


  88. - Tinker - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    At first blush, this sounds legit. But the “six pack” comment….you would have to know the context. Maybe he knows she works out a lot?


  89. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    Ira Silverstein is up for election this cycle. Candidates have 34 days to get 1,000 good signatures.


  90. - Northsider - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    Cook County Commoner @ 1:02 has that backwards.

    Joe Moore is alderman in the 49th, which is on the lake. (I live in the 49th.)

    Deborah Silverstein is alderman in the 50th, to our west.


  91. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    Bubble thought of Barbra F Currie: “We (mike and me) are not amused”


  92. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    Best practices: Don’t make comments about the appearance of non-family members. Period.

    (Not only will this help prevent ‘accidental’ sexual harassment, it will keep you from 1) making a crack about a Halloween costume that isn’t actually a costume, and 2) asking a not-pregnant woman when she’s due. Two things I witnessed just last night. And if you think that remarking on someone’s weight-loss has gotta be okay, let me assure you that is a terrible way to find out someone’s battling cancer.)

    – MrJM


  93. - heart sick - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    I must confess that I’m not surprised to hear this about Senator Ira Silverstein. He can be very condescending and disrespectful. My hope is that he will resign immediately.


  94. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    ===I personally don’t think “working on your six-pack” is enough for a person to lose their job over.===

    Agreed, context and pattern would be needed to dig further into the truth. A single incident, especially if it followed with a complaint and personal apology, would likely have been the end of it. What’s in the 400 page pdf, and what is Sen. Silverstein’s response?


  95. - Curl of the Burl - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:48 pm:

    At the very least President Cullerton could have - and frankly should have - removed Senator Silverstein from his leadership post and taken away his Executive Committee vice chairmanship. That would have sent a clear message and proven that he and his leadership team and staff would not tolerate any such/similar behavior.


  96. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    A Guy 1:33 pm. Or, put another way, this is a time of Testicular Retreat for some


  97. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    And I’m guessing it’s not only their breath their holding.


  98. - Huh? - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:52 pm:

    If someone had the fore thought to make a recording, there must have been a history of unwanted telephone calls or encounters prior to the recorded call. He’s toast.


  99. - Yiddishcowboy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    I initially thought the “six-pack” comment was not that bad. Without more, there is nothing overtly sexual or harrassing in commenting on a woman working on her “six-pack.” While thinking about what I was going to write in this section, I remembered that I’m a father of a young daughter. As a father, I would not want a grown man, many years senior to my daughter, making a comment such as the comment this senator made; it was wrong and uncalled for, as I now see it. I feel bad and am embarrassed that it took me so long to come around to this viewpoint. Apparently I, too, can and will do better. I admire your bravery Ms. Rotheimer.


  100. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:03 pm:


    I personally don’t think “working on your six-pack” is enough for a person to lose their job over.
    —-

    I do. And I hope he does.

    Totally inappropriate in a workplace. Completely.


  101. - Perrid - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:03 pm:

    @Huh? - it was a voicemail, she didn’t decide to record it. He was saying that she must be working out, which is why she didn’t answer the phone. But yeah, she says there were more unwanted communications.


  102. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:04 pm:

    Weighted vote for a replacement if he resigns:

    Lou Lang: 35%
    Ira Silverstein: 23%
    Robert Murphy: 19%
    Laura Murphy: 16%
    Tim Heneghan: 4%

    4 others round it out, with 1% or less each.


  103. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    So maybe the Speaker calls Lou Lang & Lou calls Ira & tells him that if he resigns sooner rather than later, he can pick who he wants to replace him (Lou & Ira combine to 58% of the weighted vote).


  104. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    Ira is the first to be named, so he gets the first laser focus.

    DR is a profile in courage, candidacy and timing be damned.
    Physical contact, in this instance, has not been alleged .

    How she is treated may be a guide to the willingness of others, w more aggressive physical harassment experiences, to come forward.


  105. - College Grad - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    John’s Daughter @ 1:37===I personally don’t think “working on your six-pack” is enough for a person to lose their job over. I’m beginning to see how the Salem Witch Trials started.===

    This is spot on.


  106. - SAP - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    Not sure when the last time the Legislative Ethics Committee met, but it should have appointed an acting Legislative inspector general by now. Lots of blame to go around. From Section 25-10 of the Legislative Ethics Act: “If the Office is vacant, or if a Legislative Inspector General resigns, the Commission shall designate an Acting Legislative Inspector General who shall serve until the vacancy is filled.”


  107. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:26 pm:

    I’m guessing this is just the start. Seems once the dam breaks in these matters, the flood comes.

    TR, your sense of the absurd must have deserted you when you linked a Fox News report on sexual harassment.


  108. - Just Visiting - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:32 pm:

    President Cullerton,
    The silence from your office is deafening. The longer you go without comment the worse it gets for you. Someone came to your office looking to complain about sexual harassment and you, in essence, did NOTHING.


  109. - Bond James Bond - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    Never seen the Rotheimer person in the cap but I dont get out much (any Roger Moore). The VM in itself is not all that damning but if there are other materials to back up the accusations well then I should say this is less well for Senator than he would like.


  110. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:54 pm:

    ==Not sure when the last time the Legislative Ethics Committee met, but it should have appointed an acting Legislative inspector general by now. ==

    According to Lou Lang it’s not that big of a deal, since there hasn’t been anything reported…that quote didn’t age well, and he should be made to answer either why he lied or why he didn’t know the facts


  111. - Wait and See - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:56 pm:

    There needs to be something more than the short voice mail message. If he had said something on the order “What’s the frequency Kenneth?” it would be more damning.

    I am going to have to withhold judgment until more evidence is produced. This is pretty weak sauce unless there are more telephone messages and Facebook posts. While it can be interpreted as icky, it has not crossed into Anthony Weiner territory yet.


  112. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 2:59 pm:

    –While it can be interpreted as icky, it has not crossed into Anthony Weiner territory yet.–

    It doesn’t have to, to be considered more than “icky,” as you put it. Train’s leaving on the old days.


  113. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    “While it can be interpreted as icky, it has not crossed into Anthony Weiner territory yet.”

    I hope that we will hold our elected officials to a higher standard than THAT.

    – MrJM


  114. - Rod - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:09 pm:

    Last night on WTTW Senator Steans said she was propositioned on the floor of the Senate 9 years ago shortly after she assumed office. She declined the offer she said, she also declined to name the individual who propositioned her. If it was Senator Silverstein she clearly has an obligation to come forward as soon as possible.


  115. - Wait and See - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    @ wordslinger: Have you ever read Mike Royko’s “Boss” when the women secretaries at the capitol had a nickname that suggested that they were not hired for their typing or shorthand skills?

    As far as I can tell, the most salacious things reported thus far is that Silverstein asked her to meet a law library to work on the text of her proposed bill and they both discussed ice cream.

    Gloria Allred would demand more details than that.


  116. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:13 pm:

    –@ wordslinger: Have you ever read Mike Royko’s “Boss” when the women secretaries at the capitol had a nickname that suggested that they were not hired for their typing or shorthand skills?–

    Yes. What’s your point, in this context? Do you have one?


  117. - Quiet Sage - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:16 pm:

    “You must be working on your six-pack. Take care. Bye-bye.” Not discounting the possibility that Sen. Silverstein may have to resign based on additional evidence, but this message in itself seems far below the threshold for a resignation, especially with the “take care, bye-bye” at the end.


  118. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:22 pm:

    It seems like the real debate here is whether lawmakers and others who work in Springfield should be held to the same legal standard as everyone else or a higher standard.

    I think it is important to know what Senator Silverstein says, and that is gonna come out through the ethics investigation process.

    If this were a case of a state employee or even a compensated lobbyist, I think the sexual harassment case would be clear cut.

    She was neither. Ms Rotheimer was a regular citizen, and she may not even be covered by the law.

    What we haven’t learned yet is whether Ms. Rotheimer ever told or indicated to Senator Silverstein that his advances were unwanted. Or whether, once he was made aware of that by her or the Senate President’s Office, his offending behavior stopped.

    I look forward to clarification on that from someone, as well as why she listed Silverstein as the elected official she most admired just last year.

    Silverstein had a lot of explaining to do to his wife, if he hasn’t already. My guess is that they had that conversation when the complaint was filed. If not, o boy.


  119. - Wait and See - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    There needs to be more than what she has alleged so far. It is clear that she worked with Silverstein to get a law sponsored and passed. She also praised him in an interview with “The Daily Herald” while she was running for office in Lake County. Let the process take place to determine the facts and do not prejudge the case.

    I would like to see some of our elected officials return or donate Harvey Weinstein’s dollars. There is a certain mayor who accepted $10,000.00 according to the State Board of Elections.


  120. - Miss Marie - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    -Rod “…she clearly has an obligation to come forward as soon as possible.”

    The women who came forward today are brave, and yes, it would be nice for Senator Steans to come forward and support the accusations against Senator Silverstein (if it was him who propositioned her. There are a number of other senators who could have done this though).

    But she’s a victim, too. She’s not obligated to do anything. I’ve been reading the comments on here regarding DR. A lot of people are judging her and her merit. Other victims are watching this, too, and determining if they should go forward since they will be put through a similar judgment.

    Yes women legislators are in a position of power to help other victims, but they also face the retaliation. They are entitled to their feelings, too, whether it be scared, or angry, or whatever the hell they feel.

    It’s good to see all the people coming together to support one another, but a victim of harassment isn’t obligated to do whatever you want them to do.


  121. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    “If it was….”

    Rod, do you have a shred of evidence to float that accusation? If not, don’t you think you should?


  122. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    A six pack is a fitness term, I have never heard it used in a sexual manner. So asking someone if they were working on their six pack is like asking if they were doing cardio, using the treadmill


  123. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    Wait and See, Rahm donated the $10,900 he got from Weinstein to the non-profit Working on Womanhood three weeks ago.


  124. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    This is a delicate subject. Harassment should not be tolerated or accepted. I wish that similar awareness and concern existed earlier. Some of the people decrying harassment today may have turned a blind eye to the manifold allegations directed at Bill Clinton.


  125. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:36 pm:

    Running laps, bench pressing, etc.


  126. - ISPRETIRED - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:46 pm:

    It may be she said he said, but the phone records and facebook will back up what she is claiming .


  127. - Dr. Bronners - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    I dont know if there is a let down from the build up but I felt a lot more comfortable with DRs testimony before I heard the voicemail and word that there are allegedly 400 pages of text messages yet to be revealed. Its obvious to me that she was harrassed, but the larger the spectacle the more I am willing to believe that Silverstein is a creeper with a loose tongue and not the predator type that we all know the original letters are intended to out.


  128. - BiggerFish - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 4:16 pm:

    Read Rich’s newest post. seems she was okay with a lot of the banter for awhile…


  129. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 4:22 pm:

    ==a creeper with a loose tongue and not the predator type that we all know the original letters are intended to out.==

    I’m sorry, but from the point of view of the woman being targeted, what exactly is the difference? There is none.

    ==seems she was okay with a lot of the banter for awhile…==

    (Eye roll) Just like every other woman who smiles and acts polite when harassed by men in power. A victim doesn’t always admit or show their true feelings in response to such horrific actions. It’s a defense mechanism against powerful men.


  130. - John's Daughter - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 4:33 pm:

    “I’m sorry, but from the point of view of the woman being targeted, what exactly is the difference? There is none.”

    This statement I agree with.

    “(Eye roll) Just like every other woman who smiles and acts polite when harassed by men in power. A victim doesn’t always admit or show their true feelings in response to such horrific actions. It’s a defense mechanism against powerful men.”

    This statement I disagree with. Many women do put a stop to it.

    If you choose not to put a fire out right away you may have to live with the consequences when it gets out of hand.


  131. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 4:33 pm:

    I hope more names get named, especially any that are on the ballot. Having more information before an election would help hold people accountable (hopefully).


  132. - JB13 - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    Now, why would someone like Sen. Silverstein, a politically connected Democrat from Chicago, think they can get away with behavior like this, in a progressive state like Illinois? Hmmm. I wonder.


  133. - Dr. Bronner - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 5:16 pm:

    “I’m sorry, but from the point of view of the woman being targeted, what exactly is the difference? There is none.“

    I dont speak for women so i cant tell you. I can just say that i believe women are intelligent and able to discern danger.


  134. - Inspector Renault - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 5:19 pm:

    @JB13: Maybe because the Democrats will re-nominate Joe Berrios for Assessor (a real powerful position and Berrios is tight with Madigan — property tax assessments is a big business) with a history of such behavior and allegations, including lawsuits related to his conduct.


  135. - Lillian - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 5:39 pm:

    I have not heard about this senator being a problem before but there are others with well known bad conduct. Very sad. I hope there are others much braver than me out there. My thanks to those trying to change things.


  136. - GetReal - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 6:58 pm:

    Why is everyone talking resignation? Anyone that knows Denise .. And I do very well… knows she is the ultimate victim and thrives on attention. Until an official investigation is performed, I suggest taking her comments with a grain of salt. She is an opportunist and is using the #metoo momentum to help with her campaign.


  137. - Rod - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 7:48 pm:

    Senator Steans made the accusation live on WTTW, not me she said she was propositioned on the floor 9 years ago. If it was Sen Silverstein that made that proposition given what has come out today she has an obligation to really end this story. But more importantly for a State Senator to be propositioned on the Senate floor is mind mending.no matter who did it. I believe she told the truth last night and it is truly beyond belief.


  138. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 8:35 pm:

    @Lillian.

    Totally agree. I think there is a short list of people whose names should come out, and I hope some brave women out them.


  139. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Oct 31, 17 @ 8:53 pm:

    Regarding the message, maybe Sen. Silverstein thought she must be at the gym when she did not pick up the phone. That’s a little creepy, but not harassment.


  140. - Former lobbyist - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    This reads like a Tinder exchange, and was wildly unprofessional and inappropriate on both ends. Based on the evidence above (recognizing there may be more to the story) this is not sexual harassment. Anyone who has worked in Springfield understands that the dynamics of power in relationships are complex, and there are many nuances in these relationships. While Silverstein may have control over the legislation, Rotheimer has the power (possibly exercised yesterday) to publicly embarrass him and ruin his career. Both assumed risks when they engaged in the behavior outlined above; they are both adults. Silverstein is an philanderer and and Rotheimer appears to be an opportunist who decided engaging in flirtation and banter rife with sexual innuendo was the best way to pass a a bill in Springfield. Focusing on behavior like this minimizes the experiences of many women both in Springfield and other workplaces who face harassment, demeaning and inappropriate comments - and worse - every day. This appears to be different, and equating it to what these woman have faced undermines them and what must be a greater effort to identify the line, and stop those who cross it firmly and decisively.


  141. - I Really Know - Tuesday, Nov 7, 17 @ 5:25 am:

    There is a lot more to know about this story. If you have not known Ms. Rotheimer for 20-25 years you are absolutely clueless as to what she is capable of navigating. When
    this story comes out, most bloggers here will regret what they said. I know something no one else seems to know.

    Yours truly…..


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