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Silverstein narrowly escapes the boot as Rotheimer holds press conference

Monday, Jan 29, 2018

* Chicago Board of Election Commissioners hearing officer Maurice Sone has recommended that Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) remain on the ballot because he has two more signatures than the minimum 1,000

City election officials initially determined that Silverstein was about 45 signatures short, prompting a hearing at which lawyers for both sides were able to make their case.

Silverstein’s lawyer initially presented affidavits that were supposed to attest to the veracity of 116 of the signatures in question. Sone, however, compared the signatures on those affidavits to the signatures on the original petitions and was not convinced by the vast majority of them, rehabilitating just 26 of them. By the end of the first day, Silverstein appeared to be still 19 short of the minimum.

On the following hearing day, Silverstein appeared with more than two dozen of his allies, who testified in person that some of the petition signatures in question were theirs. A handwriting expert also gave hours of testimony defending many signatures that had been called into question.

Lawyers for the district resident trying to get Silverstein kicked off presented their own handwriting expert, and they offered several affidavits from people who said they were falsely identified on Silverstein’s petitions. Those attorneys also argued that Silverstein’s campaign had mishandled the process because a watcher from his campaign was not always present to defend the signatures as they were called into question during the board’s initial review.

* NBC 5

Despite the recommendation, one of the attorneys contesting the petition says that the fight to rule Silverstein off of the ballot is not over.

“There are insufficient signatures, which we proved,” election attorney Burt Odelson said. “The board or the court will rule him off the ballot. (It’s) almost unbelievable an incumbent senator didn’t have enough signatures.”

Silverstein is in a five-way primary for the 8th District Senate Seat on Chicago’s North Side that he has held for 18 years. […]

While Sunday’s ruling was certainly good news for Silverstein, the decision is not final and the battle is not over yet. The Electoral Board was slated to consider Sone’s recommendation in a meeting Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Regardless of what happens now, it’s clear an incumbent Senator who is also a ward committeeman with an aldermanic spouse was so damaged by the Rotheimer allegations that he had very real trouble gathering enough petition signatures to safely put him on the ballot. And the incumbent has spent the past several weeks trying to stay on the ballot instead of campaigning.

* There’s also stuff like this

Does [Sen. Silverstein] want to offer anyone an apology? “I don’t want to answer that,” he said. “I wouldn’t do what I did again, but I’m moving on.”

* However, Rotheimer is planning a press conference today intended to criticize the inspector general. Press release…

I am going to speak on the flaws, inconsistencies, victim-blaming tactics, omissions and contradictions in Julie Porter’s report on her investigation into the Silverstein “Abuse of Power” complaint I filed in 2016 and attached. She promised the public that she would conduct a thorough and complete investigation which she did not.

There were two issues at hand in Porter’s investigation:

    1. Allegation Silverstein behaved unethically by using his status as the bill’s sponsor to cultivate a personal relationship with Rotheimer.
    2. Allegation Silverstein killed the bill in retaliation for what he believed to be Rotheimer’s relationship with another man. […]

There will be other survivors at the press conference on Monday, January 29, 2017 at 11 a.m. to discuss similar grievances from the way their complaints are being handled.

You can watch the Rotheimer presser by clicking here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    Silverstein’s problems were more a question of quality rather than quantity. His petitions contained almost twice the legal minimum, but two of the petition circulators did shoddy work and it resulted in the loss of entire signature sheets.

  2. - Honeybear - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    I am now super uncomfortable with Rotheimer. Not sure where the line was or what the line was yet. But I’m feeling a line got crossed. This now feels like ,to me , a vindictive stunt. I agree with the judgement and ruling of Julie Porter. I didn’t see harassment or even abuse of power to some degree. That being said Silverstein knew it was inappropriate and should be punished by the Senate.
    Forgive me, but this feels like it is more about what happened to her daughter and not about what actually happened to her. It feels like she’s using the very legitimate sexual harassment horror and issue as an angle of attack against a political opponent which in my opinion besmirches and obfuscates the very important issue that she claims to champion.
    Nope, a line got crossed.
    She’s engaging in perfidy
    Regarding sexual harassment
    And this rather infuriates me.
    This is too important of an issue
    To use it as s tool
    For your own promotion.
    Shame and perfidy

  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 11:33 am:

    Use of the word ‘survivor’ in her case must be appalling to those who survived true life threatening experiences. This is why the #MeToo effort is being undermined. Nice going.

  4. - JoanP - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    Rotheimer’s use of the term “victim-blaming” is a perfect example of “begging the question”.

  5. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    This isn’t going to end up well for anybody.

  6. - Anon2018 - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 12:08 pm:

    The problem DR faces is that it is well established that Silverstein did not kill the bill. Julie Porter exhaustively documented the steps the bill took through the process, and it showed Silverstein worked the bill very hard and at one point, he even went back on an agreement with a colleague to get it out of a committee. The whole thing about a boyfriend appears to be heresay and is thoroughly contradicted by facts.

    The bill ultimately died as a result of substantial opposition and lack of agreement.

  7. - Sigh - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 12:44 pm:

    If Ms. Rotheimer is such an legislative expert and Ms. Proter’s Report is flawed, then lets hear the same witnesses that the LIG interviewed in regards to the bill. Let’s also bring in the advocates that opposed the bill.

    Now every time my bill dies, I’m going to say it died bc someone was obsessed with me and they killed the bill bc they thought a had a boyfriend. Sheesh is this what happened to Governor Rauner’s turnaround agenda?

    Ms. Rotheimer needs to walk away. Her bill died because it had opposition, not because the sponsor thought she had a boyfriend. And other victims? How does the “other victim” relate to the LIG complaint? Someone is grasping at for attention and revenge. {sigh}

  8. - Father Ted - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    I watched the press conference with an open mind but found it to be very strange. One of the ‘survivors’ said afterwards- the cameras were rolling and the mics were hot- that she didn’t know DR was going to ask her to speak until she called her up during the event. The other survivor’s story involved her pursuit of a letter carrier at her building whom she finds to be sexually inappropriate and her attempts to get the carrier removed from this route with the postal inspector have been fruitless. What’s more, Denise’s part was hard to follow. I think reporters would have a very difficult time following what was being said unless some type of a road map was handed out.

  9. - Everything’s so blurry - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 1:37 pm:

    “I am fine with her decision”. I’m not here to debate her decision? Then what was the purpose of Ms. Rotheimer rambling about “evidence” not included in the Legislative Inspector General’s report?

    #TimesUp on Ms. Rotheimer’s allegation. And to Julie Porter, thank you for your service. As a person thrown into this LIG spotlight, I find Ms. Porter’s professionalism and prior work experience an inspiration for females.

  10. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    Honeybear, thanks for a particularly insightful comment.

    I hope Ira stays on the ballot so that he may be tossed out in the open instead of on a technicality.

  11. - anon2 - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 1:50 pm:

    Where is that other “evidence” Rotheimer promised?

  12. - A guy - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 2:25 pm:

    This whole episode has sent an important issue backwards or at the least, mired it in a muddy rut.
    Can’t even bring myself to click on the link to see any presser with her. She’s just not the messenger for this one.
    Agreed on one point here. Let him lose an election. That punishment will fit this serious transgression more seriously than anything else dished up here.

  13. - Colin O'Scopey - Monday, Jan 29, 18 @ 2:49 pm:

    Ms Rotheimer stated on multiple occasions during the (bizarre) press conference: “I passed this law and I passed that law”. Um, no you didn’t. The General Assembly passed those laws. You may have been a part of the process, but you did not pass those laws.

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