Silverstein donation issue indicative of Springfield mindset, Ugaste says
Dan Ugaste sees leaders of the Democratic Victory Fund moving to contribute more than $55,000 to the re-election campaign of Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) as being representative of the different set of rules many politicians in Springfield have come to live by.
“I think it has gotten to the point where we have a group of people in Springfield who believe they are a class all to themselves,” Ugaste told the Kane County Reporter. “They seem to think they have the right to (do) whatever they think they have to in order to stay in office.”
The organization’s decision to support Silverstein comes despite the senator being dogged by allegations of sexual harassment filed by longtime local activist Denise Rotheimer.
The allegations became public in October, a time when the legislative inspector general post in Springfield that handles such investigation was going on its third year of being vacant, during which time 27 allegations of harassment reportedly languished.
Julie Porter has since been appointed to the post and recently concluded that Silverstein did not commit sexual harassment but 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.
“It’s just not right that any elected officials would still be supportive of him, especially those from a party that relies so heavily on female voters,” Ugaste, a Geneva Republican running to replace retiring Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) in the 65th District, said. “It just seems contradictory to everything they preach and makes no sense from the Democratic perspective.”
Ugaste has previously hinted that he favors term limits for all elected officials as a better system of allowing voters to have greater checks and balances. “When someone amasses too much power, there tends to be a problem of making certain everyone is treated fairly,” he said.
The 65th House District includes Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Pingree Grove, Hampshire and Huntley.