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When Does the #MeToo Reckoning Come to Springfield?

For Immediate Release

When Does the #MeToo Reckoning Come to Springfield?
“We either have a system that checks the abuses of those in power or we have a system where those in power abuse.”

WATCH VIDEO OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE HERE

Read the Springfield #MeToo Letter Here

January 15, 2018 – When Does the #MeToo Reckoning Come to Springfield?

Today, State Representative Jeanne Ives, a conservative reform Republican for Governor, and whistleblower Denise Rotheimer held a joint press conference during which Ives called on both parties to end their bipartisan protection racket and take the complaints of sexual harassment seriously. She demanded that:

(1) The Legislative Ethics Committee should invite Denise Rotheimer to testify to her claims against State Sen. Ira Silverstein at their next hearing.

(2) The 27 other complaints that were ignored for as long as three years should be immediately released to the public with the names of the accusers redacted.

We have elections in March and November. It is because of the failures of legislative leaders, the ethics committee and the governor that we’re at this point. They failed to do their job and ensure that a Legislative Inspector General was in place and that complaints were handled in a timely manner. The voters shouldn’t have to pay the price. Given the political gamesmanship, it is appropriate to give these complaints the opportunities to be adjudicated in the court of public opinion in addition to, where appropriate, public hearings and/or courts of law.

Let me be clear, I don’t know the names or party affiliations of the other legislators against whom claims have been filed. And I don’t care who they are.
We either have a system that checks the abuses of those in power or we have a system where those in power abuse.

Rotheimer’s testimony illustrated the bipartisan nature of the sexual harassment crisis in Springfield. She noted that she turned to Senate President John Cullerton and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. Neither came to her aide. Both brushed off her complaints with lip-service, instead of action.

Rotheimer added that she is supporting Jeanne Ives in the Governor’s Race because of her independence as a State Representative saying, “Jeanne Ives is the type of leader we need in the Governor’s Office. Jeanne Ives will be in charge. She has already taken charge by using her leadership position to confront the culture of corruption in Springfield and to challenge the policies that enable it to exist.”

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For more information or to book Jeanne Ives, contact Kathleen Murphy 630-329-4680 or kathleenemurphy26@gmail.com
Ives Statement

In Illinois, we have predatory government policies where government is aligned against the interests of its constituents.

Predatory policies that have been pushed by both parties.

We see this with everything from confiscatory property taxes to red light cameras.

But that predation pales in comparison to allegations of elected officials, in both parties, using the power of their offices to prey on subordinates or ordinary citizens petitioning the government for redress like Denise Rotheimer who joins me here today.

When the horror stories about barbaric behavior mainly by men toward women in Hollywood, big media, and politics began to break at the end of last year, it was only a matter of time before the culture in Springfield came under scrutiny.

When we learned of the effectively off-book congressional slush fund—unknown to most of members of Congress—set up to protect members of Congress by making accusers jump through myriad hoops to file a claim and then quietly pay them off if and when they followed through, I, and others, wondered if Illinois politicians might be doing something similar.

And then Denise Rotheimer came forward and told her story.

And then 300 women signed an open #MeToo letter about the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield.

Names were not named but specific examples of unethical behavior, at minimum, were provided.

“Misogyny is alive and well in this industry,” read the letter in reference to Illinois politics.

And it’s alive and well because of what clearly has been the neglect by leadership of both political parties in Springfield and aided obliviousness of Governor Rauner.

How else to explain the fact that the Legislative Inspector General post had sat vacant for three years until two months ago?

How else to explain the 27 complaints against members of the General Assembly that haven’t been investigated?

How else to explain, as Denise mentioned, a Legislative Ethics Committee, 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats, that won’t invite the one woman who has so far been willing to coming forward publicly to testify before their committee so that the committee may make a recommendation on her complaint?

Instead of taking the complaints that have been filed with the seriousness they deserve, the powers that be in Springfield hastily threw together legislation during Veto Session to mandate sexual harassment training to cover themselves.

This way they could go get the press off their backs and go back to their districts with a bullet point for their legislative updates.

It’s another bipartisan scam that furthers Illinois’ corrupt political culture.

Ask yourself this question, given that letter signed by 300 women and the details in it, why do you think it is, only one women has come forward since it was released?

I’ll tell you why. They see the way Denise has been treated and they say, why bother. The politicians will just cover for each other. I have no chance in a system rigged against me.

So today, I’m calling for both parties to end their bipartisan protection racket and come clean:

(1) The Legislative Ethics Committee should invite Denise Rotheimer to testify to her claims against State Sen. Ira Silverstein at their next hearing.

(2) The 27 other complaints that were ignored for as long as three years should be immediately released to the public with the names of the accusers redacted.

We have elections in March and November. It is because of the failures of legislative leaders, the ethics committee and the governor that we’re at this point. They failed to do their job and ensure that a Legislative Inspector General was in place and that complaints were handled in a timely manner. The voters shouldn’t have to pay the price. Given the political gamesmanship, it is appropriate to give these complaints the opportunities to be adjudicated in the court of public opinion in addition to, where appropriate, public hearings and/or courts of law.

Let me be clear, I don’t know the names or party affiliations of the other legislators against whom claims have been filed. And I don’t care who they are.

We either have a system that checks the abuses of those in power or we have a system where those in power abuse.

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