Caulkins calls Silverstein donation a 'slap in the face to women'
Dan Caulkins says the Democratic Victory Fund’s recent decision to contribute $55,400 to the campaign fund of Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) should be seen as a slap in the face to women everywhere.
“It’s beyond shameful when you consider that they portray themselves as the party of female voters,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “It sends a terrible message and outweighs any statement claiming to have regard for the victims. It’s like they are trying to buy their way out of this.”
The organization’s decision to support Silverstein comes as he continues to be dogged by allegations of sexual harassment.
Longtime local activist Denise Rotheimer made the allegations that became public in October. At the time the legislative inspector general post in Springfield that handles such investigations was going on its third year of being vacant, during which time 27 allegations of harassment reportedly languished uninvestigated.
Since then, Julie Porter was appointed to the post and she recently concluded that Silverstein did not commit sexual harassment but did violate a section of the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. She recommended that he receive counseling from the Senate’s ethics officer.
“They’re trying to persuade people he’s not the bad person that he is,” Caulkins, a Decatur Republican running for the seat held by retiring Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District, said. “I feel bad for Denise and this is a total affront to her. I predict that if Democrats don’t stand up to (House Speaker Mike) Madigan (D-Chicago) on this it will totally be an issue for them.”
In the end, Caulkins hopes to be at the center of the change movement he thinks is so desperately needed in Springfield.
“We’re still knocking on doors, trying to get to everyone we can with our message,” he said. “The top question everyone asks is ‘what are you going to do about Madigan and how do we change the state.’ People have definitely had enough.”
The 101st House District includes parts of Champaign, McLean, Dewitt, Macon and Piatt counties.