Fawell says he's not surprised by Democratic contribution to Silverstein campaign
Bill Fawell laments he’s seen it all before and more times than he cares to remember.
“Nothing has changed,” Fawell told the Rock Island Today of the way Democrats operate and the way leaders of the Democratic Victory Fund recently moved to contribute more than $55,000 to the re-election campaign of state Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago).
The organization’s decision to support Silverstein comes as he continues to be dogged by allegations of sexual harassment.
Lodged by longtime local activist Denise Rotheimer, the allegations became public in October when the legislative inspector general post -- which handles such investigations -- was going on its third year of being vacant. During that time, 27 allegations of harassment reportedly languished uninvestigated.
Since then, Julie Porter has been installed in the post, and she recently concluded that Silverstein did not commit sexual harassment but that he did violate the legislative code of conduct of the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. 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, which comes as no surprise to Fawell.
“Because nothing has changed, the attitudes of the Democratic National Committee reach down and out setting the standards for the entire party,” said Fawell, running in the Republican primary for the chance to face off against U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) in the 17th Congressional District. “They cheat a presidential primary candidate out of the nomination and defend it by say cheating is protected by the 1st Amendment. They accuse Russian's of hacking their computers, but the download speed they were hacked at could only be accomplished with an on site chip and their servers have never been turned over to any reputable agency for investigation. ... The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.”
In the end, Fawell said he thinks politicians should be held to a higher ethical standard, though he strongly hinted he doesn’t always see that happening.
“When the people vote for someone and they are elected, they are placing their trust in their candidate under our Constitution, and this is a sacred trust sworn over a Bible or book that represents their faith in the God they worship,” he said. “And unless their God is mammon and they break faith what good are they to themselves; and if they are no good to themselves what good are they to the people they serve and have sworn their fiduciary duty to?”
Fawell added while he knows no one is perfect, he feels people in public office have an obligation to take added precautions to be as perfect as they can be once they have taken the oath of office.
“We are born with nothing and we make our reputation, and it is the only thing we take with us when we go,” he said. “As an elected servant, it is our responsibility to keep our failures to a minimum.”