Norwood Park candidate sees common good, common ground forgotten in Illinois politics
Dan Donnelly says he is as shocked as he is appalled by the sexual harassment scandal in Springfield.
“I can't understand how something that important could be neglected for so long,” Donnelly told the North Cook News of reports that the legislative inspector general post responsible for investigating all reported ethics violations in Springfield went vacant for three years before recently being filled. “You would hope lawmakers would represent themselves with respect at all times, especially considering they are representing Illinois, but that is too important of a post to just leave hanging."
Donnelly said his 2018 run to replace the retiring Robert Martwick Sr. as Norwood Park Township committeeman is about providing responsible government.
“I don’t know how it’s done in Springfield, but it seems to me that if everyone was working together for the common good, something like that could never happen,” he said. “That’s one of my biggest complaints about Springfield: No one works together anymore.”
Former U.S. attorney Julie Porter was appointed legislative inspector general at about the same time that Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Spring) introduced legislation to install a hotline as a channel for handling sexual harassment complaints.
Durkin has argued that the bill would create a “safe outlet” for victims in need of counseling, protective services or assistance at any point in the process of filing a complaint.
After House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) introduced legislation mandating sensitivity training for all lawmakers, political activist Denise Rotheimer went before the House to tell her story of alleged harassment at the hands of Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), who has since resigned from the Democratic Leadership Committee.
“We need that kind of transparency,” Donnelly said. “That’s what every level of government should be about.”
A local businessman who lives in Norridge with his fiancée and two young children, Donnelly said he’s up to the challenge of public service.
“People have always called me when they’ve had problems,” he said. “When I’ve answered, it’s always been out of love, and that won’t change with me being in office.”