Debra Silverstein, Ward Boss

The Daily Line  reports this morning that Ira Silverstein resigned as 50th Ward Democratic committeeman over the weekend, and Debra is taking over the job. All of this was done with the usual secrecy so characteristic of the Silverstein era in the 50th Ward.

Ira wants to focus full time on his run for a judgeship. Being committeeman won’t add any burdens to Debra’s workload. Ira never did anyting with the position, and Debra won’t do anything, either. All this does is make official what everyone always knew– the Silversteins are all about power, not about service.

The Daily Line  also noted that there is a challenger for democratic committeeman. Halle Quezada is a 50th Ward resident with a sincere desire to improve our neighborhood. She is thoughtful and open to all ideas and would be a very fine public servant if elected.

Debra as Ward committeeman. Ira as a judge.

It would be laughable were it not so sad.

 

Ira Silverstein Running for Judge

Ira Silverstein is running for Cook County Circuit Court judge.  He registered his candidate committee with the State of Illinois Board of Elections on August 31. Its office is located at 9150 Crawford in Skokie. No donations have been reported so far.

Interestingly, the committee that supported him for 50th Ward committeeman is no longer active, although the committee supporting his candidacy for state senate is.  You’ll recall that Ira was defeated by Ram Villivalam, who is about to become Democrat committeeman for the 39th Ward.

I won’t be surprised if Ira is slated to run, and I won’t be surprised if he isn’t. Points in his favor include being currently a ward committeeman, formerly a senator as well as a member of the state senate leadership team, and being married to an alderman. These are the things that matter in Chicago.

He lost his positions as deputy majority leader and senator after a sexual harassment scandal involving a woman who was trying to gain his support for a bill. After an official investigation, his conduct was deemed inappropriate although not rising to the level of harassment. If you’ve read any of the transcripts that surfaced during the scandal, you already know that Ira is not a practiced seducer, his behavior more like that of a high-school Lothario than a man experienced in roantic affairs.

However, he represented the woman’s family in a lawsuit for which he was paid several thousand dollars while she was attempting to gain his support for her bill, further calling his ethics into question.

He also took part in the sham of choosing a successor to state representative Lou Lang. Using a sneaky but legal maneuver, Lang resigned after being re-elected. He then staged a phony search for his replacement.  Under the law, the public was shut out of the process and only three ward committeemen  were permitted to choose Lang’s eventual successor, rabbi and former lobbyist Yehiel “Mark” Kalish. Pat O’Connor, then committeeman of the 40th Ward, gave his proxy to Silverstein and Lang, who put Kalish in office.

Silverstein has little to show for his 18 years as senator and 10 years as committeeman except for the election of his wife as alderman, hardly an accomplishment. Both have proven to be lazy, disinterested public servants whose sole goal is to feed off the taxpayers, earning fat pensions while doing as little work s possible.

In all his years in power, Ira has never held a voter registration drive. Yet getting out the vote is the primary function of the ward committeeman.

None of this will probably matter to the slating committee.  

But Ira’s run for a judgeship could explain why Debra’s been publicly cozying up to Lori Lightfoot, who can provide behind-the-scenes help, like influence, money, and campaign workers.

It’s always politics as usual in Chicago.