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Interestingly, the committee that supported him for 50th Ward committeeman is no longer active, although the committee supporting his candidacy for state senate is.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.