By Jim Bowman
State Rep. Camille Lilly, who represents most of Oak Park, defended herself vigorously last night (Sept. 12) against what she took to be a scurrilous charge of loose morality from a woman at a Galewood townhall meeting.
The woman, one of sixty or so in the group at a small local church, had called for Lilly and Sen. Don Harmon to "be a moral voice" in their roles as public officials. It was one of many emotion-laden challenges put to them in an hour and fifteen minutes of citizens asking specific questions but also venting about the sad state of things in their neighborhood and the state.
The situation had become maybe too much for Lilly, who had felt the need several times to talk over questioners as she expertly handled the microphone held close to her lips. Whatever the reason, she took the questioner's challenge as a blot on her reputation and leaped to reject it.
"My morals cannot be questioned. You are talking about me as an individual," she complained, as the woman protested. She had been misunderstood, the woman tried to say as Lilly talked over her.
It was near the meeting's end. Lilly thanked the people for showing up, having done so earlier more than once. She added, "I want you to contact me."
But I did contact her, twice, asking about something she said at the Franklin Park townhall meeting July 30, copying Harmon each time, and never heard. I was looking for verification of the item, which she alone had brought up during a five-legislator discussion.
In slim hope of her having the verification I was looking for, I wrote on Aug. 1:
The other night in Franklin Park, you mentioned signing (passing?) legislation on that day that helped small businesses in Illinois get loans. I looked it up and found nothing about it. I may not have looked in the right places. Can you help me locate that legislation?
Response to which was nil. Repeated it Aug. 16:
Have you had a chance to give this a look? Find anything?
Again, no response.
I'm a constituent. I attend meetings and listen closely. She wants me to contact her.