By: Diane Benjamin
Before the hearing this morning at the Bloomington Election Commission started, Kirk Allen of Edgar County Watchdogs informed the Commission that the meeting was illegal because it violated the Open Meetings Act.
The meeting time was not posted on the BEC website and no agenda was posted. The agenda was important because the law requires public comment. It was also important because the rules for hearing the objections had to be established, since there was no agenda, nobody in the room knew what was going to happen.
A lawyer for the Commission, Robert Day, took issue with Kirk comments. The chairman attempted to start the meeting, Kirk interrupted her to ask if she intended to continue with the illegal meeting. John Kraft of ECWs also chimed in, I added that the meeting time wasn’t even listed on the website. Instead of the head of the commission running the meeting, the lawyer tried to take over. It got heated from there as Kirk told him he wasn’t the one in charge.
Eventually the Police were called, a Bloomington Police officer showed up. State’s Attorney Jason Chambers showed up with a copy of the Open Meetings Act law, but he refused to intervene because he would be responsible for prosecuting the illegal meeting.
The Commission then met illegally to discuss how to proceed in another room. Since it was all three members, that constituted another OMA.
I’ve got more video, but this one is the BEC lawyer telling the officer that these people are disrupting their meeting. Kirk Allen then gave the officer the real story. I have a guy working on improving the sound from the lawyer, I was too far away to pick it up clearly.
More video will be coming soon. This hearing was to determine if the law was followed collecting signatures. The election commission didn’t get the law right when setting the meeting. Some of Renner’s supporters were very upset the hearing got delayed until Thursday.
We don’t live in Constitutional Republic when laws only apply to citizens. Government must abide by laws too. Quite simply, they didn’t. Worse, they are required to have Open Meetings Act training so they know the law. Do you really want to live in a City that’s make their own laws or picks which State laws they want to follow and which ones they can ignore?