How much money have the Huff’s received?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Huff’s own various properties in downtown Bloomington, including Ensenberger’s and the Front and Center building. I filed a FOIA request for how much downtown TIF money was paid to the Huff’s or for their benefit. This is what I received: $728,000 paid to CEFCU $1,500,000 paid to Ensenbergers Condominiums LLC That’s […]

Ethics Law everybody ignores

By:  Diane Benjamin From Attorney Tyson Manker: America is the greatest nation on Earth. Thanks to the Constitution and its enduring principles, We the People enjoy freedoms unknown in many parts of the world. However, right now in America there is a serious lack of honest leadership in Government at all levels. Both nationally and locally, […]

Mathy or Feldkamp for Ward 1?

By:  Diane Benjamin Flashback to February 2013.  Consolidated elections were coming up in April.  Kevin Lower was the only candidate on the ballot for Ward 1 because Alderman Bernie Anderson had resigned and decided not to run for reelection. Steve Stockton was mayor.  At the February 11th regular City Council meeting, Stockton wanted to appoint […]

Vote early? Why you shouldn’t

By:  Diane Benjamin If you attended the last mayoral debate at the Doubletree, you know the large room was packed.  Unfortunately, the League of Women Voters and WGLT are holding another debate in Uptown.  Yes, it makes perfect sense to hold a Bloomington mayoral debate in Normal!  (Sure) It’s being held at the ISU Galleries.  […]

December Library usage

By:  Diane Benjamin From Page 10 – City Manager’s December report: From page 44 of the December 2015 City Manager’s report: Information for December 2015 isn’t available.  Library information is missing from many of the new jumbled City Manager reports.  David Hales is DONE winning awards for delivering information to citizens! The transparency […]

WGLT: Your local tax dollars

By:  Diane Benjamin UPDATE to this story: Since WGLT is National Public Radio, your federal tax dollars already fund them.  They aren’t allowed to sell advertising, all they can do is “underwritten by” non-specific ads. That doesn’t keep your local tax dollars from ending up in their pocket though.  I received this information under […]

Pravdagraph writes fiction?

Note: The original version stated Doug Fansler is running for Normal Town Council, he isn’t. By: Diane Benjamin The new name for the local newspaper was coined by a resident of Normal with experience in the FAKE NEWS they report.  Since other media outlets get their news from the paper, it’s easy in Bloomington-Normal to […]

County Public Comment STILL illegal

By:  Diane Benjamin The County Public Comment policy is hard to find on their website – so below is the entire text.  The first thing it stresses is non-members should be speaking in Committee Meetings instead of in front of the whole Board.  If Public Comment policy exists for Committee meetings, I can’t find it.  […]

ISU’s Illegal Public Comment policy

By:  Diane Benjamin Complying with the law doesn’t matter when citizens “interfere” with government’s ability to do whatever they want! Normal is the perfect example.  The entire Council, Mayor, and City Manager are pretending they asked the Attorney General to rule on their policy.  They didn’t.  TWO citizens want Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office to […]

Story UPDATE: Bed Blitz

By:  Diane Benjamin See this story from December 12th: Bed Blitz came in SECOND and has been awarded $7,500! See the press release  HERE Bed Blitz; Bloomington, Ill.: A community-driven fabrication project focused on building beds for children in need, after a study revealed that hundreds of students in the area didn’t have access […]

Tari Renner Fact Check

By:  Diane Benjamin Yes Facts do matter. Tari Renner campaigns using his own: What’s the truth? Comparisons between Normal and Bloomington are not available, but the other cities are. City property tax rates are meaningless to compare because a City with higher Assessed Values doesn’t need a tax rate as high as cities with lower […]

Connect Transit News

By:  Diane Benjamin The Connect Transit Board met yesterday.  They skipped meeting in December, so this meeting covered November and December’s activity. See the Board Packet here:,%202017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder2.pdf The Board did a couple of things right: Page 20:   Page 27: This travel expense law was passed to control spending in non-Home Rule units of […]

Scott Laughlin and Renner: risking FCC license?

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner appeared with Scott Laughlin this morning on WJBC.  The interview was mostly a campaign commercial!  Listen to it HERE Somebody at WJBC frequently reads stories on BlnNews – especially before interviews.  This morning was no exception: Did Scott Laughlin ask Tari Renner about this Moody’s report which clearly states Bloomington […]

Will the GOP help the DEMS fleece you?

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course Illinois doesn’t have enough money!  Springfield has no interest in a balanced budget and spending cuts.  Democrats want more of your money and the Republicans may help them get it because they are desperate. Your income tax could be going up 40%.  In exchange you get a two-year property tax […]

Quit pandering to millennials – they grew up

By:  Diane Benjamin I don’t think Tari Renner and most of the City Council are keeping up to date!  We are constantly told we need Complete Streets because millennials want to ride their bikes to work.  We need to spend millions downtown because millennials want to live there. Since (I think) Tari just got back […]

Representative Republic – NOT Democracy

By:  Diane Benjamin I hope the Political Science Professor Mayor of Bloomington isn’t teaching the kids at IWU that we live in a democracy.  He and others mentioned “democracy” numerous times at the City Council meeting last night.  Democracy is mob rule, if we were a democracy the Council wouldn’t have voted to approve the […]

Is the Pantagraph trying to reelect Koos?

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday the Pantagraph wrote this story:  Normal Seeks AG’s Opinion On Public Comment I wonder where they got the idea for the story! Did Chris Koos call them and say “I’ve got a story for you”?  Mark Peterson? The only reason Normal is considering changing their Public Comment policy is because at […]

Redistributing your wealth!

By:  Diane Benjamin Taxes are theft! Public officials who don’t understand this need to be kicked out of office.  Your wallet is not their playground! Cities created a social compact with citizens to do what citizens can’t do on their own.  Think streets, sewer, fire protection, and police.  Citizens volunteered part of their wealth for […]

Soccer waited too long

By:  Diane Benjamin According to Moody’s, Bloomington-Normal is now in a recession.   See yesterday’s story Here A recession is at least 6 months of stagnant wages, fall in retail sales, contraction of GDP, and high unemployment.  Here it could also mean people have left because opportunities are limited. I wonder if this is why Bloomington […]

BLM: Bullying the Council?

By:  Diane Benjamin The west-side police substation is back on the agenda of the Bloomington City Council Monday, but now it’s called a community center: Black Lives Matter still isn’t happy.  Even though the City changed the name, BLM is still calling the house a substation on Facebook: BLM is organizing people to attend […]

Bloomington is in recession

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s not me saying Bloomington is in a recession, it’s: . The report doesn’t go into details about Bloomington – just this statement on page 4: . See the entire report HERE Next month’s primary election just got serious.  Liberal progressives think they need to keep spending money in a recession, conservatives […]

Eating on your dime – again

By:  Diane Benjamin From Monday’s Bills and Payroll: The US Conference of Mayors was January 17-19 in Washington DC. I wonder if Tari stayed for today’s inauguration? Funny, he isn’t listed as attending the conference: mayors attending . What is an EAC event and why are your taxes paying for prizes? . The Pepsi […]

UPDATE: Pantagraph: Please explain

Update:  Comments are back on the first story – including the one that probably got them shut off.  Yep – bad language on those sweet women’s signs. By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has two stories about local people traveling to Washington DC. This one is about local women going to march in protest of President […]

Black Lives Matter makes local demands

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens deserve to know what’s happening in their city.  This post is meant to inform voters.  Is BLM trying to run the Bloomington police force themselves?  You decide.  Why Bloomington and not Normal? The proposals below were created by the local Black Lives Matter movement.  You can see the entire document that […]

Setting the record straight:

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday the Pantagraph did a story about County union employee salary increases: This paragraph is in the story: Two problems:  The City of Bloomington has been hit by at least 24 penalties amounting to around $1.6 million. (it could be more by now) That’s not “several”. Second, the County negotiated with […]

Tari starts his own blog!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner has decided to print his own news.  He started his own blog: The biggest difference between and Tari’s site is: He doesn’t allow comments! Luckily, I can comment here. Roads were important to Tari  during his first election, the election two years ago, and now right before the […]

Another chance for Watchdog training!

By:  Diane Benjamin If you missed the Edgar County Watchdog Citizen Training in Bloomington – you have another chance this Saturday: Date and Time Sat, January 21, 2017 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Location Hilton Garden Inn Champaign/Urbana 1501 S. Neil Street Champaign, IL 61820 Click HERE  to register! It will be the fastest 4 […]

FRAUD – Step 2

By:  Diane Benjamin Update to this story: The Pantagraph and Cumulus (WJBC) have both read this story at least once.  The questions are:  Will they report?  Ask questions?  Continue to be bought and paid for media and ignore the facts? Last August something strange happened at a Council meeting.  Finance Director Patti-Lynn Silva gave […]


By:  Diane Benjamin All of the information below is from the Illinois Comptroller’s website.  See it HERE Would you invest in a company that fails to issue Financial Reports? Why would anybody invest in Bloomington – they haven’t issued last year’s statements yet.  Tonight there will be a presentation on how this year is going […]

How much did the last Parks Plan Cost?

By:  Diane Benjamin Update to this story: The new City of Bloomington website does not include packets from prior years.  The packets are what contain all those pesky details that the City now evidently wants to hide.  I can show you what was paid to the company that did the last update to the […]

What is Normal buying?

By:  Diane Benjamin Recap of spending Normal will approve tomorrow night: Normal agreed to pay for their employees to ride the bus, evidently those employees don’t want to ride the bus any more than the rest of the population does. What does the Economic Development Council do for $8000+ a month?  Don’t forget, they […]