Followup to a previous story

By:  Diane Benjamin

I’m only writing because I received a ruling from the Attorney General yesterday regarding the Bloomington Election Commission’s violation of the Open Meetings Act.

It still stands that I am not going to work for mostly free.  If everything I have exposed the last five years isn’t worth $5 or $10 a month to you, then it isn’t worth my time to expose it.  Details HERE

This is one of the original stories:

Holding the Bloomington Election Commission accountable was important because they had previously thrown an alderwoman off the ballot for improper petitions, but a court allowed her back on because BEC had violated the Open Meetings Act.

The Attorney General ruled that BEC did violate the Open Meetings Act on several counts.  First, the December 5th was not properly posted – BEC claims it was on oversight. (Try telling an officer that the next time you are stopped for speeding)

If you remember seeing the video of the December 5th meeting, the Edgar County Watchdogs were present.  They informed the Board the meetings was illegal before it started.  Kirk Allen then interrupted the meeting, again saying it was illegal.  At this point the Board was exceptionally flustered and decided to recess to a private meeting.  Get ready:  They told the AG they were only discussing a party for a retiring employee.  Truth evidently doesn’t matter.  The AG claimed they couldn’t tell what happened since I don’t have audio of a private meeting – just video of them through the windows.

I also filed a complaint against them because adopting rules for public comment was not listed on the agenda for the meeting when they were adopted.  BEC was found guilty on that count too.

See the entire ruling 45469 o 202a improper 2a proper 202c improper elec bd

No penalties were not assessed against them.  The AG said the Board needs to re-vote the rules since the first vote wasn’t legal.  Obviously, none of that matters now.  “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” only applies to us peons.  Government has no consequences for untruthful statements or not following the law.

The only bright spot here is I filed in December and received a ruling in April.  It still did nothing to hold BEC accountable, they are a repeat offender.  Equal justice under the law doesn’t exist.

I still have a pending Request of Review with the AG concerning the Metro Zone executive session.  I suspect it will be more of the same.

Only because I like it:






11 thoughts on “Followup to a previous story

  1. Hi Diane:

    Have you ever considered setting up an official subscription to your newsletter? It’s one thing to request donations to help you offset expenses, but if you are wanting to do this for a living then I would think a subscription would be the way to go. It’s not easy doing what you do and most folks can’t appreciate the time and effort it takes to attend Council Meetings, dig through municipal or media archives, submit Freedom of Information (FOIA) forms, and then comb through those documents and all of the minutia to find the “meat and potatoes” for your story that our local governments have worked so hard to bury.

    And I don’t know anyone that would volunteer their time and money like you do to bring this information to the public at large. Unless you are an independently wealthy eccentric, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask people to subscribe to your newsletter and make it a viable commodity. It would also give you an idea of many followers you have and how interested they are in receiving your newsletter. I think you provide a great service to the community by providing stories that the regular local press would never report on due to their obvious bias towards the establishment politicians from the McLean County Board to the regional Cities to the local School Boards. Just wondering if you ever considered making it “official”.

    Eric Brown


  2. I agree with Eric….great idea to have regular subscribers. That way not just a handful of people are supporting you when anybody can read your blogs. Please reconsider …..we do miss you!


  3. Diane, I think you made the right choice to stop publishing for free. You have asked for “donations” for years to no avail. Only “the 1%” have financially contributed. Here is my “politically incorrect” comment: Those who have been reading this blog, including the local media reporters and government staff, should be ashamed of themselves for taking something of value without compensating the provider. Such action is blatant entitlement at best, theft at worst.
    If anyone wishes to put their money where their mouth is, go to the top of this page in the right hand corner, click on BLN and contribute. Actions speak louder than words.


  4. Diane, if you decide to continue I will be in for 2 installments of $60…let me know if the response if well enough for you to continue



  5. Can you tell Governor Rauner to come up with a detailed plan regarding the future of the Thompson Center? I know it will be sold eventually and politicians on both sides are open to it. I’m concerned that the state will screw over CTA commuters at the Clark & Lake stop (2nd busiest in Chicago) during construction if a new building replaces it. We need answers to his plan.


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