Updated: YOU have the Power!

Update is at the end. By:  Diane Benjamin Thursday night I road tripped with the Edgar County Watchdogs (John Kraft and Kirk Allen) to Stark County.  We attended a “Special” County Board meeting which occurred because the meeting on Tuesday was adjourned after the citizens who showed couldn’t all fit in the room.  The chairperson […]

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 […]

Here: Call Police, elsewhere . . .

By: Diane Benjamin When the Edgar County Watchdogs told the Bloomington Election Commission their meeting was illegal BEFORE the meeting started, they started the meeting anyway. Then, when Kirk Allen, John Kraft, and I interrupted the meeting because it was illegal – they called the police! Relive great moments in Bloomington history by watching the […]

Danvers is the latest!

By:  Diane Benjamin In the last two weeks I have been contacted by many people in small towns surrounding Bloomington-Normal.  They are tired of being abused by their government while information on spending is hidden. The latest to contact me is Danvers.  The citizens have a new FACEBOOK page to spread information since Danvers doesn’t […]

Lisa Madigan Fail: Bloomington Election Commission

By:  Diane Benjamin Back in 2014 one of the guys that filed challenges to petitions for candidates in Bloomington knew the Bloomington Election Commission wasn’t following the law as required by the Open Meetings Act.  Bruce Meeks filed a Request for Review with Lisa Madigan’s Public Access Office.  In February 2014 the Attorney General decided […]

Pretend Republican: Jesse Smart

By:  Diane Benjamin Local elections pretend to be non-partisan.  I remember Renner claiming that everybody wants to make Bloomington the best it can be (or something to that effect).  The problem is that his ilk think government, more taxes, and more spending will make Bloomington great.  Most citizens believe IT’S THEIR MONEY and they make […]

Bloomington Election Commission – A Third Open Meetings Violation –

December 7, 2016 BLOOMINGTON, IL. (ECWd) – We have already pointed out two recent examples of the Bloomington Election Commission violating the Open Meetings Act, and have also found another one – from 2014. The Commission admitted in a letter to the Attorney General’s office that it had violated the Open Meetings Act in February 2014 by […]

Another OMA violation – Allin Fire

By:  Diane Benjamin The Open Meetings Act was created to make sure citizens are informed about actions their government takes.  Imagine what would happen if all government actions took place in secret and you got the bill for whatever they dreamed up! The Edgar County Watchdogs wrote an easy to understand version of the Open […]

Bloomington Electoral Board – Not Their First Time Violating Open Meetings –

December 6, 2016 BLOOMINGTON, IL. (ECWd) – In a day when adherence to the law is a revolutionary act, this one drives that message home. An objection was made to the nomination petitions for Bloomington’s Mayor, Tari Renner – and he accused those wanting the law followed of being “fringe right-wing” people who are “trying […]

BGA on Madigan’s Public Access

I was interviewed for this story WEEKS ago, glad to see this is STATE problem.  The story is published on the Better Government Association website:  http://www.bettergov.org/news/illinois-foia-appeals-linger-with-no-end-in-sight Illinois FOIA Appeals Linger With No End In Sight Lengthy appeals process, non-binding decisions hamper ability to obtain records through Illinois Freedom of Information Act. After Edgar County corrections […]

Renner: Think I wouldn’t find out?

By:  Diane Benjamin A few weeks ago City Attorney Jeff Jurgens and Mayor Renner gave a talk at the Illinois Municipal League Conference.  The topic was new media.  I, of course, made sure I knew someone who would be in the room.  The Edgar County Watchdogs and I were discussed at length. This is not […]

TODAY: ECW’s win!

By:  Diane Benjamin Today the Edgar County Watchdogs, Kirk Allen and John Kraft, are receiving a NATIONAL honor.  They will receive the award in Nashville at the SPN Annual Meeting:   http://www.cvent.com/events/spn-24th-annual-meeting/event-summary-17582afac7254eb881abfc15f0efe30f.aspx SPN 24th Annual Meeting SPN’s Annual Meeting is the leading conference in the freedom movement aimed squarely at advancing state policy reforms essential to […]

National politics can’t be fixed . . .

There will be BIG news coming soon about the Edgar County Watchdogs.  You will be kicking yourself if you don’t attend!  . This will be the a completely fascinating 4 hours!  Don’t miss the opportunity to meet these two everyday heroes.  . National politics can NEVER be fixed if local officials are corrupt.  Find out […]

Defeat the media!

By:  Diane Benjamin The local media is NEVER going to hold government accountable.  It’s up to us. Watchdog training is September 24th Register for free here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/afp-foundation-il-citizen-watchdog-training-tickets-27552883416 Registration isn’t required, but they would like to have an idea of how many are coming. It’s FREE FREE FREE! I can’t possibly investigate all the local government […]

Road trip to Chatham

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been hearing about water problems in Chatham Illinois for months.  Last night I attended their Council meeting with the Edgar County Watchdogs. Chatham has a population around 12,000 people.  Their water used to be supplied from Springfield, but a few years ago the Council changed the source.  Many citizens spoke about […]

Citizens Watchdog Training!

I hope to see a lot of you there!  Meet the Edgar County Watchdogs!

AG: Pending cases against Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin The Public Access division of the Attorney General’s office was designed to hold government accountable and give citizens a voice. As with Judy Stearns’ case against the City for violating the Open Meetings Act, justice can take years of mostly no action. I lost count of how many Request for Reviews have […]

UPDATE: If laws don’t matter, it’s our fault

Ben Yount finally agreed to hold an event here in September! He mentioned your emails!  Thanks. _______________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,  “A republic, if you can keep it.” I was at […]

Breakfast with Superstars

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning I had a long breakfast with the Edgar County Watchdogs, Kirk Allen and John Kraft.  They call me when they are passing through town.  For some reason they always pick places on the west side to eat, that gives me a chance to see how bad the roads are on […]

A MADIGAN sued by Watchdogs

By:  Diane Benjamin The Edgar County Watchdogs have filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Arts Council Agency headed by Shirley Madigan – wife of Speaker Mike Madigan and mother of AG Lisa Madigan. The suit accuses IACA of violating the Freedom of Information Act.  See the documents here:  2016-MR-23-1 The Liberty Justice Center is representing […]

Does Invenergy have a problem with Truth?

By:  Diane Benjamin In a COMPLETE coincidence, Edgar County Watchdogs also did a story on Invenergy today: Wind Farms: More problems with InvEnergy Attorney Mike Blazer – March 4, 2016   ·   1 Comments Argyle and Moore Townships, Michigan (ECWd) – The last couple weeks, Mike Blazer, attorney for InvEnergy, has been the source of citizen complaints in a […]

Really STUPID government

By:  Diane Benjamin Back in December I wrote about a confidentiality agreement the Clark County Park District forced John Kraft from Edgar County Watchdogs to sign.  You can see it here:  https://blnnews.com/2015/12/31/clark-county-park-district-not-confidential/ The Park District thought they could bury the settlement with a stupid statement signed by John.  Evidently they forgot the check issued to […]

IRS: Your food is taxable!

By:  Diane Benjamin Should all the “business” breakfasts and lunches consumed by staff and the elected be called additional compensation, and therefore taxed? When only the “preferred” aldermen ever consume, how can the City claim they have a “legitimate business purpose” as defined by law?  What is the “legitimate purpose” for last Monday’s pizza party, […]

The Watchdogs get sued – but WAIT!

By:  Diane Benjamin Today a lawsuit was filed against the Edgar County Watchdogs, the former chairperson of the College of DuPage, and Adam Andrzejewski of For the Good of Illinois.  The suit was filed by a member of the COD’s fundraising foundation who just happened to get no-bid contracts from COD, some marked as architectural […]

The Watchdogs sue the Edgar County Board

By:  Diane Benjamin The Edgar County Watchdogs filed a Complaint for Administrative Review with the 5th Judicial Circuit Court in Edgar County yesterday. Again, the case is about following the law, the Edgar County Board didn’t.  Below is the law for Counties in Illinois that govern purchasing: The Edgar County Board (and McLean County Board) […]

Clark County Park District: NOT confidential!

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember back in 2014 when the Edgar County Watchdogs did a Citizens Arrest of the entire Clark County Park District Board?   See these two stories:  https://blnnews.com/2014/05/17/more-on-clark-county-citizens-arrest-video/ https://blnnews.com/2014/05/14/citizen-arrests-clark-county-park-district-board/ The Park District Board still hasn’t learned laws matter.  They also haven’t learned not to mess with the Edgar County Watchdogs. One of the Watchdogs, […]

Another lawsuit Bloomington?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve said this many times, but I will repeat it again.  If I send a Freedom of Information request to Normal I actually get the information I want.  No games, no attempting to circumvent the rules, just transparency. Bloomington will HIDE, IGNORE, PRETEND the rules don’t matter, and go to any lengths […]

Stanford: Games with your money

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when I wanted to know where the $5 per month added to your water bills for a future sewer plant is?  https://blnnews.com/2015/08/06/stanford-wheres-your-money/ The Town lawyer decided to deny my request on nefarious grounds, but he decided not to mess with the Edgar County Watchdogs when they did the same, There is […]

Vogel’s covers for Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin Little Stevie is upset that he was FORCED to disclose his family connections with Bloomington’s mayor.  He NEVER would have informed readers on his own if I hadn’t called him out! Hey Steve – If you fail to disclose every time you write about the City of Bloomington that your DAUGHTER was Renner’s […]

Government should be worried

By:  Diane Benjamin By now you should know who the Edgar County Watchdogs are.  You may not know they also go by the name Illinois Leaks.  Tips flow into them from all over the State.  All it takes to end the corruption in Illinois is people with inside knowledge to speak up. They posted this story: In The […]

Bloomington’s Pantagraph should shutter its doors

Bloomington, IL. (ECWd) –  http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2015/06/bloomingtons-pantagraph-should-shutter-its-doors/ The Pantagraph newspaper is doing the citizens of Bloomington, IL. a disservice by advocating for the City of Bloomington to violate the free speech rights of everyone that attends a city council meeting (read how they betray the trust of their readership here). Newspapers have a fundamental responsibility to the […]

The BIG dogs bite Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin Most of you probably didn’t see the bird-cage liner story on Monday’s Council meeting.  That means you don’t know what they left out – the Edgar County Watchdogs!  A few comments from citizens were included, but nothing from the guys who drove 2 hours to defend the rights of citizens to speak.  Nice […]

ECW, Stearns: the video

By:  Diane Benjamin This is the video of Kirk Allen, John Kraft, and Judy Stearns speaking at the 5:30 meeting yesterday that was not live streamed.  Kirk and John drove 2 hours to be in Bloomington to address the Council on the proposed changes to the Public Comment ordinance. Note, I intentionally filmed non-verbal reactions to the […]

The Pantagraph’s Steve Vogel’s epic failure at journalism

Since I was way too busy today to respond to Steve Vogel’s latest stupidity, and I know people who can respond even better – I let the Edgar County Watchdogs do it.  Congrats Stevie – it’s now being read all over the State, far more people than read your writings! Bloomington, IL. (ECWd) – I […]

When “public servants” lie . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin It isn’t a secret that I work with the Edgar County Watchdogs (IllinoisLeaks).  John Kraft and Kirk Allen are responsible for over 100 so-called “public servants” leaving office for a variety of reasons. John and Kirk started by investigating government waste, fraud, and abuse in their own backyards.  Today they get tips […]

EC Watchdogs: Front page of the Chicago Tribune!

They are the muckrakers of the farm fields, bloodhounds for small-town waste and corruption, self-appointed guardians of taxpayer money who comb through the books of municipal governments all across Illinois in search of misconduct and misspending. Kirk Allen and John Kraft call themselves the Edgar County Watchdogs. Others call them busybodies with too much time […]

More on Clark County Citizens Arrest – Video

This event received NATIONAL coverage on Breitbart.com http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/05/16/Exclusive-Citizens-Arrest-Park-District-Board-for-Breaking-Law On Tuesday, around 30 citizens attended a meeting of the Clark County, IL Park District Board. Most wished to address the board over several recent controversies and allegations of corruption. In the face of this, the board said a public comment period wasn’t on the agenda and quickly […]

1,000,000 (One Million) Views !!!

January 2, 2014 By:  Diane Benjamin BlnNews is catching up, but Edgar County Watchdogs just hit the 1,000,000 Views mark.  Obviously citizens want real investigative news instead of fluff. PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –  http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2014/01/1000000-one-million-views/ Today, January 2, 2014, we logged our one millionth article view! Thank all of you for your support over the past 3 years, […]

Health department to pay $1,000 to watchdog group, admit FOIA violations

Thu, 09/19/2013 – 5:03pm | Will Brumleve WATSEKA — The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department will be required to pay more than $1,000 to a nonprofit watchdog group — and acknowledge that two officials violated the Freedom of Information Act — as conditions of settling two lawsuits filed by the group over the agency’s denial of requests for […]

Woof Woof

Meet John Kraft and Kirk Allen – Edgar County Watchdogs. http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/ These 2 guys have been working with Adam Andrzejewski and me to expose the Illinois Medicaid processing scam and the outsourcing of Illinois jobs to India.  If you missed the stories, here is the latest link:  https://blnnews.com/2013/09/03/the-next-shot-in-the-illinois-obamacare-scandal/  There were more developments yesterday, you will find […]

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