Why even Democrats should vote for GOP for the next Attorney General

By:  Diane Benjamin The current Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, will fortunately by gone next January.  She persecuted (no I don’t mean prosecuted) businesses in Illinois while allowing public corruption to flourish.  Her Public access office just did it again. First see this post: I totally agree – this meeting should have been publicly announced. An […]

Does Grossinger regret buying naming rights yet?

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe the City can compensate Grossinger for all the bad publicity by giving them naming rights to the Ice Center.  Pepsi quit paying for it YEARS ago, but even in meeting documentation Parks and Rec still calls it Pepsi Ice Center.  I bet Pepsi loves it – free advertising!  Monday night this […]

Normal: Your government is FIXED

By:  Diane Benjamin The citizens of Normal probably already knew “outsiders” aren’t allowed to participate in their government, how many Trustees have quit during their term so the Mayor could appoint a replacement?  The last Mayor did the same thing so incumbents have an edge in the next election.  I expect Chris Koos to do […]

Dumping Dollars Downtown

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown Bloomington is going to get more of your money tonight: Just at this one meeting the History Museum gets $145,000 (https://blnnews.com/2017/08/27/bloomington-supports-friends-with-your-money/ ) and the DBA doesn’t need to support itself.  You get 2 new employees with gold-plated benefits and pensions! Another $289,305 sucked out of your wallet!   See the DBA […]

Library investigated for OMA

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the two illegal meetings held by the library board because they weren’t posted 48 hours in advance?  https://blnnews.com/2017/06/20/followup-illegal-meetings/ Keep in mind I notified both the Sheriff and the State’s Attorney’s office prior to the meetings, they did nothing to stop the crime of violating the Open Meetings Act.  Law for government […]

Koos, Council: Shut up citizens!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night the Normal Town Council defied the Attorney General’s letter and made only minor changes to their Public Comment Policy.  They relied on the opinion of their City Attorney Brian Day who formerly worked for the Illinois Municipal League. First, you need to understand what the IML is.  See this story:  […]

Normal issues a GAG order

By:  Diane Benjamin Last December I wrote about Normal”s Public Comment policy:  https://blnnews.com/2016/12/06/normals-illegal-public-comment-policy/ At least two citizens of Normal filed Requests for Review with Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office asking her to rule on their policy.  I asked one of them if I could print both what the Town of Normal claimed and his response.  […]

Remember when Judy Stearns walked out . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin It was way back in November of 2013 when Judy Stearns walked out of what she called an illegal Executive Session (Secret Meeting). She filed a Request for Review with Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office – they didn’t bother doing much with the filing until Judy was long out of office.  She […]

Since Lisa Madigan failed in 2014 . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin A few weeks ago I wrote about an Open Meeting Act violation Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office was asked to review.  It was filed in 2014 against the Bloomington Election Commission and evidently lost because no ruling was made until I asked for the resolution.  First they claimed the number I provided […]

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 […]

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 […]

Stand up to Lisa Madigan

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington resident April Huber isn’t sitting by and letting Illinois Attorney General get by with not doing her job.  She asked me to post this information. I would not have been forced to file a lawsuit against the City of Bloomington concerning the Coliseum if Lisa Madigan’s office had done their job.  […]

Lies make government worse

By:  Diane Benjamin Instead of prosecuting corrupt Illinois officials, Attorney General Lisa Madigan (daughter of the guy destroying Illinois – Mike Madigan) went after the Coliseum for not being ADA compliant. Monday night the Council will be asked to approve spending $120,270 just to design and oversee construction of an elevator at the Coliseum. From […]

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 […]

The truth about 97% agree

By:  Diane Benjamin Lisa Madigan signed up to start prosecuting corporations who deny climate change.  That’s not surprising since she rarely prosecutes corrupt politicians and instead prosecutes businesses.  She needs to see the video below, but most likely facts don’t matter.  They don’t to some ISU professors! What exactly do 97% of climate change scientist […]

In honor of Tari’s Transparency award:

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight’s Committee of Whole meeting starts at 5:30 – not the normal 7:00 pm. A transparency award is scheduled to be presented by the Illinois Policy Institute.  It’s a WEBSITE transparency award, not a general transparency award. Transparency is much more than a website!  It’s not meeting in secret and violating the […]

Friday special meeting:

By:  Diane Benjamin The agenda screw-up from last Monday will be fixed Friday at a special meeting of the Bloomington City Council.  They aren’t approving just one liquor license, they are approving two! Of course, approving the release of the verbatim audio and written account of the illegal Executive Session isn’t on the agenda. On […]

Pantagraph Collusion

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph needs to explain why an alleged Open Meetings Act violation against the McLean County Health Department is so much more important than the one they also reported this week against the City of Bloomington.  That story was quickly buried on their website – comments were NEVER allowed.  Comments ARE allowed […]

Vogel: Get some facts first

By:  Diane Benjamin Saturday little Stevie Vogel spewed more nonsense in his weekly Pantagraph Editorial.  The best I can say is he put his name on it.  Nobody else at the Pantagraph is brave enough to acknowledge their work. Yep Stevie, Illinois is all but destroyed.  People leave everyday, more wish they could leave.  Jobs […]

Justice delayed is SOP

By:  Diane Benjamin Standard Operating Procedure Did you notice our illustrious Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, never prosecuted corruption in the Chicago Police Department?  She finally called on the Department of Justice to investigate when a judge ordered the video of a cop shooting a black guy released after a “blogger” forced the issue.  Note:  It […]

Coliseum: Lawsuit time

Update:  Bloomington finally released the Coliseum 1st Qtr report.  They lost $252,000, but we don’t know how much of this is wages to themselves.  We do know CIAM took commissions of $24,378 and Management fees of $35,510.   Concessions income is a secret.  The Coliseum works great for John Butler, not so much for you. By:  […]

Transparency in Name Only

By:  Diane Benjamin We know that Snyder Company has owed the City of Bloomington $562,194.78 since 1994.  We also know that an employee of Snyder is on Tari’s Budget Task Force. (http://blnnews.com/2015/07/23/bloomington-developer-gets-freebies/) Obviously, the City is looking out for the best interests of citizens!  I wonder if Dave Fedor, Chief Financial Officer for Snyder, will […]

Will Lisa Madigan do her job?

By:  Diane Benjamin Lisa Madigan started a Public Access office so citizens and the press can hold their government accountable.  Just like Not In Our Town doesn’t hold signers of their pledge accountable, virtually nothing happens when a complaint is filed with her office.  Our local State’s Attorney could prosecute cases filed against the City, but […]

Judy Stearns deserves a ruling

By:  Diane Benjamin At the end of April Alderwoman Stearns is leaving the Bloomington City Council.  She chose not to run for re-election. Back in November of 2013 – way over 1 year ago – Stearns walked out of an Executive Session (Council’s Secret meeting) because she felt Mayor Renner was violating the Open Meetings […]

Bloomington investigated again

by:  Diane Benjamin Another Request for Review has been filed against the City of Bloomington for holding an illegal meeting.  I didn’t file it.  Lisa Madigan’s Office is in charge of the investigation.  Since they have a long history of taking a year or more to make a decision, don’t expect a resolution anytime soon. […]

My lawsuit against Bloomington goes on

by:  Diane Benjamin I was in court again this morning.  Nothing exciting happened, the case got continued until November 14th because the original judge was busy with another case. I do have many of the emails the City redacted in violation of the Freedom of Information Act.  They gave them to me because they obviously […]

McLean County slapped by Attorney General

Make sure you read the comments to this story at Blnnews.com  (Especially McLean County!) by:  Diane Benjamin McLean County has forgotten they work for us.  Taxpayers are merely their piggy bank.  On September 30, the Attorney General’s Public Access Office issued a BINDING opinion against the County public comment policy.  Normally the AG just writes […]

Renner: Another Indoctrination Retreat?

by:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington budget process for FY 2015 was a sham.  It resulted in 3 new taxes, no time for discussions, and verbal attacks on Alderwoman Stearns just for proposing cuts. Mayor Renner promised an entire year would be spent reviewing the budget for next year.  This video is from the April 28, […]

Quinn’s anti-violence program-Madigan connection

Not Mike – LISA If you missed the story from yesterday – Some groups that received this money (our tax dollars!) taught the Chicago kids to HATE cops:  http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2014/07/governor-quinns-neighborhood-recovery-initiative-cops-kill-kids/ Stay tuned – there is much more to this story.    ILLINOIS VIOLENCE PREVENTION AUTHORITY (IVPA) Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Damon Arnold, M.D., M.P.H, Co-Chair Lisa Madigan, […]

Dear Lisa Madigan,

Attorney General, Wanting Open and Transparent Government was a great idea.  God knows Illinois suffers from more corruption than most other states, but lip services doesn’t fix the problems.  You created the Public Access Office to give citizens a remedy for holding government accountable.  If the office worked, Illinois would be a better place to […]

Attorney General is Failing Illinois

Attorney General Lisa Madigan fails to protect the people of Illinois.  If corruption is too big for her to handle, she should step aside.  We can’t even hold local governments accountable because of  her Public Access Office.  It shouldn’t take a year of more to get an opinion!      60% of Freedom of Information Act […]

Judges know FOIA law, maybe Lisa Madigan is too busy

by:  Diane Benjamin I don’t have to file with Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Office when local government refuses to comply with Freedom of Information Act Requests or when they violate the Open Meetings Act, there are other avenues.  The Illinois Public Access Office was created so citizens had an outlet to keep their government open […]

Bloomington: Investigated again

by:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington is being investigated again by the Attorney General – this time for illegally redacting emails.  I wrote this post explaining part of my claim:  http://blnnews.com/2013/12/27/proof-bloomington-has-no-transparency/ I sent that information to the Attorney General, but there is more to my complaint.  The email from Normal City Manager Mark Petersen was not the […]

What are the penalties for violating the Open Meetings Act?

by:  Diane Benjamin Violating the Open Meetings Act is serious.  There wasn’t a “dust-up” as Steve Vogel called it in the Pantagraph.  If the Attorney General finds the Executive Session didn’t comply with the law, the entire Council will be blamed-minus Alderwoman Stearns who walked out. The Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA) is designed to […]