Since 2005, more than a thousand citizens have filed complaints about public officials in Illinois who refused requests for public records, most often by completely ignoring them.
A review of those complaints, along with dozens of interviews, reveals a culture of secrecy shrouding the machinery of your government. Public meetings are often theater, where votes are pro forma endorsements of decisions forged in e-mails and memos you will never be allowed to see.
Government records routinely turned over at the front counters in many other states are routinely denied here — the result of a notoriously weak open records law, an unsympathetic political culture and an attitude of disdain among many public servants who consider documents their own.
This is just about the best analysis of the problem I’ve seen, and anyone who can read it and still say, “Change the people, not the system” earns a dunce cap for depth of denial.
Continue reading Trib: “Your Government in Secret”