Posts Tagged ‘Orland Park Public Library
Documented PROOF that American Elections Are Clearly Rigged & Voter Fraud is Covered Up by the Establishment.
[Click above to embiggen: a real life, firsthand account of trying to expose crimes that were covered-up by local public officials and employees, when all the local public entities circled the wagons in an ideological effort to hide crimes from public scrutiny. The exact same thing is being done regarding voter fraud at the local level too!]
Joel Pollak has an essay up today on Breitbart that I think does what Republicans always do…in that they for some reason never want to tell the full, unvarnished truth that Americans are desperate to hear from anyone in the political world. His essay, “How the Election is ‘Rigged’ — And How It Is Not,” does that thing that the GOP loves to do where someone will say, “Oh, it’s too dangerous to talk about that (even if the thing is true).” I like Pollak a lot generally, but he is no Andrew Breitbart. If Andrew was still around, I believe he would be calling this election flat-out rigged. Here’s why:
There may not be a giant spider sitting under the US Capitol pulling strings to rig the election nation-wide, but that doesn’t mean that at the local level Democrat operatives don’t decide for themselves to rig elections every way they can (and then other Democrats circle the wagons and cover up everything to protect their friends and colleagues). One thing I notice Republicans do that leads to them losing arguments is that they cede points unnecessarily, especially when Democrats use straw men to box them into corners like that. The Party of Stupid keeps doing the same things but expecting different results in this way (which is why so many people are sick of the Party of Stupid).
With voter fraud, Republicans love to values-signal by standing up and saying “there is no national effort to rig elections because we can’t find evidence of that.” First of all, Democrats are really good at hiding things and Republicans are awful at uncovering things, so just because Republicans can’t prove something does not mean that Democrats are not doing it. The Democrat Party is really like Loki, the trickster god in Norse Mythology: you need to just always assume it is getting away with something horrible today that you are not aware of because you are not as smart at figuring out what they are doing as they are at hiding what they are up to.
I want to use an analogy involving the firsthand on-the-ground work that Megan Fox and I did in recent years in Orland Park, where we went up against elected Democrats in office and the George Soros-funded lobbying group The American Library Association (ALA), all of whom worked to conceal sex crimes and even the accessing of child pornography that was going on at one affluent suburban library in Chicagoland. This is the subject of the book that Megan and I put out, SHUT UP!: The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment.
Megan and I had this library dead to rights: we used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain the library’s own official internal documents, which kept a record of library employees choosing for many years not to call the police when patrons reported masturbation happening in the computer lab, creeps stalking women and children sexually in the library, a man trapping a woman inside a study room and sexually accosting her through the glass terrifying her, three witnesses reporting a man openly viewing child pornography (which he admitted to doing!) on the library’s computers, and other horrors.
The library’s clear strategy involved never reporting any of this because then there would be a police record and the local media might print that in the police blotter in the newspaper…and if that happened then there was a chance that someone like Drudge would see that and make it a big national headline. Every once in a while something like that happens, where Drudge links to a local story about something vile happening in a public library…and all hell breaks loose for the people in the library who were covering up the terrible things.
When Megan and I confronted the public officials in Orland Park about what we discovered, all these Democrats closed ranks and circled the wagons. They told the police chief to harass us to scare us away from our investigation. Megan and her children were threatened with violence by library staffers and their family members. The library board encouraged an employee to file a SLAPP lawsuit against us, so that we would have to spend time and money defending ourselves against that (which they hoped would make us give up our investigation into the wrongdoing going on in that messed-up place). In the end, we were able to convince the Illinois Attorney General’s office that this library was breaking the law left and right and we also prevailed in two lawsuits against both the library and the Village of Orland Park that forced them to stop breaking the law and violating the public’s rights.
As an analogy for what happens with voter fraud at the local level, I want to highlight some of what happened to us in the above. Just watch how obvious it is what Democrats do in situations like these.
* Megan and I noticed that something didn’t seem right. This is analogous to someone noticing that voter fraud is happening.
* Megan and I compiled evidence and presented it to elected officials at a public meeting; the elected officials didn’t want what they were doing to be uncovered, so they attacked, harassed, threatened, and tried to destroy us to shut us up. This is analogous to the relentless attacks made on anyone who talks about voter fraud, which is why I think guys like Pollak are so timid when it comes to taking on this issue aggressively. Pollak appears wary of being discredited/maligned for talking about a subject that the Establishment does not want talked about…because people in the Establishment want the status quo to continue and they do not want the boat to be rocked.
* No one at any national level was telling the people who work at the Orland Park Public Library to look the other way and not report sex crimes or child porn viewing happening in that building…but no one at a national level had to tell them that, because the people who work at that messed-up library just ideologically WANT to cover things like this up since they do not have the moral compass that would lead them to whistle-blow and expose what is happening. This is a very important thing that Republicans and writers like Pollak don’t seem to grasp: that no one has to give orders or plan this stuff out. Ideologically, people who marinate in Democrat politics learn along the way that if there is a problem then you cover it up because that’s for the greater good of all the things that ideologically Democrats want to accomplish. So, when Democrats see that child porn is being allowed to be viewed in a public library when that is a federal crime, the people who work at the library realize that if anyone found out about that happening that the library would be harmed (because it’s reputation would suffer, people would realize it is not really a safe place for children, and maybe it would lose grants and taxpayer dollars because the public would be angry that the staff allowed these things to keep happening in there). Democrats hide bad things and cover stuff up because they believe that this is better than the public ever finding out about what’s happening…because covering it up means everyone keeps their jobs and keeps their funding and in the big scheme of things keeping that library flush with cash is more important than making sure it is never used for viewing child pornography in the computer lab.
* The media relentlessly refused to ever report on the fact that the library’s own internal incident reports showed that library staff were covering up all these crimes…and that the Orland Park Police Chief, Timothy J. McCarthy, didn’t seem to care in the least that this was happening. Instead, we documented how Chief McCarthy used police resources to harass Megan and me to shut us up. Orland Park went after the whistleblowers and steadfastly refused to clean up everything awful happening in that library. Megan and I had to take both the library and the Village to count and beat them in two lawsuits for anything to change. But, still — to this very day — we have to continue watching that place like a hawk and FOIA-ing them to see if any incidents are happening that they don’t report to the police. We also watch their spending closely, because before we started auditing them the library staff was using taxpayer money to go out for $500 steak dinners, take trips to New York City for fun, throw themselves $5,000 parties, and make taxpayers pay for their snack cakes and sweet treats and Subway sandwiches on a rolling basis (instead of buying their own food, like every other working person has to do). We also caught these people using taxpayer money to buy gold jewelry for trustees (who are prohibited by law from accepting compensation) and run up big tabs for other jewelry store purchases as gifts for staff.
It took two whole years of relentless hard work month after month to force those crooks to give back the gold and the money they stole and for the Village and that library to comply with the law. They fought us like they were demons being doused with holy water, scratching and biting and clawing the whole time. And everyone in the Village circled the wagons and protected each other…even though most of these people probably didn’t know what was going on at the library.
The problem is that when they were informed that library staffers were doing terrible things, instead of coming out against the terrible things and wanting to put a stop to it these Democrats’ natural instinct was to cover everything up and threaten/harass/attack the whistleblowers.
They denied that child porn was ever accessed (even though we had the incident reports showing it was). They lied about the sex crimes never happening (despite former library employees coming forward and confirming what was going on for years). They refused to acknowledge the authority of the Attorney General when she told them they were breaking the law and they needed to stop. Instead of stopping, these Orland Park officials blew raspberries and said that the Attorney General had no power over them. It took going before a judge and filing lawsuits against these monsters for them to finally stop…because their insurance companies got involved and took one look at what they were doing and MADE THEM STOP before the judge ordered them to stop.
All of this same stuff is happening with voter fraud. Count on it.
Here’s how it’s happening and why the election truly is rigged, whether Pollak wants to see this or not:
A.) Democrat operatives on the ground, working independently in their local communities, see some door left unguarded and realize they could get away with voting in the names of dead people or sick people or elderly people. Maybe this has been going on for decades and it is now institutionalized because they’ve always gotten away with it and that’s just how things are done. This is similar to how at the Orland Park Public Library the corrupt culture in that place created an environment where staff just knew they had to turn their heads and not call the police when child porn was accessed, because the library staffers felt that the greater good required them to overlook crimes happening in front of them.
B.) People at local boards of election must know that fraud is happening, but they look the other way because they do not want their community to be embarrassed if the fraud was reported. They don’t want people to lose their jobs and they don’t want to bring shame to their area. This is similar to the Orland Park public employees who knew for years that sex crimes were allowed to happen in that place, but no one wanted to embarrass their community or see anyone get fired. So, covering it all up and keeping quiet was better in their minds and they rationalized it by thinking “well, that only happened once or twice” or “no one has been raped, so someone being creepy isn’t so bad” or “no one really gets hurt if someone is looking at child porn and who is to say what is porn anyway?” This is how Democrats think.
C.) Local officials circle the wagons. All public employees stick together with a union mentality. If the public employees at the library are in trouble for covering up crimes, the public employees over at the police department don’t want to investigate or put a stop to what is going on…because those are their fellow public employees. They all stuff their faces together at the Holiday Party and they sit beside one another at picnic tables for the summer cookouts. They all enjoy the same platinum-encrusted benefits and pensions and all that. So all of these public employees feel that if one branch of public employees is exposed for lawbreaking and wrongdoing, then it’s bad for all of them. They see the world as Us (the public employees who get fat off the hog) versus Them (the public, which all of the public employees hate).
D.) The entire hierarchy of government does not want to ever investigate itself or prosecute public officials or public employees for wrongdoing. Megan and I caught the Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees and management willfully violating the Open Meetings Act. Violations of the Open Meetings Act are misdemeanor crimes in Illinois. The Attorney General concluded that, YES, the library trustees and other public officials did indeed break the law. That means the Attorney General stated they had committed crimes. Orland Park Police Chief Timothy J. McCarthy refused to do a damn thing about that. The State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, refused to do anything about that. The Attorney General’s office said that if the local police and the state’s attorney wouldn’t prosecute that lawbreaking board, then the AG’s office wouldn’t get involved either.
E.) The media likes to claim that there is no evidence of voter fraud happening because there are no convictions for voter fraud and the police aren’t turning up incidents of voter fraud. But look how aggressively the corrupt public officials in Orland Park hid what was going on there…and how all these higher levels of Illinois government refused to prosecute the public officials in Orland Park when they were caught dead to rights violating the law? Everyone in government wanted all of this to go away…and for Megan and I to be silenced so that we would not tell anyone about what we had uncovered. We wrote a book about all this…and the American Library Association actively works to suppress the book and keep other public libraries from carrying it…because they do not want people to know everything that we uncovered in Orland Park.
Republicans need to talk about how Democrats cover for each other and how public bodies should not get to decide that other public bodies should not be prosecuted.
We really need some kind of independent, private, third-party, autonomous entity that would be in charge of looking for wrongdoing being committed or covered-up by public employees. Because the police in this country are corrupt in localities such as Orland Park, where they feel that it is Us vs. Them and they will never move against their fellow public bodies. The federal government doesn’t care about the local level, because they always have bigger fish to fry, allegedly. Also, most federal agencies are obsessed with drugs and getting convictions related to drug trafficking or weapons smuggling. Things like child porn being openly allowed to be viewed in a public library or voter fraud at the local and county level is too small a fish for the Feds.
In short, here’s what it all boils down to:
1.) Voter fraud is happening more places than there is official documentation, because the corruption in this country is so endemic that local public bodies cannot be trusted to stop wrongdoing and lawbreaking at the local level. Orland Park proves that. Megan and I wrote the book on that.
2.) The Media works to protect government and not report anything that hurts Democrats. This means that even if someone out there discovers voter fraud is happening and can prove it, our Media in this country will ignore it or will try to help the government bodies involved by attacking the whistle-blowers. Our Media really is a state propaganda operation that should never be trusted.
3.) No national, coordinated effort is needed to direct local bodies to allow voter fraud or participate in it, just as there is no national effort needs to tell local public libraries to look the other way when sex crimes are happening in those buildings. The Democrats who work in these places just automatically look the other way. Ideologically, this is what their first instinct is and there is no mechanism in place to correct that instinct.
4.) The public doesn’t know what to do when they encounter wrongdoing. They usually call the police, but then the police say they won’t do anything about the terrible thing that’s happened because they have murders that are unsolved and it’s too small of a fish for them to care about (voter fraud, sex crimes in a library, etc.) If the public contacts the Media, the Media won’t care because they don’t want to make the local public bodies look bad. If someone is persistent and goes to state or federal authorities, the person will hear that they need to go to the local police and file a complaint…and see how that is a circle? It always ends up with the local police not wanting to investigate the voter fraud or the sex crime at the library…but higher up in the hierarchy people will be told that if the local police don’t care then there’s nothing anyone can do, because that’s not what their department does or it is out of their jurisdiction.
This means that if public officials are involved in wrongdoing and the public catches them, 98% of the time the other public officials can circle the wagons and keep any of this from ever making news. Troublemakers who blow the whistle then get targeted for destruction to ensure that other people will be too scared to speak out.
Megan and I documented all of this in our book. It is the same exact thing that happens with voter fraud. Which is why, of course, the ALA is working so hard to keep you from reading our book.
We may have written about the lengths that local government went to hide crimes that were happening in the local public library…but you can see that all of this is analogous to local government officials and the Media and other players also working to keep the true extent of voter fraud hidden as well.
It is all rigged because we the people decided to stop scrutinizing and supervising local government. We ceded too much power to local officials, many of whom are sickeningly corrupt.
None of this is going to change until you start paying attention to what is happening in all of your local government departments. But, of course, there’s so many of those that most people don’t even know where to start. Megan and I started with one corrupt library board and it took the two of us two years to bring about change. Most people would have given up…which is why all kind of horrors like voter fraud keep happening.
Hillary Clinton does not intend to change any of this. Donald Trump says that he will. To me, there’s an easy choice to be made if you care about ever changing our corrupt system and putting an end to the Establishment’s circle-the-wagons-and-cover-it-all-up approach to hiding the Establishment’s own crimes.
[Trailer for our book that deals with Bridget Bittman’s SLAPP, filed against us in October 2014. We prevailed in this meritless piece of lawfare, but SLAPPs typically succeed in silencing their targets. SLAPPs are a form of lawfare used by government employees to chill free speech and make people afraid of challenging bad government.]
You may not realize it, but we’re currently facing an epidemic of SLAPP lawfare in this country. A SLAPP is “strategic litigation against public participation,” a term coined by George Pring and Penelope Canan back in the 1990s in their book, SLAPPs: Getting Sued for Speaking Out. This remains the definitive reference on SLAPPs, though a lot has happened since the book was written.
If you are looking for a hobby and a new topic of interest, I suggest starting a binder or notebook and researching what’s happening with SLAPPs. They are an insidious way that the government chills First Amendment protected speech by using the legal system as a weapon against the public and investigative reporters. This is happening where you live, I guarantee…but of course your local media is not talking about it. Typically, people never hear about SLAPPs until either they or someone they know personally is hit with a SLAPP.
Megan Fox and I were SLAPPed back in 2014, when Bridget Bittman (the granddaughter of the woman who used to own the Chicago White Sox sportsball team) sued us in federal court in an effort to silence our First Amendment rights. Bittman at the time was the public spokesman for the Orland Park Public Library and was told to sue us during a board meeting by Diane Jennings, one of the library’s trustees (and also the most loathsome human being I have yet met on this planet). Megan and I had uncovered years and years of unreported crimes that occurred in the library, including: (a) library staff allowing a man to admit to accessing child pornography without police being called, (b) staff allowing men to masturbate in the library openly with their penises fully exposed without calling the police, (c) men stalking women in the stacks, (d) men sexually harassing female library employees but the library telling the women they should quit if they didn’t like it, (e) a man trapping a young woman in a study room while accosting her sexually, (f) young children being accosted sexually in the library, and other sex crimes that all warranted police intervention…but time and again the library staff CHOSE not to call the police when they should have. This was a clear pattern that Megan and I uncovered, where the Orland Park Public Library made a decision to NOT call the police because it seems clear they knew that if they had done so then the police would have come and made arrests…and that would have been bad publicity for the library.
Since Bittman was in charge of the library’s publicity as its spokesman, the library Board pushed her to hit us with a SLAPP to scare us away and silence us. Megan and I wrote about it in our book SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment (now available in paperback and as an eBook too). We prevailed in this SLAPP and our First Amendment rights were upheld, though Bittman’s lawsuit cost us more than two years’ of time to defeat and many hours of work defending ourselves which could have been spent writing, researching, and participating in other investigations into corrupt government.
So, by suing us, Bittman was able to strategically steal time and resources from us that prevented Megan and me from exposing other public bodies that were doing the same things that the Orland Park Public Library was doing…or even prevented us from finding more of what Orland Park was trying to desperately to hide. Bittman knew her lawsuit would never even make it into discovery and she never had any intention of winning (since she knew she never had any ground to stand on); the whole point of the lawsuit was to be a time-killing energy drain that would distract us, take up our time, and cost us precious resources to defend against.
Consumerist has started reporting on SLAPPs, which is great because I hope that more people out there realize that this is happening. In a recent article, Consumerist talked about SLAPPs and how they “leverage the legal system — and all its attendant costs and Byzantine paperwork — in an effort to chill free speech.” In our example with Comiskey heiress Bridget Bittman, Megan and I were forced to come up with a way to defend ourselves in a meritless lawsuit filed by a woman who not only had the remnants of the Comiskey fortune at her disposal but was also being funded by members of the American Library Association (who wanted Megan and me silenced because we were exposing the consequences of years and years of bad ALA policy). Having to mount a defense against even a meritless lawsuit is soul-killingly expensive because of how our system works and how a plaintiff with disreputable attorneys can manipulate the system to cause delay after delay. In Bittman’s case, almost every time there was some filing due, her attorneys (which were the sort of people who advertise on bus benches or in the local coupon paper that comes to your doorstep) would invent some new excuse for why they needed an extension. Sometimes they would do this the day that the filing was due. If everything they said happened to them was true every time they wanted to delay the process, that law firm should be the star of its own reality show: there were mysterious deaths, severe illnesses that would have made great episodes of House, M.D., claims they suddenly had to fly to London, a dog eating the important papers, etc. The strategy appeared to be one of delay, delay, delay…hoping that financially Bittman could outlast us and break us before the lawsuit would ever enter into discovery phase.
I spent hours reviewing everything that Bittman’s attorneys filed, as well as all of the documents that our own attorneys had to file in response. Many more hours were spent collecting documents to rebut Bittman, combing through emails for responsive documents, and assembling everything related to our investigation into the Orland Park Public Library so it could all be reviewed by attorneys. I probably put 200 hours of work, at least, into this sort of tedious-but-necessary document review in our defense against her SLAPP.
That’s 200 hours that I was then not able to spend writing, researching, going to board meetings, or otherwise working as an investigative reporter and citizen sleuth covering corrupt government in Illinois. So, Bittman’s SLAPP lawsuit created an obstacle to my work exposing government corruption, since the SLAPP took time and resources away from me that I would normally have used to investigate bad local government (such as the Orland Park Public Library Board).
SLAPP lawsuits typically end before discovery begins, which is what happened with Bittman’s suit. A federal judge dismissed more than half of the counts she filed against us and then Bittman withdrew the remainder of her lawsuit before any documents were ever exchanged in discovery. No depositions were ever taken and Bittman never had to produce any documents that would have been embarrassing to her or that would have proved she was dishonest in the various claims she made in her suit. The way our legal system is setup, someone like Bittman can file a SLAPP to silence your free speech, never intending to win the lawsuit, and drag it out strategically with delays and extensions…but still have the option of withdrawing it in the end (before she would be exposed in discovery for being dishonest). In Illinois at least, there is no mechanism to punish a plaintiff for bringing a SLAPP using this strategy. That’s why more and more people like Bittman are doing this around the country when they don’t like that someone is criticizing a public body or public employees.
In Illinois we have a weak anti-SLAPP law called the Citizen Participation Act (CPA), but it only is useful in very specific and limited cases in dismissing a SLAPP before the discovery phase. Courts have severely weakened the CPA and have limited its use to only the most rare of occasions. This means our state legislature needs to go back to the drawing board to strengthen it. The courts want to maintain a balance between allowing legitimate lawsuits to continue but ending these vexatious SLAPP suits…and courts in Illinois have felt that balance was not achieved with the CPA.
As Consumerist notes, California has the best anti-SLAPP law in the country that is most pro-defendant: it allows for an expedited hearing on the defendant’s motion to strike, and will award the defendant attorney fees and court costs if the defendant prevails. But remember that there is no federal anti-SLAPP legislation. That’s something that Free Speech activists are trying to remedy right now with Congress. Something that you could do to help would be to write, email, or call your Senators and Congressional representative and tell these people that you want them to support anti-SLAPP legislation at the federal level. Tell them about the book that Megan and I wrote about Bridget Bittman’s SLAPP and what she did to us to try to chill our First Amendment protected speech.
Congress is now considering the SPEAK FREE Act, which would be federal anti-SLAPP legislation. As it’s written now (before it will no doubt be monkeyed with in committees), if the SPEAK FREE Act had been in place back in 2014, Bridget Bittman’s SLAPP against us would have been tossed out much faster than it took for us to ultimately prevail against her. She sued us in October of 2014 and her lawsuit was not fully terminated until May of 2016. That was almost two years’ of time and energy drained by a lawsuit that never involved any discovery or depositions or anything. Because the federal court system works so slowly on its own…and Bittman’s attorneys aggressively pushed for one delay after another to keep things delayed even further…this SLAPP dragged on and on absent anything like the SPEAK FREE Act to eradicate it quickly.
SLAPP lawfare is used by public officials and public employees to tie community activists up in court so they no longer have the time, money, or energy to criticize public bodies. Big developers can also use SLAPPs to crush and silence community opposition to their projects. Large corporations like AMC can even use the threat of a SLAPP to silence people’s free speech rights (in a recent instance reported by Consumerist of the tee-vee network menacing a small website that used to post spoilers and fan theories about the show The Walking Dead…but the threats from AMC’s lawyers silenced and shuttered that spoiler site).
How you can help
1. Setup a Google alert for yourself for the key words SLAPP, ANTI-SLAPP, SPEAK FREE Act, etc. This way, you will be alerted every day if stories appear somewhere on this topic. And you can then start to see how prevalent this problem is.
2. Let people know about our book SHUT UP! and that it involves a SLAPP lawsuit filed against us by Bridget Bittman, granddaughter of Dorothy Comiskey Rigney, the woman who used to own the Chicago White Sox. Bittman’s lawsuit cost us time and resources to defend against and we worked hard to give other people facing SLAPPs lessons and tips for what they, too, can do to defend themselves against this type of vexatious lawfare.
3. Contact your Senators and your Congresscritter. Tell them that you oppose SLAPPs and that you want them to support the SPEAK FREE Act to stop people like Bridget Bittman from being able to file SLAPPs to silence people who take on corrupt local government.
4. Make studying SLAPPs into a new hobby. It’s more interesting than bird watching…and SLAPPs come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. The way to bring change to our government is to empower citizens to be able to fight for that change…and one of the main weapons the government is using against the people are these SLAPPs. Let’s take this away from them so that people will no longer be intimidated into silence or feel that they need to SHUT UP! if they don’t want to be sued by powerful or rich people who have more resources than they do.
[Click above to embiggen: the agenda for the 6/20/16 Orland Park Public Library Board meeting, where Library Director Mary Weimar is pushing to have her son Mark Weimar hired for a public position. Why can’t that grown man find a job somewhere that his mother is not the director of a public facility?]
Nepotism appears to be alive and well in the state of Illinois, at least in Orland Park. For those of you who have read the book I wrote with Megan Fox (SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment), you’ll know that part of the settlement that Megan and I won against the Orland Park Public Library was that we basically became this library’s court-mandated supervisor for the next two years. This means every month the library has to send us its spending receipts and other documents showing what it is doing. This is because when Megan and I started digging into what the library director, in particular, had been doing for years and years (and trying to cover it up), the library went to extraordinary means to hide that information or destroy it.
This week, we discovered that the library director, Mary Weimar, is now pushing to have her son, Mark Weimar, hired onto a public position at the library. I guess we are supposed to believe that there are no other qualified candidates for this lucrative public position than Mary Weimar’s son. How shameless of her.
But, not surprising, considering that this is the woman who covered up child pornography being accessed in her building and was also caught telling women who were being sexually harassed in that library that if they didn’t like it then they could just quit. You can read whole chapters about the terrible things Mary Weimar did in SHUT UP!.
Why you should care
It’s a gorgeous Saturday and you’re busy so why should you care what someone you’ve never heard of is doing to abuse her power once again in a strange, messed-up library in a suburb of Chicago?
Recently, Megan and I spoke at a Tea Party event, where a lot of nice people showed up to hear us talk and it struck me that instead of just having meetings where they go to hear people talk they might want to think about picking a public body near them and then using FOIA requests to dig up documents to piece together what’s going on in that public body. And then they should start going to those local board meetings to ask questions about the director’s relatives being hired onto the public payroll or the lavish trips being taken with public funds and the expensive dinners being eaten by staff, etc.
The fact that, even after a 666-page book was written about all the bad things that she’s done, Mary Weimar is still doing horrible things at the Orland Park Public Library as director and is now engaging in blatant nepotism shows that the public needs to supervise public bodies. If you are not watching them, no one else will…and then books like SHUT UP! are needed to expose all the wrongdoing.
But…what if people who have the Tea Party spirit started making it their hobby to be the watchdogs who examine what people like Mary Weimar are doing in Orland Park? I am sure you have a Mary Weimar near you, at your local library, your local park district, your local village board. Get a group of friends together. Study your state’s FOIA or open records laws. Become expert on transparency in your state. And then start auditing that public body (pick one to start with as it will be overwhelming otherwise). Megan and started with the Orland Park Public Library but in the years since we became experts on FOIA and the Open Meetings Act we have expanded to study school boards, village boards, parks & recreations boards, and other public entities at the local level. We look at towns and villages in the Chicagoland area because we think that the local level is the place where change can be made the fastest and where it is easiest to get bad elected officials tossed off a board if need be.
What you can do
All change must start local. For Illinois to change at the state level, people on the local level must know that things like nepotism will not be tolerated any longer and that the public is watching. That will filter up to the state level, as in time the people there will see that what is no longer being tolerated locally will also not be tolerated on the state level. If enough states start being reformed this way, then the national government must adapt to these changes as well.
And, so, it really does all start with your looking at how your local library or school board is plundering your tax dollars and who is hiring their idiot son for public positions when they shouldn’t be.
Become a citizen sleuth and start making it your hobby to pay attention to what the Mary Weimars of the world are up to. And see for yourself that if you take your eyes off them for a moment, they will find some new thing to do that’s horrible.
Bellwood Public Library Board and Orland Park Public Library Board Steal from Taxpayers in Similar Ways
[Click above to embiggen: the Bellwood Public Library Board is remarkably similar to characters on the Orland Park Public Library Board, which is itself infamous for containing some of the worst and most corrupt games-playing public officials and pawns to ever hold office in Illinois.]
* The crimes and misdeeds of the Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees are the subject of the new book, SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment. On 6/15/16, it was the #28-ranked book on censorship on Amazon, sharing the list alongside the classic Fahrenheit 451 and works by Sharyl Attkisson and other First Amendment advocates! It is also currently the #1 Banned Book in the nation, as members of the American Library Association have vowed to suppress the book with fake negative reviews and ban it by not including it in library collections.
* Members of the Bellwood Public Library Board behave shockingly similar to the individuals on the Orland Park Public Library Board who were investigated and examined in SHUT UP!
* Two groups of elected officials in two very different towns end up stealing from the public in very similar ways. Is this coincidence or the natural group dynamics of elected library boards in Illinois? Because so few people look at what these boards are doing, are they the perfect places for disreputable people to steal from the public?
One of the strangest discoveries that Megan Fox and I made recently involves the Bellwood Public Library Board of Trustees, which Megan and I observed at their most recent board meeting and on videos posted to YouTube by Bellwood community activists who love and care about their library (and want the board members to stop stealing and abusing library funds).
It was like stepping into an alternate universe, because the various characters on the Bellwood Board matched up almost exactly with the personality types on the Orland Park Public Library Board (which Megan and I investigated and studied for several years, culminating not only in our book SHUT UP! but also prevailing in litigation against the Board for its myriad violations of the Open Meetings Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and our basic civil rights). In total, the Orland Park Public Library had to pay $55,000 to settle wrongdoing and the Orland Park Police itself had to pay an additional $12,000 for violations of the law they engaged in to silence the Library’s critics. They are all lucky that the State’s Attorney refused to prosecute any of them criminally for violations of our state’s transparency laws or civil rights violations. In Illinois, law enforcement refuses to enforce the Class-C misdemeanor penalty built into the Open Meetings Act for willful violations of the OMA, such as the ones that the OPPL continually committed with the blessing, consent, and encouragement of their attorneys at Klein Thorpe Jenkins.
Orland Park is a wealthy southwestern Chicago suburb where they have so much money to burn that the Board was caught accepting gold jewelry and other expensive gifts purchased for them from Noral Diamond Jewelers by the Library’s director, as well as eating expensive steak dinners in town to celebrate getting away with things and not being caught, going off on lavish conferences and making the public pay for those vacations, and allowing Library staff to waste taxpayer money on a host of other foolish things (such as a 3-D printer that can print sex toys and guns in the Library and appears to have never been used for anything worthwhile or productive, despite costing many thousands of dollars to purchase and an additional fortune each month to supply with the sex-toy-printing plastic material). If the spendthrift “let them eat cake” caricature of Marie Antoinette was ever put in charge of a public facility, it would be the Orland Park Public Library (OPPL). The staff in Orland Park were terrible to the public, treating moms with contempt and deliberately looking the other way when sex crimes (including child porn access!) occurred in the Library. The people living in the Orland Park community for the most part are apathetic, indifferent, and self-centered…never mustering more than a yawning “meh” when hearing about the horrible things that the Orland Park Public Library Board members were up to. Collectively, the characters that appear in SHUT UP! are some of the worst human beings I have ever encountered in my nearly 40 years on the planet. (And remember, I was once a Democrat…living in Chicago!) One board member, Diane Jennings, is easily the most vile, foul-mouthed, and repugnant creature I have ever met. She is the worst of the worst. Here’s a highlight reel of what made the Orland Park Public Library so terrible:
In stark contrast, Bellwood is a struggling blue collar community that is on the ropes, where money is hard to come by. But, the Bellwood Library has a fantastic staff of wonderful people who love the community. And the Bellwood community loves and needs its library! Bellwood has a library that was built in 1960 but is held together with love and is filled to bursting with positive activity, learning, programs for kids, and all the things that make libraries great. There is no waste by the staff. The people of Bellwood adore their library and want to see it thrive. And when the Board Members do terrible things, the public cares and demands they stop doing wrong and start doing right.
Bellwood and Orland Park could not be more polar opposite…but, yet, look how weird it is that SAME ARCHETYPICAL CHARACTER TYPES appear on both library boards, as if the same play was being performed by two different troupes of actors in two separate communities.
(1.) WORST TRUSTEE (person who seems responsible for all the bad things happening) = Diane Jennings in Orland Park/Regina Greene in Bellwood. Jennings is easily one of the worst human beings to ever walk the planet. She is despicable. She stole gold jewelry she knew she was not allowed to take from taxpayer funds, she stuffed her maw with steak after steak on the public’s dime, she used vulgar toilet language and horrific profanity in public (and during board meetings!), and she instructed a library employee to file a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) against the board’s critics to scare them away and silence First Amendment rights. During board meetings, Jennings engaged in and encouraged behavior that violated the Open Meetings Act aggressively. She screamed the word A$$HOLE! at people (in public where children could hear her and she knew she was being filmed). She called me a fag and told me she didn’t like gay people (and was caught on film doing it!). She is an absolute and unapologetic pig. It is clear she was the uncouth instigator and ringleader behind everything terrible that the Orland Park Public Library did, which is all documented in SHUT UP!
Ms. Greene appears to be much better-mannered than Jennings. Up to this point, I have not seen Ms. Greene use foul language the way that Jennings consistently does and Ms. Greene has manners, unlike Jennings (who behaves in public worse than a circus animal). I have had a pleasant conversation with Ms. Greene and she was very nice to me. To my knowledge, Diane Jennings has never been pleasant a day in her sad life and is not nice to anyone.
But Ms. Greene is clearly the trustee who is pushing the other board members to do wrong and to plunder as much as they can from the library. Just as Jennings was the force pushing the OPPL board members to take, take, take from public funds (and refuse to give back the gold or write checks for the food she stole until it all had to practically be pried back from her with a crowbar), it appears that Ms. Greene is the one who always seems to be behind the fancy trips, the spending on consultants, and the other foolishness that the Bellwood Board has been up to. Ms. Greene may be nicer and more pleasant than Jennings, but she sure gets up to all the awful things that Jennings loved getting up to.
The situation in Orland Park didn’t get improve until Diane Jennings was muzzled and enough new and better trustees were brought on board so that Jennings was no longer in the majority of voting board members. Once it was down to Jennings and just two other bad board members (Denis Ryan and Nancy Wendt Healy), one of the fellow bad trustees (Healy) actually jumped ship and started voting with the new sane majority. That left only Jennings and Ryan as the worst people on the board. Jennings remains the worst person in Illinois by all imaginable metrics.
It appears that if Bellwood ever gets to a place where Ms. Greene can be marginalized in the way that Jennings was muzzled that the Bellwood Board has a chance to turn things around the way that the good people who are now on the Orland Park Public Library Board are trying to undo the damage that Jennings caused over all these years.
I have not observed Ms. Greene enough to yet be able to tell if she is a bad parson the way that Jennings is the worst person ever, but Ms. Greene is clearly doing wrong and is also seemingly allowing a puppeteer from neighboring Maywood to influence the Bellwood Board. This is similar to how Jennings allowed DeBarbara Caldwell-Jones (what I collectively call the portmanteau of former Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Barbara Jones and ALA high-honcho Deborah Caldwell-Stone) to hold immense influence and control over the Orland Park Public Library Board. In both cases, why are people who are not elected to a damn thing being allowed to manipulate and control elected public officials sitting on boards that oversee millions of dollars of taxpayer funds?
(2.) INCOMPETENT PRESIDENT (befuddled and ineffective president of the board) = Nancy Wendt Healy in Orland Park/Mary Clements in Bellwood Healy is not a bad person (and her perpetual befuddlement is actually endearing), but she allowed Diane Jennings, Klein Thorpe Jenkins, and the ALA to push her into doing bad things. Healy is meek and soft-spoken and doesn’t question what Jennings/KTJ/ALA told her: she just did it, whatever bad thing it was. Healy also seemed to be the sort of person in life who doesn’t get much attention or love, especially since she is the sister of beloved actor George Wendt (who played “Norm” on NBC’s Cheers). Imagine going through life as the sibling of someone internationally famous who is always getting the spotlight for being arguably the world’s most lovable Boston-area drunk. Healy seemed to compensate for that by going to as many dinners, conferences, and fancy trips as she could (with taxpayers always paying). I don’t think she set out to take things she shouldn’t have and I don’t believe she enjoyed censoring Megan and me and doing other terrible things to us…but she sure never stopped Diane Jennings or the others who were behind it all. She also never questioned any of the spending until there was a point where enough good people had come onto the board that she followed their lead when the wasteful spending was at last challenged. Healy reimbursed the public for what she stole long before Jennings ever took a pen in one of her hooves and scribbled anything across a check.
Ms. Clements appears to be very similar to Healy: I do not believe that Ms. Clements is a bad person. She seems nice and is soft-spoken and has a warm and bright smile, like Healy. But also like Healy it appears that Ms. Clements doesn’t challenge the bad things going on around her. She likes taking trips and being part of something fun (like the Library Board Vacation Club, as both the Orland and Bellwood boards appear to view their positions). Who knows, maybe Ms. Clements has a relative who was on a famous sitcom too and this is her way of compensating (the way that Healy compensates for jealousy of her brother by being on the OPPL Board and holding that president’s position so she can go on trips and pose for pictures).
(3.) TRUSTEE DRESSED OUTRAGEOUSLY (either in giant hats or dressed up in costumes at meetings) = Beth Geirach in Orland Park/J.B. Carr in Bellwood This is the funniest thing ever. Geirach is the OPPL Trustee who would always come to meetings inexplicably dressed up like Mrs. Claus, wearing red head to toe month after month. Every time I saw her, she was dressed up as Mrs. Claus (fresh from the North Pole). Ms. Carr also comes to every board meeting dressed outrageously, but her sartorial choice is distinctive hats. She looks fantastic, like a movie star in those hats. It’s fabulous. I wish at one point that she’d elegantly stroll into the room with a giant red hat and red trench coat, like Carmen Sandiego. If Geirach and Ms. Carr could combine together into one person, that’s exactly who it would be: Carmen Sandiego. Since she never speaks at any meetings, I know absolutely nothing else about Ms. Carr other than she looks amazing in hats, she has an eclectic collection of hats, she carries herself with the effortless grace of Diahann Carroll from her Dynasty days, and she loves going on those Library Board Vacation Club trips with Ms. Greene and Ms. Clements. Since Geirach wasn’t on the OPPL Board for long, we never got to know much about her either, other than she loved dressing up like Mrs. Claus and going out in public that way over and over again.
(4.) GLAMOROUS MISSING TRUSTEE (who never shows up) = Julie Ann Craig in Orland Park/Sharon Tharpe in Bellwood This is pretty incredible too. What are the odds that two different boards would both have beautiful women who look like they were once models and who have an aversion (or even all-out allergy) to showing up at meetings? Craig was the OPPL Trustee who went to Florida on Mondays to watch volleyball and is the ex-wife of former Bears player Dan Hampton (according to local lore, she’s also a former Playboy model and sometimes jewel thief). She is the most interesting woman in all of Orland Park, who never shows up for anything. Ms. Tharpe appears to be one of the most interesting people in Bellwood, who also never shows up for anything. You could not more perfectly cast two different women in the same role of Aging Former Model with Eccentric Life Story Who Does Not Show Up to Things. It’s surreal.
(5.) SIMPLE-MINDED TRUSTEE (who doesn’t pay much attention and doesn’t seem to understand things) = Denis Ryan in Orland Park/Billy Elliott in Bellwood Ryan is one of the stupidest people I’ve ever seen in public who was not in immediate danger of drowning in the rain. During board meetings, he would sit there on the dais, paging through catalogs or reading celebrity magazines, not paying a bit of attention to anything that was going on around him. I do not believe he knows how to read and in fact think he just looks at the pictures (and thinks the words on the pages are little bugs). Ryan loved going on trips and not bringing back valid receipts to support the thousands of dollars he’d ask for in reimbursement. Instead, he’d just scribble numbers on a piece of paper and use his hands and feet to then sum up a big number and the OPPL would unbelievably cut him a check for whatever cockamamie number he came up with. It was insane. Especially since Ryan would ask for $1,700 or whatever when Healy and other trustees would be on the same trip and would only ask for $400. Ryan never would (or could) explain that discrepancy and the OPPL refused to talk about why Ryan didn’t have receipts to support such reimbursement.
I don’t know if Mr. Elliot is doing anything like this (because the Bellwood Board apparently refuses to bring back receipts or documents of any kind when they go on trips), but during the Bellwood Board meetings I have observed, Mr. Elliott sits there like a lump in the way that Ryan always does at the OPPL. Ryan serves as Jennings’ stooge/minion/gargoyle and sits right by her so she can tell him what to do. At Bellwood, Mr. Elliott sits right next to Ms. Greene so that she can tell him what to do. At one meeting, Ms. Greene was asked to stop talking to Mr. Elliot during the meeting because the public could not hear what they were saying and Ms. Greene said she had to explain what was going on to Mr. Elliott because he could not understand. Jennings does similar things with Ryan during OPPL meetings. It is uncanny how alike these two are.
(6.) TRUSTEE WHO IS TOO QUIET (and misses too many meetings) = Cathy Lebert in Orland Park/Pastor Michael Horton in Bellwood What happens when good people are quiet and allow bad things to keep happening all around them? At the OPPL, Lebert is like a modern day suburban Snow White. She is sweet and kind and loves the library and the public. Too bad she doesn’t show up all the time…and when she is there, she sits there quietly and allows Jennings/Healy/Ryan to do terrible things instead of speaking out. She’s too meek. A very nice lady who is a great person clearly…but too meek and too timid and too prone to absenteeism. Pastor Horton at Bellwood is an amazing man and a pillar of the community. But he, too, rarely shows up. When he is there, he sees bad things happening in front of him but he does not speak out. I wish that both Lebert and Pastor Horton could feel the Spirit in them and speak out more for what is right…or just SHOW UP MORE OFTEN. In life, showing up and being on time is more than half the battle.
(7.) TRUSTEE WHO KNOWS RIGHT FROM WRONG (but allows wrong to happen) = Dan Drew in Orland Park/Dorothy Clark-Smith in Bellwood This is another sad one, because both Drew at the OPPL and Ms. Clark-Smith seem like decent people and they both challenge the bad board members once in a while, yet they don’t ever put a stop to the bad things happening. Ms. Clark-Smith also has been bitten by the per diem bug and enjoys those trips that the other board members love to take for their Vacation Club. This is unfortunate because, just like Drew, Clark-Smith seems like a very competent, intelligent, and passionate person. She just doesn’t seem to ever want to put a stop to the things that Ms. Greene and that puppeteer of hers are doing. In Orland Park, Drew clearly saw that his fellow board members were doing rotten things and he promised to put a stop to it…but never did. In many ways, this makes people like them worse than the Diane Jennings and Regina Greenes of the world. At least Jennings and Ms. Greene are consistent. Month after month, they can be counted on to do something terrible to the public while they are on the board. But, Drew and Ms. Clark-Smith are inconsistent. You can’t count on them for anything. And at important meetings, they both have a way of disappearing and not showing up. Neither Jennings nor Ms. Greene ever seem to miss a meeting though. Why is it that the bad ones always show up and are never absent?
Have you ever noticed similar group dynamics on boards in your area?
What is it about a 7-member board that lends itself to archetypes like this…or is it all just a bizarre coincidence that both the Orland Park and Bellwood boards are so incredibly similar?
[Click above to embiggen: The Orland Park Public Library does not carry on its shelves the book SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment, even though this library claims every fall that any book that is deliberately not carried is “banned” or “censored” by the library that does not carry it. If they don’t carry a book that is critical of them, isn’t the Orland Park Public Library staff banning and censoring this book?]
* The American Library Association (ALA) hosts an event every year called “Banned Books Week,” which Thomas Sowell once called “National Hogwash Week.”
* The ALA claims that a book is “banned” if any parent ever complains about the book’s contents for young children. By this logic, the ALA would say it is age discrimination if a parent doesn’t want his/her child to look at Playboy or the Karma Sutra in a public library. The parent would be “banning” those adult books by merely voicing concern over the appropriateness for a child.
* Since the release of SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment, numerous members of the ALA have aggressively tried to suppress the book (aka “banning it”) by posting fake, negative reviews on Amazon (without ever having read the book). Also, libraries are refusing to carry SHUT UP! on their shelves…which is the very definition of “banning” according to the ALA.
* Hypocrisy, thy name is librarian.
In 2013, my friend Megan Fox and I stumbled upon the fact that no one seems to ever ask questions about how public library boards spend the millions of dollars of taxpayer money they are allotted each year in Illinois. In Chicagoland, the media once in a while busts bad school boards for going out to lavish dinners, staying in hotels for conferences in town, or expensing vacations to Florida or Hawaii or wherever and writing it off as “board education.” But, what are library boards doing? They get as much money as some school districts or park districts…only no one ever seems to question how that money is spent (just trusting that libraries aren’t misspending it).
We quickly realized that anyone who wants to fleece taxpayers and get away with it should probably think of running for a seat on a public library board. More often than not, people run opposed for those seats…and the benefits are outrageous. Since library boards are never scrutinized and the public almost never attends library board meetings, unscrupulous individuals who win seats on public library boards can pretty much do whatever they want.
We caught members of the Orland Park Public Library board stealing gold jewelry, putting in for large travel expense checks without receipts to back anything up, going on trips to “conferences” but never having any proof they actually attended conference events, throwing large sums of money at “contractors” who were paid big bucks for jobs that library employees could have (and should have) done for no extra pay, etc.
Read the rest of this entry »
My new book (written with my friend Megan Fox) is coming out next week: SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment.
This book tells the story of the lengths that local government goes to (with the help of national lobbying groups) to silence the First Amendment rights of Americans when they criticize and petition the government for change. Something is very wrong with this country when even local library boards and villages out in the suburbs believe that they can throw everything and the kitchen sink at Americans to chill free speech, silence them, and shut them up.
Back in 2013, Megan and I stumbled upon years’ of unreported crimes in the Orland Park Public Library. It happened by accident, after a library staffer tipped us off that they “got a lot of that” in there. Curious what “a lot of that” meant, Megan and I used the Freedom of Information Act to look into the Library’s internal incident reports and legal invoices, to see what problems that Library had through the years. Immediately, the Library Director chose to involve the Orland Park Police Chief, Village staff, and the law firm Klein Thorpe Jenkins to try to scare Megan and me away so that we would not be interested in the incident reports she wanted to keep hidden.
The Library illegally redacted reports and hid other documents entirely. Some records appear to have been destroyed completely, but what we found shocked us: years and years and years of sex crimes happening in that Library, with staff never calling the police. In the instances where something bad happened at the Orland Park Public Library and police were called, it was library patrons (not staff) who called the police. A pattern emerged where it seemed that Library staffers were doing all this on purpose, as if they knew that if they called the police then what happened in that Library would make the news…and they didn’t want that bad publicity.
Very quickly, Megan and I were targeted for destruction. The American Library Association (a lobbying group that is funded in large part by George Soros) sent “crisis managers” to advise the Orland Park Public Library on how best to silence and scare Megan and me away. We did some digging and saw that the ALA does this to every mom or dad who discovers something awful happening in a Library and complains about it. The ALA targets the parents who complain and chases them away. This has been happening for years.
Figuring out who was behind all this — and who in Orland Park wanted the sex crimes to keep happening in the Library and to keep going unreported — took several years to figure out. FOIA requests gave us some insight and Megan and I took to attending board meetings to petition the library board to address its many problems. Instead of listening and doing the sensible thing, the Library decided to go to war against us…even encouraging a Library staffer to sue us in a bogus SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) suit.
Along the way, Megan and I became experts in the Freedom of Information Act, the Open Meetings Act, and SLAPPs. We lived to tell the tale, which oddly was a story that the local media refused to ever report on accurately. You see, if you ever find yourself up against local government (especially an entity like a library board that no reporter wants to write a negative story about, no matter what happens in there), you will realize that the media is too chummy with government to ever tell the real story.
In our book, we document run-ins we had with reporters from the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Southtown, NBC, CBS, the Orland Park Prairie, the Orland Patch, and other outlets. Not a single one of these people ever wanted to report on the sex crimes that were covered up in the Orland Park Public Library for years and years (which all appeared in their incident reports, which reporters chose to ignore). No media outlet wanted to report on the female employees of the Library who were sexually harassed on a daily basis by men masturbating to porn in the Library. None of this was happening in downtown Chicago and these were derelicts doing any of this…this was all happening in an upscale, affluent suburb of Chicago…where local politicians and police seem to have decided that they were all going to deliberately look the other way and never stop any of this (because someone wanted this to keep happening at the Orland Park Public Library).
Every terrible thing that a local government entity can do to you to shut you up and scare you away was done to us. Sometimes twice. Sometimes eleven or more times.
The book goes on sale next week. I hope you buy it because in addition to telling our story of what the Village of Orland Park, the Orland Park Police, the Orland Park Public Library, and the American Library Association did to us it’s also an account of ways that you can fight back against entities like this when they come after you.
The First Amendment Right to Petition our government for change and redress of grievances is under attack in this country. Washington DC is largely a lost cause, depending on how you look at it…but your local government can still be changed, if citizens are brave enough to do that. I hope Orland Park goes down in history as an example of how wrong local government is when it thinks it can silence its critics.
Because even if the local media refuses to report on any of it, someone could always write a book about every terrible thing that happened. And if irony holds, the very same public library that declared war on the First Amendment might very well be forced to carry a book on its shelves all about every awful thing it did to try to silence people!
– Book will be released last week of May 2016 –
* Orland Park Public Library Trustee Diane Jennings admitted in August 2014 that child porn had been accessed in the Library but staff didn’t call the police and then covered it up.
* The Library had to pay a $55,000 settlement in 2015 after it was sued twice for violating Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by excessively redacting documents it found embarrassing.
* This one public library in Chicago’s suburbs has become the poster child for everything that is wrong with government at the local level when it comes to aggressively fighting transparency laws.
The Orland Park Public Library (OPPL) has provided another example of outrageous conduct by a government body in Illinois: this time, it was flipping a metaphoric middle finger at us and seemingly outsourcing their FOIA redactions to the CIA. The same people who meticulously censor every word on pages of Top Secret reports on space aliens and that missing Malaysian jet in the South Pacific are now apparently moonlighting as the censors at America’s worst-run public library.
What makes this even more interesting is that this public body lost two lawsuits over censoring documents just last spring…but here it goes again, seemingly having learned nothing.
The Illinois Freedom of Information Act allows a public body only limited room to censor documents asked for in FOIA requests. The government is permitted to censor what the statute calls “exempt information.” This mostly involves the private information of employees or patrons (home addresses, home telephone numbers, private email addresses) and information that is legitimately attorney-client privileged. But the Freedom of Information Act does not allow a public entity to censor documents with wholesale CIA-grade redactions in giant blocks like the OPPL has done here.
Why Should You Care?
Our country is in the mess that it’s in because our government has decided that it hates the American people and so it intends to replace us with a population that is ignorant, timid, and unaccustomed to challenging those in power. Hence the massive push for open borders and the colonization of the United States by the Third World. The federal government is too big to bring back under control and will probably require a Second American Revolution to rein-in. Even many state governments (especially in places like Illinois) are too far steeped in corruption for people on the ground to realistically do anything about. But, local government bodies can indeed be cleaned up. They can be scrutinized, audited, and shamed when they violate the law. They can be course-corrected.
The Orland Park Public Library Board may be located in a little suburb of Chicago that you may have never heard of and probably don’t care about, but it has become a remarkable learning experience in terms of what can be accomplished using the Freedom of Information Act and the First Amendment Right to Petition to challenge the actions of a public body. For many years, this one public library had been knowingly looking the other way while men masturbated in the Library, sexually accosted small children, sexually harassed women (including female library employees), and used the OPPL’s unsecured and anonymous WiFi to access child pornography. All of this was discovered in the Library’s own internal incident reports, which the Library aggressively fought production of. It took attending month after month of Library board meetings to finally compel a Board Member (Diane Jennings) to admit that the child pornography had been allowed to be accessed and that staff were wrong to not call the police when things like that happened.
Illinois is in such sorry shape that public library boards are knowingly looking the other way when their buildings and resources are being used to access child pornography. That is how bad things have gotten in our country.
We are currently a nation where a public library — of all things — out in a suburb you’ve never heard of considers it normal practice to censor documents like this is the Soviet Union. The attitude is that they are part of the government, and the government in their view does not have to answer to the people or abide by things like the Freedom of Information Act or the Open Meetings Act. They don’t believe that the public has any recourse or right to challenge them.
I don’t believe you can change Washington from the top down and restore America to a nation of liberty and limited government. Washington is too powerful. I also don’t think you can clean-up our government by focusing on state capitals. Springfield, Illinois is too powerful. I think a bottom-up strategy of activism and advocacy is the key to rooting out corruption. And, yes, even entities as obscure and minute as a public library board need scrutiny and sustained criticism to force changes that bring them in line with the law.
The lesson of Orland Park is that the culture of corruption that plagues our country has metastasized down to the lowest levels of government to the point where even public library boards are doing horrific things like allowing child pornography and sex crimes to occur in these public buildings…and when caught doing that, these local government boards claw and scratch and lash out at anyone that criticizes them. The corruption cannot be battled in Springfield or Washington until it is driven out of places like Orland Park on the local level first.
Think of Orland Park as a case study that highlights some things you can start doing today where you live that would shake up the status quo. We as individuals might not be able to personally impact the goings-on at the federal level…but we can all impact our local communities.
My theory is that if enough “We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore” noise is made at the local level all over the country, then the County and State government officials will take notice (and fear for their own jobs). In time, that’s how Washington will be forced to change…as the power foundation it rests upon is shaken in every state capital and county seat.
This all reminds me of the Allies taking back Europe village by village, town by town, city by city in World War II. The strategy then was not just to throw everything they had at Paris or Rome or Berlin. Instead, they pushed evil out of sleepy hamlets and little communities no one had ever found on a map before. It was a bottom-up strategy for winning a long war against an occupying power.
In our own country, the reality is that the Left has achieved a stranglehold over much of our nation, down to the local level. The Left has mostly won the Culture War…so much so that public libraries not only are caught allowing child pornography to be accessed but then they cover it up by censoring or hiding documents that prove their wrongdoing. Over the last few decades when most people weren’t paying attention or watching, Marian the Librarian from Music Man became a hardcore Leftist who now sees her primary role to be allowing sex crimes to go unreported in libraries because the sexualization of children and the normalization of deviant behavior in public are two chief goals of the Left (in the broader scheme of destroying what’s left of American families…which alienates children from their parents and makes them more susceptible to the ambitions of the state).
Library boards. School boards. Park district boards. County boards. None of these government entities have had any oversight from the public for decades because people have stopped paying attention at the local level. If you start FOIA-ing these entities for their internal incident reports and spending documents, you will be shocked by what you find. Abuses of power…lavish spending in violation of state laws…sex crimes being overlooked and covered-up…no-bid contracts…graft, corruption, and myriad other sins.
I sometimes think the reason the Left wins so often is that it’s like an octopus or hydra with tentacles everywhere, always moving and doing something terrible…and good people who have a natural urge to fight that never know where to start. So they become overwhelmed. They don’t have a plan for taking on the larger beast.
That’s why starting in your own communities matters. With one local board that you can personally take charge of and start overseeing. One board of elected officials near you that you can audit and scrutinize and get to know by attending their meetings. If you investigate them and find they are not doing anything wrong, then move on to another board in your area and keep looking until you find a public body that is willfully breaking the law. Then exercise your First Amendment Right to Petition in whatever way you can think of until you compel that public body to stop doing whatever terrible things it is doing. Make it your hobby to follow these boards’ activities the way that some people follow the happenings of various sportsball teams. You would be surprised at how exciting and interesting this can all become, especially when the public bodies lash out at you and try to scare you away.
You might never be able to imagine a library board clawing and scratching like a legion of demons in The Exorcist when caught doing evil, but that’s exactly what happened in Orland Park. And even when seemingly defeated, the evil vows to return if people stop watching and stop paying attention…hence the latest round of CIA-redacted censorship of documents that now must be challenged.
It really is a never-ending war against the Left that must be fought for liberty’s cause at the lowliest local level until the day when absolutely everyone working in government becomes afraid of the public catching them breaking the law and the real consequences that come from that.