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Press must shine light on locals, too
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 1/19/2009 12:16 AM

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As the impeachment of our governor wends its way through the process that will strip him of his office for backroom pay-to play business deals that serve special interests and cheat the taxpayers, we read in the Daily Herald (Jan. 8) of a ruling by Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay designed to silence questions and discussion of issues before the board.

Chairman McConnaughay apparently believes board members are entitled to their opinions and can voice them in any forum not open to public scrutiny or exposure. Sound familiar? The county board chairman has always sought venues that control open discussion and preclude opposition voices from affecting her projects. This newspaper applauded these same tactics when they produced the new county jail. The board at that time blatantly admitted selecting funding mechanisms to avoid referendums, a tactic intended to strip the public of their voice.

We in Illinois seem to forget that some of those who seek office are less than honorable and seek to benefit themselves, and that it is our duty to vet these people and to support them when and if they serve us. We pay little attention to government, particularly local government, and the actions it takes in our name. We remain docile lambs while politicians like McConnaughay and Blagojevich run their scams under our noses, manipulating the rules to hide their activities with mechanisms like "the Bonnie Rule," a rule enacted after a November meeting in which Bonnie Kunkel questioned specific items in the county budget.

The papers need to expand their coverage of state and local government activities and provide a voice for all sides of an issue. Help us strip questionable politicians of the cover they need for their disreputable acts.

John M. Hamilton