Springfield, IL (ECWd) -
In light of yesterday's announcement by the FBI that no prosecution will be sought pertaining to Hillary Clinton's confirmed wrongdoing, what better time to bring things back to our core foundational belief as an organization. If you can't fix your local government problems you are never going to fix them at a National level. The reason is the culture must be changed and currently, we have a culture that is on steroids to redefine what is criminal because they are not being held accountable at any level.
We and many others have exposed a laundry list of wrongdoing by our Illinois State Auditor General Frank Mautino. That exposure has lead to Federal criminal investigations as well as an active State Board of Election complaint by a local citizen of Mautino's former district as a State Representative. Since our first exposure January 21st, 2016, we have seen a flurry of tips come in from locals that share information that would shock most citizens. Sadly, we are no longer surprised with those type of tips as they have become commonplace in today's culture of corruption.
For example, when the ATF takes no interest in a former Edgar County Sheriff selling guns with filed-off serial numbers to his own Deputies, we have a problem. Or when the FBI can recover a semi-load of illegally purchased farm implements by a former director of a mass transit district, also in Edgar County, and no one is indicted, we have a problem. Or when the former Coles County Sheriff gets caught red handed selling guns illegally and in direct violation of court orders and the State's Attorney simply says don't do it anymore, we have a problem. And yes, all three of those examples are real!
What we all understood to be illegal 10-20 years ago has now morphed into a methodology of justifying illegal action even though the applicable statutes have not changed. We are being governed by political perception, emotion, and special interests instead of the rule of law. It is at every level of our government. Those local County Board Chairmen involved in self-promotion and financial gain are representing their interest. Those same people are the future state and national level politicians who will continue to govern in their own best interest, all at the cost of the taxpayer.
Mautino is a perfect example of how allowing corruption at the local level leads to the same corruption at the State level. Mautino's campaign spending and reporting as a State Representative for his district have enough legal concerns to keep several attorneys working full time. The fact these apparent illegal expenditures and reporting took place for so many years and no one ever looked into his spending during a contested political race points to the dysfunction of our society as well as the political party system, in this case, the Republicans. Both the citizens and the opposing party members failed to properly vet those being challenged.
That failure to vet Mautino's expenditures as a State Rep takes us to the failure of the committee that failed to vet him as our next Auditor General. We doubt a single person on that committee checked his background as it relates to his public record of what appears to be clear illegal actions. If they had, we can only hope they would have spoken up about it. From that, the majority of State Representatives followed their political perception, emotion, and/or special interests in voting for him as our next State Auditor General. Many simply gave up and said that is who Speaker Madigan wanted so there is nothing we can do. So much for a Government by the People.
Now, with Mautino as our Auditor General, we must ask how is the culture of corruption surrounding this person affecting us at a state level. The answer is simple. For starters, the public trust has been lost, assuming there was any there in the first place. Our top watchdog is in a position to ensure accountability to the law for all our state agencies, yet it is now clear his own personal culture of wrongdoing has blinded him to what actually is right or wrong as defined by the rule of law.
Look no further than the Auditor General's Performance Audit of the ILLINOIS CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION AUTHORITY FOR COMMUNITY-BASED VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS, THE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM, AND THE CHICAGO AREA PROJECT. This had ties with yet another scandal during the Quinn Administration that we wrote about in the articles here, here, and here.
Reading the 200-page report from Mautino we can not find a single reference in which a request for criminal investigations or prosecutions is asked for, yet one only need read the report to see such a request would be justifiable.
To quote a current State Representative regarding this report from Mautino, "By any measure, the events, actions and transactions detailed in the Auditor General's report would be viewed as venal, incompetent, official misconduct and outright theft of taxpayer's monies."
So is it fair to ask why there has been no request from his office to the Attorney General seeking criminal prosecution for the crimes committed against the taxpayers?
It is abundantly clear, Frank Mautino is not a man of his word nor is he capable of recognizing his own actions as being outside the limits of the law. In addition, when a 200-page report that exposes such corruption fails to make a single referral to the Attorney General for action, the message is clear. We are no longer a people governed by laws. We are Governed by political power based on what they believe is the rule for the day.
Frank Mautino is simply another example of why this country is in the mess we are in. When corruption and violations of law go unchecked for so many years, unchecked by We The People, we are the ones to blame for the condition of our culture. In Illinois, the culture is one of corruption and zero accountability.
If Mautino had a shred of knowledge on what is right and wrong, coupled with a willingness to apply it to his own actions, he would do the right thing and resign immediately. If our State Representatives had any backbone they would have already called for his resignation and if he refused they would have taken action to remove him. Sadly, behind the scenes letters asking their employee questions instead leading and acting like the boss they are, simply empowers Mautino to continue.
Considering those currently in power will never self-police, it is up to We The People to keep our Republic, just as Benjamin Franklin pointed out so many years ago.
We urge the citizens of this state to get up off the couch, learn the laws that were passed to protect their interests, and go to their local government meetings and hold them accountable. And please, don't tell me you can find one to go check up on. You can start with your library, School Board, Fire Department, Park District, Streetlight District, Mosquito District, Water District, Village Board, Drainage District, 911 Board, Health Department, Zoning Board, Township Board, County Board, or any one of the several dozen more public bodies that have been born in this state while We The People worked to make a living.
Accountability at the local level is the only thing that is going to fix this systemic problem in our State and this Country.
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