In June, Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Open the Books, Chairman of American Transparency, and former candidate for Illinois governor, the only politician to be endorsed by Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, gave a talk entitled The Courage of Principles—Congruency of Faith and Public Action in Modern America. Taking to heart St. John Paul II’s admonition, “Be Not Afraid; Be a Witness to History,” Andrzejewski recounted how he and his brother developed the HomePages® Directory, a business that experienced hair-raising twists and turns, but ultimately succeeded through perseverance, lots of sweat, and prayer. Connecting his convictions in his socially-minded endeavors, he told real-life stories about his tenacious efforts to increase transparency in state and local government spending and activity. First, he explained how his non-partisan organization won a lengthy court battle against Illinois Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act over the Comptroller’s failure to disclose its checkbook to reveal how it spends taxpayers’ money. The Comptroller’s office had refused to release the public records on grounds that the disclosure would pose an “unreasonable burden” on the office. Those public records are now posted on the Comptroller’s website. Another way taxpayers can keep tabs on government spending is through Andrzejewski’s website, http://www.OpentheBooks.com, a searchable database that allows users to look up, among other things, state and federal employee salaries, some of which will shock you. Dedicated to maintaining integrity among public sector employees, Andrzejewski also urged all attendees to participate in an important upcoming meeting at the Orland Park Public Library on July 21st at 7pm. That meeting will address the library’s policies allowing any adult patron to watch unfiltered pornography, including child porn, on the library’s computers, which has led to several unseemly incidents. Further, when patrons addressed the library’s board of trustees about the easy access to unfiltered porn and related incidents, the board treated them extremely rudely and violated the Open Meetings Act. Outside of the meetings, moreover, certain board members have even verbally attacked individuals challenging the library’s handling of the porn-access issue.

CPI website

 

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