People who want government to move toward putting more information on the Internet are pushing some “transparency” proposals. The idea behind a “Local Government Transparency Act” is to make everybody a potential watchdog. Brian Costin of the Illinois Policy Institute does not have to look far into the past to find an example.
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“The state of Illinois was sending money to Dixon. Rita Crundwell was the person who received that money and delivered it into her own personal accounts,” he said of the multi-million-dollar embezzler. “If you had a searchable revenue-and expenditure database, you could simply go to the Illinois Department of Revenue web site, and then the web site of your local government, and find out if it matches up.”
Another speaker at a rollout announcement in Springfield put the need for this in pithier terms. “The twenty percent turnout in the primaries proves that citizens don't trust their governments,” said Sheila Weinberg of Truth in Accounting. “And they shouldn't.”