Campaign operatives for a Democratic candidate for state treasurer, State Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign), make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to the Republican rival’s tenure as a state legislator and are accommodated.
Campaign operatives for the Republican nominee, State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego), make a FOIA request for similar documents pertaining to the Democrat’s tenure as a state legislator and are denied.
Looks like a double standard, doesn’t it?
While it may seem fishy, the Democrat Machine that runs state government is certain to assure you that your suspicions are unfounded and that you’re suffering from a dread delusion peculiar to Republicans known as FOIA Paranoia.
Here’s how it works: Everything bad that Illinois Democrats believe and assert about Illinois Republicans, no matter how unfounded, is assumed to be true. Everything bad that Illinois Republicans believe and assert about Illinois Democrats, no matter how reasonable, is assumed to be false.
Consequently, if the FOIA documents requested by and provided to a Democrat fail to incriminate his Republican rival, the only possible conclusion is that the Republican has doctored those documents or withheld the juicy ones.
Conversely, if FOIA documents are requested by and denied to a Republican, the only possible conclusion is that his Democratic rival is as pure as the driven snow and the mean-spirited Republican was out of line for questioning his ethics and making the request in the first place.
So, it makes sense that the House clerk-- a Democrat-- would be forthcoming when asked, by operatives of the Democratic candidate for state treasurer, to provide reams of documents relating to the 21-year House tenure of his rival, Cross.
And it also makes sense that the Democrat Senate president’s office would stall and obfuscate when asked, by operatives of the Republican candidate, to provide specified documents relating to the seven-year Senate tenure of their fellow caucus member Frerichs.
Of course, if one’s suspicions are correct, then it isn’t paranoia. But we digress.
That Sen. Frerichs or Democrat Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who likes to fashion herself a friend of FOIA and open government and is free to intervene, aren’t embarrassed by this outrage is telling. So long as we keep choosing state leaders like these, the politicians, not the people, will always come first in Illinois.