After a fast start in 2011, the Better Government Association keeps its pace—and gets results—in April, May and June.


June 28, 2011: BGA completes 10-week coverage of the Blagojevich trial
In his final post for BGA’s special blog launched specifically to shine a light on the second Blagojevich trial and assess its impact on government, veteran political reporter Jack Conaty reports on the takeaways after Illinois convicts another governer. (The BGA thanks Jack for his dedication to this project.)

June 27, 2011: Country Club Hills curbs credit card use after BGA/WGN-TV investigation
Times may be rough, but in Country Club Hills, the mayor is rolling in the green, courtesy of taxpayers and donors to his campaign fund. This BGA/WGN-TV investigation into credit card abuse results in the town eliminating all but one city credit card.

June 18, 2011: Special Investigation: The High Costs of Wrongful Convictions
This seven-month investigation by the BGA and the Center on Wrongful Convictions reveals that wrongful convictions of 85 men and women for felonies in Illinois cost taxpayers more than $214 million, and imprisoned innocent people for 926 years. Meanwhile, the real perpetrators committed nearly 100 felonies. The most shocking discovery is the cause of these wrongful convictions: In 81 of the 85 cases, alleged government misconduct or error by police, prosecutors and forensic officials contributed to wrongful convictions.


June 15, 2011: BGA launches its “Action Center”
The “Action Center” is a powerful, web-based tool that allows the BGA to organize effective policy advocacy campaigns around key issues. In our first campaign, more than 350 BGA supporters use the Action Center to send messages to Gov. Quinn, asking him to reject HB1716, a bill that makes it harder for citizens to freely access public information under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.)
Fox Chicago NewsJune 14, 2011: Embattled CHA chief resigns after BGA/FOX investigation
Days after a BGA and FOX Chicago News investigation uncovers lavish spending on CHA credit cards, the agency’s CEO, Lewis Jordan, announces his resignation.


June 3, 2011: Emanuel cuts city agency credit card use after BGA/FOX investigation
In response to BGA/FOX Chicago News investigations into credit card usage at city agencies, Mayor Rahm Emanuel takes action to curb abuse by cancelling all city credit cards.
100park districtJune 1, 2011: BGA investigations prompt early exit for Chicago Park District chief
BGA/FOX Chicago News investigations reportedly hasten Chicago Park District Supt. Tim Mitchell’s departure, which follows the forced exit of his chief of staff.

April 28, 2011: Special Investigation: Sticker Shock: Our State Pols’ Platinum Pensions
As part of our Rescuing Illinois Project, the BGA investigates the millions of dollars in pension benefits guaranteed to former statewide office holders. We find 9 percent of retired office holders enjoy a guaranteed annual pension of more than $100,000, and more than 10 percent of the retirees have already drawn more than $1 million.
BGA OperationWatchdog Logo Jan2011 NEW FINAL

April 26, 2011: Dumped-on BGA watchdog bags neighborhood clean-up
Englewood resident and watchdog Theresa Jones got new neighbors a few weeks ago: bags and bags of garbage dumped by a carless lot owner. After the BGA and FOX Chicago News starts asking questions, the city sends a cleanup crew.

April 14, 2011: First-ever Citizen Watchdogs of Education session
After a successful Citizen Watchdog Training in Springfield on April 12, BGA holds its first-ever Citizen Watchdogs of Education session, an extension of Citizen Watchdog Training, in Englewood. This new program is made possible by a grant from The Field Foundation of Illinois.

The BGA staff and board thank you for your interest and support. We’re watching, shining a light on government and holding public officials accountable. Please watch with us.