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         Tuesday, August 9, 2011        

Courts OK unconstitutional expenditures by govt
as long as govt keeps it a secret until money is spent

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A bizarre pattern of decisions have developed in both State and Federal courts, in which the Courts have established that government is allowed to defraud taxpayers by knowingly, deliberately and intentionally making unconstitutional expenditures, as long as the government keeps the unconstitutional expenditures a secret until the money is paid out.  The Courts, through these decisions, have made a farce out of constitutional prohibitions against using tax dollars to advance and subsidize religion or for political purposes.

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The Courts have said that they will not stop such unconstitutional expenditures by government, or sanction government or the recipients involved in such unconstitutional expenditures, if the government conceals the expenditures from the public until the money has been paid out.  Government officials, according to these bizarre court decisions, can make all of the unconstitutional expenditures that they want, as long as the expenditures are kept secret until the money has been paid out.

The only requirement from the Courts is that the government must first devise a scheme to conceal the unconstitutional expenditures from the public until the money changes hands.  If the government conceals the unconstitutional expenditures until the money is paid out, then it's OK, according to the courts.

The Illinois General Assembly has developed a two-step process for complying with this Court standard for making unconstitutional expenditures.  What the General Assembly does is this:  Instead of announcing unconstitutional legislative earmarks in the Bills that they pass, the Legislature puts the money in a block grant to an Executive Branch agency.

The Legislature then sends the agency a secret letter, under separate cover, telling the agency how the money is really supposed to be spent.  The General Assembly specifies, in the secret letter, the constitutionally ineligible recipients who are to receive the money.

By the time citizens like me discover the secret scam, the money has already changed hands, so the Courts have said that the constitutionally ineligible recipients can keep the money.  That's what happened with the $20,000 that the State of Illinois gave to Friends of the Cross to pay for rebuilding the 110-foot-high Bald Knob Cross, with your tax dollars, in southern Illinois.

Federal courts have said it's OK that your tax dollars were unconstitutionally used to
restore the Bald Knob Cross, because Illinois kept the expenditure a secret until
after the money changed hands.  That's the court's standard.  I'm appealing.

Here's how that worked:  Public Act 95-734, at Article 3, Section 115, on Pages 38 -39 (see the last three lines of the first page and the top half of the second page), allocated $5,000,000 to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity ("DCEO").  Friends of the Cross was then specified in this secret letter, which the General Assembly sent to DCEO after the Bill passed.

We're still in Federal Court, challenging that scam.  The case is now before the Seventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals.

That's the same court that ruled, last year, that the Student Prayer Act is supposedly constitutional because the General Assembly supposedly has made it clear that students can engage in any silent activity of their choice during the Moment of Silence.  The General Assembly actually voted, two times, AGAINST Bills (Senate Bill 1658 and House Bill 288) that would have amended the Moment of Silence law to allow that very thing.  So much for the Appellate Court's credibility on that one.

I'm also in court challenging a similar scam by the General Assembly to sneak $300,000,000 to constitutionally ineligible religious colleges and universities.  The Illinois Constitution, at Article X, Section 3, contains a clear and unambiguous prohibition against public funds being spent "to help support or sustain any college or university that is controlled by any church or sectarian denomination."

Public Act 97-76, at Article 12, Section 425, which is buried on Page 238 of this 1,618-page Capital (infrastructure) Bill, allocates $265,000,000 (after $35,000,000 had already been allocated from an original $300,000,000 in the previous Capital Bill) to the Capital Development Board ("CDB") to make grants to "various private colleges and universities."  Nothing unconstitutional about that, so long as the Capital Development Board limits the grants to SECULAR private colleges and universities.

Since Article X, Section 3, of the Illinois Constitution, prohibits such grants from going to religious colleges and universities, you would think that the CDB would, of course, limit the grants to secular schools of higher education.  I found out, through extensive research, that the list of grantees includes numerous constitutionally ineligible religious schools.

The CDB has completely blown off the constitutional restrictions limiting such grants to secular schools.  It's only because I, and I alone, caught them, that the hundreds of millions of dollars in unconstitutional grants may be stopped.

I'm also going after unconstitutional expenditures of public funds for political purposes.  That's the Indian Trails Library litigation, in which I'm challenging the use, by the Library, of tens of thousands of tax dollars for promoting the passage of a massive property tax increase referendum.

Such use of tax dollars is clearly prohibited by the Illinois Constitution, at Article VIII, Section 1(a), which says that "public funds shall be used only for public purposes."  Winning an election is not a constitutionally permitted public purpose for the use of tax dollars.

So far, State Court has said it's not going to do anything to stop government from unconstitutionally using public funds to win elections because the Court won't even look into whether or not such use of public funds violates the Constitution.  The Court has sent its message, loud and clear, that citizens have no recourse, in a court of law, when the government violates our constitutional rights.

I've asked the Court to reconsider that very unwise Opinion.  If the Court won't reconsider, citizens will know that they must take the law into their own hands, and deal with government officials directly rather than going to court, when government violates the Constitution.

That's a bad alternative for citizens.  It's also a very unsafe alternative for government officials, because not everybody is mentally stable, as I am.

Let me be very clear about that.  It's not that the Court said that it finds there was no violation of the Constitution when the Library spent thousands of tax dollars to hire a political consultant to identify which drivers will motivate plus voters and undecided voters to go to the polls on Election Day to vote in favor of their massive property tax increase referendum, supplemented by a specific Election Day "Get Out the Vote" strategy.  It's not that the Court said there was a violation of the Constitution, but I'm not satisfied with the remedy the Court has selected.

Rather, it's that the Court refused to even address the question of whether a Constitutional violation occurred, when such a question had been brought to Court by a group of citizens.  That's what makes this a very dangerous situation for government officials, everywhere.

The Court has proclaimed that citizens have no judicial recourse when the government violates our constitutional rights.  The only recourse available is what citizens do, themselves, by taking the law into their own hands.

The Daily Herald published a story, today, about this matter, entitled Judge dismisses Rob Sherman's lawsuit against Indian Trails by reporter Madhu Krishnamurthy

Previous Rob Sherman News stories about unconstitutional acts by government referred to in this story:

Saturday, August 6:  Sherman files Motion to Reconsider in Indian Trails Library electioneering case

Saturday, July 30:  Judge rules citizens have no recourse when government violates our constitutional rights

Thurs., June 2:  Sherman files lawsuit to block $300 million in unconstitutional grants to Illinois religious colleges

Saturday, October 16, 2010:  Appellate Court destroys its credibility with "Moment of Silence" decision

Thursday, August 12, 2010:  Sherman sues Friends of the Cross to force return of unconstitutional grant

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