LIVE session coverage...
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
New website unveiled, attacked

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013

* I haven’t had a chance to play with this new site yet, but it looks interesting

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka announced the launching of The Warehouse, a comprehensive online database that puts local governments’ financial information and tens of thousands of records at a single location for taxpayer review.

Topinka explained that the Comptroller’s Office collects financial reports from 5,200 counties, municipalities and special taxing districts across the state. The Warehouse makes those records and other pertinent local financial information collected by her office immediately available to residents. […]

“This user-friendly database allows taxpayers to scour our office ‘Warehouse’ from wherever they are located,” Topinka said in a news release. “There is no reason that residents should have to file Freedom of Information requests or sort through mountains of paper to see how their money is being spent. That information should be at their fingertips, and that’s what The Warehouse accomplishes.”

Warehouse visitors are able to search records by report type, unit of government or community name. Once a local government is selected, users will be taken to a landing page where they can view a snapshot of local finances, Annual Financial Reports and Audits. The site also offers a “compare data” feature allowing visitors to see how one government stacks up against another.

* Background

The comptroller’s office collects more than 9,200 reports from 5,200 local governments each year. Now, much of that information is available online. Dubbed The Warehouse, the site allows users to find financial reports and audits from counties; cities; special taxing districts, such as park districts; and other bodies of local governments. “We’re essentially allowing taxpayers to scour The Warehouse from wherever they are to seek whatever they want to learn,” Topinka said at a Chicago news conference. “It’s designed to be user friendly. In fact, we’re going to keep trying and trying and trying to make sure anything we put out [will] be as user friendly as possible.” She said the new site was made possible by a 2012 law that requires local governments to submit their information to her office electronically.

* The site could actually help local governments

Sherman Mayor Trevor Clatfelter attended Tuesday’s news conference and said his town of fewer than 5,000 people has a limited staff available to deal with Freedom of Information Act requests that often seek the same information that will now be posted online by the state.

* Sheila Simon wasn’t impressed

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, who is challenging Topinka for the comptroller’s office, has tried to lay recent cases of high-profile local corruption at Topinka’s feet because the comptroller’s office takes in local fiscal information. Simon said in a written statement today that the website would do little to prevent local problems. “It is the job of the comptroller’s office to be the fiscal watchdog over local governments. We’ve had far too many examples of corruption at the local level — along with missed opportunities to spot that corruption under Judy Baar Topinka,” said Simon. “Repurposing a Web address with the same information that could already be found on the comptroller website is too little and too late. Identifying and preventing local corruption will be a priority from my first day in office. It’s time we have a comptroller who provides not just accounting but accountability.”

* Topinka’s response

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka Tuesday said a new local government financial data feature on her website should not be considered a campaign event.

Topinka, who scheduled seven news conferences around the state over a three-day period to roll out the site, said it has been years in the making and is not a product of her re-election bid. […]

“That’s just not true,” Topinka responded. “There’s information here that you will not get anyplace else. I think it’s nonsense because we started working on this when Sheila Simon was still dreaming of becoming attorney general.”

Anyway, go check it out and tell us what you think.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


22 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:16 am:

    The ‘dreaming of of becoming attorney general’ line was nice…


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    Sheila Simon is probably the only person who thinks that saying MORE visablility and transparency is NOT something good.

    So, according to Sheila Simon, there needs to be LESS transpancy, more “Attorney General” in the Fiscal Office, and still thinks less than 30 Munis with a 2 year backlog out of over 5,000 total bodies is “not doing enough” …

    Put away the “Attorney General - Corruption Fighter” talking points, you are not running for AG, remember?

    Learn the Office of the Comproller first and understand that transpanency is always good, and what “Teeth” have been put into place to help the Ofiice. Otherwise, check with Lisa again to see if she has cahnged her mind, because that statement sounds more like someone confused about what the AG does, than someone weho has no clue to how the Comptroller’s Office actually operates.


  3. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    Topinka has indeed been working to make her office and its information more available and transparent since day one. This is just another step toward that goal.

    She does the GOP, and the state, proud.


  4. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    So we can put openthebooks.com out of business?


  5. - Whatever - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    OneMan — agreed! Nice touch, Judy.


  6. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    === “It is the job of the comptroller’s office to be the fiscal watchdog over local governments.” ===

    Sheila… please clarify where in the Illinois constitution or state statute this is detailed as being the job description of the Comptroller.


  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    =…should not be considered a campaign event.=

    I agree that a reasonable amount of time spent announcing the roll-out of a new tool, service, etc. is not–and should not, be considered a “campaign event.” As a matter of fact, if the service or product being rolled out is good (i.e., it doesn’t have any major defects and actually addresses a need and/or otherwise adds benefit), not spending some time to announce it seems silly.

    I can think of quite a few brow-raising things that elected officials do while campaigning for their current or new office, and this just isn’t one of them.

    As a matter of fact, like her or not, JBT seems pretty darn ethical when it comes to this kind of stuff.


  8. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    I just briefly checked out the site… it works very well and has some neat functions. I especially like that it provides contact info for the public bodies as many public bodies (including some municipalities and counties) have no public contact info (e.g. no website).


  9. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    I briefly looked at it, and found the information helpful, too.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    SIMON TOUTS PLAN TO COMBINE OFFICES - HAS NO CLUE WHAT EITHER DOES

    Carbondale - Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today announced the combining of the Comptroller Office with another Constitutional Office, but it’s not what you may think.

    “I am announcing today the combining of the Office of the Comptroller, with the Office of the Attorney General.

    While most thought I would call for the combining of the Comptroller and Treasurer, I really feel that I have a better shot at confusing everyone by trying to meld those two offices (Comptroler and Attorney General), than actually looking at boring fiscal roles of the Comptroller and the Treasurer. Plus, I like playing attorney, money and fiscal stuff is just ‘not my thing’ and I ran out of offices to try to use my AG info I had to learn, so there is that too.”

    When pressed about Lisa Madigan’s thoughts about the two offices combining, Ms. Simon said, “Lisa and I talk all the time. I mean ‘all the time’, so I feel I can speak for Lisa, and I look forward to her going back to the private secor as I lead this new office.”

    The Comptroller of the state of Illinois, is the office that handles fiscal matters, including the payment of bills. The Office of the Attorney General does none of those fiscal functions.

    ###


  11. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    Imagine the theme for Qunicy begining….

    Video: Sheila Simon in a green eye shade opening a dusty filing cabinet.

    Switch

    Video of Sheila at a desk with the same eye shade with young eager new employees looking on

    VO (Sheila Simon): Folks, today we are going to take a look at the most fascinating sphere of government work. The work of Forensic Accounting

    VO (Young state worker): But doesn’t SECTION 17. article V of the state consitution state: COMPTROLLER - DUTIES
    The Comptroller, in accordance with law, shall maintain the State’s central fiscal accounts, and order payments into and out of the funds held by the Treasurer.

    It doesn’t say anything about doing audits, isn’t that Bill Holland’s job?

    VO: Sheila… Quiet you, this is sort of like being Attorney General

    Video: First new worker collapses in laughter, the others soon follow…


  12. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    Sheila — Comptroller

    EP 1: Report Attack…

    Early evening, Sheila and several others in tactical SWAT style gear….

    Video: Inside a small meeting room at a rural fire protection district in central Illinois…

    Male 1: Well we got a letter that we are late with some report.

    Woman 1: Marge use to deal with that, but since her husband got

    (loud bang and flash)

    Door swings open Sheila appears with handcuffs, runs up to man 1 and pushes his face into table and handcuffs him…

    Man 1: What the hell

    Sheila: You are two months late with the annual report and you were off .85 on the one from last year, the taxpayers of Illinois good a true elected me to protect them from vermin like you guys..


  13. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    Hmmm, doing your job = campaign event. Whodathunk?


  14. - Fan of Cap Fax - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:13 pm:

    Liked the site, found it very informative and easy to use. Love Judy and Judy loves dogs, which makes me love her more!


  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    @FakeJasonPlummer - Hey @FakeSheilaSimon, I can loan you my “What The Comptroller Does” coloring book, so you know the job. ‘Grogran’ has my Treasurer one. Dad got me the whole set! #AlwaysHelping


  16. - A guy... - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    Hey Sheila, if it were a campaign event, why wouldn’t she wait until Jan/Feb of ‘14 when someone might even pay attention to the fact that you’ve defaulted down to running for this office? You’ve done the impossible Sheila, you’ve made it even easier for Judy to run against you. Bet that LG gig is looking better by the day. Stop. Talking. Now.


  17. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:50 pm:

    ==It is the job of the comptroller’s office to be the fiscal watchdog over local governments.==

    She has yet to say exactly how she plans to accomplish that. I think the Comptroller’s Office has other things to do rather than become auditors of all of the local governments.

    She picks the weirdest things to attack. A transparency website is an odd thing to latch onto as something that is bad.

    I might be wrong but she is going to be beat by a huge margin (IMHO). I think she is dooming herself to the trash heap of politics with this run.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:02 pm:

    @FakeSheilaSimon - Thanks @FakeJasonPlummer, I will trade you all my AG notes I keep using #IgnoranceIsJustIgnorance

    @FakeSheilaSimon - I want to be clear, I am for sunshine, but I am against transparency #YouFigureItOut

    @FakeSheilaSimon - My Bad. I was Quinn’s LG, so I just figure every announcement is a political one #GoverningSeemsHarderNow

    @FakeSheilaSimon - My forst bill I would like to see is for the building of more jails. Oh wait, these are my AG notes again #ItWorksWithTweaking

    @FakeSheilaSimon - I guess the site seems to be fine, but it just seems to have all these numbers. #IfIWantedToKnowMathIWouldntHaveGoneToLawSchool

    @FakeSheilaSimon - Hey @FakePatQuinn, just wanted to remind you, I have experience as a LG #MyBAdPleaseForgiveMe


  19. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    –I think the Comptroller’s Office has other things to do rather than become auditors of all of the local governments–

    Patrolling cemeteries for graverobbers, if I recall the recent past correctly.


  20. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:51 pm:

    Kudos to Topinka for leading the way on this.

    Meanwhile, Simon displays desperation and a lack of her own ideas.


  21. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:51 pm:

    wordslinger…

    Thanks, you just wrote episode 2 of Sheila…

    It has her popping out of a coffin to bust a shady pre-need funeral provider…


  22. - Anyone Remember? - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    Excellent data. Sooner would have been nicer, but given what Topinka had to work with when she took office, there can’t be any valid criticisms of how long this took.

    Suggestion for future expansions - state college and university expenditures that do not go through the Comptroller’s Office.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* *** UPDATED x3 *** Quick stopgap budget roundup
* *** UPDATED x1 - Video *** Comptroller Munger to "reassess" lawmaker pay delay
* Silver: Trump is gonna get trounced in Illinois
* K-12 preliminary analysis
* What's in the BIMP?
* More heroin/Fentanyl deaths than traffic fatalities
* BGA takes a look at an anti-union group
* What's at stake today
* Question of the day
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* *** LIVE *** Session Coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* Facebook Adds Raft of Chatbot-Enhancing Features to Messenger Platform
* Microsoft confirms Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update will start to roll out August 2
* Pledge $270 or more (for limited time) on Kickstarter, and the NuAns NEO can be yours worldwide
* Dell gives up on Android-based Venue tabs to focus on Windows convertibles
* Facebook simplifies confusing chatbots with buttons, not text commands
* Get the full scoop on the upcoming BlackBerry Neon, Argon, and Mercury phones
* No red OnePlus 3 for you

* White Sox ACE product Ray on to big things
* All-Star Ballot end sets up Tuesday intrigue
* South Side Sox LIVE!: Hello, Matt Davidson ...and good-bye?
* Shuck N thrive: No. 9 hitter lifts White Sox over Twins
* Davidson fractures foot in anticipated return to Majors
* Anderson displays development, all-around game
* White Sox 6, Twins 5: Shuck yeah!

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* Morning Spin: Rauner 'turnaround agenda' isn't .....
* Illinois lawmakers, governor OK stopgap spendin.....
* Rauner signs bill extending medical marijuana p.....
* The Latest: Budget deal draws handful of 'no' v.....


* Attention turns to court in Illinois remap ballot question
* Judge declares mistrial in murder trial after witness shot
* Illinois jury awards 12-year-old $53M in birth injury case
* Attorneys due in court over Illinois redistricting lawsuit
* Judge hopes to name Van Dyke special prosecutor by August
* Gun shop raffling AR-15 rifle to benefit Orlando victims
* The latest: Illinois lawmakers begin advancing budget deal
* The latest: Illinois House approves 1st parts of budget deal
* Dynegy plans to shutter 1 unit at Baldwin plant by October
* Illinois governor, lawmakers nearing budget deal

* Lawmakers approve stopgap spending deal, Rauner signs it
* Rauner signs bill extending medical marijuana program
* Gov. Rauner attends State Museum reopening ceremony, thanks staff
* Rauner attends State Museum reopening ceremony, thanks staff
* State spending deal OK'd, Rauner signs it
* Illinois House and Senate OK stopgap spending deal
* Recap: Thursday's budget votes at the Illinois Capitol
* Illinois House OKs stopgap spending deal, sends to Senate
* Illinois lawmakers begin voting on stopgap spending deal
* House committee approves some budget bills; members in meetings to hear details

* The good news and the bad news on that stopgap state budget
* How Emanuel still could come out ahead after losing the Lucas Museum
* Emanuel says Chicago schools will open on time this fall
* Why we should be excited about Obama library architects pick
* Preckwinkle warns of $174 million Cook County budget hole


* Obama guidance, press schedule July 1, 2016. Zika virus briefing
* Man wounded in Austin shooting
* Two shot in Park Manor
* Police: 1 killed, 1 wounded in West Chatham shooting
* Why Schwarber won’t be traded and what it means for Cubs’ bullpen
* Man shot, critically wounded in Portage Park
* Man wounded in Lawndale drive-by shooting
* Union to strike against Trump Taj Mahal casino
* Dear Abby: Children’s shirtless photo troubles teen
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for July 1, 2016


* Conviction vacated, new trial granted for Adnan Syed of 'Serial'
* Judge blocks Indiana genetic abnormality abortion law
* Syria's refugee children have lost all hope
* Durbin sees 'appearance of impropriety' as Obama associates pursue for-profit university deal
* Young couple convicted in Bali suitcase murder break up
* Kris Bryant's HR vaults Cubs to 2-0 lead in 4th
* Judge still mulling who to appoint to prosecute cop in Laquan McDonald killing
* Vernon Hills man charged with sexually assaulting teen he met on Facebook
* Judge threatens city of Chicago over failure to turn over documents
* Mayor Emanuel says Chicago schools will open on time this fall


* Lawmakers approve stopgap spending deal, Rauner signs it
* Rauner signs bill extending medical marijuana program
* Gov. Rauner attends State Museum reopening ceremony, thanks staff
* Our View: Stopgap was necessary, but not cause for celebration
* Rauner attends State Museum reopening ceremony, thanks staff
* Ann McFeatters: Clinton won't pick risky Warren as running mate
* State spending deal OK'd, Rauner signs it
* Illinois House and Senate OK stopgap spending deal
* Recap: Thursday's budget votes at the Illinois Capitol
* Illinois House OKs stopgap spending deal, sends to Senate


* Top of the morning, July 1, 2016
* UI roundup: Hartleb joins national baseball event
* Could Williams, Leonard find new NBA homes?
* UI hoops recruit glance: Terrence Lewis
* Top college prospects for 2017 NBA Draft
* Fifth Lift for Life slated for Friday night
* NEW: Stopgap spending bill passed, signed
* PODCAST: Sports Talk 06-30-16
* Updated: Hershey rejects kiss from chocolate competitor
* UPDATED: Illinois OKs stopgap spending deal, governor will sign


* Dawn Patrol: Wauconda police evacuate neighborhood
* Budget deal has social agencies, colleges relieved by cautious
* Illinois State Museum to reopen with admission fee Saturday
* The Latest: Tony Blair sees danger after Brexit vote
* Mozambique's factions talk peace amid conflict

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Will County getting federal funding to imp......

* The Download with Justin Kaufmann Live Blo......
* Talk of the County - Chicago Tribune...

* Advice To Team Obama: Keep FDIC's Bair
* Surprise! This Bank Refuses Fed Bailout
* Cuban's Cub Pitch Hammered By SEC
* Week In Review; Rob Feder Interview
* Congress Takes Aim At Griffin's Citadel
* Get Out And Vote....
* Economy's 'Dr. Doom' Makes Heroic Call
* Bonus Time: You Give, Wall St. Takes
* Let's Rescue "The Bank of You and Me"
* Sound the Alarm! Bank Buying Ahead


* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact




Hosted by MCS -- CapitolFax.com Privacy Policy -- SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax -- Advertise Here -- Mobile Version -- Contact Rich Miller