Latest posts by Nancy Thorner (see all)
The City Club of Chicago hosted Adam Andrzejewski on May 3, 2018 to a sold-out room of 300 people.
Introduced by Dr. Tom Coburn, former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, Andrzejewski spoke about how the open-government movement is revolutionizing U.S. public policy, and about his new project called “Operation Drain the Swamp.”
An 11:30 reception preceded the 12:00 p.m. luncheon, during which time Dr. Tom Coburn, former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, introduced himself. An opportunity was afforded during the reception for guests to be photographed with Dr. Coburn and Adam Andrzejewski. The wife of the late Tom Roser, Lilian Roser, was likewise honored. With Lilian’s approval, the lights of The City Club of Chicago were kept on at a very stressful time.
Introductory remarks at the luncheon were made by Honorary Chairman Dr. Tom Coburn, during which time he predicted what was at stake for our nation. Colburn noted four items that were needed for a nation to survive. The same were also realized by our Founding Fathers:
Faith and Trust in the Rule of Law.
Virtuous a moral people.
Colburn then stressed the importance of making changes before time runs out in 10-12 years when this nation will have $144 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Colburn further mused how unfortunate it is that legislators don’t have a clue how to fix what must be done. It is the responsibility of concerned citizens to hold their legislators accountable. As to decisions, they are best made at the local level, not at the federal level.
In introducing Adam, Dr. Colburn spoke of Adam as a “hero” for bringing sunshine and holding legislators responsible through OpenTheBooks. “Adam has done something for the future that many of us haven’t done.”
Adam to the podium
Watch here Adam’s speech at City Club: “How the Open-Government Movement Is Revolutionizing U.S. Public Policy”. Adams speech covered many oversight topics including:
- Extreme Illinois lawmaker pensions and fact-checked Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s executive order to end pay-to-play in Chicago.
- Our federal oversight on veterans’ affairs, federal employee compensation, farm subsidies in urban areas, the SBA, the EPA, and the Ivy League.
In a heartfelt tribute to his parents, John and Janet, Adam attributed his work ethic to his dad who in 1976 and 1978 ran for elected to replace George Ryan. As to Illinois’ #1 export, Adam cited it as corruption, noting that two Illinois governors were serving jail time at the same time, George Ryan (R) and Rod Blagojevich (D). Also noted was how Mayor Rahn Emmanuel’s broke his campaign promise to clean up the culture of corruption in City Hall and to end “Pay to Play.”
Nevertheless, Adams believes answers to fighting City Hall and how to win must come from the people. For it was the documents of our Founding Fathers which gave citizens the power to act. Accordingly, OpenTheBooks is the means to capture every dime spent at every level of government. This is in keeping with what Dr. Colburn found in weaponizing waste when trying to strip earmarks from federal government spending. Waste and corruption is a bi-partisan problem!
In speaking about the power of transparency, 306 public officers have fled their positions since OpenTheBooks was founded in 2011. Recently OpenTheBooks examined Wyoming’s spending record. Although various government agencies bulked at allowing the state’s checkbook to be opened for inspection, it will happen soon. In regard to Oregon, it was determined that state employee were being used on state time to do work unrelated to their jobs under the guise that they would make up the time spent later on.
Locally, the College of Du Page was exposed for hiding $100 million dollar in grant money which was instead used to pay club dues and purchase wine.
Question and Answer Session
Adam fielded questions from audience members. Following is information gleamed from Adam’s responses:
- America can’t be made great again until government is made accountable again.
- The party out of power routinely says it is going to drain the swamp.
- Legislators love and support their favorite project as in eye toward their re-election.
- Farm subsidies are flowing to urban area where there isn’t any farming being done. Farrakhan received $100,000 in Farm Subsidy at his Chicago home.
- SBA (Small Business Administration) lending went to swim clubs. Not that swim clubs shouldn’t exist, but we shouldn’t be subsidizing them either.
- In funding by the National Endowment of Art, a large percentage of its funding goes to two well-healed art museums, one of which is the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Ivy league colleges, which already have large endowment, still receive federal payment with taxpayers’ money.
As a reminder that we are in danger of losing what our Founding Fathers set forth in 1788 with the ratification of our Constitution, when keeping in mind the number of years republics have been able to survive throughout history, this famous story and quote by Benjamin Franklin was cited:
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was queried by a woman as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation: “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a Republic or a Monarchy?” To which Benjamin Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
In closing, Adam Andrzejewski offered these words of encouragement:
“The people of Poland had stronger values than the Communists, but we have stronger principles and stronger values.”
About Adam Andrzejewski
Before dedicating his life to public service, Adam co-founded HomePages Directories, a $20 million publishing company (1997-2007). His works have been featured on Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Real Clear Politics, NBC News, FOX News, CNN, and many other prominent news platforms across America.
Recently, Andrzejewski spoke at Harvard Law School, Georgetown Law School, and the Columbia School of Journalism. Last September, Adam was a guest on Brian Lamb’s hour-long C-SPAN Q&A program. As a contributor at Forbes, Adam’s editorials have received 2 million unique views.
In 2011 Adam Andrzejewski founded OpenTheBooks, and he continues to serve as its CEO. Open the Books which is the largest private repository of U.S. public-sector spending. Along with Honorary Chairman Dr. Tom Coburn, OpenTheBooks.com has one goal or mission: “to post every dime, online, in real time.”
OpenTheBooks: “Where’s the pork?”
A recent posting at OpenTheBooks is a federal oversight report titled, “Where’s the Pork?”, which details $585 billion in federal grants. Read here. Pork-barrel spending is bipartisan, as the top 50 grant-receiving districts are represented by 27 democrats and 23 republicans. The top 10 congressional districts are evenly split: 5 democrats and 5 republicans. To date, OpenTheBooks.com has captured 4 billion government-spending records, including nearly all disclosed federal government spending since 2000; 47 of 50 state checkbooks; and 16 million public employee salary and pension records across America. Check here to see shocking details about Illinois: Salaries for State and local Employees; State and Local Employee Pension; State and Local Spending, and so much more.
It was in 2016 that OpenTheBooks.com exposed the $20 million luxury-art procurement program at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which forced a public apology from the V.A. Secretary and the adoption of new rules to stop the abuse. In 2017 OpenTheBooks found 63,000 highly compensated Illinois public employees earned $100,000+ costing taxpayers $10 billion (2017). The Open the Books APP can be downloaded free for Apple
Operation Drain the Swamp by Adam Andrzejewski
Recently OpenTheBooks launched Mapping the Swamp – an interactive mapping platform displaying 2 million federal bureaucrats by employer ZIP code across America. A 24-page pocket book by Adam Andrzejewski, Operation Drain the Swamp, will be available for purchase at Barnes and Nobel on its scheduled release date of May 22nd for $6. An advance copy of this excellent book was given to each person at the City Club event.
[Originally Published at Illinois Review]