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updated: 11/20/2012 6:46 AM

New watchdog group aims to "reboot" Illinois government

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Daily Herald staff report

A new government watchdog group aiming to inform and engage the state's citizens officially launched Monday.

Reboot Illinois, a for-profit digital media company started by hedge fund manager Anne Dias Griffin, has a staff of three that includes Chief Operating Officer Madeleine Doubek -- former executive editor at the Daily Herald -- and Executive Editor Matt Dietrich, a former editor at the State Journal-Register in Springfield.

Reboot's site will feature aggregated content from news organizations as well as editorials from government officials and regular citizens, who, Dietrich said, will be "getting their voice heard and airing their grievances about Illinois government."

Griffin and her husband, Ken, founder and chief executive of Citadel LLC, are among the largest donors to the Illinois Republican Party. Ken Griffin was also a top donor to conservative SuperPACs this election cycle.

Dietrich, in an interview Monday, said Ken Griffin is not involved in the project and described the group as bipartisan and one that is "not ideologically bound or rooted."

Monday's inaugural edition featured an op-ed by Gov. Pat Quinn, who wrote that without reforms, Illinois by 2016 will be spending more on pensions than on education.

The group divides reform into four different categories -- government corruption, improving the state's finances, improving Illinois' job and business climate, and education reform.

"Our vision and mission is really to make a home for Illinois citizens to come and talk about the state's problems to each other and understand that there still is power in people and they can get together and improve Illinois government and take back ownership of it," Doubek said.

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