Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Star Investigates Parking Freebies

Today published in the Indianapolis Star is a story about the abuse of parking placards for city and county officials as well as certain well-placed VIPs to park free downtown for hours at a time. It was an abuse that all of who work downtown were seen grow worse daily. It used to be easy to pull up to a meter downtown and run an errand. Now entire blocks of city streets are consumed by the free placard parkers.

While what the Indianapolis Star did was a good public service, the parking problem is still a minor issue compared to other issues out there that the newspaper has completely failed to investigate. There is an enormous story out there about the abuse of public-private partnerships and how private individuals have enriched themselves at taxpayer expense through insider dealing and well-heeled political connections. There is the revolving door between the quasi-governmental agencies and the private companies they work with. There is the issue of legal firms billing the city and county outrageous sums for which they are never questioned because those firms quietly kick back some of those fees to elected officials in the form of campaign contributions.

Then there is the issue of privatization and the widespread failure of government to enforce provisions of the contracts received by those vendors. Quite often the vendors receiving the contracts also are major political contributors or who employ current or ex-elected officials who wield influence in their area. The elected officials simply look the other way.

Yes, the Star should be applauded for its investigatory piece. Now though it is time to move on to bigger investigations.


Anonymous said...

Paul...you are an asset to Indy. We'll spoon feed it to the media if we have too.

Do you talk with Ted Bulthrap of Hollywood Bar and Filmworks. Although he lives out of state now, I he still keeps his ear to the ground for us. He loves our city, just not the political insiders who run a lot of it.

Paul Ogden said...

Thank you for your comment.

No, I've never had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Bulthrap. I remember the Peterson insider parking deal or something like that he was fighting against. I may have my facts wrong. I'd like to talk to him.