Sunday, February 1, 2009

Indianapolis Star Editorializes About CIB; Matthew Tully Misses the Mark

This morning's Indianapolis Star editorializes on the need for a "major team effort" to bail out the Capital Improvement Board which is struggling to close a budget deficit that could reach $43 million by 2010. The Star suggests that the players involved in closing the debt "must include the mayor, the governor, the City-County Council and the General Assembly and the Colts and the Pacers. For those of you who have not had their morning coffee yet, the mayor, the Governor, the City-County Council and the General Assembly all get their money from one source: the taxpayers.

The Star rightfully argues that the CIB ought to not give much ground at all to the Pacers in negotiations. A little late for that since the CIB already made clear it intends to help out the Pacers to the tune of $15 million.

The Star notes the CIB has been running a deficit since 1999 and notes the overly favorable deal that the CIB negotiated with the Colts. Most of that can be laid at the feet of Fred Glass, former CIB chairman. Yet didn't the Indianapolis Star endorse his selection as IU athletic director because of the supposed good work he did at the CIB? The Star might want to revisit that editorial. The Star also notes that current CIB President, Bob Grand, inherited the fiscal problems. True, but those financial problems have also grown much worse under his watch.

Matthew Tully of the Star starts off writing a good column questioning the Colts' sweetheart deal, and points out the the need for the Colts to give back some of the favorable provisions, including the guaranteed annual payment for non-football income. He also talks about the need to take a tough position with the Pacers.

Then Tully loses it:

"Grand is exacty the guy you'd want handling the behind-the-scenes negotiations. Managing partner at the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, he is one of the state's most influential backroom dealers. When it comes to matters such as this, he's exactly the kind of influential tough-guy negotiator the city needs."
One wonders if Tully has been following the troubles at the CIB at all with that statement. He seems oblivious to the fact that the Simons, who own the Pacers, are Bob Grand's clients. He seems to have missed the fact that the CIB has already showed its plans to give the Pacers $15 million more. (A tough negotiator doesn't tell his opponent the bottom line at the beginning of negotiations.) Tully seems to have missed that Grand has publicly stated that he would not ask the Colts to renegotiate the sweetheart deal the team received. Tully seems not to know that Bob Grand is on the board of the Indiana Sports Corporation which receives a substantial amount of funding from the CIB. That is only a beginning of the list of conflicts Bob Grand has as President of the CIB. Also, if Tully thinks Grand is "influential" over at the Indiana General Assembly he might want to talk to the many legislators who view Grand and his abrasive personality as anything but influential.

As a taxpayer, I could not think of a worse representative to have in my corner than Bob Grand. He might be a "tough negotiator" for his clients or his own interests, but he has repeatedly shown zero interest in standing up for taxpayers. A positive first step Mayor Ballard could take to clearing up the problems at the CIB is to ask for the conflict-riddled Grand's resignation and appoint someone who, on behalf of the city's taxpayers, will finally stand up to the Simons and Irsays. That person certainly won't be Bob Grand.


Patriot Paul said...

You nailed it again! Your blog never ceases to inspire me. These people who authorize the hugh and wasteful spending of our money blurb out the most incredulous thinking statements imaginable. Yes, they knew they started out with a deficit and the question became just how much it would escalate. They get a grade of F in poor planning, poor decision making, poor negotiating skills, and poor business ethics, all of which pales against the atrocious inhumane treatment toward taxpayers forced to pay their tab. Fire the bunch and get some fresh blood; not taxpayer blood.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Thanks, Patriot Paul. The check is in the mail.

burlingtonasacoach said...

Patriot Paul

To fire the bunch will take an amendment to the Indiana Constitution. What taxpayers need is the ability to recall elected officials who keep squandering taxpayer's money with no thought of the consequences to the very people who elected them. The corporate welfare must stop; it will take years for the taxpayer to overcome in my opinon the gross negligence already committed by the elected officials.

We need to get a petition started to get that constitutional amendment going. The only way the taxpayer's employees are going to take the taxpayer serious is if they are aware that the taxpayer can and will remove them from office!

Leslie Sourwine says don't let up on them Paul Ogden. Keep reminding them of their wasteful spending.

Anonymous said...

This is a private company. Let them fail. What is this bull about a taxpayer bailout?


Anonymous said...


The Star is an order taker who manufactures whatever "news" or "opinion" the establishment orders up.

Mary Jo said...

Paul Ogden says Bob Grand has "shown zero interest in standing up for taxpayers." What is Ogden's own record in atht relm?

Find out at

Anonymous said...

You and others in your group are not the only ones who supported Mayor Ballard in 2007. Exactly what did you expect to receive for your support? The city of Indianapolis has always had a major law firm representing it. The Peterson Adminstration had Fred Glass who was with Baker Daniels head of the CIB and Lacy Johnson over the Airport Authority was with Ice Miller.

How can you accuse the mayor of "selling out" his supporters, when some of us could say the same about you?

Anonymous said...

Can't the sports teams rely on their own income to support them through this slump? So what is the worst that could happen; They move to another city? Who could afford them and who would want them?

Diana Vice said...

If exposing corruption is equivalent to "selling out supporters" then they weren't worth supporting in the first place.

Bring the integrity back to the Republican Party and the support will come back as well.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I like that, Diana. We need to bring back integrity to the Republican Party.

Anonymous said...

Lacy Johnson, chair of the Indianapolis Airport Board, required MBE/WBE give him 10% of their business if they wanted contracts on the new airport.
Can you spell RICO, racketeering?