Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where Are the Taxpayers' Friends in the General Assembly?

Over at Advance Indiana, Gary Welsh does a good job breaking down Senator Luke Kenley's mischaracterizations of the CIB/Colts/Pacers situation during an interview with WIBC's Steve Simpson. In particular, Welsh blows out of the water Kenley's claims that Colts Irsay threw $50 million into the pot:
"To hear Kenley explain it, Irsay gave up $45 million in guaranteed revenue and put an additional $50 million of his own money on the table to give up that useless RCA Dome and move into the new Lucas Oil Stadium. What Kenley either doesn't understand or simply chose not to explain to Simpson's listeners is that the so-called $50 million investment by Irsay was actually a $50 million break-up fee he forgave the CIB if it built a new stadium for him."
According to Welsh, Senator Kenley was making the case that the Simons and Irsay are not being subsidized by taxpayers. I didn't hear the interview, but if Senator Kenley said that, he's being extremely disingenuous. What I fear is that there appears to be a movement by Senator Kenley away from defending taxpayers to handing out more corporate welfare.

In 2007, elected officials ignored the rumbling taxpayer discontent. It cost some people their positions, including an up until then popular mayor of Indianapolis, Bart Peterson. The legislature heard the voters message and enacted property tax reform. But it appears that the legislature has again gone tone deaf to the anger taxpayers have over yet more corporate welfare schemes. If Senator Kenley and other legislators think there will not be a price for handing over more taxpayer money in the form of corporate welfare, in the midst of a steep recession, they are in for a big surprise.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob Grand was on WTLC with Amos yesterday. Amos asked some very good questions and Bob Grand dodged everyone.

One caller questioned why the CIB would take on $15 million of Pacer expenses each year after discovering a $20 million operating deficit with the Lucas Oil Stadium and why increasing or shifting taxes were the only solutions. Bob Grand said he was trying to disclose the expenses so no one would be surprised.

One caller questioned if the city would truly benefit from a Superbowl considering the tax breaks required by the Colts/NFL. Grand passed this off to Mark Miles but did acknowledge that there are some taxes that will not be paid to host the event.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 10:21 a.m., Here's the problem. Grand is saying that the extra $15 million relating to Conseco is simply an expense he is disclosing. That is not being honest. That is not an "expense."
Rather it is an additional cost the CIB apparently has already conceded it will pick up from the Pacers. Hello, that is negotiable. The CIB doesn't have to wave the white flag of surrender at the outset of the Pacers negotiations.

Downtown Indy said...

I had a moment of hope this morning as Tom Rose (filling in for Garrison) had the mayor on, and led into a commercial break by noting the CIB woes and questioning why Irsay couldn't pony up some help. What angers me is that after the break, that question was not revisited, never answered.

Advance Indiana said...

Interesting that you mention that, DowntownIndy. There seems to be a complete blackout of those issues on Garrison's show. He spends all of his time talking about foreign affairs and issues out in Washington.

Patriot Paul said...

Is it my imagination that Greg Garrison has been tied to the hip with the Governor and Mayor even since he was M.C. at the Mayor's inaugural. I would not look for any more transparency here. It's all too clear.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Senator Kenley suggested that we ask the people who clean the linens at the stadium to pay! The Simpson interview is on the WIBC website.

Anonymous said...

Abdul was the Mayor's MC - not Garrison.

Anonymous said...

Kenley suggested that the linen company pay, what the hell is wrong with that? Why shouldn't businesses pay - I bet another company would bid on it.

Anonymous said...

Jim Shella's Comments on Push for Indy Casino to Solve CIB Problems

http://blogs.wishtv.com/category/jim-shellas-political-blog/