Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WISH's Jim Shella Reports That Pacer Executives Are Meeting with Legislative Leaders

There is no bill or amendment that has even been offered to deal with the CIB bailout and the Indiana Pacers request for $15 million more of taxpayer money. Yet, Bob Grand and the CIB have been talking about their discussions with legislative leaders regarding addressing the shortfall. Now Jim Shella of WISH-TV reports on his blog that Pacer executives are meeting with legislative leaders:

Curious sight of the day in the Statehouse: Indiana Pacers executives Jim Morris and Greg Schenkel standing outside House Minority Leader Brian Bosma’s office.

There is no bill before the General Assembly addressing the budget shortfall at the Capital Improvement Board but there is lots of talk that lawmakers will seek ways to cover the operating deficits at Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium before they go home (can you say downtown casino?) There can be no better explanation for Morris and Schenkel to be on the third floor.

For the record, Morris said the purpose of the visit was simply to pay courtesy calls on legislative leaders.

What is themost offensive thing is that it is clear that their strategy is to bypass any public testimony or input on the CIB bailout/Pacers Gift by slipping it into the budget bill in conference committee the last days of the session. The lobbyists and legislators know that the provision would never pass the legislature standing alone.


Downtown Indy said...

Shame on Shella for not giving full disclosure on the other alternative. He speculates on one possible explanation, but sidesteps the other, more likely, one.

I find the whole timing of the subject interesting - smack in the middle of NCAA tourney time, when Conseco is busy with basketball games. Perhaps they hope the euphoria of the tourney numbs a few minds so their shenanigans slip under the radar?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Oh, I don't know DI, I think Shella probably expected people to read between the lines and conclude that the Pacer execs obviously weren't meeting with legislative leaders just to say "Hi" but rather to lobby for a handout.