They placed a TV outside for the overflow crowd. But the volume was so low, you couldn't hear it unless you were right next to the TV. I finally gave up hope of testifying, or even hearing the committee meeting, and went back to my office to watch it on the web stream.
Funny thing...although Luke Kenley's briefing on the CIB bailout was embargoed until midnight (which I'm sure was aimed at avoiding any mention of the deal on the evening news broadcasts - the TV stations broke the embargo anyway and reported it.), the Colts and Pacers hospitality workers were apparently tipped off on the deal well in advance so they could stack the crowd. Hundreds of hospitality workers arrived at the legislature in their work uniforms to send the clear message to the legislators that they needed to raise taxes or it would cost them their jobs. The pro-tax increase/CIB bailout crowd also got plenty of notice and have filled the speaker schedule for the committee hearing. Those speakers advocating the tax increase/CIB bailout include representatives of the Colts, the Pacers, the Chamber of Commerce, and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, other mayors throughout the state who will see more revenue from the increase in state-wide alcohol taxes, Don Welsh and Bob Grand, both of the CIB. I have been listening for some time and have yet to hear a single speaker against the proposal.
The general public only got the notice from the blogs picking up on some of the rumors, and the evening news broadcasts. The only other notice was the Indianapolis Star's story this morning. That only left a few hours to assemble the forces opposed to this deal. The other side though, again tipped off by the deal, has a long parade of witnesses before the committee to speak in favor of the CIB bailout. These pro-tax/pro-CIB bailout speakers include representatives of the Colts, the Pacers, the Chamber of Commerce, and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and other mayors throughout the state who will see more revenue from the increase in state-wide alcohol taxes.
Senator Luke Kenley, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, though bragged to the Indianapolis Star about how he reached out to the public:
"We have tried to do our homework before we invited the public in," he said. "I think it's better than a fair and equal shot, because, instead of coming in when you don't have a solution on the table, here is a cohesive proposal."Yeah, right.