Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beggars Show Up Week Late to Council

Last week, the council considered an ordinance on how to deal with panhandlers. Today, we had the professional beggar class appear before a council committee to tell them g why we taxpayers should cough up even more money.

Parade after parade of witness appeared before the council. Almost all of their jobs were directly tied to government handouts. For example, Tamara Zahn, President and CEO, of Downtown Indianapolis spoke. As I've pointed out on my blog, her organization receives over a million dollar annual taxpayer subsidy and spends most of it on overhead, including paying lucrative salaries to herself and others. Meanwhile Indianapolis Downtown has millions of our tax dollars stashed away in stocks, bond and other securities.

See also: Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. Picks Taxpayers' Wallets While Patting Itself On The Back (Tuesday, July 7, 2009)

Or take Susan Williams, President of the Indiana Sports Corporation. Her organization walked away without paying taxpayers $6 million owed under a 22 year contract, all thanks to post-election shenanigans pulled by the Peterson administration.

Then you have Don Welsh, President of the ICVA. Welsh makes around $350,000 in salary and benefits. Other employees of ICVA also make lavish salaries and benefits, all off of the back of taxpayers.

So tell me why we should be concerned about the panhandlers asking for a dollar when these professional beggars are picking the taxpayers' pocket to the tune of millions of dollars?


M Theory said...

Paul, thanks for staying more than four hours. Sorry you didn't get to talk and had to leave before The People being shook down got to speak for 2 minutes.

(We suffered through about 1/2 hour of that ICVA suit go on and on with his phony numbers)

When I spoke I suggested that the activists have a couple lawyers and solutions that the council needs to learn about it.

During the meeting Councilman Plowman specifically called on me and asked me to put you guys in touch.

Please contact Councilor Plowman and set up a meeting right away.

Also, a 23 year old read the part of the Indiana Constitution that prohibits this "investment" on the part of government and clearly illustrated how what they are doing is ILLEGAL.

They voted for it anyway. All of them except Angela Mansfield, I think. I couldn't see well at that point. Her position is that the counties in Central Indiana should pony up.

We have got to stop this thing.

There is a charter meeting of the Republican Liberty Caucus at Binkleys on Sunday August 2nd at 2pm. Binkley's is at College Avenue and Kessler. As one of the only real republicans I know, you need to be there.

Maybe Senators Schneider and Delph will make an appearance. I don't know for sure.

Gary R. Welsh said...

What we heard was the same propaganda we've been hearing for months from the same people with a vested interest in the outcome. Lutz stacked the committee testimony so there was no opportunity for anyone on the opposing side to give a long, deliberative rebuttal to it all. By the time the public spoke, some of the councilors had departed, most of the audience had left and their statements were rushed. I'm glad I didn't waste the time going over for it. I'm glad to see the Rs run tax debates the same way the Ds and Peterson ran them--as litte public input as possible.

indyernie said...

I don't think we are being given the whole truth and I pointed that out and gave an example.
Paul the next time you want to criticize my involvement in any civic matter remember one thing. Just before being called for comment, I didn't run for the door as did someone else. I stuck it out and voiced my opinion.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I stayed for 3 1/2 hours hoping to speak. I have a relative who is in a coma and who probably won't recover. My family was eager to talk to me to ask me questions regarding what to do in preparation for her death from a legal standpoint. We set up a family telephone conference at 9:15. By 8:50 I couldn't wait any longer to leave for home.

Believe it or not I did not "run for the door" because I didn't want to speak. Rather you might ask yourself why a committee chairman would place public comment four hours into a committee meeting, knowing by then everyone had stopped listening.

As far as your civic involvement, I stand by my statement that people like you make it possible so that people like Bob Grand and Joe Loftus could destroy Mayor Ballard's political future and the future of MY Marion County Republican Party.

If you want to know why, let me quote the heading on my blog:

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Haile Selassie

That description pretty much sums you up.

Paul K. Ogden said...

HFFT, There were a couple Democrat counselors missing tonight. Don't think that was an accident. They want this thing to pass because they know it will be a dynamite political issue against the Republicans come 2011.

Blog Admin said...

Who is Indy Ernie and why would he criticize someone for being on the same side?

M Theory said...

It's going to suck for the democrats because we are going to beat that drum over and over again that they had a chance to do something and didn't care enough about the taxpayers of this city to show up and stop it!

My memory with this is going to be long and detailed. We need a copy of tonight's dog and pony show with councilors Sanders and Gray MIA.

Gray is my councilor and Sanders lives close by. I will flyer every house in my area if I have to with this truth.

I have a nice pretty new landscaped front yard on busy Central Avenue right by one of the biggest catholic congregations in Indy. Should their heads be the first on my yard of pikes?

Anyone remember the Yard of Shame of 2007? I think the councilors whose heads were out there for most of the summer remember.

Time for another activist meeting. Dammit.

Kudos to Councilor Mansfield. I might put a halo on her head!

(Although Councilor Mansfield voted "nay" for the wrong reasons, she had the courage to show up and vote and courage goes a long way in my book!)

M Theory said...

Indy Student...

Indy Ernie is a very loyal republican who has logged countless hours at city council meetings. He was very effective at helping Peterson be defeated in the 2007 election with the "Bart Lies" campaign.

He doesn't think the Republicans dirty laundry should be aired in public. He thinks it should be handled behind closed doors.

I respect and admire him a great deal, but don't always agree with him. He's earned respect.

I also admire Paul Ogden for his courage to tackle the insider dealings of the Marion County GOP. I think the public needs light shined on the shenanigans that are costing us millions.

Ernie worked very hard to help Ballard get elected...as much if not more than anyone. While most of us feel abandoned by the mayor we worked so hard to get elected, Ernie still supports Ballard.

(Ernie, if I got any of that wrong...go ahead and correct me!)

Blog Admin said...

Regardless of Ernie or his position on the matter at end, it's incredibly tasteless to criticize Ogden on his blog for "rushing out" of the drawn out, PR stunt masquerading as a committee meeting. Insinuating cowardliness when it was clear Mr. Ogden had personal matters to attend to.

indyernie said...

Student, Paul challenged me to attend this meeting.If Paul knew anything about me he would have known that I would have been there without his instance.
Paul claims to be a die hard Republican but the only place he is vocal is in the comfort of his computer room. If Paul was truly dedicated to reform in the Republican party he would be more involved in internal change instead of publicly lambasting Republican candidates, office holders and party chairmen.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Practically speaking, Paul, if the CIB's situation was so dire that it needed to file bankruptcy, the state would take over control of the facilities it is merely leasing to the CIB, anyway.

jabberdoodle said...

First of all -- thanks for the laugh when I got home from that late hearing last night. I love your 'beggars' theme -- right on point.

I do like Councillor Lutz as he is the first Councillor to decline to pucker up and kiss the Airport's butt whenever they appear at budget hearings. There are serious wrongs being done to Decatur and Wayne and the remainder of the Council could care less about rectifying the situation.

That said -- Lutz did the public a disservice last night by 'inviting' all of the proponents plus his token 'invited' Libertarian, allowing all to talk and talk and talk to their little hearts content. I did see some impatience in Lutz' body language as the Libertarian (sorry, I don't know his name) continued to make his points longer than Lutz hoped for. At the very least, Councillor Lutz should have allowed the public the same. Instead we had 2 minutes, with a buzzer alerting us to that time and a continual reset of 5 second buzzers to impolitely tell us our comments were no longer welcome. Not that we paid that close attention and Lutz did what I'm sure he considers generously advance us more than the allotted 2 minutes. I challenge Committee Chairs to try to speak to an issue for 2 minutes with buzzers going off every 5 seconds thereafter. But, unfortunately, the attitude seems from the cheap seats, is that the public is what makes meetings too long.

The man representing the Concerned Clergy (again, sorry but I don't know his name)said it well, that when trying to understand difficult issues, one should hear equally from both sides. Lutz clearly didn't understand what the man said.

I'll wind this up with one more thought. My guess is that Lutz went into that meeting expecting Sanders and Gray to attend and not sure of Malone's vote. That could have ended in a tie vote and the Proposal would not advance out of committee. Once he saw the MIA action, he had a clear path as he could count on 3 R votes that would provide the needed majority. Not quite as he publicly represented - some exasperated high stakes all-in gamble because he wanted to get it over with.

Downtown Indy said...

Paul, Ernie:

Please stop sniping at each other. This is neither the time and certainly NOT the place to become divided over the issues.

Accept each others differences (or work them out privately) and focus on the common ground! There's far more of the latter and it's far more critical. Remember who the 'bad guys' really are.

jabberdoodle said...

Sorry, 4 R votes could be counted on -- Lutz, Cockrum, Plowman, and Pfisterer.

Nobody said...

Sorry for my late post. I had to take a shower all night long and went through at least five bars of soap to wash off the scum from last night's City Council Meeting.

I would like to get a hold of all the data that was entered into evidence by the speakers in yesterday's meeting because I felt they were all over the board--if not highly suspicious.

The truth is...nobody knows what the full impact if the CIB went bankrupt. I'm sure that we can find ways to sell our facilities to private investors who can run them for a profit--even in this economy--compared to the loss that brings the CIB back to the city and state begging for more tax dollars to bail them out.

The thing that irks me the most is that we are not trying to be combative. We want the best for our city too, but it makes no sense in supporting GSE (Government Sponsored Enterprises) if they continue to waste our money and fail in their promises.

Now we're going to face the next question...what if the economy gets worse???

M Theory said...

Kirk, call and email each of the committee members last night and ask them for copies of the paperwork they were given. I'm sure they will fax it to you.

If you don't have a fax, let me know. They can fax it to me.

Paul K. Ogden said...


If you think you can "internally" change the Old Guard Republicans who run the party you are incredibly naive. They love it when their misdeeds are not exposed. The only thing that frightens them is public exposure. I have 23 years of experience in the party under my belt that tells me working "internally" will never get reform in the party.

M Theory said...

Ernie, to be fair I've recently had several one-on-one discussions with an insider republican official pretty high up. He told me the thing that keeps these rats in power is the cloak of darkness. He told me that they count on that cloak.

I don't know if you are naive so much as you are too idealistic about these thieves.

Your party was hijacked by self serving sociopaths Ernie.

And you don't give a sociopath the same courtesy you give someone with whom you merely have an ideological disagreement.

Often public humiliation is the only thing that works on a sociopath.

And as the guy behind the "Bart Lies" campaign, I know you understand public humiliation. You did it to Bart masterfully...and it worked.

Your only chance to clean up your party is to start exposing them. I hope you will go to the RLC charter meeting on Sunday at 2pm at Binkley's.

Nobody said...

The only way we can solve our problems is dealing with them directly. Behind closed door meetings have been happening for years and nothing comes from it. We cannot continue to pretend that tomorrow everything will get better as though people will learn from their mistakes and come to the fires with a bucket of water. It's time for us to bring out the hoses and wash these rooms clean.

indyernie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
indyernie said...

What really amazes me are the libertarian who have turned their backs on the Republican party. They can't seem to totally let go. They want their own party and want to instruct other parties on how things should work.
This comment isn't aimed at Paul or Gary I know where their hearts are it's to those in the libertarian party who just want to mix thing up.
The damm democrats don't meddle as much as these libertarians.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Downtown Indy,

I skipped over your comment. I think you're right. I am too hard on IndyErnie. I'm sure he's a decent guy who probably thinks he is doing the right thing.

It most definitely is not the right thing though and what he is doing makes things a lot worse for those of use trying to reform the party. That doesn't change the fact that he isn't motivated by bad motives. He's just misguided.

M Theory said...

But for THIS Libertarian, your precious Republicans would not have council majority and Ballard would not be in office. None of it would have happened without those protests and activists I organized with the help of Chris Spangle and other Libertarian insiders. Your main help came from the Libertarians, not your precious Republicans.

You need to put that fact into your long term memory.

The council majority are MY elected public servants and you better believe I will MEDDLE! I'm invested in this to the tune of hundreds of work hours.

If what your party members are doing on council is a result of nastiness inside the republican party, I'm going to call it out. Just like I do with the democrats.

If I can see a way to work for Liberty among Republicans from outside of the Republican party, then I'm going to do that.

If I decide to join the Republican party and work from the inside I'm going to do that too. Hell, I just might be a member of BOTH parties. Bring it on...try to stop me.

I'll do it while supporting Libertarian candidates at the same time.

I am a citizen and they are my public servants. I can take whatever means I need to take to do my job as a citizen to oversee my government!

Ernie, if I didn't know better, I would swear you sound like some kind of elitist.

And I'm also beginning to think that you care more about your party than you the future health of our city...your precious republicans have been terrible caretakers of her!

indyernie said...

Downtown Indy,

I think you're right too. I am hard on Paul. I'm sure Paul is a decent guy who probably thinks he is doing the right thing... but he is wrong.
Paul is just starving for attention from those on the fringes that choose to criticize yet do nothing to implement change. What Paul is doing creates obstacles for those of use trying to reinforce and build the party from the inside.

indyernie said...

You and I can disagree on how well the current administration is caring for the city and still be friends.
Try if you want to join three parties but I don’t think that will happen.
I’m not an elitist, I’m just sick of libertarians sticking their noses into internal republican politics.

Blog Admin said...

If you don't want "dirty laundry" aired to the public, maybe politics isn't for you. For better or for worse, everything is fair game and eventually, everything gets leaked.

Politicians are there to serve the people, at least they're supposed to. Why shouldn't the discussions within the party be done in the public circle? Something to hide?

indyernie said...

"Why shouldn't the discussions within the party be done in the public circle?"

Student are you really that dumb?
Why show your hand or radio your intent? I could say...It's politics stupid! but I won't but...I'd like to get you in a poker game.

Blog Admin said...

I'm not for secret organizations hidden away from the public eye. I don't see how having conversations that someone from the public might hear of, about the direction of the party, policies being debated, etc... is bad.

Of course, I have this weird notion that politicians should be honest and if they don't like being talked about on blogs, newspapers, etc..., then they should get out of the business of serving the public.

M Theory said...

Ernie, you are right about our disagreeing not standing in the way of getting along. We've been through the trenches together in many ways.

However, your party is failing to hold your politicians accountable. Those politicians are my public servants and they are failing to keep the promises they made to me.

I am owed. I intend to collect on their promises and if it means meddling in internal party politics of the Republicans, that's what you are going to get.

And besides, the Republican Liberty folks are the ones that come to me. Didn't you know that? They email me constantly. Heck the state chair stays in my guest room nearly every time he has RLC business in Indy.

indyernie said...

Student, It's pretty frickin simple.
The Chairmen of the different parties aren't political office holders. They are elected by their parties not the general voting public. They aren't required to be publicly transparent. If they were we wouldn't have a party system.
The criticism thrown around this blob is usually centered on chastising the MC GOP Chairman.
I believe that if any party member has issue with its chair they should resolve that issue internally.