I have said all along that Republicans voting for tax increases for the CIB bailout is political suicide and that Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is leading the County GOP to a cliff and asking them to commit political suicide by jumping. The Indianapolis Times reports that the strategy of the local Democrats is to let the Republicans leap to their death:
Republican City-County Council President Bob Cockrum is dropping hints that he'll need at least three or four Democratic votes to pass GOP Mayor Greg Ballard's CIB bailout plan.In the end, my guess is Sanders is going to send Mayor Ballard 2-3 Democratic votes from safe districts to get the CIB tax increase passed. A tax increase that passes is far better political ammunition for the Democrats than one that is proposed and fails. Don't think for a second that the CIB tax increases won't be political fodder used by Democrats against Republicans in close districts. It is not just that Republicans look like hypocrites after bashing Mayor Peterson for tax increases in 2007 and then proposing tax increases in 2009. And it's not just that many Council Republicans signed no tax pledges that they will be reneging on. What makes those CIB taxes even more unpopular is that they are, quite correctly, perceived as being for the purpose of raising money to hand over to billionaire professional sports owners.
Cockrum may have his work cut out. The reality is that council Democrats aren't exactly clamoring to support Ballard's tax increase plan. Could you blame them?
Council Democratic leader JoAnne Sanders was even more to the point when asked by the Indianapolis Times about Cockrum's hunt for Democratic votes.
"The legislature gave us a "funding tool" to resolve a crisis the governor created. Now I hear the council president expects us to deliver 3 to 4 votes -- no call, no letter, no e-mail. Show me 15 Republican votes and we'll talk," Sanders said.
Hopefully Council Republicans will realize that, even though Mayor Ballard has thrown away his political future on the CIB bailout, they do not have to jump off the cliff after the Mayor.