Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Where Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard Went Wrong

These are off the top of my head. I'll be revising them as the day progresses.

1. SURROUNDING HIMSELF WITH ELITIST INSIDERS/SHUTTING REFORMERS OUT OF HIS ADMINISTRATION: On Election Night, Ballard talked about how his election singled the end to country club politics in Indianapolis. Then that very night he allowed himself to be cornered by two of the ultimate insiders, Barnes & Thornburg Partners, Bob Grand and Joe Loftus. From the moment on he was elected he has surrounded himself with insiders and shut out the reformers who had laid the groundwork for his election.

2. REFORM IN INDIANAPOLIS GOVERNMENT: Ballard not only has not ended country club politics in Indianapolis, he has all but turned his administration over to the elites who have traditionally run the city regardless of which political party controlled the Mayor’s office or the Council.

3. BIG LAW FIRMS: Ballard promised the end to big law firm domination of city government, then he took it to new levels, allowing two partners of Barnes & Thornburg to sit in on key meetings and make other decisions.

4. REFORM IN MARION COUNTY GOP: Ballard failed to push for changes in the county GOP organization, including the replacement of Tom John as chairman who he feuded with during the campaign. Ballard has said nothing about strong-arm tactics within the GOP and has even participated in using those tactics in the Senate District 30 vacancy election and on council votes.

5. SACRIFICING THE FUTURE OF THE MARION COUNTY GOP: Ballard’s election gave the Marion County Republicans an enormous opportunity to put the party on a more populist course that could ensure the Republicans viability as a majority party in the county. Instead, Ballard let his administration be taken over by insiders who had no interest in his re-election or the election of a majority GOP Council in 2011, but who were instead interested in using their positions to cash on Ballard's election victory. Marion County Republicans will pay a heavy price for decades for this missed opportunity.

6. TAKING THE BLAME FOR FORMER MAYOR PETERSON’S MISDEEDS: Ballard has taken the fall for several Bart Peterson post-campaign shenanigans apparently at the urging of aides. This includes a December 2007 alteration of a 22 year old agreement which allowed Susan Williams and her Indiana Sports Corporation to sell the Pan Am Plaza without paying the taxpayers the $6 million penalty required under the contract.

7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST APPOINTMENTS: Ballard appointed Bob Grand to head up CIB despite having an enormous conflict of interest as attorney for the Simons who own the Pacers. Numerous other examples exist where this administration has treated conflicts of interest as something that can just be dealt with by a wink and a nod.

8. ETHICS REFORM: Ballard has almost completely abandoned ethics/good government reforms he talked about during his campaign.

9. TAX INCREASES: Ballard abandoned his opposition to tax increases. He has embraced numerous tax increases despite his campaign promises.

10. FAILURE TO DEMAND REFORM OF THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BOARD: Even if asking for tax increases for the CIB bailout were defensible, it was imperative that Ballard at least demanded reform in how the CIB did business, which practices led to the huge deficit. Ballard, however, did not ask for a single reform of the CIB and instead simply advocated throwing more money at a problem and twisted arms on the council to get the tax increase plan through.

11. MISINFORMATION: Ballard continually attempted to mislead the public about the CIB bailout, claiming it was all about the convention business, when the CIB budget deficit was clearly about excessive subsidies given to professional sports. The public clearly was not buying the spin Ballard was selling.

12. CONTINUED SUPPORT OF TAXPAYER GIVEAWAYS: Ballard supports giving $15 million plus more of taxpayer money to billionaire Simons even though there is no necessity to do so under the Pacers’ contract. Numerous other examples exist where the administration falls over itself to give away taxpayer money to insiders who have traditionally profited off of taxpayers.

13 GUNOWNERS: Ballard has taken aim squarely at gunowners , the most Republican loyalty there is. Ballard advocated registration and claims his administrations’ policies don’t have to comply with the 2nd Amendment, in direct opposition to the position taken Attorney General Greg Zoeller.


Indy Student said...
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Indy Student said...

I'd really like to know why the NRA and other organizations haven't leaded to a lawsuit against the city and IMPD for their unlawful policy on seizing guns from law abiding citizens. I don't know if I hold the 2nd amendment in my "top 5 amendments" category, but forcing law abiding citizens to get fingerprinted when the police made a mistake and confiscated their firearm doesn't sound right to me, let alone constitutional.


No doubt this post will be a resource to the opposition for many months to come. From where I sit, it's accurate.