Thursday, October 8, 2009

Predictions 2010

Seeing how 2009 is quickly winding down, I thought I would take the time to make some predictions for the coming year, which will be a big election year.

Winter/Spring 2010
  • Look for an effort to be made in the Indiana General Assembly to eliminate the four at-large council districts created when Unigov was adopted for Indianapolis. Republicans figure that that is the only way to hold onto the council as the at-large seats will almost certainly go Democratic in 2011. Plus it would justify early redistricting in 2010 using old census data. Look also for the effort to be defeated in the Democrat-dominated Indiana House
  • On a related matter, expect that during the $290,000 in redistricting money will be spent in early 2010 on various plans to redistrict the Council. Democrats will scream blood murder.
  • The Ballard administration will make another effort to get a measure passed by the General Assembly that would allow it to hand out tax abatements without getting approval of the Metropolitan Development Commission. The effort will prove unsuccessful.
  • Expect lobbyists for the CIB and Mayor Ballard to be back asking for more money for the CIB. The effort will prove unsuccessful.
  • The partisan bickering in the General Assembly will reach new heights as the parties vie to stake out favorable electoral provisions going into the last election proceeding redistricting. The major target of the squabbling is property taxes.
  • The CIB will vote to pick up the $15 million in operating costs for the Pacers/Simons on Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers/Simons will claim they never asked for the money.

Summer 2010

  • Locally, expect that the race for Marion County Sheriff will be the most expensive race and get the most attention.
  • Accusations will begin to build that Sheriff Frank Anderson has been spending money from the commissary fund on things not permitted by state law. Stories about expenditures, not yet made public, will heighten the accusations.
  • Stories begin to emerge about the federal and state government investigating the nursing home Medicaid "scam" being used by Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County to provide the income to fund the new Wishard Hospital, the referendum for which passed in November 2009.
  • Accusations are made about "pay to play" politics in Marion County, in particular the Ballard administration where several stories begin making a strong connection between campaign contributions and government contracts.
  • The Ballard re-election campaign begins to heat up. Both Ballard, and leading Democratic candidate for Mayor Melina Kennedy, start hearing from rumblings in their respective parties that they will face a significant opposition from a reform-minded opponent in their own party.
  • Locally Republicans attempt to push through a 2011 redistricting plan using old census data. Democrats walk out and deny the Republicans a quorum to pass the plan. (Update: Unlike many legislative bodies which require 2/3 for a quorum, I've since learned the Council only requires a simply majority. Thus a walkout by the Ds is not an option.)

November 2010

  • Democrats lose 25 seats in the U.S. House (including two in Indiana) and 3-5 seats in the Senate, but maintain a majority in both bodies.
  • Republicans pick up 3-5 seats in the Indiana House and take a majority of both the House and Senate to the redistricting session in 2011.
  • Republicans win back the seat currently held by Rep. Barnes on the eastside. Otherwise all Marion County legislative seats continue to be held by the same party.
  • Republicans sweep all state-wide offices
  • Democrats win all county-wide offices, including narrowly winning the aforementioned Sheriff's race.

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