Saturday, January 2, 2010

Star Suggests Potential "Banner Year" for Ballard; Blogger Suggests Constanza "Opposite" Strategy

The headline story in today's Star is that the Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has a chance for a banner year to solidify his legacy and place himself in a strong position for re-election. The writer, Francesca Jarosz, then proceeds to offer three possible issues that, if handled correctly, could lead to the unpopular Mayor increasing his popularity: merging water and sewer utilities, the Pacers negotiations and the City Market.

I'm trying to get a handle on how this work from a political standpoint.


In the article, Jarosz admits that the Ballard proposed merger could generate a lot of cash up front but will lead to "huge rate increases for customers." I am not sure how Ballard's political people are going to be able to package anything that results in "huge rate increases" for Marion County residents as a bragging point for re-election of the Mayor. I'm pretty sure it would crash to Earth like a lead balloon. Next.


Jarosz simply accepts the premise of the administration and Capital Improvement Board - that the Pacers have a right to get out of its contract and the City needs to renegotiate the contract. However, the Conseco Fieldhouse Contract only allows the Simons out of the contract if they are selling and relocating the team. Even then, the penalties would be enormous, as much as $150 million or more. There is no need to be negotiating at all right now except for the administration's desire to hand out yet more corporate welfare.

Nonetheless, let's say that the Pacers actually did have the leverage to demand renegotiation. Do Ballard's political handlers actually think handing millions more in taxpayer money to the billionaire Simons is going to be a politically popular move? Uh, no. Next.


How many people in the City are affected by the plans for the City Market, at least to the degree that it would influence their vote over other issues? It is a minuscule number for sure. It's just not going to be a voting issue for voters, unlike Ballard's breaking his campaign promise and proposing numerous tax increases will be.


In one of the best episodes of the TV show Seinfeld, George Constanza, Jerry Seinfeld's sidekick, discusses his failures in life:
“It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat ... It’s all been wrong.”
In the episode, George then decides to adopt the strategy of doing the opposite on everything. His luck, both in the professional and personal sphere, immediately turns around.

I think that might be the strategy for Mayor Ballard. I've never seen an elected official and his handlers so clueless about basic political strategy. At least 90% of the decisions have been wrong, at least from a political standpoint. What if Ballard suddenly started doing the opposite of everything he is doing now? Think about it. His popularity would soar and Republicans who lost hope in his administration, would regain hope. He would suddenly have a chance at re-election. Yep, I think George Constanza has the advice that can turn around this administration.


Cato said...

This is an absolutely shameful "story." Is the Star reporting the news or creating it?

The Star truly is state media in that state that appears to be a working American fascist prototype.

When you step outside of Indiana, you'll be able to see just how terrifying the Hoosier political landscape is.

Jon said...

Banner Year! Surely you jest, how can anyone with a modicum of mental bandwidth suggest that our fearless leader, aka as the mayor, do anything in the last two years of his term to salvage his reputation, his legacy. Review his promises versus his actions and all we see is the prototypical politician, promise anything to get elected and then does as he pleases until the next election.
For 2012, ABB, anybody but Ballard.