Monday, June 7, 2010

Democrat Councilor Monroe Gray Praises Council Republicans for Fiscally Irresponsible Vote

The Indianapolis City-County Council tonight, with no debate, voted 25-3 to give away $1 million of our tax money to 51 non-profit, artsy-type groups. Every Republican except for Christine Scales, Mike Speedy and Jeff Cardwell voted for the measure.
Not a single councilor asked a question about whether these groups needed the money or what the money would be used for. This is the Council, after all, and asking anything more than softball questions is considered impolite and frowned upon.
The vote earned praise from Democrat Councilor Monroe Gray. Gray congratulated Council Republicans for finally starting to act like Council Democrats in their willingess to blindly throw $1 million at arts groups. Again, that was Monroe Gray praising the spending habits of Council Republicans. Is there any doubt that Marion County Republicans have given up on being fiscally responsible.
Many of these arts groups receiving our tax dollars are flush with cash and hand out six figure salaries to their top employees. I recently reported on one of them, the Indianapolis Children's Museum:

"On its 2008 tax return (most recent available), the Children's Museum is shown as having income of $29,608,000, which is down from the previous year's income of $56,674,002. The difference? The Children's Museum income from investments had dropped from $38 million plus to $12 million plus. As of the 2008 return the Children's Museum had stocks and other securities totalling $316,061,120.

The Children's Museum pays its executives handsomely too. Museum President Jeffrey Patchen receives a salary and benefits totalling over $500,000. Edward Bewel, CFO, Brian Williams, VP-Development, Craig Emsmiller, VP-Operations, Jennifer Pace-Robinson, VP-Exhibits, Katy Allen, VP-Human Resources, Brian Statz, Attorney and Jennifer Burch, Assistant VP-Development all make salaries and benefits approaching or exceeding $150,000 a year. In 2008, Children's Museum paid out salaries and benefits totalling almost $14 million.

The $100,000 grant would be just 0.33% of the income of the Children's Museum (when compared to its 2008 income). Is our $100,000 really better spent giving it to the Children's Museum rather than spend it on libraries, city parks or to open city pools on time?"

Council Republicans, led by fiscally liberal Ryan "I Never Met A Tax Increase Or Spending Program I Wouldn't Support" Vaughn, tonight showed they are no better than the Democrats they decry for big government and tax increases. Pray tell, why should a conservative like me vote for these Council Republicans who tax, borrow and spend every bit as much as the most liberal Democrats on the Council?

Note: Libertarian Ed Coleman also told me he would have voted against the measure.

See also: Tuesday, June 1, 2010, City Poised to Give $1 Million Away to Art Groups While City Pools Stay Closed Over Memorial Day Weekend


Marycatherine Barton said...

Then, Ed Coleman needs to truthfully explain why he did vote for Ballard's Water Deal, please.

Ed Coleman said...

MCB, I have not voted for any water deal as of yet. I have not made my decision yet on that deal. As of right now, I have only voted to allow the mayor to continue talks and to put a committee in place to allow for more input from all sides and the public. I have yet to make a final decision on the water deal.

For the record. I did vote against the 180 million bond so far. I would not call that a vote for the deal.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I added a paragraph about Monroe Gray's praise of the Council Republicans for their willingness to casually toss out $1 million for the arts. That was pretty funny.

M Theory said...

I'd like to see a public discussion regarding the libertarian position on the water deal.

Ed, you should lead the discussion publicly on one of the blogs so we can understand the thought process grounded in libertarian principle.

Paul K. Ogden said...

The transfer works for me. It's the phony "sale" that forces Citizen's to borrow money to be paid by the public that I have a problem with. That's just a tax increase incorporated into rate increases.

BWegner said...

BTW, Mike Speedy voted for this and Mike McQuillan is the one who should be listed as having voted against it.

Downtown Indy said...

Did Monroe ever refund the homestead credits we shouldn't have been taking on his daughter's home?

He's shouldn't be talking about other people's fiscal practices. He can even handle his own.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Well, Ed, I so very much hope that you will do as HFFT requests here, especially now, and especially since you are acclaimed to be the highest in rank of all elected Libertarians in the USA. Thank you.