Friday, October 8, 2010

Mayor Uses Taxpayer Money to Promote Himself for 2011 Election (w/update)

Sure it is packaged as an information piece on the "Rebuild Indy" infrastructure spending program, but in reality the mailing sent out by Mayor Ballard's administration is little more than a PR piece to promote himself. Landing in our law firm's mailbox today, the piece starts out like this:
RebuildIndy is Mayor Ballard's initiative to restore deteriorating thoroughfares, residential streets, sidewalks and bridges, as well as address neighborhood drainage and flooding issues and demolish unsalvageable abandoned homes that pose a public safety threat to neighborhoods.

These construction projects will create local jobs, enhance visitor experience and ultimately increase economic development and public safety for downtown Indianapolis. Safer streets support Mayor Ballard's commitment to make Indianapolis a more livable city."

Okay, I'll overlook the abuse of the English language in that last sentence, but the piece thus far sounds like a campaign piece. After a brief interlude to describe the project, it returns to praising the Mayor:

Downtown Indianapolis will benefit from these major infrastructure projects, as well as areas throughout the county. These projects are part of Mayor Ballard's $55 million investment in 2010 to improve aging infrastructure throughout Indianapolis. Projects will include complete street resurfacing, traffic signal repair, curb and sidewalk repair, installation of ADA complaint ramps and green infrastructure improvements, including pervious concrete and rain gardens.
Also included in the mailing is a letter from David Sherman, Director of Public Works, who regurgitates some of the same talking points that quite likely was crafted by Hirons & Company, a PR firm which employs the Mayor's son.

I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the Mayor would use taxpayer dollars to promote his re-election. After all, this Mayor has shown a total disregard for taxpayers, his latest transgressions being diverting property taxes to support of the Pacers and backing an $86 million loan for a private developer who couldn't get a loan on a project deemed too risky. Now he apparently expects taxpayers to pay for his re-election campaign. Thanks, but no thanks.

UPDATE: It's been pointed out to me that the City had already included RebuildIndy notice in a utility bill. Apparently the Mayor felt the taxpayers should also have to pay for a separate mailing.


Downtown Indy said...

Pardon me? WHOSE $55 Million dollars is being 'invested?'

Citizen Kane said...

"These projects are part of Mayor Ballard's $55 million investment in 2010 to improve aging infrastructure throughout Indianapolis."

When this crap was sent out with our utility bill (and paid for with the crap we flush), it should have said, "These projects are funded by $55 million, Mayor Ballard stole from your sewer user fees to create a slush fund to fund his re-election campaign, by spreading largess throughout the city."

dcrutch said...

No disagreement on the outrage of using taxpayer money for political promotion. But, is it a news flash that abuse of the "franking privilege" is routine-particularly on the federal level?

Do I want to receive the wave of Dan Burton literature during election season, assuring me he's learned his lesson and is now bothering to show-up for work these days? Have I been secretly clamoring for a postage-paid picture of Ed DeLaney on a bicycle, reassuring me that he's fully envigorated to serve me in the statehouse?

They've given us the shaft on this aspect of incumbent politics for so long- I can't even get emotionally aghast at it any more.