Friday, August 3, 2012

Alabama Governor Convicted of Bribery; Will Feds Focus Next on Indianapolis' Pay-to-Play Culture?

I was interested to read the USA Today article about the conviction of the former Alabama Governor for bribery:
Former Alabama Governor
Don Siegelman
Following years of appeals and a vocal campaign by supporters, ex-Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman is heading back to prison after being sentenced Friday to more than six years for bribery and other convictions.
Siegelman and former HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy were convicted in 2006. They arranged $500,000 in contributions to Siegelman's campaign for a state lottery to fund education programs in exchange for the governor appointing Scrushy to an important hospital regulatory board.
What Siegelman was convicted of is a matter of common practice in Indianapolis politics..  The pay-to-play culture and the revolving door between city government and government contractors (awarded lucrative contracts by city government), thrives in Indianapolis.   Government contractors make political contributions (which originate as taxpayer dollars) knowing that the politicians who receive that money will reward them with yet more taxpayer funds.

Probably the most bold example of the pay-to-play culture is the circumstances behind the Broad Ripple Parking Garage.  The City pays $6.35 million to acquire the land and build the garage and ownership is simply given to Keystone Construction, a company that is a major contributor to Mayor Ballard's campaign and which employs.  Paul Okeson, Ballard's former chief of staff, is vice president of business development for Keystone.

Not only does Keystone get 100% ownership of the garage built with our tax dollars, the company gets to keep 100% of the profits on commercial rents from the building and 100% of the parking revenue.  Meanwhile we get nothing from our $6.35 million investment.

If the feds wantto find Alabama-type corruption here in the Hoosier state, they only need to look at the relationship between Indianapolis politicians and the companies that regularly do business with the City.

To see the rest of the lengthy USA Today article, click here.

4 comments:

Society of Socrates said...

These TFFs type arrangements between buddies who lean on political office holders to underwrite risk for a few inside busienss types to generate private profits do not help tax revenues which the city needs to partial offset the losses on the property tax caps. Yet tax dollars are allocated. If bonds earning are made and they have those dollars do not go into the general fund.

Cato said...

I doubt Hogsett has the guts or the skill to pull off one of these prosecutions.

I know said...

Paul,

I gave the federal government, local attorney's and the Attorney Generals office all they needed when the House Ethics chairman threatened me with a subpoena of the millions of dollars of ill gotten contracts and all I got was we are so sorry the court can't help you and got told by the attorney general no good deed goes unpunished.

A parking garage is small time back room garbage in Indiana and you know it.

Several attorney's, members of the media and state officials know all the huge illegal numerous contracts provided to friends and family by the current administration in Indiana and everybody hides under the covers.

People should stop attacking Hogsett and get some guts and clean up the legal profession in Indiana. It starts there!

Whistle blowers and honest business people in Indiana are called trouble makers, threatened and financially ruined and all you folks can do is wonder!

Indianapolis Pay to Play is AA minor league ball compared to the state government mess.

Diana Vice said...

"I Know" is 100% correct.