Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's second term has featured a never ending push to raise taxes and fees of all sorts. This year alone Ballard has advocated raising property taxes, local income taxes, car rental and hotel taxes and storm water fees. (Ballard has proposed doubling those fees and then indexing those fees to inflation). He has also pushed to end the sunset provisions on other taxes. On the spending side, Mayor Ballard has pushed for a three year massive repaving and sidewalk construction program paid for by borrowing against thirty years of future tax revenue, a move which mortgages the future for a big pile of cash today. While Mayor Ballard has pushed austerity for city services like public safety, he has had no shortage of cash for politically-connected developers who want the public to assume the financial risk of their projects while they receive all of the profits.
Instead of standing up for GOP principles of fiscal conservativism, Council Republicans like McQuillen, Ben Hunter, Jack Sandlin and others have rubber-stamped the tax, borrow and spend
No one is going to confuse minority leader Mike McQuillen of being the political equivalent of Albert Einstein. It is not even clear McQuillen could pass a remedial math class. Before Scales' eviction, McQuillen had 14 votes in a 29 member legislative body. You don't get to 15, i.e. a majority, by engaging in subtraction. A smart politico would realize he needed every last Republican vote and the worst thing he could do is alienate a Republican council member by ejecting him or her from the caucus. Rather than impose discipline on the caucus, McQuillen's ill-advised move booting Scales from the caucus now actually makes her even more free to stand up for fiscally conservative principles against a Mayor and a GOP caucus which clearly lack those principles.
Stupid is as stupid does. And this move by McQuillen was stupid beyond belief.