Sunday, March 1, 2015

Indianapolis Star Exposes Hamilton County Crony Capitalism GOP Network

Chris Sikich of the Indianapolis Star has an excellent article detailing how some Hamilton County GOP leaders have erected a crony capitalism system fueled by the payment of taxpayer dollars to government contractors who then kick back money to the GOP elected officials and party leaders:
Some fiscally conservative Republicans in Hamilton County have a message for county party officials — back off.   
Hamilton County Republican Party
Chairman Pete Emigh
They say top party leaders are acting as behind-the-scenes "kingmakers," directing money and expertise to favored Republicans who are strong proponents of growth in primary races against other party members.   
In a virtually one-party Hamilton County, where a Republican primary victory all but ensures a win in the general election, such support can be vital.
Many other GOP officials in one-party-dominated counties say they stay out of primary races to avoid the appearance of bias. "If they want to succeed in winning the nomination, they are the ones as candidates that need to get out and talk to voters," said Johnson County GOP chairwoman Sandi Huddleston.
But Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Pete Emigh and Executive Director Andrew Greider have helped form private political action committees to steer money to specific primary candidates, inviting harsh criticism from others within the party.
That PAC money is often collected from the same people, businesses and organizations that contribute directly to the party and it usually goes to Republicans who support tax incentives to attract growth and development.
Greider also manages certain primary campaigns, directly opposing other Republicans, a practice opposed by those GOP candidates not favored by party officials.
Even more troubling to those outside the party's inner circle is the fact that Emigh personally profits from doing business with the three major cities in the county, whose

Hamilton County Republican Party
Executive Director Andrew Greider
mayors he supports with that same PAC money.
As an independent broker for OneAmerica, the largest provider of 457 public retirement plans in the state, Emigh manages employee retirement accounts in Carmel, Noblesville and Westfield valued at nearly $70 million — all cities whose mayors he has backed financially through a PAC.
Emigh works as a certified financial planner with Financial Partners Group. He offers a 457 plan — similar to a 401(k) — to Carmel, Noblesville and Westfield, through OneAmerica.   
Emigh inked Westfield and Noblesville to deals while he was a party official, but before he rose to chairman. But he was chairman when he won a public bid for Carmel's plan in 2012
In the lengthy article, Sikich documents Emigh and Greider have personally profited while using their positions in the Republican Party to steer money to favored politicians such as Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, Westfield Mayor Andy Cook, Mayor Scott Fadness, all major proponents of corporate welfare.    Sikich notes that Greider has acted as Fadness' campaign manager while also being Executive Director of the Hamilton County Republican Party.  Greider was also Carmel Mayor Brainard's campaign manager during the 2011 election.

In defending the GOP crony capitalism system whereby party leaders are financially rewarded by certain candidates they favor in the primary, Carmel Brainard offers a defense dripping in chutzpah  "[t]he party has an interest in making sure the primary nominees can win in the fall."  Of course, Hamilton County is the most Republican county in the State of Indiana.  Democrats hold very few offices in the county and generally don't bother to field candidates for most offices.  In this approaching municipal election primary, 98 Republicans have filed to run versus only 5 Democrats.


Anonymous said...

I think that is the same person in both pictures but you have it listed as 2 different people

Pete Boggs said...

Due to its tangibility, brick & mortar development provides a front of "progress," by which statist politicians access & leverage the public treasury for self enrichment. Public debt is an ATM or printing press for politicians. It's an unConstitutional abuse of citizens resources; their liberty, time & treasure, misused to secure & repay public debt.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Thanks for catching that Anon 4:52.

Anonymous said...

Paul, when I read about financial planners and/or wealth managers, I always remember the bottom line fact that they're nothing more than insurance salesmen hawking big commissions from selling insurance policies or annuities. They're particularly given to becoming highly visible members and supporters of faith-based communities (i.e., the mega churches), of every service club known to mankind, and of changing their audiences for sales just as quickly as a feather blowing in the wind. They're not professionals; they are salesmen. And, I say this as a fiscal conservative who can spot a salesperson from a mile away.

Anonymous said...

If Peter Emigh and his fellow financial planners were the smartest men in the room, they'd demonstrate their intelligence by being honest and telling their clients to invest any of their extra monies into land, raw land, as in cropland.

I'm no financial guru, no student of the stock market, but I do know there's one thing that never loses its value, and that is land. He or she who holds land is holding power, the power to earn a life-time living whether you work the land or lease the land.

Remembering both my grandfather's and my father's telling me to never sell your land because there's no more being made. It's a finite resource. I retired at an early age and am living off the the land, as in a cash lease agreement which pays me 300K per year without my leaving home. I'm paying no commissions to salesmen, to financial managers, or to wealth managers. I simply issue 'open bids' for the productive cropland a few months before the lease expires. It's amazing what farmers will pay for prime cropland.

Anonymous said...

Young-bucks like these, armed with MBAs or financial planner certificates, are today's hubristic 'saviors' of mankind. They've never met a derivative they couldn't pawn off as some magic elixir to some woebegone municipality with next-to-no financial management skills or acumen. They're a plague on society -- and extremely dangerous in the political world.