Thursday, September 19, 2019

Unhappy With the Traffic Congestion Caused by New Rapid Bus System? Indianapolis Mayoral Candidates Do Not Care

The last couple months, I have had the opportunity to talk to scores of Indianapolis residents about issues important to them.  While potholes and the condition of roads are often topics discussed, the most frequent complaint has to do with the implementation of Indianapolis' new rapid bus system.  In particular, complaints focus on the massive traffic congestion chokes commuting in
key portions of the city, including downtown Indianapolis and Broad Ripple.

One would think that the candidates for Indianapolis mayor would see it as an opportunity to address the concerns of the public about the implementation of the rapid bus line.  In particular, it should be an excellent issue for Republican challenger Jim Merritt, who should be targeting high profile issues that could move voters.  But Merritt's public comments indicate he loves the hugely expensive project and could not care less that Indy residents are inconvenienced as they sit in their cars idling in massive traffic jams.  His only criticism is that Mayor Joe Hogsett didn't initially support the project enthusiastically enough.

State Senator Jim Merritt
Make no mistake about it, the rapid bus system is primarily about economic development, not making life easier for Indianapolis residents.  In short, it is an opportunity for the city's leaders to pretend to do something good, while, again, using public dollars to subsidize private development.  In Indianapolis, there is a mutual non-aggression pact between the Democratic and Republican parties when it comes to supporting these corporate welfare projects.

Between Hogsett and Merritt, it is tough to argue that Merritt is the more fiscally conservative candidate .  In fact, Merritt appears to have completely abandoned his conservatives principles in other areas as well  Recently he attacked the Hogsett administration for not setting aside enough 15% of city contracts for minority and women-owned businesses.  State law apparently doesn't allow the strict quotas that Merritt supports.  Merritt's position supporting strict quotas means he is advocating discriminating against businesses which are not minority and women-owned in the awarding of government contracts.  That sure as heck is not a conservative idea.

Merritt is a longtime conservative state senator running for Indianapolis Mayor as a liberal Republican.  He was either an opportunist pretending to be a conservative in the General Assembly or is an opportunist pretending to be a liberal on the mayoral campaign trail.   Neither is acceptable.

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