Speaking of the Super Bowl game, the Star's editorial writers think the sweetheart ticket deal the Colts offered Indiana's elected officials "shows troubling coziness." The editors write:
In the euphoric aftermath of our state's greatest sports victory, it's kind of a downer to insinuate there might be strings attached to the prizes that wound up in the hands of 45 state legislators, U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, U.S. Reps. Dan Burton, Steve Buyer and Mike Pence, and at least five members of the Indianapolis City-County Council.
After all, isn't the subsidized stadium already safely under construction?
Well, yes, but friends help friends at all seasons of the year; and one never knows when new "opportunities" to help may arise. For example, unexpected costs for Lucas Oil Stadium have led to debate between state and local officials as to which level of government might have to take a hit for the (private, for-profit) team.
Then there's the brand-new Senate Bill 500, quickly approved by committee, through which the state would acquiesce to the National Football League's demand
for an exemption from the sales tax during the 2011 Super Bowl, should it be played here.
More helping opportunities, for more than one sports team with coveted tickets, will arise for elected officials as time goes on. So will opportunities to enjoy favors that are not presented to plain old voters. All perfectly legal, you understand. Yet, is it naïve to suggest that public servants might find it easier to think and feel on behalf of those voters if they pass up the goodies; or at least compete for them on the open market?
We're all Colts fans, but only some of us can be Colts friends. The latter need to ask themselves whose team they're playing for in real life.