Friday, July 27, 2007

Peterson Blames Media For Plummeting Approval Rating

With Mayor Bart Peterson (D) and his Democratic-controlled council's standing with the public in a free fall following last Monday's approval of the Mayor's 65% increase in the county option income tax, Peterson and council Democrats are blaming the media for their woes. In a sidebar to another story in today's Star, a "Tax Notebook" item says:

Mayor Bart Peterson and some City-County Council members haven't been happy with the way media [and] The Indianapolis Star has portrayed the income tax increase passed Monday.

The council increased the county income tax by 65 percent to fund Peterson's $90 million crime-fighting and pension-funding plan. The actual increase went to 1.65 percent from 1 percent.

Deputy Mayor Steve Campbell said there has been some grousing on the 25th Floor of the City-County Building -- the shorthand reference for the Peterson administration.

"The conversation here is that you have two choices about how to present it, and the headlines went with the more sensational one," Campbell said Wednesday. "Some people called and thought we were taking 65 percent of their income."

Actually, the mayor has several times made a common mistake, using the wrong wording for the hike. He has called it a .65 percent increase. He could accurately call it a .65 percentage point increase.Campbell acknowledged that a 65 percent increase is "absolutely factually correct."

"It just seemed to us like trying to whip people into a frenzy when that's already there," he said.

Actually, if you add the prior increases in the COIT rate of this Mayor and council to Monday night's increase, local income taxes have actually increased 175%, a point made at the council meeting by a Democratic councilor, Dane Mahern. It seems to me the public has every right to be worked up in a frenzy over rising taxes in this city without any help from the media. The fact that the Mayor and Democrats are complaining about the coverage of the issue is proof of just how much their standing with voters has fallen in this critical election year.

On another note, I got around to taking a closer look at a letter Councilor Scott Keller (R) sent to me after I discussed with him his support of the Mayor's tax increase. As a past supporter of his campaigns, Keller drew attention to what my "generous investment" in his campaign gave our city: "Supporting responsible alternatives to too-high property taxes, such as a regional 1% sales tax or higher County income tax." He's right about supporting a higher income tax, but he did it without providing any property tax relief. By the way, the first item he mentions in his letter will not likely resonate with his supporters any better: "Co-sponsoring such economic development/job creation projects as the Conrad Hotel, Simon headquarters, convention center expansion, Lucas Stadium and the new 1,000-room hotel." That's a fly in the ointment to many taxpayers who feel those very projects are the reason they are now paying higher taxes.

Hat tip to the avid AI reader who pointed this item out to me in today's Star.

32 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

So you are supporting Brian Mahern now, if only by your continued grousing about Keller?

district #8 voter said...

Gee Mr. Mayor, maybe that's because your council ignored the wishes of the people and made total fools of themselves.

Maybe the Indy Star had no choice but to publish the TRUTH because there were so many witnesses to it!

Advance Indiana said...

No, I'm not supporting Brian Mahern. I am not a voter in his district.

Wilson46201 said...

A reminder to "District #8 Voter": four years ago, Monroe Gray won 6,212 to 2,163. About 3-to-1.

Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Good God, Wilson.. get a life!!! '
Spending all day and night trying to justify your crooked friends actions is getting old.
Has Bart, Julia, Frank, Monroe, et.al., EVER made an error?
Why don't you show your intelligence and point out just ONE mistake by each of these so called representatives?
Are you so blinded by their BS that you would agree that them killing a boatload of babies is the right thing to do?

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to belabor my issues with Keller but outside the downtown area he threw the rest of his Eastside district under the bus.
When Keller went door to door in the Englewood area he spoke against the gay community. When he campaigned downtown he spoke in their favor. He pandered to both to gain votes so what's new. I'm pro gay rights but Keller can't have it both ways.
Not one time has Scott Keller addressed the overwhelming amount of crime and boarded up houses in his district. As his remarks to you clearly show, Keller cares only about downtown development and the Mayor's agenda.
I'm not sure if another Mahern is any better so what the hell does it matter. At least Mahern lives and is aware of the issue facing the district but I thought State Rep John Day did too. Not a word from John on the property tax issue. Maybe he's just burnt out.

Anonymous said...

Gary,
At least the Mayor got a really really big break from our esteemed Prosecutor.
The murder trial of the two who carried out the Hamilton Street Massacre has been pushed back until February 2008 so it won't be going on PRIOR TO THE NOVEMBER ELECTION so the Mayor won't take more heat on his war on crime failures.

The massacre took place in June of '06 and these killer won't stand trial until February 2008?
Something just doesn't seem right about this. Ther have been many many other murder trials take place in a far shorter timespan.

Anonymous said...

Bart: "Daddy! They're picking on me! They don't want to play by my rules! Fix it daddy, fix it!"

Barts dad: "Don't worry son. I'll have all my friends give you lots of money for your campaign, all you have to do is give them abatements and promise the poor citizens you will take care of them."

Bart: *sniff* "Thanks daddy."

Anonymous said...

So now you're accusing the prosecutor, one of the most bitterly partisan officeholders in recent memory, of throwing support to Bart, by delaying a trial? That's hilarious.

This blog is starting to sound more and more like IndyU, which is a shame, because it can often be a great blog to read.

I didn't get the connection, Gary, between the council vote, and the mayor's "plummeting approval rating." Having seen his internal poll numbers, plummet is not a verb I'd remotely use. Down, but not plummeting.

Mr. Keller's vote was unfortunate. But he had already lost, I'm afraid. His vote on HRO and some other issues was refreshing, but I don't vote on one issue.

I also don't live in his district, because although I'm sorry he voted for the income tax inrease, I'd be even sorrier to be represented by a Mahern. Yikes.

Advance Indiana said...

"Having seen his internal poll numbers, plummet is not a verb I'd remotely use. Down, but not plummeting."

Then release the numbers. They aren't being released because they aren't pretty for the Mayor.

Wilson46201 said...

Surely the mighty Marion County GOP political machine has its own "internal poll numbers" on the hot Mayor's race which will be leaked soon and in great detail? A straw poll at the Columbia Club doesn't count!

Anonymous said...

I'm certain that Wilson has some dirt on everyone running for office this year, but will only tell the garbage about the GOP members. The Dems are just perfect and have done nothing bet HELP this city over the last 8 years.
Ron Gibson beats up on cops.
Vern Brown beats wrecks 2 FD owned cars.
Monroe Gray screws up his ethics form.. TWICE.
Bart Peterson gives MILLIONS of taxpayers dollars to Jim Irsay.
The list is long and extensive
Hopefully the rumor about Gray being investigated by a Grand Jury is true and will be indicted in October.

Wilson46201 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Gary,
The Mayor didnt get any break from Brizzi ref the Hamilton Street murders. You have 2 heartless thugs who took the lives of 7 people and will be staring at the Death Penalty as they should. A case like this contains a lot of evidence, witnesses, attorneys and time. In reality this aint "CSI Miami", it takes more than 60 minutes to put together a trial that will give these victims justice. If they didnt care they would've just slapped something together and hoped it would stick. If you want to make sure Bart gets what he has coming to him, pull a different lever in November. The crime rate is just as bad this year as it was last and its Barts fault. CONsolidation aint working.

Wilson46201 said...

Maybe Alberto Gonzalez was in town today to threaten "loyal Bushie" U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks to conjure up some indictments against local Democrats just before the elections? Ya think? She's seen what happens to other prosecutors who wont play ball with the White House!

Anonymous said...

TAX & SPEND is NOT going to get him re-elected!

We have been hit with the biggest tax increases in the history of Indianapolis. The millionaires & billionaires get tax abatements, city property, and millions of TAX money on such things as a stadium.

No, thanks. I'd rather keep the money you have TAXed me to SPEND on my family.

Expel the Colts from Indianapolis. They get a new stadium they don't need, but our city-county building in need of renovations.....well, it's not as important to the Democrats, cause the TAXpayers don't give Bart campaign money, and the Colts owner does (wink).

Anonymous said...

Mr. Obvious is pointing out the Democrap invader, Wilson: 4 of 16 posts, that is 25% that go to "THE MACHINE!" already!

Is this 1970's Chicago? ...or present day Gary?

Anonymous said...

Gary, I'd love to give you the numbers, but they were told and shown to me in confidence. Let's just say they're down from last poll (July) slightly, still north of 55.

And yeah, I'd keep my mouth shut if the numbers were alarming. Another poll allegedly goes into the field next week...we'll see.

Generic party ID: 48%D 31%R remainder "I" or non-partisan Pretty much mirrors the city, if not the voting public

And I can assure you the GOP did a poll, because they called a close friend. About a week and a half ago. If their numbers were at all encouraging, they'd leak them.

Anonymous said...

A reminder to "District #8 Voter": four years ago, Monroe Gray won 6,212 to 2,163. About 3-to-1.

Just sayin'...


Birds of a feather flock together. They also live near each other.

Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

A mix of socialists and commies have taken control over Marion County, Indiana. Thinking that mayor Peterson could lose is a joke. You fools with the six-figure incomes have targets on your heads. Stop living in la la land and move out there to the suburban counties where a good % of the population isn't calling for more of your wealth to be redistributed to layabouts and bums. Thinking you can take back the city is a joke. The continue to build more and more government housing projects to increase the numbers of people willing to vote Democrat. It is a lost cause to try and turn Marion County back around. It is a democrat county and likely will remain like that for decades to come. If you don't want to continue getting taxed at higher and higher rates, move away. While the housing market sucks at this time, if you have any equity in your home, I would suggest using it to lower your asking price and getting out now while you still can.

Anonymous said...

I live in Scott Keller's district. So who do I vote for?

Do I vote to add another Mahern, a Mahern, who by all accounts has adult ADD or Keller, who talks out of both sides of his mouth?

I found it fascinating that Dane Mahern voted against the tax increase, particularly when one considers his father was a Democratic leader in the legislature through 2006 - the same governmental body that refused to deal with tax issues.

And it is also interesting that Brian Mahern's father is the leader of the library board and as such, has led that project into into cost overruns in the millions.

Hmmmm, as a Democrat, do I vote in another Mahern when I think the last thing this county needs is another elected Mahern or do I vote for someone who pretends to be a Republican and talks out of both sides of his mouth?

Any suggestions? Sitting it out is not an option as I faithfully exercise my right to vote. I just wish they would give me better choices than the son of an Ed Treacy crony and a "we-had-nobody-else-interested-in-running" candidate from the Republican party!

tonya beeler said...

i've heard lots of people say....."another mahern is bad"...but they don't really explain....i live in the district and i just can't decide....can someone tell me why another mahern would be so bad?

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the media for the approval rating, they've not mentioned the TAX & SPEND policies.....

The truth is that the approval rating is plummeting because people do NOT agree with the Democrat "Tax and Spend" philosophy, and we are ANGRY about the LARGEST tax increase EVER seen in Indianapolis with the election of the first DEMOCRAT mayor and DEMOCRAT council majority in generations!

I think it is safe to say that Indianapolis is proof that Democrats are "Tax and Spend" liberals is very true to form!

Anonymous said...

Wilson 46201 is none other than Michael O'Connor, Bart's right hand man. How do I prove it, simple: He has a do nothing job which pays plenty of money that allows him to nothing other blog all day for the mayor. He seems to know everything there is to know about party politics and how things are ran in Marion County. That would be a requirement for the party chair of any party. Bart could get caught redhanded molesting puppies in a city park. Wilson would still try to show how the puppies were Republicans and that Bart's approval rating is still above the 50's.

Anonymous said...

The Democrat Political Machine got elected and transforms Indinapolis into a socialist state and they wonder why their approval ratings are plummeting?

First, the definition of socialism: "Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy."

In Indianapolis the Democrat Political Machine thinks it owns our hard-earned money and is planning and controlling our economy by giving to the rich (Colts stadium, Simon headquarters, putting a bar in a taxpayer owned building) and taking from our paychecks.

Am I living in the USA or in Socialist Indianapolis?

Wilson46201 said...

You are living in your own self-created ideological cuckoo-bubble ... a John Birch Society fantasyland!

Anonymous said...

"Wilson 46201 is none other than Michael O'Connor, Bart's right hand man."

Wilson's much brighter and has a quicker whit than O'Connor.

Wilson is Wilson. After a campaign or two you will know Wilson Allen too.
Whoo hoo! Yellow hair and all, he looks like the chicken but without the costume. Wait a minute could it be?

Anonymous said...

Tonya, it's difficult to negatively brand an offspring, spouse or relative with the family moniker, without good evidence.

I don't know Brian Mahern well, but let's just say his entering the council room won't improve the IQ a lot.

As for evidence:

Rep. Ed Mahern voted right on many issues, but was virtually owned by lobbyists.

Sen. Louis Mahern, now of the library board, has done a decent job trying to roll in the final phase of the library. He inherited the problem. He was a funny state senator, but he was around when these tax problems were ignored. Also a lobbyist, and also was owned by lobbyists as a senator.

Councillor Dane Mahern, while perhaps correct on the latest income tax issue, draws his salary from city government, and by all accounts, it's the best job he ever had.

Therein lies enough evidence for me. Fool me once, shame on thee. Fool me three times, get me a gun. Fool me four times, well...expatriate me.

Scott is a smart cookie. He betrayed us on ths latest tax issue, but he's been right on a multitude of issues. For me, it is a very close call, but Scott will get my vote.

Anonymous said...

Wilson 46201 aka Mike O'Connor,
I dont know what point you were trying to make with the "John Birch Society Fantasyland", but you really should put down the crack pipe. That stuff kills brain cells as well as common sense thinking.

Anonymous said...

Giving Indianapolis the largest TAX increase ever seen, is true to form for The Democrat Machine!

Tax and Spend!

The voters don't like it and we'll be at the polls.

Anonymous said...

You know that post about Indianapolis Democrats turning this into a Socialist state makes a good point....if you think about it, with their tax and spend philosophy, they are doing exactly a textbood change from a republican form of government into a socialist state.

Honestly, that scares me! I love this country and never want socialism or a socialist state. There is no way any member of The Democrat Machine will get a vote from me.

Anonymous said...

5:41 p.m. said:
Ther have been many many other murder trials take place in a far shorter timespan.

The Hamilton Avenue multiple murder case is a death penalty case and unless the two defendants requested a speedy trial (tried within 70 days of their charging), death penalty cases typically take longer to adjudicate.

Given the number of victims - including children - that there was intent to rob the family before they were slain, the victims are Latino and the defendants African-American and many other mitigating factors involved with the case, I'm not surprised there will be no trial before 2008.

Sorry for getting off topic.

BOT: I think the mayor looks foolish blaming the media for his sagging popularity. It's the policies (read taxes) stupid.