Saturday, August 04, 2007

$5 Million Here, $5 Million There

Remember last year when a group of African-American ministers staged a protest outside the City-County Building demanding $25 million of your taxpayer dollars from Mayor Peterson for area churches to help combat crime in their neighborhoods and the Mayor turned them down? Well, it looks like the Mayor is going to help them out with some of your money after all. The Star's opinion page has a very interesting item you don't want to miss about what was included in that rushed $90 million, 65% increase in the county option income tax. "The proposal to increase the city county income tax by 65 percent was approved hastily -- so hastily that it included $5 million for yet-to-be-named faith-based crime prevention programs and $1.25 million for yet-to-be-set Criminal Justice Planning Council priorities," the Star writes.

Funding for faith-based initiatives is simply a way for politicians to funnel money to religious-based organizations which have been helpful in their past campaigns. It's wrong when President Bush spends tens of millions of your hard-earned dollars to curry favor with the religious right. And it's wrong when Mayor Bart Peterson uses your hard-earned dollars to curry favor with African-American ministers who blatantly step over the line and use their bully pulpit to support local candidates for office in violation of their tax-exempt status as churches. Aside from the obvious misuse of taxpayer funds it represents, it violates the separation of church and state doctrine set out in both our U.S. and state constitutions.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, instead, you'd apparently prefer Ballard reinstating the Front Porch Alliance INSIDE THE MAYOR'S OFFICE, like under Goldsmith?

And I'm sure Peterson will not just give away willy-nilly. If there are programs that can have an effect on the recidivism rate by dealing with ex-offenders, etc., then is it not worthy to support them to fight crime?

You're cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Anonymous said...

These so-called ministers have to make a living too.
I want to puke when I drive thru the pooerest areas of the city and I see all the brand new black churches while the neighborhoods around them are blighted hellholes.

Let the Mayor and the CCC give these theives the millions they demand and let them do want they wish with our money. Nothing will change but the living standard of these "men of God". Its just another racket, nothing more and nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Gary,

You read too much into the Star editorial (probably written by RiShawn Biddle) and not into the facts. Never did the Black ministers who met with the Mayor ask for tax dollars for crime prevention programs. (Go back and check Star and other media archives) The ministers request was for the Mayor to lead an effort to raise dollars from foundations and the private sector to increase services and programs for youth, ex-offender re-entry and other crime prevention programs that work here and elsewhere. The first mention of $5 million from tax dollars came in the Mayor's anti-crime speech last winter.
Black ministers and many others in the Black community were frustrated that the city's private sector could raise $25 million in cash and services within three months to try for a Super Bowl, but not work to raise money to expand programs that could reduce crime and recidivism.
But why should one expect fairness towards the Black community from the blogosphere which is repeatedly hostile towards African-Americans in Indianapolis?

Advance Indiana said...

Anon 9:43, you're sugar-coating their request. It was done in a rather threatening manner towards the mayor as I recall. And isn't it rather odd that the Mayor made no mention of these funds being included in the tax increase proposal as it was rushed through the council?

Anonymous said...

Please note: Churches that rely on the "government" for funding are NOT any more than a servant of the most high government official, not God. Christian churches are ordained to operate on the tiths and love offerings of members, NOT handouts from the government or at the urging of the government. Preachers, your programs will be paid for if you reach out to the lost brothers and sisters...not Bart or Uncle Sam.

Anonymous said...

9:43,
YOUR BLACK MINISTERS THREATENED A JOB ACTION SLOWDOWN OR STRIKE AT THE LUCAS OIL STADIUM CONSTRUCTION SITE IF THE MAYOR DIDN'T PAY UP!

Extortion seems to be the way of doing business in the black community.

Wilson46201 said...

The Mayor will announce his detailed budget for 2008 Monday night.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the time is past due for the Indianapolis black community to pick itself up by IT'S OWN BOOTSTRAPS.
They may want to start by getting their kids to school and taking advantage of FREE PUBLIC EDUCATION!

And a word to these ministers: Discipline starts in the playpen not the State Pen.

Anonymous said...

WILSON,
GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wilson46201 said...

anonymous @ 10:30am, please dont get distracted by me and stick to the topic. Why are you trying to hijack this thread with your petty obsessions?

Anonymous said...

Anytime there is money in the budget directed towards a certain constituency, it is a payoff; nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Wilson aka Mike O'Connor, The mayor will announce his DETAILED budget on Monday??? Is this 1 gonna be like last years where there were blank pages and Monroe looks at it and says "What the f***!!!" I cant wait. Like last years it wont be available to the public either. Thanks for the heads up Mike!!!

Anonymous said...

9:43,
YOUR BLACK MINISTERS THREATENED A JOB ACTION SLOWDOWN OR STRIKE AT THE LUCAS OIL STADIUM CONSTRUCTION SITE IF THE MAYOR DIDN'T PAY UP!

Extortion seems to be the way of doing business in the black community.


That about sums it up. They did threaten to do something to Lucas Oil Staudium. So the mayor gave in because he didn't want Irsay AND the ministers mad at him.

The mayors "detailed" budget will include blank spaces that he can fill in at his leisure. I'm certain there will be a few million for Irsay, a few Million for the Simons, and a new bar in the CCB.

Wilson Allen and Mike O'Conner are not the same person, Wilson is actually smarter than Mike, he just doesn't show it!
Gray will love the new budget because it will give money to his churches so they can fight crime, with a "modest administrative fee" take for their service!

Anonymous said...

Gary,

The ministers request, last Fall, made in the heat of the upsurge in homicides was a blunt request. But, you still won't acknowledge the fact that the request was not for tax dollars. It was the Mayor that opened that up by including the $5 million (using recommendations of the now forgotten anti-crime task force) in his anti-crime package of this winter. And it was no secret that the money was part of the income tax hike proposal. The Mayor's office made that clear in their press releases. If the incomptent editors of the Star and other media and bloggers chose to ignore the facts, that's their fault.
10:25. Yes the ministers threatened an action if the Mayor didn't lead an effort. That's true. The question, though, is why won't the private sector increase their funding and support to existing programs that help youth, ex-offenders and have proven programs at crime prevention?
10:29. The Black church is as upset as the Black community at large as to why parents at those four schools haven't sent their children to school. So, where are the truant officers? Where is our prosecutor? Why has Brizzi not filed charges against parents for contributing to truancy? Those are action that will generate nearly unanimous support among Blacks. Maybe even you 10:29

Wilson46201 said...

The detailed budget for this year is still at:
http://tinyurl.com/38ncj5
The budget for next year will be presented on Monday -- (it's not done yet)

Anonymous said...

Wilson/aka Mike O'Connor, The detailed budget for this year that I want to see is the original that Bart gave to the CCC last year at the meeting. Not the trumped up 1 that they post on a web site. Everyone knows there were blank pages and as taxpayers we have a right to see it! If you really care about what goes on in this city I would expect you to want the same. Quit wearing your political party on your sleeve, people might respect your opinion a little more.

Wilson46201 said...

Well, I figured you wanted to view the actual legal details of the planned expenditures for your serious fiscal analysis.

Sadly, it seems you are just still trying to beat a year-old dead horse ... your raging partisanship trumps your desire to know where your tax dollars go.

Anonymous said...

"The Mayor will announce his detailed budget for 2008 Monday night."

More LIES? I don't trust a word that comes out of his mouth.

Wilson46201 said...

A city budget is a very legal document. If not properly adhered to, it's a felony and Republican County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi can send the perp to Michigan City...

It's not a matter of what an anonymous nobody believes, it's a matter of documented paper trails, properly accounted for.

Anonymous said...

Wilson/aka Mike O'Connor,
I do want to see the original legal document that the mayor handed the CCC. Blank pages are a dereliction of duty. As a taxpayer it is my right to see where my tax dollars are being spent. I'm not beating a dead horse, it wasnt me who turned in a half done piece of trash at taxpayer expense. Dont care if it was a Republican or Democrat(unlike you). I want elected officials to be held accountatable for their misdeeds. You on the other hand only want that if they are a Republican. No wonder people on these blogs have no respect for you and call you names.

GaryJ said...

The mayors "plan" should include some cuts in his executive staff. Get rid of 4 deputy mayors and their staff and that alone will save the city about 1 million a year.
There are other cuts that should be made as well. If the average citizen could get a copy of the budget, it would be a good idea to scrutinize it and see just WHO this money is really going to.

And whoever keeps calling Wilson, "Mike O'Conner" really should stop. They are not one in the same. Like 2:16 said: Wilson is smarter than O'Conner, he just doesn't show it!

A smart person would know when Bart is lying. His lips move whnen he lies!

Anonymous said...

The budget for next year will be presented on Monday -- (it's not done yet)

Cuttinn' it kind of close, aren't they?

Wilson46201 said...

Having been responsible for putting together the little Center Township budgets for years, it's always fun trying to get all the numbers from accountants and from other government offices and then trying to get them in the correct format for presentation to the approving board by a legally mandated deadline. It's always a tad close! For a billion-dollar budget like Indianapolis, the number-crunchers are going wild this weekend...

Anonymous said...

I hope they are pullingtheir hair out trying to make it look like they are not shafting the taxpayers.
Bart is telling them to "make it look good" when in reality, we are getting screwed once again.

Anonymous said...

Wilson knows nothing about this city's budget. As if preparing the Center budget qualifies anyone for anything. Except fiction writing. Don't forget the line-item about free trustee's storage space, and his township-provided LTD police cruiser, completely outfitted. For all those govgernment cheese runs, huh? Servin' the poor, yes sirree!

The city budget documents were completed early last week, and circulated among top councillors, agency heads and others for a de-facto review. I know one who saw it. Oh yeah--no blank pages this year. I'm told it's shockingly bare-bones.

And for whatever it's worth, the ministers who made their threat last summer, made it directly and without camaflouge. It was bare-knuckles politics from the same lazy-ass ministers who get city police parking permits and park their brand-new Cadillacs downtown in handicapped zones.

There. I told the truth and hit on about four stereotypes. All true, sadly.

My God would be ashamed at their extortion. Which is done under the guise of holding back voters if the Mayor doesn't deliver.

As if they really controlled that many votes any more anyway. Their legendary cache has diminished greatly over the past few elections. Read the numbers and weep--it's true.

Wilson46201 said...

The above comment deserves no other comment except that some folk are still fixated on Ronald Reagan's socialistic free commodity-cheese giveaway - it was withered away almost 20 years ago...

Anonymous said...

It was a figure of speech genius

Center spends a lot of money on its trustee, so he can drive around luxuriously, and police-like, soas to help deliver food and aid to the poor?

Huh?

The township gravy train is coming to and end. Not a moment too soon.

Jason said...

Actually Mr. Wilson, I think 7:19 about summed it up. Timing is everything, and their timing (at the time, no less) really, really stank. Talk about a steak dinner on a trash can lid. And people wonder why the black ministers lack credibility. Puh-lease. Threats are threats, and it's that simple. If you think the ends justifies the means (including fear tactics), that's fine, but you have no business being a man of the cloth.

Anonymous said...

Was the new stop light at 62nd and cooper in last years budget ? If so it did not last very long. It was put up at who knows what cost - lasted a few weeks then taken down.

How much other waste can be found in this years budget.

Jay said...

"Why are you trying to hijack this thread with your petty obsessions?"

Oh that's rich, Wilson. You've hijacked every blog in this city.

Ha!

Anonymous said...

That money for the concerned clergy was hush money. You haven't heard a word from them since. The principal at John Marshal spoke out before they did when the girl was raped. That's right where are they now? Are they not concerned about the rash of crime and murders since their public display on tv. Everyone has a price in this town.They should be outraged and leading a vote revolt against this administration, but money talks and they will encourage all they know to vote democrat again. Oh and I'm black so don't call me a racist. Sometimes the truth hurts but you gotta tell it anyway.

Patriot said...

The outpouring of support for Gleaner's Food Bank last week is absolute proof that this community will rally together and support worthy charity. Our citizens dug deep and gave even in a climate of over-taxation. We did it without the threat of the government's extortion.

Government has NO BUSINESS giving money to churches....PERIOD!

Everyone needs to be at the city council building for the protest on Monday August 6 @ 5:30 pm. It is time to take back our government.

http://www.hoosiersforfairtaxation.com

Anonymous said...

African American church members pay their fair share of taxes before donating tithes and offerings to their respective churches. Community services are provided in neighborhoods over looked by the government.

It appears the mayor and other movers and shakers have placed the burden of fighting and controlling crime on the backs of the churches.

The churches' main purpose in the world is to win souls for Christ.
All of you anti-church, anti-religious people think it is ok to spend tax dollars for everything but helping the less fortunate amongst us.

Ironically, private corporations benefit and other charities can receive a percentage of our tax dollars for their programs and it is socially acceptable. Why can't the churches?

You have just as many corporations and charitable organizations who misappropriate funds with limited benefits or results to the community to justify the amount of funds appropriated. So, what is your point?

Anonymous said...

The point, 7:46, is that some (not ALL) black churches in this community saw fit to try to hold the mayor hostage several months ago.

They capitalized on the Hamilton Street murders and rising crime which was blitzing the lazy Indy media...and demanded millions for programs that would be run through their churches.

Excuse me, but as sloppy as government is, if my choice is handing money over to govt. or some of those churches, govt. wins hands-down.

And that, mny friend, is a sorry statement indeed. But true.

Members of all congregations contribute to the tax base. Community Centers are helpful, but frankly, I've been in some of them, and they need a stern budget paddle, too.

Goldsmith tried this little giveaway program, strictly to try to neutralize Center Twp. voters. He called it the Front Porch Alliance, and he never picked up votes because of it.

Which was odd for a mayor who ran from his own faith most of his political life.

Anonymous said...

Wilson, Ronald Reagan said it: "Governing least is governing best."

Certainly owning 3 giant buildings, a township trustee car with illegal flashing lights & siren, and patronage payroll over 100, $11 million in the bank...well, that's what I call a layer of government that needs to go.

Why a township trustee car? Is it so he can travel around at taxpayer expense to the three giant buildings that are owned by the township, but not needed? Is it so he can drive to 300 East for a drink?

Anonymous said...

"We the People" are only pawns in this everlasting government game that is being played under our noses, and with our money!
No more votes for any incumbent for as long as it takes.

When it spends, the government doesn’t seem to remember the money is not theirs. It is ours, and they have been entrusted to spend the money wisely, carefully and with restraint.

“They (congress) spend money like drunk sailors on liberty,” the old Ronald Reagan quote. Trouble with his analogy, sailors are spending their own discretionary money, not their food or housing money, but the key two words, "Their Discretionary" money.

Congress, State legislatures and city governments are spending our money and most of what they spend is no longer our discretionary money but is beginning to cut into our food, medicine, housing and retirement funds.

Heard on the Garrison show:
“If you take care of spending, then the taxes will take care of themselves.”

How about the government working within their limited budget without "increasing" the budget limits?

The government (fed/state/city/county) expect us to live within the limits you "create" for us with our money, but none of the elected ones in government will never live within the limits they need to.