Monday, October 22, 2007

Ballard Finally Hits Stride In Debate With Peterson

By reading Bill Ruthhart's account of yesterday's debate between Mayor Bart Peterson (D) and Greg Ballard (R), it looks like Ballard is finally scoring points with voters on the key issues of taxes and crime. The focus on taxes led Peterson to pledge not to raise taxes during his next term. Ballard shot back:

Past behavior is an indicator of future behavior," he said. " . . . Now, (Peterson) says we've not spent anything more than public safety, with the exception of long-term debt. We've taken on a lot of long-term debt, so fiscal health is an issue here I would disagree with."

Then, looking straight into the camera and speaking to the television audience, Ballard invoked the wisdom of television talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw.

"As Dr. Phil would say, 'How's that workin' for ya?' " Ballard asked. "He's had eight years. All of his policies are in place. How's that workin' for ya?"

Ruthhart's account omits Ballard's line about Peterson raising taxes 19 times during the past 8 years. It also makes it appear Peterson only raised the income tax once from 1.00% to 1.65%. The tax has actually gone up 135% under Peterson as a result of earlier increases in the income tax rate. While Peterson defended his latest 65% income tax increase as necessary to fight crime, Ballard was quick to point out it won't result in an increase in police officers on the street at any time in the near future. Ruthhart writes, "Ballard said he would pay for new police officers by cutting other areas of the city's budget." "Ballard argued that the tax increase wouldn't lead to an immediate addition of police officers and that the pension problems were not an immediate threat" "We were not going to lose any pensions, whatsoever," Ballard said. "That's what people must understand."

Ballard also scored points on the issue of creating jobs. "From 2002 to 2006, we've had a net increase in jobs in Marion County of 146." "That's not a good record." "We are not welcoming to companies right now with our crime and tax rates." Ballard also questioned Peterson on his phony claim he saved taxpayers $20 million through the police merger. "I'm not sure that there were any savings . . . I've said from day one that we need to put operational control of the police department back under the mayor's office."

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm seriously starting to think that Ballard can win. While my initial interest in him was more that of a protest vote, as I have come to understand his background and plan for the city, I am actually enthusiastic about what he can do. Having now met him in person several times, he is a very courteous and pleasant person. I'm not sure he's the type of person that can get nasty in the closing weeks of a campaign. Peterson, of course, has hacks that can do that.

People, Ballard can be a good mayor, turn this city around, and stand up to our corrupt and inept CCC. Get out there and vote for him and get your friends, neighbors and colleagues to the polls. Inspired, angry voters can swing this. Send the man a little money while you are at it. A few ads here and there can make a big difference.

Sir Hailstone said...

"stand up to our corrupt and inept CCC."

Better yet - vote in a GOP Council to go with a GOP mayor.

Gary - Two things stood out in that debate - first, Greg's zinger about "past behavior". Finally. I think we bloggers are sinking in to Greg about not being afraid to fire a few shots across the Mayor's bow.

Secondly, Mayor Bart's remark about leaving the city in sound financial shape. Ummmm - if we're in supposedly sound financial shape why did the city's bond rating just drop, costing us even more in interest on those muni bonds.

Anonymous said...

Gary, did you watch the debate?

Ballard has regressed into a stammering, blabbering buffoon. His parks answer was like watching a train wreck.

He actually used the word "pretty" to describe parks. And, he attacked downtown development.

It's over. It was like Bartlett-Ritchie (West Wing) yesterday. Even down to the Mayor's cowboy comment.

Ballard just ain't ready for primetime.

Sir Hailstone said...

"into a stammering, blabbering buffoon."

Bart had on his usual "Joe Isuzu" look with his lying smile and his "Trust Me" plea. Give it a break. We're not mushrooms out here - so don't keep us in the dark and feed us a bunch of crap. Bart's answer to the question about Lucas Oil Stadium - "I have a deputy mayor working on it" .. he likely didn't but he'll get on his cell phone after the forum and call one.

Yeah we know what was made into "parks" - like strips of road median (along S. Madison Ave.) - how about those parks that were removed like the one to make way for a bar in the Center Twp. government center?

Anonymous said...

Respectfully, 7:54, I have to disagree, but for a different reason.

I'm voting for Peterson, and I won't change my mind. I think he's been a very effective mayor and has refused to avoid the tough issues, like all his predecessors did.

But yesterday's debate was a good show by Ballard.

The Dr. Phil comment was a home run. The parks answer was goofy, but, he's a challenger, so the bar is lower, and for the firs time I've seen, he jumped way over it.

Still, I've watched elections for 30 years around here. This one was over a month ago. And yeah, I was able to say that when my favorite candidate was in the exact same position as Ballard. I'm a realist.

I'll give you this much, Hail: a third Peterson term had better be a hell of a lot different. He's been hands-off the council, because of his flimsy majority, and because that majority includes some goofballs who can't be counted on.

But he now recognizes, I think, the tremendous backwash he gets personally, from the council's silliness.

I'm hoping Monroe Gray is gone as president. Same for Aaron Haith. And King Ro's wife gets, uh, reassigned. And the 25th floor starts telling Oliver, King Ro and Monroe, that their special friends' favors are history.

By the way, I saw King Ro on TV yesterday. The voice still booms, but he's definitely carrying a second human being under his jacket. Wow. Dial in a salad, Lonnell. I thought he had a bad ehart...?

Anonymous said...

The City's bond rating dropped due to:

1) Our over-reliance on property taxes

2) Un-funded police and fire pensions...

Problem #1 was addressed by the Mayor in the 2007 legislative session though Hometown Matters.

Problem #2 has been solved by the Mayor...

Anonymous said...

Then this means we can expect the bond rating to go back up. When do you expect that to occur?

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but have you noticed that Jen removed you from her blog roll? What's up with that?

Jason said...

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Peterson's had 2 full terms. If you are voting for him because you think he's going to change the way he does things I respectfully disagree.

Give any politician his third term and he/she's going to fall into the routine of doing exactly what he did the first two terms (why not, it got him reelected). If/When he wins he's going to keep doing all the things that got everybody PO'd before. Taxes will go up, revenue will go down because businesses and people will be leaving the city in droves. Even if Peterson wins by a half a dozen votes, the Death Star will be talking about his 'legacy' and how he's just untouchable.

No thanks. I saw Revenge of the Sith, I don't want to live it.

Sir Hailstone said...

"Problem #1 was addressed by the Mayor in the 2007 legislative session though Hometown Matters.

Problem #2 has been solved by the Mayor..."

#1 - The ultimate in political favors, protecting the corrupt Center Twp. power structure.

#2 - solved by raising our taxes. Yeah that's a real solution alright. Any DemocRAT can do that.

"I'm hoping Monroe Gray is gone as president."

If the Democrats keep the council, they'll keep Gray - unless Kurt Webber pulls out the win up in spite of the Crown Hill precinct. Of course the solution is the GOP regaining control of the Council.

If Gray is defeated, who is left? A cop slapping Gibson? Put Rozelle back up as President? No, it won't be Joanne Sanders. As long as the majority of the Dem caucus is black, they'll have a black leader.

Anonymous said...

Ballard stride seems to be a slow walk. He does not have any attributes to govern this large metropolitan city. Nice guys finish last here.

harry callahan said...

Ballard could win if his party was behind him with CASH, but they aren't.

Here's an interesting article from the Northwest Indiana Times:

http://tinyurl.com/29cz44

Tom John, the Marion County GOP chairman, is making fat cash in East Chicago, one of the last surviving Democratic machines in the country!

For those of you who don't know about East Chicago politics, Republicans don't get contracts like that up there. Kind of makes you go HMMMM!

Anonymous said...

I'm not ready for mayor who is slick and polished. I'll take one I can trust to do the will of his constituents.

Peterson is snake oil. And Ballard is wonderful BECAUSE he's not ready for prime time bedhopping with every money hungry grub connected to politics.

Ballard is just right.

Advance Indiana said...

"Off topic, but have you noticed that Jen removed you from her blog roll? What's up with that?"

Hadn't noticed. It speaks for itself. I don't remove her link just because she says things that infuriate me. For some reason, liberal Democrats in this country have become extremely intolerant of free speech. If you aren't with them a hundred percent, they want to stifle whatever it is you have to say. Not a smart decision for a party's spokesperson.

Anonymous said...

"If the Democrats keep the council, they'll keep Gray - unless Kurt Webber pulls out the win up in spite of the Crown Hill precinct"

For those of you who believe in the need for a voter ID law as strong as Indiana's, you have no reason to continue blaming Crown Hill as the only reason Demcrats win in Marion County.

Anonymous said...

Wear Jen Wagner's dislike for you like a badge of honor, Gary. She has really been trashing you to people in the media lately. Some of them are finding it rather amusing.

Anonymous said...

oh, jen trashes anyone and everyone if she thinks it will make her looks clever and witty. the unfortunate thing is she is the communications director for the state democratic party. how on earth is she allowed to behave that way? how on earth does one divide her blog work from that as communications director? would any of the rest of us be allowed to sit at our desks all day and write such public comments while on work time and equipment.

lunch time over here. back to the office for me.

Advance Indiana said...

anon 11:20, Nobody has shared that with me directly, but I would guess they wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

This election is over...Peterson will win by a fairly comfortable margin. The only question is if the voters have the brains to bounce Ron Gibson off the council. I will vote for bart but against Gibson. He deserves nothing.

Anonymous said...

Please forward
TAX SCAM SATURDAY RALLY information to everyone on your email lists.

MORE INFO:
www.HoosiersForFairTaxation.com

This Saturday October 27th is the last big tax rally before the election. The rally starts at 2pm on Monument Circle. Bring signs, wear costumes, and expect to interact with our politicians who will support tax repeal in the upcoming legislature. We may have inadvertently missed politicians who support repeal on our email list. Please forward this message to any politician you know who backs repeal of property tax. We want to make sure they get (re)elected.

Greg Ballard firmly supports property tax repeal and his staffers made sure it is on his calendar.

RALLY SUPPORTERS

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAXATION

INDIANA VOTERS LEAGUE

INDIANA MINORITY REPORT

INDY UNDERCOVER

DIGITAL FARMERS

HOOSIERS FOR HONESTY IN GOVERNMENT

HOOSIER ACCESS

StopIndiana.com

Sir Hailstone said...

"the unfortunate thing is she is the communications director for the state democratic party."

I'd call that a fortunate thing. Goes to show the quality of people the Democrats present as the "face of the Party" .. people like Jen Wagner, Wilson Allen, Mike O'Connor, Robin Winston, etc.

former democrat said...

Gary, if Jen (communications director of Democratic party) was not a coward and very, very afraid of your research and content, she would not have removed you from her blog listings.

Isn't that typical of what the soviets did during communism? Didn't they silence anyone who disagreed?

You can rest assured she is plenty scared.

Sir Hailstone said...

"The only question is if the voters have the brains to bounce Ron Gibson off the council. I will vote for bart but against Gibson. He deserves nothing."

One won't do it. It's 16-13 (15-14 officially but Scott Keller plays on the other side) and we need turnovers to our side - Schumacher for Mansfield will help. A couple at-larges bucking the Mayor. Dumping crybaby Mahern for Liggett. Then we can talk about keeping Bart in check if he as you liberals say has it in the bag.

I disagree. If you declare Bart the winner on November 6th at 6:00 PM I have one phrase for you:

DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN

Anonymous said...

The way Jen treat everyone is the way Bart things of the citizens. "LET THEM EAT CAKE!"

I don't want a part of either. Hey Ballard, they may be stealing your signs, and they will try to steal the election, but you've got my vote.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that there are going to be a lot of uncorked bottles of champagne on ice at Marion County Democrat Heaquarters after 6pm November 6.

I was there when Lugar won in 1967 and sent the formidable Democratic Machine of the time down in flames. Lugar won in the Old City Limits. Unigov hadn't been created yet.
Interesting that Lugar was only an Eagle Scout and the Dems of the time said an Eagle Scout couldn't run City Hall. The rest of course, is history.
Don't count the Lt.Col. out until all the votes are counted.

Anonymous said...

Ballard gets my vote and the vote of my wife, and her family and my family. Bart hasn't solved a damn thing. The sewer system in this town is still out of date and the COIT increase does not specifically say that the money will be used to pay off the pension debt. Those of you who will vote for him must love being overtaxed due to excessive spending and no accountability. How many more times will it be acceptable to turn a budget over to the CCC that has blank pages? How many more people have to sit outside the CCB and not be given a voice while he has city employees planted inside to clap for his tax increase? Is this what you call an " effective leader "? A third Peterson term will only prove to him that he can continue to mismanage this city's government and no one will hold him accountable, at least not anyone with a D behind their name.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious, Hail.

Try looking up some truths:

King Ro is the only Democrat in trouble. He has run behind the rest of the at-large Dem ticket, by a few thousand votes, in the 2003 primary and generla, and in the 2007 primary. And it's odd--you have to step over his fat ass to vote against him: in alpha order, you vote for Rozelle, Gibson and Joanne, to NOT vote for King Ro. It's a direct slap in the face, and he'll see more of it in three weeks. I hope his wife's cushy job, for which she's woefully under-qualified, was worth it.

Angela Mansfield will run close, but she'll win. And if you think Liggett will beat Dane Mahern, much as I'd like to see it, I'm afraid we'll have two Maherns to kick around after Nov. 6. And that's three too many for me.

Dems go to 16-13, maybe pick up one more (Schneider's seat). Bart wins by eight percent.

Oh yeah, and the council leadership theory you promote: watch and see. The 25th floor is fed up to here with the council's crapolla. They have maintained a hands-off policy for four years, and it's hurt him. Monroe is out. So is Aaron Haith.

Sir Hailstone said...

"Oh yeah, and the council leadership theory you promote: watch and see. The 25th floor is fed up to here with the council's crapolla. They have maintained a hands-off policy for four years, and it's hurt him. Monroe is out. So is Aaron Haith."

Nope. As long as the Democrats are in charge they will support Gray. The black democrats support Gray and that's the Democrat power base in Marion County. Why else are blacks essentially over-represented on the Council? If Peterson were to win a third term, and he turns around and gets Gray out of the presidency of the Council, the blacks will turn against the Mayor and Democrats and stay at home in 2008, possibly causing a problem for Carson, Hillary, and whoever the Dem Governor candidate is. The Dems cannot afford that. Only thing that will remove Gray and Haith will be voters, or felony convictions.

Anonymous said...

Well, Hail, try though you might, you cannot rewrite my party's intent.

This election will produce a different council president if the council majority rises. Wait and see.

Your speculation is partly spot-on. There has been a complete disconnect on (mostly) black precincts' voting bloc power, and reality.

If majority-black precincts turned out a percentage even close to what those in suburban townships produce, we'd have had a Democratic mayor 24 years ago. They don't. It's that simple.

Some of their political leaders threaten and stomp and scream and rattle swords, because their precincts win the party's slate every time, albeit by a lesser margin than possible...but in reality, their power is a paper dragon.

Finally, after four years of council Democratic control, the Mayor's folks realize this subtle fact.

Coupled with the insane ongoing demands of King Ro, Oliver, Gibson (to a lesser degree) and Juice, the 25th floor now also realizes that the Mayor's reputation has been harmed by these antics. The mayor's attitude heretofore had been hands-off, but now they realize that approach doesn't work with these folks.

Because the more power they have, the more they demand insane favors. That's how you get 300 East, a bar that almost opened before it got a single permit. Because they're "entitled." And multiple other abuses.

This attitude knows no bounds. Millionaire businessman Bill Mays, often a supporter of Juice & Co., and a business partner of Mrs. Juice in 300 East, angrily reminded opponents of his illegal northside Savoy nightclub, on the northside, that he gives millions to charities, and he can take his money elsewhere if he doesn't get what he wants. How's that for arrogance? Emboldened by Juice & Co. Freaky.

This, too, can end. And the many hard-working black precinct committeepersons and party activists are starting to see the folly of some of their leaders' nonsense.

ex-black democrat said...

This, too, can end. And the many hard-working black precinct committeepersons and party activists are starting to see the folly of some of their leaders' nonsense.

This is sooo true.