Friday, January 18, 2008

Ballard Taps Disgraced Tobias For Top Airport Job

Mayor Bart Peterson chose a political insider's insider to run the Indianapolis Airport Authority, Democratic lobbyist Lacy Johnson. Mayor Greg Ballard has chosen a corporate insider's insider, Randall Tobias, to take his place as chairman of the Authority. You may recall that Tobias embarrassed the Bush administration a few months ago when he admitted he was a customer of the D.C. Madam and was forced to tender his resignation as Deputy Secretary of State. Expect a continuation of sweetheart deals to enrich insiders at public expense under Tobias' tenure.

Mayor Ballard, I really want to support you, but you are making terrible choices if you hope to turn this corrupt city around. You have yet to appoint a single person to your administration who represents anything other than the status quo and business as usual. Tobias will never clean up that cesspool out at the airport, and you should know that. It's not enough to say you are determined to clean this city up. You can't do it all yourself, and you can't do it by appointing people to your administration whose loyalties are not with you. Let's see Mr. Tobias' statement of economic interest statement made available for public viewing pronto.

33 comments:

John said...

Amen, Gary. I'm glad you're the articulate, probing voice for us to whom change means more than simply having a different party occupy an office.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, we have a chief of staff from Fishers who worked for an engineering firm which supported Peterson's re-election, a convicted felon for a deputy mayor, an illegal alien for director of Latino Affairs, a political hack with no legal experience for corporation counsel, a director of public safety with a financial interest in a big city contract he oversees, a campaign manager from the county chairman's law firm for special counselor and our new mayor is shaking down city contractors and big law firms for a pricey fundraiser during his first month in office. I'm really encouraged.

Anonymous said...

Will the airport now have a room for "nooners"?

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!! The sleaze factor just keeps increasing.....Which terminal will the hookers get to work in?

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. This hurts a lot. I really wanted to believe that Ballard would usher in a new attitude. Tobias brings too much baggage. Tobias had an opportunity to merely accept accountability for poor choices, but instead said that he used these companion agencies for massages? Total lack of integrity and now Ballard, it is sticking to you. Thanks for distroying my faith in expecting change.

Anonymous said...

Check with people at Lilly. Tobias was high maintenance with lots of money spent for his "personal needs". Cars, drivers, multi thousand dollar home improvements etc. etc. etc.
Way to go Mayor. One corrupt administration out, a new one in.
What a load of crap.

Anonymous said...

I said all along to watch for the AA appointment, it will tell a lot. So know we know.

The ironic thing is, if the State and/or County party had supported Ballard at least moderately during the campaign, he might have been able to strike a balance and have been more ready to govern when unexpectedly (in reality) he won. In other words, he might have maintained his independence and developed his own ideas and priorities, but with a stronger core of people around him who believed in his vision and would have been ready to step in, as generally happens, to fill top roles in the administration and carry forward the vision.

But, with the party all but turning their backs on him, there was a mad scramble (I presume) on his part to gather people with enough nuts and bolts knowledge of municipal government to carry out the transition and start running the city in Jan, thus leaving him vulnerable to corporate/big firm/lobbying interests who came waving their Goldsmith veteran credentials and with checkbooks open (and their mad scamble to be first in line).

So, who knows, maybe it was a devious plan by the county party types all along (though I really don't think they're that smart).

Anonymous said...

Three requirements for service in the Ballard administration:

(1) You never publicly supported his candidacy;

(2) You never contributed money to his campaign; and

(3) You didn't vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Statement of economic interest? You mean Tobias can't personally profiteer off this appointment like he did at the State Department?

Anonymous said...

Here's one Democrat who's surprised at these actions by the new Mayor.

Honestly, I thought his win was refreshing, because he owed nobody. Which was a first. It could've started a trend.

Now, his hopes and with them our hopes, are on the trash heap.

Yeah, he can recover. But what's next? Becky Skillman as Director of Common Sense?

That being said, although I don't consider myself a fan of Lacy Johnson's style of leadership, Gary, the Airport, under Lacy's chairmanship, has become self-sufficient, even profitable. BAA was finally booted, and we citizens now have direct management control of the airport.

It could've been much worse. We'll see if Ambassador Tobias takes it in the "worse" direction.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about this, but this might be for the top management job at the IAA, not the chairman of the board position. You might want to do some checking on this, as to terms of service of various board members.

Advance Indiana said...

Both Lacy Johnson and Fred Glass resigned their chairmanships for the Airport Authority and the Capital Improvements Board, respectively, effective January 1 so Ballard could name his own people. Their terms would have extended into the Ballard administration had they not voluntarily resigned.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about that, AI. The board minutes from 1/4/08 show Johnson presided over the meeting. The 1/18/08 minutes are not posted.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being an "honorable mention" to Howey's annual 50 most influential people in Indiana politics.

Advance Indiana said...

Thanks, anon 10:07.

Advance Indiana said...

Anon 10:05, they both publicly stated they would resign as of January 1. If they haven't done it, it is probably because they were asked to remain on until Ballard named their replacements.

Advance Indiana said...

"That being said, although I don't consider myself a fan of Lacy Johnson's style of leadership, Gary, the Airport, under Lacy's chairmanship, has become self-sufficient, even profitable. BAA was finally booted, and we citizens now have direct management control of the airport."

anon, Did you forget that it was BAA's director at the airport who claimed in a lawsuit Johnson got him fired by BAA because he refused to award contracts and give jobs to friends of Lacy Johnson's. One of those friends he demanded he hire for a job at the airport was State Rep. Vanessa Summers. Unfortunately, the former director died from cancer before there could be a full venting of this story and our local FBI office and U.S. Attorney's office
slept throught it all.

Anonymous said...

I believe that that deceased BAA director's filing outlines all the ugly details.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that I fought the temptation to move into the confines of the city of Indianapolis. Trust me, this elite/hack stuff is just as bad out in the surrounding counties. That being said, it is not no where near as bad as Indy...yet.

Anonymous said...

You folks in Carmel have Mayor Brainless to contend with while he spends you into bankruptcy....I wouldn't be getting too smug.

Anonymous said...

4:25, well put. Napolean Brainard is a joke.

I have read the former IAA director's lawsuit, Gary, and I know the recently-departed director, too, who left for a private sector job. The FBI did investigate, over three years ago, and if there were anything there, I'm pretty sure the US Attorney wuld've insisted on prosecution. It is unfortunate the former director died. But from multiple sources there, he was ineffective and spent money like a drunken sailor.

The airport authority's budget is sound and it's back in city control, wrestled from BAA, which I consider a plus. Another stupid Goldsmith decision finally overturned.

Advance Indiana said...

anon said, "The FBI did investigate, over three years ago, and if there were anything there, I'm pretty sure the US Attorney wuld've insisted on prosecution."

And this would be the same FBI and U.S. Attorney which decided against prosecuting for what can be mildly described as the misappropriation of the Lawrence water utility by political cronies of former Mayor Tom Schneider? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

The citizens who supported Greg Ballard have been betrayed. Greg Ballard is just another political manipulator who wants to maintain the same corrupt and incompetent government. His transistion team was made up of Bart Peterson and Steve Goldsmith flunkies. Greg Ballard never really expected to win the mayor's race and when he did, to his surprise, he ran to Carl Brizzi and Steve Goldsmith for help! Their help included picking their own loyal followers to fill all key positions and they even worked with the some of Bart Peterson's team to help select Ballard's staff? Steve Goldsmith even helped old Bart Peterson get a "no work" job, just to get him out of town until he can recover from the loss. Greg Ballard wanted no strong minded or intelligent people to insure that they would not make Ballard look stupid! Well from all accounts the administration of Greg Ballard is a collective joke! Unfortunately, no one is laughing!

Anonymous said...

God, Greg Ballard, we have already had enough of you!

Anonymous said...

6:39 and 6:44, today is Jan. 19. I think we might give the man at least a year before deciding he's the worst mayor ever.

Anonymous said...

A year isn't needed. We already know what kind of mayor he is going to be....hang on tight.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I must disagree with your characterization of ALL the appointees.

Greg Wilson, a very dear friend of mine, was an "Excellent" appointment by Mayor Ballard. He will and IS making a difference in his respective area of respsonsibility and has been working 12-14 hours per day for our city since appointed.

Greg was an active campaign supporter, is a small business owner, African-American, honest and hard-working. He too like me, was proud to visibly campaign for Mayor Ballard and to personally introduce him around town.

His commitment to the City of Indianapolis, irrespective of the Ballard Campaign or the Administration, has existed and has been demonstrating many times over the past few years as he challenged and questioned the Peterson Administration in open forums well before the public became involved. He was also instrumental in helping to get the public involved in a successful grassroots campaign. These things, along with his superior communications skills, tenacity, loyalty and integrity earned him a cabinet position in this administration.

Oh, and he is a regular guy just like us, he works hard and struggles from day to day--he earned this opportunity and we won't let ANYONE assasinate his character.

Gary, be very careful about attacking those who you don't know and those you may not intend to attack simply because, once again, like many others you're angry with an administration appointment. You have attacked or challenged several African-Americans associated with Mayor Ballard, directly or indirectly, actually, all of them if I'm not mistaken. I'm sure you ARE aware we are not the types to allow such behavior to go unnoticed when its so poignant.

I've read your blogs and don't mind you criticing blacks or whites who ARE wrong, such as Monroe Gray, Aaron Haith, but we won't accept this recent pattern of attacking blacks who are affiliated in any remote manner to those "you" are angry with at "any that particular moment".

That is, we will NOT be your whipping child for those who you choose to spare the whip, for whatever reason. If you are angry with Mayor Ballard you need to man-up and take it up with Ballard, just as you described others did last week at the republican slating last week, not the individuals who are fortunate enough to be offered a chance of a lifetime. It's not fair and you're attacking the wrong people.

A little discernment please?

P.S.
Gary, as you know, I usually have my say and disappear without having long, disfunctional conversations, but of course dear YOU are always welcome to call me on the phone so we can talk. I do enjoy our conversations tremendously otherwise, but we've gotta fix this problem dear. :-)

Darla said...

5:32
By the way, it's me Gary, Darla.

Advance Indiana said...

Darla, Thanks for the comment. I have not criticized Greg Wilson, but I did say the job he's been given is a waste of taxpayers money. There already existed an EEO office within the Department of Administration to handle minority business certification. I know from experience that the most corrupt aspect of government contracting is in the area of minority contracts. The whole system encourages the creation of phony businesses which act as mere pass-through entities for other legitimate companies. The owners of these companies have political ties to insiders. They drive up the costs of public construction and public purchasing. Monroe Gray's concrete company is Exhibit A.

Advance Indiana said...

And since you decided to air this matter publicly, Darla, what did you bitch to Mayor Ballard about right in front of me last Sunday? Why yes, you lit him to him as soon as he walked up to say hello, complaining that he hadn't appointed enough African-American women to his administration. About half of his first-round of appointees were in fact minorities. You also made a less than thinly-veiled attack on his appointment of Olgen Williams as Deputy Mayor, telling him not to even think about communicating to the black community through the black ministers. And I will once again remind my readers that you were once a big fan of Mayor Peterson when you worked as a hearing officer in his administration and lending your name to a Democratic-connected law firm as window dressing to show minority participation.

And telling me when you first saw me at the caucus last Sunday that you wanted to kick my ass because I supposedly am to blame for you getting kicked off Ballard's transition team says it all. I didn't get you kicked off Ballard's transition team. Your words and actions got you kicked off Ballard's transition team.

Darla said...

My point Gary?

If you have a problem with Ballard, speak with him directly about it, just like others have. Just as I spoke with you directly [and] Ballard directly. It's called intestinal fortitude, courage!

Blogs are NOT a replacement for one-on-one communications with someone you want to impress and you don't work your way on a team by trashing those who ARE selected. I've never sought to work for anyone since I established my successful practice in 2001, YOU are the one who wanted a job and therefore should have approached Ballard differently. My words to Ballard are no different from the words he'd heard all summer--honest and direct. I can do that because I have have courage. You seemed to freeze up in person, then run to a keyboard to voice YOUR complaints.

Futhermore, Jocelyn Tande complained about the lack of black women appointed. I cautioned Mayor Ballard that that preachers do NOT speak for the entire black community, A FACT! I don't consider Olgin Williams a preacher, he was the Director of the Christamore House and I've NEVER heard him preach. By the way, since you are not familiar at ALL with the black community, except what you read, Olgin Williams was profiled by ME on the Cover of my first Directory publication in 2001.

As for diversity, who cares what YOU think. You've already shown your disdain for blacks, women and anyone else who is touched with a glimmer of happiness.

I wish you the best in whatever it is you are trying to do with your legal career.

Advance Indiana said...

No, Darla, Jocelyn asked Ballard about an entirely different matter. You complained that he had not appointed any African-American women. She asked him what happened to Ike Randolph. I don't hide behind anonymous quotes. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a straight-shooter. I don't have daily access to Ballard to discuss these matters. He reads my blog like others and knows how I feel about these matters. He knows I will be the first to praise him when he has done something worthy of praise. I'm doing just fine, Darla, and I've never had to rely on a government contract to support my legal practice. Can you say the same?

Advance Indiana said...

And further, Darla, stop blaming me for you getting bounced from the transition team. You even wrote on your own blog at the time complaining that you had been told by the transition team to get rid of your blog because it carried too much baggage. Did I write those things on your blog which bothered folks on Ballard's transition team?