Monday, February 11, 2008

Carson Backs Liquor Lobbyist For Zoning Board

Democratic 7th district congressional candidate Andre Carson claims to be an agent for change, but Carson's short record as an Indianapolis City-County Councilor looks like more of the same "business as usual" mentality which is driving voter cynicsm towards their elected officials. At tonight's City-County Council meeting, Councilor Andre Carson had an opportunity to take a stand against appointing a lobbyist for the liquor industry to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Unlike several of his Democratic colleagues, led by Councilor Angela Mansfield, Carson voted for the appointment of Brad Klopfenstein, the head of the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association, an organization which represents Indiana's bars, to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Klopfenstein's members will no doubt have zoning matters before the Board to which he has been appointed. Ironically, Carson spent a decade policing Indiana bars as a state excise police officer. As a lobbyist for the bar owners, Klopfenstein's organization lobbied Indianapolis' council successfully to water down its smoking ban ordinance to exempt most bars, and he is currently lobbying the state legislature to legalize some types of gambling in bars, such as pull tabs.

That Carson would favor appointing a special interest insider like Klopfenstein to an important board like the Board of Zoning Appeals is really no surprise. In his first move as a City-County Councilor, Carson resigned his job as a state excise police officer to become a marketing representive for Cripe Architechs + Engineers, Inc., a politically-connected engineering firm which does a lot of business with government. Carson's job is to market the firm's business to government clients, obviously based upon his political connections given that he has no prior experience working in either sales or archetectural/engineering businesses. Carson no doubt figures supporting Klopfenstein's appointment will help generate contributions for his congressional campaign. If he had taken his career as a state excise police officer seriously, however, he would have seen the error in supporting a liquor lobbyist's appointment to a zoning board. If Carson were the agent of change he claims to be, he would have had no problem in joining his fellow Democratic councilors in opposing this appointment. So much for Carson's campaign pledge to be a leader who isn't "bought and paid for."

40 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Every Republican member of the City-Council voted for Klopfenstein. Not a single GOP dissent. Nary a one...

Advance Indiana said...

And as your Marion County Democratic Party pointed out today, they are failing to fulfill a key plank in Mayor Ballard's ethics reform plan--barring lobbyists from serving on city boards and commissions if it would create a conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

Gary, Can you tell me why the Republicans appointed both Klopfenstein and his Libertarian buddy Timothy Maguire to the Board of Zoning Appeals. They are both working to elect Libertarian Sean Shepard in the special election.

Advance Indiana said...

To bite off their noses to spite their faces? I don't know what Klopfenstein is doing in the special election race, but I've seen e-mails Maguire has been sending around promoting Sean Shepard's candidacy. Clearly, those efforts will only hurt Jon Elrod. If you look at the profile of the people who vote Libertarian, they are people who would have otherwise voted Republican. The only thing a vote for a Libertarian can accomplish in any Marion County election is to sabotage a Republican candidate's chance of winning. A Libertarian will never win an election in this county-at least nowhere in the foreseeable future. The Republican precinct committeepersons should be slamming every member of the GOP council right now for giving these two Libertarians these key appointments. It is an insult and a slap in the face of the people who worked to elect these GOP councilors to put people dedicated to defeating Republicans on city boards and commissions. It's also probably why the GOP's re-emergence will be short-lived in city government at the pace they're going.

Wilson46201 said...

Gary Welsh is well-known for his unrelenting attacks on the Carsons but tonight he has finally gone beyond the pale: he condemned André Carson for being as bad as Republicans!!! EWWWWW

Sir, have you no shame?

Anonymous said...

Wilson's tube has revealed who the real Andre Carson is when he made sexist bullsh*t comments on Nancy Pelosi at a local Democrat committee person meeting! Reducing women to OBJECTS! This is infuriating! I am sure his thoughts are that women should be paid less for doing the same job as a man too! As I am sure he wants his DAUGHTER to be treated like this too!!

What a sexist pig!

Anonymous said...

Carson is not about change, he is about the same old same old. Tired of that game.

Anonymous said...

Wilson posted the YouTube, and he has since taken it down, of Andre speaking at a Democrat committeeman meeting of some sort. Andre is a sexist pig! He said "I met with Nancy Pelosi" and he looked from side to side and snickered and said "and I won't say anything else because my wife is in the room."

Thank YOU, Wilson, for showing us who the real Andre is.

Wilson46201 said...

But who is the this strangely mysterious anonymous woman who is shrieking hysterically all over the InterNets against André Carson? Could it be the same harridan that has been attacking Julia Carson and Andy Jacobs for many, many years now? What agenda does this oddly shadowy whiner really have? Is she running against a Carson again herself?

Advance Indiana said...

Wilson, You know the woman you are thinking of wasn't in that room. You edited the offensive comments from the clip. It clearly was someone in the room who heard with their own ears what Andre said. You never answered the question, Wilson. Why did you pull down the clip you proudly posted so quickly?

Sean Shepard said...

This article is so terribly partisan. I'm siding with Wilson on this one.

If you're trying to damage my Democratic opponent, you also impune many other fine people on the City Council including ALL of the Republicans?

Isn't it unfortunate that "party label" is more important than a principled approach to policy and government?

I used to be a Republican my friend, but after 20 years of promises to fix and/or privatize social security, cut government spending, significantly reduce taxes, make health care expenditures tax free and numerous other things one gets tired of being lied to by politicians with no spine.

And what about borrowing money from other countries to pay for a war in IRAQ. IRAQ?????

The Libertarians are not your enemy.

Oh, and the GOPs other options for those zoning spots ... Democrats. The majority party can only hold so many of the spots as I understand things.

Advance Indiana said...

Sean, Thanks for confirming the fact that the only reason you are running in the special election is to help Andre Carson win. I've made my view on any lobbyist being appointed to a Board or Commission quite clear. Nobody supported Ballard more strongly than I did. The man promised no lobbyists on Boards and Commissions and now they're all reneging on that campaign promise. If Andre wants to go along with lobbyists on Boards & Commissions, that's his right. But I will criticize him just like I do the Republicans who aren't keeping their campaign promises. Don't tell me you're an agent of change and then vote for business as usual.

Wilson46201 said...

Of course "that woman" wasnt in the room - she thought she saw something in the YouTube to holler about. What did I edit out? A brief sidebar about tax credits which I clipped out to get the clip in under YouTube's 10-minute maximum. Why did I finally take down the entire clip? It was stepping on the great publicity and discussions generated by the first TV commercial in the 7th District race...it might be reposted again soon...

Anonymous said...

I once attended a Julia fundraiser here in Indy at which Nancy Pelosi was the guest speaker. She was intelligent, cogent, articulate, well dressed, and not bad looking for a woman then if her later 50's (she loked great at the SOTU speech). She worked the crowd like a champ. What a contrast with the local gal. Maybe Andre can take a lesson.

Hendsmaster Of Pekanbaru said...

I don't know real about Indiana.
Actually, Amrecan is real democracy.

Proud of your country politic

Advance Indiana said...

Wilson, I understand Ernie and Andre had quite a little confrontation at tonight's council meeting. Do you know what that was all about?

Eclecticvibe said...

I don't think it's fair to simply classify a 3rd party candidate as a spoiler. If we all agree the Democrats and Republicans can't live up to campaign promises due to influence from the corporations that pay to elect them, then we probably are going to have to look outside the D&R box for solutions to that problem.

Wilson46201 said...

Ernie Shearer was just being his usual loud bullying self -- huffing and puffing and full of bluster. No big deal except IndyErnie may have had his feelings hurt. He'll get over it soon...

Advance Indiana said...

Incidentally, Jon Elrod voted against Klopfenstein's awful bill to turn every bar in this state into a mini gambling hall.

indyernie said...

I think Andre Carson threatened me tonight.
I asked him a question about his vote in the transfer of IMPD back to the Mayor. I asked why his votes were along party line and not based on what was best for the public safety of Indy.
Andre got bent out of shape and told me that I wasn't going to question him at every CC meeting. I wasn’t being aggressive or disrespectful and I didn’t raise my voice. I simply asked him why he voted along party lines and he took exception.
Andre stated that I was grandstanding and was only craving attention. I tried to explain that I’ve only spoke out about public safety issues but he wouldn’t hear any of it.
Andre told me to get out of the CCB. I asked what authority he had to expel me and he went ballistic.
Gray and Bateman had to get him to calm down. When I told him I would do as I pleased and reminded him that I was at a public assembly in a public building asking questions of a city councilman he said he would take measures to see that I wouldn't do it again.
Gray overheard all of this and told GaryJ on the way out that one day I would ask the wrong question and someone would take care of me. I think that was a threat too.
Carson can’t take a little heat at a city council meeting without losing his composure and making threats. Why should we believe that he is mentally able to handle congress?
Carson isn't the only councilman that I question. If I disagree I make it a habit to question anyone I don't agree with. I'm not going away and I won‘t stop asking questions.

Wilson you weren't there.
I know it’s never stopped you before, but... how in hell can you comment on something that you know nothing about?

Wilson46201 said...

Because you are simply a loud-mouthed bully. You've threatened me and my camera online here ... you just mentioned this week about almost getting into a fistfight with an election official in 2006. André Carson and other Councilors are under any no obligation to answer your bullying and baiting questions...

As Hubert Humphrey said: just because you have freedom of speech, nobody has to take you seriously!

Endiana.com said...

The council made two excellenet choices.

indyernie said...

"You've threatened me and my camera online here ..."

Wilson that's an out and out lie. I never threatened you or your camera.

"you just mentioned this week about almost getting into a fistfight with an election official in 2006."

Again another lie. I stepped between Tony Duncan and a woman whom he was threatening. What was I to do let him manhandle her?

"André Carson and other Councilors are under any no obligation to answer your bullying and baiting questions"

I never said that Andre was required to answer, I said that I had the right to ask.

"baiting questions"

That’s odd, you and Andre use the same term "baiting" maybe you do speak for him after all.

Before tonight I thought he was his own man. I was wrong to give him that much credit.
I now can see that he can’t think on his own. Andre needs idiots like you Wilson telling him what to say and how to vote.
One question Wilson. If he wins the election are you going to Washington with him?

Anonymous said...

Andre told me to get out of the CCB. I asked what authority he had to expel me and he went ballistic.
Gray and Bateman had to get him to calm down. When I told him I would do as I pleased and reminded him that I was at a public assembly in a public building asking questions of a city councilman he said he would take measures to see that I wouldn't do it again.
Gray overheard all of this and told GaryJ on the way out that one day I would ask the wrong question and someone would take care of me. I think that was a threat too.


André Carson and other Councilors are under any no obligation to answer your bullying and baiting questions..

Well, they don't have the right to ban him from public meetings. He should be wearing a digital recorder now. Let them throw you out for doing nothing wrong then sue them for violating your rights.

Anonymous said...

What a site this is!! It is full of the usual Carson haters blathering on and on. Andre Carson is criticized because he voted the same way 22 of the 29 councilors voted and all republicans voted on the nomination of Klopfenstein to a city board. Only an appointment to the Liquor Board would have posed a conflict and this was not for that but for zoning matters.
Then Andre is criticized for voting along partisan lines.....some people need to face the fact that Andre Carson is intelligent and will vote for what he believes to be in the interest of his district.

varangianguard said...

The only thing that concerns me here is that it seemingly has taken very little to rattle André Carson. If a little heat from a local activist pops André's top, what the heck might happen in D.C. when André is faced with some real heat?

Look in the mirror André, are you really tough enough? It appears that the City-County Council is pushing your limits.

Anonymous said...

Wow.I was a big Andre' supporter till now.If this is true at the CC meeting,I have seen the light.I usually vote Democrat,but Andre' has really scared my,just like Hillery has scared me.Mr Elrod you have my vote.

Anonymous said...

With all the issues facing this State, why are pull tab machines in bars even an issue? Hell, there's a machine that sells pull tabs right next the the ATM in Bud's Supermarket in Fountain Square! Why not take the pulll tab machines out of supermarkets and put them in bars? Gambling is a choice and a recreation for most. Put them in bars for crying out loud.

Anonymous said...

Brad Klopfenstein is a likable fellow. Smart. Friendly, courteous...crimmeny he's practically a freaking Boy Scout.

But the appointment of a lobbyist to an important city board directly contradicts a promise I personally heard Greg Balalrd make at a public meeting in early October. When questioned by a citizen about this very issue, Ballard was quick and firm in his response: "It will not happen in my administration."

That is a direct quote.

And now it has happened.

This is not an insignificant deviance from his stated goals.

Andre, your vote for this lobbyist is a shame. I thought you bad more b---- than that. Evidently I was wrong.

And if the above Ernie account is even 1/4 true, it's pretty clear Andre cannot handle disagreeable citizens. Which makes him perfect for Congress---NOT.

It just hones in on the experience issue for Andre.

I watched some angry far-right Christians go toe-to-toe with Jon Elrod during a hallway debate on SJR7 last session. They were rude, disgusting and in his face. He calmly thanked them for their views, gave them a business card to contact him in the future, and excused himself.

Andre: take a lesson.

Oh yeah, Wilson: under what set of warped standards are councillors not obligated to answer citizens' questions at a public meeting?

That's a pretty Monroe-Gray-arrogant type of comment.

I've seen Ernie in meetings before. He's wrong on most issues, but he's not impolite. I wasn't aware The Great Oz could only be talked to, by we commoners, at certain appointed times.

Andre owes Ernie an apology. A true gentleman would've already done it. A true gentleman public servant like, oh, say--Andy Jacobs.

Anonymous said...

Quote...I think Andre Carson threatened me tonight.
I asked him a question about his vote in the transfer of IMPD back to the Mayor. I asked why his votes were along party line and not based on what was best for the public safety of Indy.
Andre got bent out of shape and told me that I wasn't going to question him at every CC meeting. I wasn’t being aggressive or disrespectful and I didn’t raise my voice. I simply asked him why he voted along party lines and he took exception. Andre stated that I was grandstanding and was only craving attention. I tried to explain that I’ve only spoke out about public safety issues but he wouldn’t hear any of it. Andre told me to get out of the CCB. I asked what authority he had to expel me and he went ballistic. ...End Quote

Ernie, Ernie Ernie, I am shocked and disappointed in your actions. You dare question the Crown Prince about his actions and on his anointed turf. How Dare You.

I would very carefully document the above because in this day and age no one really knows where there is a safe haven or where ones enemies lay in wait. I'd also be very leery and watch cautiously for Disciples of Farrakhan. Forgive Andre for maybe he was just having a flashback to his days in the NOI. Rage and Hatred sometimes are very difficult to control.

Ernie, wouldn't it be best to approach one of Andre's Handlers (like Wilson) for an explanation instead of bothering the Prince himself. I'm sure that Wilson's and Andre's answers will be one and the same.

Ernie, Go in Peace My Friend and Forgive Our Anointed Brother for He Knows Not What Affect His Wrath & Ire Have on the Common Man.

Anonymous said...

Is Klopfenstein a registered lobbyist? I was told he was not.

Advance Indiana said...

Klopfenstein is not registered to lobby, although the organization he runs is a registered employer lobbyist. As an attorney and former lobbyist, I can tell you that he should be registered as well under my interpretation of the law.

Anonymous said...

I think it's great to have a couple of Libertarians that have some respect for personal property rights on the BZA.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

We just found out that Carson has declined to appear at the forum for the 7th district candidates tonight. From what we understand Elrod and Shepard will be there.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that Andre does not back out of the Feb. 22 7 p.m. debate to be hosted at Jeses MCC.

But then, he might...

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he has the same excuses that Julia Carson used 2 years ago ?

Anonymous said...

Wilson, go watch your own video. If ANYONE made any derogitory comments towards gays you would be screaming "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS". So I guess it is ok with you, and Andre, to treat women as second class citizens.

I am sure you have been told to destroy the tape. BTW, you have NO idea who I am, I am not your regular punching bag.

Anonymous said...

As an elected official the PEOPLE can ask you any question they want regarding your stand on the issues or your vote.

ANDRE IF YOU DON'T LIKE QUESTIONS GET OUT OF THE RACE NOW! I GUARANTEE YOU IT ISN'T GOING TO GET BETTER.

Anonymous said...

To HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...
"We just found out that Carson has declined to appear at the forum for the 7th district candidates tonight. From what we understand Elrod and Shepard will be there."

I see Andre is being as accessible to the people as Julia was, some things really DO run in the family.

Anonymous said...

GREG LIES!!!!!!