Monday, February 16, 2009

Is CIB Planning To Stick Bailout In State Budget?

I received a very troubling e-mail from my state representative today, Rep. John Day (D-Indianapolis). Day suggests in the e-mail to me that he would oppose a bailout of the CIB; however, he said that if it is part of a state budget bill, he might have to vote for it. Day writes:

Thanks for your February 12th e-mail in opposition to the bailout for the CIB. I also share some concerns about placing an undue burden on the average taxpayer to benefit pro sports teams. Of course the teams and the CIB will make the economic development argument – more jobs, more business for hotels, restaurants, etc.

I voted no on the original Hoosier Dome bill in the mid 1980s believing private business, with the help of local foundations, could fund the Dome. I would have voted no on the new stadium on its own, however it was linked with funding for the expansion of the convention center and a very much needed economic development project for Lake County.

All this background is given to say that if a CIB bailout is offered by itself I believe I will vote no. However if it is a part of the budget bill I will need to decide, do the positive/good things in the budget outweigh the negetives (sic). No easy choice when it comes to the budget. Hope this response helps you understand my position.

Day is a pretty straight shooter. I think those of us who oppose the bailout need to assume that what Day suggests in his e-mail is precisely what Mayor Ballard and CIB President Bob Grand intend to ask legislators to do. Tack the controversial item onto the state budget, hoping lawmakers will swallow the toxic pill because of other favored items in the budget. It's sleazy logrolling at its worst. Again, I urge you to contact your legislators and put a stop to this nonsense. Mayor Ballard and Bob Grand are not on the side of the taxpayers in this debate. Mayor Ballard won't even discuss the issue with the public. Instead, he is hiding behind Grand and others to do his heavy-lifting for him.


Patriot Paul said...

Is money able to be juggled around from the Fed.6.billion to the State of which infrastructure is a big part and peg it to cover debt by the stadium infrastructure?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I heard that the New York Nets are trying to get ahold of some of the stimulus money to kickstart their stadium deal. There is no reason for the public in Indiana to trust that their politicians wouldn't do likewise. I'm sure the powerbrokers have already greased Bill Crawford's palms to do just that in the House. It's obvious that has already happened with Kenley in the Senate.

guido said...

Not so smart here in the ways of amendments but, why cant they fight to have the amendment removed from the budget? Gotta vote for it only because its there.
Good grief, that would be like voting for something you've never read. Could that really happen???

Gary R. Welsh said...

An amendment could be offered to strip it out, but the Marion County legislators in competitive districts could vote no, knowing that legislators outside Maron County whose taxpayers won't have to pay the bills can vote for it to help them out. The Irsays and Simons spread their money all around, up and down the state.

Patriot Paul said...

From your answer to guido, sounds like it could easily be done without leaving fingerprints.

Downtown Indy said...

I see where the state is working on legislation to 'save' the 'struggling' casinos now.

The good news is, a downtown casino was not relied upon to support stadium and convention financing. The bad news is, we taxpayers still seem to be paying for things that were sold as money-makers.

Will the circle never end?

Paul K. Ogden said...


If the CIB funding is inserted in conference committee, legislators won't have a say on stripping it out through an amendment. YOu have to vote "yes" or "no" on the conference committee report, which is the ocmpromised version of the bill. No amendments allowed