Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tully, Still Stupid

Wow, was this guy at the same embarrassing council meeting I witnessed Monday night? Star political columnist writes a column on Monday night's vote in favor of the $21 million a year tax, spend and borrow bailout of the CIB that reflects utter discontent of the public and sheer ignorance. The bailout "was necessary" he says because "you can't just turn out the lights at Lucas Oil Stadium." Sure, Mayor Ballard stepped on his promise not to raise taxes during his campaign for mayor but he offered a balanced budget in tough economic times, "the highlight of his tenure", and nobody's crying about a tax increase only paid by hotels.

"Seriously, unless you're having an affair, how often do you visit a hotel in your own city?" Tully rhetorically asks. Of course Tully fails to mention that the single tax increase is being used as leverage to receive $8 million a year in additional state funding and another $27 million loan to the CIB from the State of Indiana. Councilors have no idea how the $27 million is going to be repaid, readily agreed this was a 2-year patch at best and, yes, the council will be back facing more tax increases to support spending at the higher levels approved as a result of the council's action. It completely escapes Tully that the "balanced budget" Ballard presented cuts the budget for the parks and other basic services provided to the City's residents, while ensuring bigger handouts to the billionaire sports team owners. Or what about the impact of having the highest hotel tax in the country on the very convention industry we were told this tax increase would help?

He singles out the Democrats for playing politics with this issue because they voted to raise taxes to support construction of the Lucas Oil Stadium and expanded convention center four years ago but opposed the CIB bailout, except for Jackie Nytes. Councilor Ryan Vaughn, a lobbyist whose law firm represents Simon family interests, wins Tully's praise for doing what was "necessary, though distasteful." Realizing at the end of the column that his column might be a little one-sided towards the Republicans, he mentions a contradiction in the Republicans' vote for the hotel tax increase while supporting a crackdown on panhandlers. "While Republican council members complained about panhandlers begging people for cash on the street, that won't stop them from bugging Indianapolis visitors for a few bucks every time they pay a hotel bill," Tully writes. How about broken campaign promises, Matt?

Notice that Tully has done a complete flip-flop on the CIB bailout over the last few months. I guess the pressure he got from the downtown elites was too intense for him to take after he wrote his first column. They must have threatened to stop spoon feeding him bits for his columns if he didn't fall into line. And you know what that means? The guy would have to actually break a sweat once in a while to do some real reporting.


Patriot Paul said...

The State only gave the Council one option and claimed it was enough, but it was blackmail. The Council was to take the carrot of of hotel tax hike in order to get millions that the State will bankroll. The Council accepted the bribe and now city taxpayers are on the hook to reimburse the State. AI, I have to ask the same question: how are we supposed to do that?

Advance Indiana said...

Contrary to the false assertions put out by the proponents of this tax increase, this was not a tough decision for them to make. It was purely political. They think they're being really cute putting off the reckoning day for even greater tax increases until after the next election. That's the whole point of the state loan, and every council member knew that.

Downtown Indy said...

What's most troubling is the people who seem to be taking this latest tax increase as a solution to the problem.

It is not. It is a stop-gap.

In two years, if not sooner, we will be going through this again. We will be told again that a small tax increase that really doesn't affect 'us' is needed to 'fix' the problem. And having borrowed all that money now, the problem will be much bigger then.

They refuse to acknowledge the root problem, the horrendous imbalance in the contracts that self-interested 3rd parties 'negotiated' between taxpayers and the sports teams.

We had zero control over the alleged negotiation, had zero control over the financial arrangements to construct the venues, and now have zero control over the decision whether to force more and more taxes onto the people of the city, region and state.

And the politicians appear to have the media under their control, too.

Advance Indiana said...

The media has a vested interest in the revenues they earn from sporting event coverage. That's why their reporting on this issue has been so biased from day one.

Downtown Indy said...

And lest we forget, the Indy Star has a vested interest in the Simon brothers through the still-unrepaid 'loan' of $2.3M to the Circle Center mall project.

Paul K. Ogden said...

What is sad is that despite all the publicity and fallout, nobody demanded changes in how the CIB conducted itself as part of a deal to bailout the CIB. Unbelievable.

jabberdoodle said...

Paul is exactly right. If nothing else could be hoped for, some critical thinking should have been applied and some strings should have been attached to the vote for higher taxes. But, sadly, no.

The next step apparently is to try to get more money from the donut Counties. Good luck with that.

The next step should be the crafting of a plan to make the tourist/hospitality/convention/sports enterprise self-sufficient. I won't hold my breath.

Indy Student said...

Gary, even though I've only been following the CIB issue for a short time, I fully agree with you that the media are completely on the side of the CIB. The obvious signs of bias displayed by many in the local media at the CIB meeting on Monday afternoon astounded me. They lobbed softballs in interviews and in private conversations trivialized the whole matter.

Jon E. Easter said...

Sounds like our views may be rarely fairly close on the tax vote Monday night, AI, but could your venom aimed at Tully be because he called your silly vendetta against President Obama's birth certificate out in his Sunday column? Tit-for-tat?

Advance Indiana said...

Jon, I've always been even-handed with Tully. When he writes a column that is note-worthy, I compliment him. When he turns in useless drivel like this column, he's going to get my true feelings. My raising the issue of Obama's natural born citizen status is because of my unswerving devotion to our U.S. Constitution. I read it, hold it in my hands and treasure it. Sadly, most Americans have been victimized by one of the worst public education systems in the free world. Our young people no longer have a clue why this country was founded and the principles upon which this government is based, let alone the content of our constitution. When I deposed a young lady the other day, she had no sense of direction. When people don't understand what is north, south, east or west when they are looking at a map with a direction sign clearly stated on it, we have a problem. Young people can't look at a map of the U.S. and identify each state on the map. Hell, Obama thought there were 57 states. Maybe he was born in one of them; maybe he wasn't. I don't know and neither do you because this great deceiver has spent millions of dollars on lawyers trying to prevent anyone from doing any due diligence on his background---no original birth certificate, no school records, no bar admission records, no legal writings, no state senate records and the list goes on. I know a phony when I see one. This man has lied about the most basic aspects of his life over and over again. I have every reason to question and suspect him at every turn. He despises the U.S. Constitution because it was written by slave owners. He thought the Warren Court was a disappointment because it didn't go beyond advancing civil rights and use the courts to redistribute wealth. When any reporter makes fun of people who ask for this basic information to establish a person's constitutional eligibility to hold the office of president of the United States at the same time these reporters see nothing wrong with McCain's divorce records and naval academy records being laid bare, George W. Bush's national guard records and college records and a 20-year-old DUI arrest being aired, something is wrong. There's a double standard. Because he's the first black president (again, using that racial identifier loosely), he cannot be questioned on anything that we would ask of any white president. Unlike Tully, I relate to average Americans because I grew up among them and shared their culture. While I have furthered my education, I don't look down upon those who have chosen different but equally meaningful life pursuits. Reporters in this country look upon anyone who questions the left-leaning views of this president as uninformed, racists, extremists, terrorists, you name it. Somebody has to fight back. I'm doing that the best way I know how.