Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Just Say No To Wishard Lies

For the past four months, you've been treated to the most deceptive and dishonest political election in Marion County history that was launched by an elite group of political insiders in the dark of the night without a single public hearing. Their aim is very simple. To deceive you into believing you can build one of the most costly public works projects in Marion County history at no additional cost to taxpayers. These are the same people who have a financial stake in the outcome. And they are the same people who made lots of money off other recent public works projects, including Lucas Oil Stadium, the Central Library and Indianapolis Airport Authority terminal, all of which cost taxpayers more than expected and all of which resulted in higher taxes and fees.

For a change, I ask you, the taxpayers, to have your cake and eat it too. How is that possible you might ask? If the proponents of a new county-owned hospital to replace the current Wishard Hospital are accurate in their financial revenue projections, HHC will accumulate enough cash in the coming years to add to their current cash pile of $150 million to build a new hospital without borrowing a dime, saving taxpayers more than $836 million in borrowing costs. If the HHC determines it can't wait that long to build a new hospital, it can simply issue revenue bonds backed by this highly predictable and reliable revenue stream they've been touting over the past several months. Those bonds should easily qualify for the excellent interest rates we're getting on the Lucas Oil Stadium bonds if what the HHC officials are telling us is true.

I wouldn't be honest with you if I didn't say that I thought the chances of beating back this referendum today are somewhere between slim and none. The campaign has been short of facts and long on deceptions. The news media has only made matters worse. Greased with extra ad revenues doled out by Wishard Health Services over the past several months, the news media in this town have aided the Wishard propaganda campaign at every turn, denying equal time to the opponents to present their case. During one of his many presentations over the past several months, HHC CEO Matt Gutwein actually declared there was no opposition to the referendum.

If you believe this project is worthy of funding with one of the highest property tax increases in Marion County history, then by all means go out and support it today. But bear in mind that today's tax increase will not be protected by the property tax cap law that will limit your property taxes to 1% of your home's assessed value. It will fall outside that tax cap, along with any other bond referendum like the IPS bond referendum approved last year. If you believe a new hospital should be built without on new property taxpayers, then vote no. Please exercise your right to vote today either way.

15 comments:

Sir Hailstone said...

I think you might be pleasantly surprised. Even though the word is out for city employees and unions to vote for it (because of the union jobs hired by the project), the people paying the taxes are not believing the rhetoric put forth by HHC.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Four claps for the job you have done these many months. Beginning with the illumination of the H&H nursing home businesses and the suspicious manner of leasing them from the same company they contract with for operating them - all of which they claim allows them to get extra fees from the government. If it isn't illegal, it ought to be.

We shall know more this evening.

Jon said...

The Star continues to plea, bargain and cajole for this project as evidenced in today's paper. One wonders how the Star can characterize the Wishard referendum as a debate when they have consistently published a one-sided stand on the issue. They again repeat these canards,this won't raise property taxes and Wishard will cease to exist unless we vote yes.

Nothing in this issue has passed the "smell test", I voted no.

Mely's Rugs said...

I did say no ...first thing this morning.

Nick said...

If it is approved, the City County Council and the Media need to get answers why the Board of the Health & Hospital Corp are planning to spend $750 million of taxpayer money to build a new 300 bed hospital (53 beds less than the current Wishard), when Cook County Hospital recently replaced a old 13 building hospital campus and spent $123 million LESS money and got 164 MORE hospital beds.

Something that should have been examined in detail and answered long before today.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I would like to reitterate HEI's praise for the work Gary did on this. He steadfastly refuted the "Wishard facts" point by point. It's too bad our local watchdog - the Indianapolis Star - decided to look the other way, repeatedly, while H&H was allowed to pull every dishonest stunt in the book.

Downtown Indy said...

I must say I'm not surprised they'd work 'yes vote' into the front page headlines today.

There was a time when they'd stop running voting-related stories a couple days before elections - in the interest of 'fairness.'

Nick said...

Great job Gary.

Roger said...

The Indy Red Star Rag is NOT our local watchdog.
They ARE a lapdog of the liberals.

Guest said...

If this passes what recourse do we the property taxpayers have? We have written proof that this was called a referendum with no tax increase-Now when this proves not to be true, we should be able to go back to the state and Wishard for misrepresenting this. What is the answer to that question lawyers?

dcrutch said...

A big NO. When pleas and guilt pepetually replace explanation and merit, why do we pay for this stuff?

Thanks for the coverage we didn't get anywhere else, Gary.

Paul K. Ogden said...

DI,

You're right. I forgot all about that.

Michael said...

so where do we get results?

Sir Hailstone said...

Well it looks like HHC got their way. Democrats were running a phone bank outside the precinct where I worked in an obvious pro-labor
GOTV effort for the construction jobs associated with the new Wishard

Fed up with Hoosier hijinks said...

It's sad that so much money is being drained from old people and taxpayers in substandard nursing homes that HHC/American Senior Communitites runs. It's very difficult to figure out exactly who really runs ASC -James Burkhart is the CEO (?), he is or was on BOD of Monroe Bancorp, a holding co for Monroe Bank...does anyone know if Gutwein et al have a finger in ASC- it's privately owned- very convenient.
Oh yeah repubs, I'm a proud bleedin heart liberal Flo Nightengale who has seen first hand the literal sh--t that ASC is full of- I don't like nursing homes getting rich while patients get poor care due to inadequate staffing and resources.
Sometimes R's and D's who are tired of corporate shenanigans really DO have something in common!
Follow the money.