Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Wishard Referendum Easily Approved In Low Voter Turnout Election

I've not seen official results yet, but I can declare based upon raw data I've obtained that the Wishard referendum will handily be approved in today's special election referendum. Turnout in my precinct was below 15% and the vote in favor was 116 to 17. That count in my precinct is not surprising given the large number of professionals employed by the HHC and IU who live in my precinct or are dependent on them for their livelihood. I've heard similar results from a handful of other precincts in outlying townships. The absentee balloting was not large enough to overcome those kinds of numbers. The HHC folks will celebrate their victory in what I would describe as a rigged election. Push-poll wording of the ballot question ensured victory before anyone showed up to vote. You were legally required to vote on today's referendum because a property tax increase to back general obligation bonds was being proposed, but the referendum question never said anything about a property tax increase. Prepare for major cost overruns and the inevitable property tax increase that will face Marion County voters within a few short years. You can only blame yourselves for letting them get by with this twisted process they call a public referendum here in Indiana. I've seen fairer elections in Chicago. You can follow the returns by clicking here if you're interested.

UPDATE: School referenda didn't fare so well in Marion County. Voters in Franklin Township overwhelmingly voted down two separate referendum questions. In Perry Township, a major school construction project went down to defeat. Only Beech Grove approved its school referendum. Why did people favor raising taxes for Wishard and not the schools? Quite simply, voters were hoodwinked into believing they were not voting for a property tax increase when they voted on the Wishard referendum. The wording of the school referenda left no doubt that voters were voting for a property tax increase. How easily the public can be fooled.

UPDATE II: Someone is attributing this e-mail to Sen. Luke Kenley commenting on the Wishard referendum. It's quite revealing:

"I can understand your frustration, but your blame on the legislature is misplaced. When this was originally requested, they didn't want it to go to a referendum. My position was that if Marion Co. legislators wanted it, that they could put a referendum on the ballot. I was, and am skeptical that this bond will not eventually rely on property taxes."

13 comments:

artfuggins said...

Is the election board counting the votes today or tomorrow........8;35 no results posted.

Downtown Indy said...

I guess the only thing left will be to try and find some solace knowing 'I told you so' when reality hits in a few years. I put it at 2014 when the first property tax bill rings up a line item for Wishard.

Citizen Kane said...

When I voted this morning, I assumed that the "NO" votes would be 20% or less of the total vote - a landslide. How could it be anything else, with the combination of propaganda machine and "get the vote" out tactics used? The funny thing is I talked to a few people who said that did not know enough about the Wishard proposal to make a decision so they did not vote.

Paul K. Ogden said...

DI, 2014? I'd move that up 2 years at least.

Sir Hailstone said...

The voters I ran across working the polls were surprised to find only the public question on the ballot, or they were believing that unless this was approved Wishard would close. As I told Gary earlier the Dems set up a phone bank to drum up yes votes.

With no organized opposition this thing didn't stand a chance.

Mark said...

I voted "No" on both accounts...since I live in Perry Township. My wife felt the local media did not explain it enough....I sent her to your website AI to explain it in details. I keep telling her not to watch to local news for her source. They will not give you the real story!

Advance Indiana said...

You folks will be interested in hearing this. The government affairs person who headed up the approval of the Wishard referendum for the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce has just been hired by Hagerman Construction. These folks have already divided up the contracts on this project before the public bidding has taken place. Whooops!

Downtown Indy said...

Just last August, Hagerman moved it's offices from Castleton to Fishers. The smart ones are the ones moving out of Marion County, I guess.

Downtown Indy said...

Paul, they have to complete, or nearly complete, construction before suddenly discovering they need more money. That's the traditional pattern. Then a year to get it into the tax bills.

swan said...

"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic."

"The reason propoganda succeeds, is due to the laziness of people."

I am not completely sure of the origin of these quotes, but the Wishard Referendum has caused me to salute the wisdom of Senator Evan Bayh, who at an economic forum answered my question concerning the wisdom of the initiative and referendum process, by answering that the trouble with this is that certain special interests can dominate the discussion about the impact of same. Even the emphatic wording of this referendum yesterday caused me to momentarily feel Scrooge-like, backward, when I voted no.

spooknp said...

Just last August, Hagerman moved it's offices from Castleton to Fishers. The smart ones are the ones moving out of Marion County, I guess.

Yup, but Marion Co. is still where the money is at, so the people that live there are going to be the ones that get parted with more of their money to make a select few elites and insiders rich....even if those folks don't even live in Indy.

Jon said...

From an 1800s Supreme Court case when Maryland sued the federal government, arguing that the federal government were taxing the states on revenues the states were earning the Supreme Court ruled that "the ability to tax is the ability to destroy"

Nick said...

They will not need more money.

They have built in at least $200 million more into the budget than is required to build a new 300 bed hospital based upon comparable hospital construction projects.

It will be interesting to see if they announce that they have completed the project significantly under budget, or if they spend the extra $200+ million and still say they met budget projections.

Either way the Star will declare victory out of a lack of business acumen or for political brown nosing points.

The Indianapolis Business Journal is the only paper in town that has knowledgeable business reporters that have the fortitude to explain this to the public as a method of containing costs and saving taxpayers dollars.