Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Favorite Line From Gov. Mitch Daniels State Of The State Address

"While you're at it, please respond to the plea of mayors of both parties and all parts of our state, and end the egregious conflicts of interest that occur when public employees sit on city and county councils, voting on their own salaries and overriding the decisions of their own management. How we ever permitted this to occur in Indiana is one of those mysteries of history, but now is an ideal time to strike another blow for good government and end this abuse forever."

About one-third of the Indianapolis City-County Councilors earn their living from a government payroll. It's no wonder that we get such corrupt results from our council regardless of which party is in control. The Republicans complained about CCC President Monroe Gray, an $80,000 a year ghost employee of the Indianapolis Fire Department. The Republicans have given us a council president who earns a living as a lobbyist for one of the state's most powerful law firms. Let's bar lobbyists from sitting on councils, boards and commissions as well. Gov. Daniels' description of this being "one of those mysteries of history" is well taken. The Indiana Constitution actually prohibits persons of the executive branch from simultaneously holding positions in the legislative branch. The legislature, nonetheless, in its infinite wisdom passed a state law allowing these people to serve unconstitutionally.

3 comments:

Indy4U2C said...

While we should get rid of nepotism, I think perhaps the greater evil is a prosecutor who "turns the other way" when it comes to ghost employment, corrupt business influence, bribery, official misconduct, and the like.

A prosecutor who lacks moral courage to do what the people elected him to do is a failure.

How can a prosecutor allow documented evidence of misconduct to be page 1 newspaper material, yet fail to present the matter to a grand jury?

No bid contract for work at the airport, TV appearances at political crony criminal cases when he should be at the fire department, no proof of any work-product in a make-work, do-nothing city job with a city car????

Unfortunately when the prosecutor fails to hold officials accountable, I guess we have to change the laws to prevent those from becoming public officials. It is sad, because we really shouldn't have to do this, but for the likes of our own prosecutor, who turn the other way.

Oh, he turns the other way and doesn't see it when it's a politico, but also if they are high-profile sports figures, too.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Of course, what Governor Daniels is asking is very sensible, but I wonder if such a prohibition was challenged in an Indiana court, if it would be upheld. Definitely, a county prosecutor should not allow the powerful to be crooked.

Indy Student said...

Yknow, it wouldn't be so much of a problem if The Indy CCC reps would abstain from voting when conflicts of interest arise.

The Indy Marion County CCC is a part-time legislative body. They all have jobs, so conflicts of interest will arise. Even if they were full time, they still have had previous jobs. We understand the situation.

But they just don't abstain from voting for themselves anymore. Cockrum, while sitting on the CIB, voted for the budget at the council. He voted for the bailout package. He shouldn't have voted on it at all. Same goes for all the officers, fire fighters, and those who have contracts with the city that keep them employed.

I'd like to know if Indy CCC is as bad when you compare it to other legislative bodies across Indiana.