Saturday, July 02, 2011

"Heck Of A Deal" Says Ballard's Bag Man On His New Parking Garage

As a Turkish immigrant to this country, Ersal Ozdemir learned very quickly that the easiest way to succeed in business in Indianapolis was to spread as much money around to the politicians as you could borrow or spare and set up a minority-owned business as cover. The politicians you reward, in exchange, will pass out tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to you for a relatively small investment. Not surprisingly, Ozdemir, who is Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's own version of Barack Obama's and Rod Blagoyevich's Tony Rezko of Chicago political fixer infamy, says you should be happy that Ballard only gave him $6.35 million to develop a new parking garage in Broad Ripple that he will own and from which only he will derive the economic rewards. From the IBJ's Cory Schouten:

Ozdemir says the deal is a great value for the city, which gets to fix Broad Ripple's parking problem, clean up the area, add to the tax base and open a new, rent-free police substation. The police facility was a last-minute sweetener sought by the city.
"I think it's a heck of a deal," Ozdemir said. "We're spending a lot of time and money developing this project. Do we want to take money? Sure. We won't make the same profit as a private deal, but ther are intangible values for us here."

"We won't make the same profit as a private deal," Ersal claims. Yeah, right. Those are fighting words to taxpayers in this town who are fed up with being totally screwed over by our crooked politicians who think they have a license to hand out our hard-earned taxpayers to every sleazeball who comes along that's willing to stuff their political coffers and finance their overseas junkets. Is this one of the deals you and Greg hatched on that useless European junket to celebrate Greg's birthday, Ersal? What's Paul Okeson's commission for scoring this deal? A million bucks? "The developer and city officials said political contributions were not a factor," Schouten writes. "Ozdemir has given more than $25,000 to Ballard." "In 2009, he hired Ballard's chief of staff, Paul Okeson, as Keystone's vice president of business development." That's all you need to know folks. That's how so-called "civic leaders" get ahead in business in Indianapolis.

See my earlier posts here and here on this outrageous fleecing of the Indianapolis taxpayers. Fellow blogger Pat Andrews has more on the greed and corruption that is the Ballard administration here.

UPDATE: I neglected to mention one of the other lead stories in the IBJ's latest edition, "Shrinking revenue puts mayor in hot seat." Yep, the city is short about $20 million because that 65% increase in the income tax increase for which Bart Peterson sacrificed his political career to make room for Benedict Arnold a/k/a Greg Ballard isn't bringing in enough money. Naturally, the CIB, which was on the verge of insolvency is so flush with cash it has plenty of money to spare for the billionaire Simons' losing NBA franchise. The article also tries to lay the blame on property tax caps, but that's a bullshit lie. Greg Ballard and his thieving friends are confiscating hundreds of millions of dollars annually from other units of goverment and depositing the money into TIF Funds that operate like slush funds from which money can be found on demand to hand out to billionaire sports team owners and fat cat political contributors for their private development projects. If you're fed up with this crap, you need to show up at public meetings and get in these politicians faces and make them fear you. Let them know you've had it. Most importantly, go vote and throw their asses out of office and hold their successors similarly accountable.


Downtown Indy said...

The most amazing thing is they don't seem to evem TRY to hide the graft.

Advance Indiana said...

In Schouten's story, other bidders like Buckingham and Kite are quoted as saying the deal was fair. Of course, Buckingham got the Nort of South Deal financed by taxpayers and Kite got the lucrative taxpayer-financed deals for the Conrad Hilton and Glendale projects. Are they going to complain? These deals are all fixed before they go to bid. It's such a joke. They just take turns passing around the spoils to the grafters.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Actually they are trying to hide the graft better this time. They tell us the details are "trade secrets" until the deal is done. Then they magically are no longer "trade secrets" and will be provided to the public.