Monday, August 13, 2012

Dumb Media Still Hasn't Figured Out How The CIB Operates

Local reporters in the news media, who should no better by this point, make much ado over the non-inclusion of continued subsidies to the Indiana Pacers as part of the CIB's proposed 2013 budget. Billionaire Herb Simon, who lavishes campaign contributions on politicians of all stripes, ordered the municipal corporation to give him a $33.5 million subsidy over a three-year period back in 2010, or he would move his team elsewhere, even though no other city in America would offer him the one-sided deal he enjoys under his long-term lease agreement with the CIB. Simon, without substantiation, claims his team is bleeding cash, but his actual financial statements show something different altogether. Because he is not required to publicly disclose his statements, he can make up any claims he wants about losing money. Both the Star and the IBJ think it's news because the 2013 CIB budget as proposed does not include additional subsidies to the Pacers when their 3-year deal runs out this year. Have they learned nothing about how the CIB conducts business?

The CIB doesn't ask the city-county council for permission to do anything. It tells the city-county council what it wants and it always dutifully complies. That's exactly what occurred when the current subsidy agreement was approved. There was no appropriation included in the CIB's budget. The CIB approved a deal hammered out behind closed doors with the Simons, cut the first check and then handed it to the city-county council for approval on a take it or leave it basis. The CIB and Mayor Ballard told councilors the Pacers would leave the city if they didn't approve the deal. The city-county council did exactly what it was ordered to do and approved the deal without any serious discussion.

Never in the history of the municipal corporation has the city-county council denied any request the CIB makes. CIB officials falsified their financial statements to claim a huge budget deficit that it claimed threatened its operations as a going concern a few years back. The state legislature and the city-county council dutifully acquiesced to its demands for more state and local tax revenues. When the revenue increases were approved, CIB officials claimed all of the new revenues were needed simply to close its budget deficit, knowing that was a complete lie. CIB officials insisted the money would not be used to pay subsidies to the Pacers. That's because Simon had already cut a deal behind closed doors with Mayor Ballard and the CIB to tap a downtown TIF district to fund the annual subsidies to the Pacers for the first three-year period.  The CIB is now flush with cash and can afford permanent, long-term subsidies for the Pacers on its own.  No sooner had the bailout plan been approved by the council than the CIB announced a deal with the Pacers. The CIB used its surplus thanks to the bailout to pay for millions of dollars in unfunded costs of the Super Bowl the city had not budgeted. The CIB managed to kill two birds with one stone.

In short, it doesn't matter whether it's in their budget. The deal has already been made. Mayor Ballard and CIB President Ann Lathrop are lying to claim otherwise. The city council repeatedly proves that it's nothing but a rubber stamp for the demands of Simon and its proxy, the CIB, while it makes budget choices daily to short-change basic city services it has a duty to fund.

1 comment:

Mary Roger Bowser said...

So, even though we are 200-300 police officers short, and the mayor doesn't want to pay them a paltry 3% raise, there will be $$MILLION$$ of dollars to give to a MULTI-BILLIONAIRE!!!!!!
What a city!!