Monday, September 24, 2012

Council Committee Votes To Finance Eric Turner Family's Nursing Home

State Rep. Eric Turner (left) with Curt Smith, President of the Indiana Family Institute

Tonight, the Indianapolis City-County Council's Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee unanimously voted to approve the issuance of $7.5 million in revenue bonds to finance a $15 million nursing home and assisted living facility to be developed by Mainstreet Property Group, LLC. The facility is to be constructed at 1635 N. Arlington Avenue in Councilor Mary Moriarty Adam's district on the city's eastside. The area in which the facility is being built is actually in the airport's TIF district, even though the airport is on the far west side of the county. All property tax revenues generated from the new facility, which is expected to be on the tax rolls by 2014, will be paid into the TIF district and will generate no property tax revenues to fund other governmental services, including fire and police protection services from which the new facility will be served. Because the airport TIF is underperforming already, new revenues generated from this facility will be diverted to benefit projects related to the airport, not the city's eastside. The TIF district is scheduled to expire in 2022, but that could change. In the event Mainstreet defaults on repayment of the bonds, city taxpayers will be on the hook to pay off the bondholders.

Who is Mainstreet Property Group? Paul "Zeke" Turner presented on behalf of Mainstreet Property Group, which is a family-owned business. His father, State Rep. Eric Turner, co-owns with his wife Mainstreet Capital Partners, LLC, which is an investor in Mainstreet Property Group, LLC. Eric and Zeke conveniently purchased an old school building in Marion, Indiana at a bargain which just happened to be selected by ACS to house a call center as part of FSSA's controversial and troubled privatization of the state's welfare services. As a state legislator, Eric Turner supported the privatization of FSSA. Turner's daughter at the time just happened to be the general counsel for FSSA. Eric Turner calls himself a fiscal conservative, but he sees government service as just a means to an end to make him a multi-millionaire at other taxpayers' expense. It also seems a bit odd that we're subsidizing new nursing home construction when the state is doing everything it can to push people out of nursing homes to save money.

Laying aside the issue of how the Turners use their insider political connections to their personal financial benefit, Eric Turner has also been at the forefront of hot-button social issues. He is a sponsor and major proponent of the constitutional amendment that would enshrine discrimination against same-sex couples by denying them benefits enjoyed by opposite sex couples who can legally marry. Turner has also sponsored anti-abortion legislation that would require doctors performing abortions to counsel their patients that abortions could cause breast cancer and require women seeking abortions to view ultrasounds of their fetuses and be counseled that the fetus will feel pain during the procedure. In the video below, Turner is shown stating that creating exceptions in the abortion law for rape or incest might create a loophole that would encourage women or young girls to fabricate claims of rape or incest.

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