Saturday, March 09, 2013

Ballard Confused On The Meaning Of "Racket"

The downtown mafia has been putting a bug in Mayor Greg Ballard's ear that they won't tolerate any more panhandling in his downtown. Ballard proposed during his comical state of the city address, during which he suggested Indianapolis has been undergoing an "incredible renaissance" under his leadership, the adoption of an ordinance that bans panhandling entirely within the mile-square downtown and only during limited hours elsewhere. Ballard gave his speech in a posh ballroom at the new Alexander Hotel within the CityWay project on downtown's southside that was built entirely with city taxpayer dollars for the benefit of his pay-to-play contractor friends. The Star's Jon Murray pens a story that reads like something one of Justin Bieber's fans would write for a Teen Beat-type magazine about the twinky singer:
In his annual State of the City address, Ballard also focused on street-level efforts that he sees as crucial to Indianapolis’ vibrancy: improving the quality of education, expanding mass transit and driving panhandlers off Downtown streets . . .
Meanwhile, a budding Ballard-backed plan to add 30,000 seats in quality public and charter schools across Indianapolis over 10 years hasn’t yet gotten off the ground, and a Ballard-supported mass transit bill still faces a potentially tough road through the Indiana Senate.
But if anything, Ballard was full of confidence Friday, and he drew upon his speech’s setting — inside the new hotel in a large city-supported development called CityWay, along South Street — for inspiration . . .
One poignant moment came mid-speech as Ballard touched on that topic. He recounted cooperation between the community and public safety agencies following last month’s ambulance crash Downtown, which killed EMT Tim McCormick and paramedic Cody Medley, and after November’s neighborhood-rocking explosion of a house in the Southeastside’s Richmond Hill neighborhood.
Ballard maintained a calm-but-confident tone for most of the speech and seemed most comfortable as the city’s chief cheerleader. His sixth State of the City address came in under 30 minutes.
When his voice became hoarse, Ballard paused for a moment, reaching for a bottle of water. He joked about having a Marco Rubio moment, referring to the Republican U.S. senator from Florida who awkwardly paused his nationally televised State of the Union rebuttal last month to reach for water.
The crowd laughed approvingly . . .
I don't get these reporters today who see it as their job to write press releases for the people they cover. I look for this type of writing in opinion columns but not in hard news stories. Well, he missed the part where Ballard referred to panhandling as "rackets." Huh? Yeah, that's what WTHR reports:
Ballard wants to stop what he calls "rackets" by banning panhandling downtown in the mile square and limiting it from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily everywhere else, instead of dawn to dusk.
Uh, sorry to bust your bubble, Greg, but a racket is what you do every day as Mayor of this city. That's the engagement in illegal activity to extort money from people or otherwise engage in illegal schemes. You know, like how you shake down city contractors for campaign contributions and freebies for yourself and your family and then shovel hundreds of millions of our taxpayer dollars into their pockets. Or how you have the city fire department to send out letters to a select group of business owners and demand that they self-inspect their own premises for compliance with state fire safety codes and pay a tribute to your racket, or you will send out an inspector who will charge them an even heftier fee for the inconvenience of doing what your fire department has been statutorily obligated to do since its creation. All in all, I would rather deal with the mob than your corrupt administration. At least the mob has an honor code, which is more than I can say about you. It's unfortunate that we don't have a prosecutor like the ones they have in Chicago who put corrupt politicians like you behind bars where you belong.

1 comment:

Flogger said...

It still seems remarkable how quickly once Ballard was elected the first time he became infected with Crony-Capitalism. Stepping back a bit he must have had the Crony-Capitalism virus infection prior to being elected.

Well I see in today's Star the Smith and Tulley Stage Managed Show have weighed in on panhandling. Just one more diversion from the real panhandling being done in this City. I went out and brought back a carry out from a Restaurant this past Friday. I had to pay the Food and Beverage Tax, which of course is diverted into the Corporate Welfare Program AKA the CIB. I guess if you are scruffy looking and asking for a handout, you are panhandling. If you are dressed in an expensive suit, with an Army of Lawyers behind you, generous campaign contributions passed all around and then ask for Corporate Welfare for some dubious project you are a part of the Public-Private Partnership.

The Star will never pass up an opportunity to divert your attention elsewhere.