Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ballard Auctioned Off Nearly 100 Seats On Biggest Overseas Junket To Date

Mayor Greg Ballard proves once again why he has become one of the most out-of-touch and corrupt mayors in the history of the City of Indianapolis. He's headed to Cologne, Germany on his ninth overseas junket paid for by people who have been doling out large wads of campaign cash to him since he became mayor in consideration for all the crony capitalism that's fleecing Indianapolis taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Incredibly, Ballard is being accompanied on this trip by nearly 100 business executives, lobbyists, and government officials, along with a bunch of nonprofit executives who have absolutely no business going on an official trip other than to take a lavish foreign trip on the dime of their nonprofit organizations.

According to the Star's Jon Murray, the trip's participants, many of whom include spouses, are paying anywhere between $4,500 to $6,000 a person to accompany the mayor on the trip. Ballard's office always insists that taxpayers bear none of the costs of these useless trips, but he ignores the fact that the sponsoring organization, Develop Indy, which is now a part of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, receives millions of our tax dollars every year for its operations, which includes money for putting on these junkets. The usual pay-to-play club members purchase seats on the trips because they know how easy it is to get Mayor Ballard to support their aims when you get special face time with him out of the public's view. 

If you want to get really sick, check out the entire roster of attendees on this junket and ask yourself just how much more of this we will have to endure before a prosecutor steps forward and does what would have long ago happened in any other major city in this country. Also think about the fact that while the Mayor claims the City is facing a major budget deficit and his administration is in the middle of tough budget negotiations with City-County Council members where he is seeking more tax and fee increases, he's taking time off for another overseas junket for him and his wife to cavort with the very people who are subverting legitimate representative government in this city and fleecing us of our tax dollars.

UPDATE: Something is amiss. The Star has since buried Murray's original online story, and today's print edition didn't run the story. Murray has been silent about the news story on Twitter where he normally promotes his stories after a brief mention earlier Thursday afternoon.

Keira Amstutz, Indiana Humanities Council
Terry Anker, Legacy Fund
Steve Anzalone, HardingPoorman Group
Martin Baier, International Center of Indianapolis
Jennifer Pope Baker, Women's Fund of Central Indiana
Mayor Greg Ballard, City of Indianapolis
First Lady Winnie Ballard, City of Indianapolis
Tom Bedsole, Frost Brown Todd
Tim Blagsvedt, United Water

Patty Blagsvedt
Dennis Bland, Center for Leadership Development
Michael Bosway, City Securities
Betsy Bosway
Kara Brooks, State of Indiana
Constance Brown, Indiana University Health
Doug Brown, Bose McKinney & Evans
Tom Brown, United Water
Cindy Brown
Matt Carter, Visit Indy
Molly Chavers, IndyHub
Kristen Cooper, Indy Chamber
Thomas Dapp, Gradex
Susan Dapp
Molly Deuberry, Indy Chamber
Alfred Dufour, Monarch Beverage
Molly Dufour
Dan Elsener, Marian University
Nathan Feltman, Home Health Depot
Greg Fennig, Indianapolis Power & Light
Donna Fennig
David Garner, International School of Indiana
John Gatto, NRW Invest LLC
Jane Gehlhausen, City of Indianapolis
Brian Geitner, NextGear Capital
Kristie Geitner
Brian Gildea, Indy Chamber
Eden Gildea
John Griffin, Central Indiana Building and Construction
Leonard Hoops, Visit Indy
Michael Huber, Indy Chamber
Brooke Huntington, EmployIndy
Malina Simone Jeffers, Mosaic City
Stephen Jeffers, IFB
Jason Kelly, IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute
Jason Kloth, City of Indianapolis
Nancy Langdon, Indy Chamber
Dave Lawrence, Arts Council of Indianapolis
Kathleen Lee, Ivy Tech
Joseph Loftus, Barnes & Thornburg
Susan Loftus
Rosa Maria Lopez, Hammond Professional Cleaning LLC
Shauta Marsh, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (IMOCA)
Susan Matthews, Borshoff
Richard Miller, Fineline Printing Group
John Millspaugh, Bose McKinney & Evans
Sarah Millspaugh
Carolyn Mosby, IMSDC
Jackie Nytes, Indianapolis Public Library
Jim Parham, Hirons
Brian Payne, Central Indiana Community Foundation
Gail Payne, The Goods: Thoughtful Marketing, Authentic Living
David Peterson, Ermco
Brandon Powell, Cook Medical
Hannah Powell, Indy Chamber
Julie Pruitt
Robert Pruitt, BKD
Melissa Proffitt Reese, Ice Miller
Natalie Roberts, Monarch Beverage
Brad Roberts
Rafael Sanchez, Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP
Lisa Schlehuber, Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union
Tom Schlehuber, Key Bank
Wayne Schmidt, Schmidt Associates
Sven Schumacher, Lutheran Child & Family Services
Sherry Seiwert, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
Krista Skidmore, FlashPoint
Joe Slaughter, Herff Jones
Sandra Slaughter
Cassie Stockamp, The Athenaeum Foundation, Inc.
Brian Sullivan, Shiel Sexton
Mary Ann Sullivan
Bill Taft, Indianapolis LISC
Joanna Taft, Harrison Center for the Arts
John Thompson, First Electric Supply
Ken Thorpe, Compass Residential Consulting
Melissa Todd, Indy Chamber
Michelle Travis, Visit Indy
Scott Travis, Buckingham Companies
Dennis Trinkle, Harrison College
John Van Ausdall, Eiteljorg Museum
Brenda Walker
Steven Walker, Walker Information
Jim Walker, Big Car Collaborative
Shannon Williams, Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper & Indiana Minority Business Magazine


Downtown Indy said...

Ranks at the same level as the IRS junkets.

Indy Rob said...

I notice a couple of funny things about Ballard's party tour (this trip). The group arrives in the midst of Oktoberfest, basically a giant ongoing beer party. The list includes at least 10 spouses.

Gov. Pence ended up in a group of 40 or so to go to Japan to solicit business from Honda, Toyota and Subaru in terms of new or expanded Indiana plants. This list seemed to include people actually working to bring business to the state.

I really think Ballard is an idiot.

Josh Featherstone said...

It'll be kinda interesting to see what coverage is in the Recorder after they return.

Anonymous said...

These trips that reap no real benefit demonstrate how aimless this guy and his administration are. Their justifications for these trips are less than weak and have been weak from the outset. Incredible that they continue. The bottom line is that the 25th floor is full of bottom-of-the-barrel hacks and cowards who are incapable of confronting the real problems here on the ground in Indy. The best they can come up with are frivolous trips in order to flatter the Mayor and build an impression that the Mayor's office is integral to all business in the county. You're supposed to be public servants, not our masters, and if you weren't such cut-rate hacks with a embarrassingly short-sighted and self-serving aims, you'd get it. As his administration crumbles (and it is) he just needs to increase the size of his jet-setting entourage in order to combat the increasingly more evident reality that this administration has no legs, no spine, no brains, and no right to represent Marion county interests locally or anywhere else. What an embarrassment. Are we truly supposed to point to these people and tell our children that these men and women are the best we can come up with to govern ourselves with?

Unigov said...

One aspect missing...such trips don't generally count against one's company's vacation time. Its like taking a vacation, but without taking time off.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps His Honor is playing the politician's version of Where's Waldo.

Anonymous said...

Murray did tweet the story once, yesterday afternoon:

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks for the correction, anon.

Anonymous said...

where is all that money going? General budget? IMPD to hire more officers? Ryan Vaughn's diaper bag? Mason jars in Ballards back yard?

guada210 said...

Who is paying for the library CEO?

Flogger said...

A real Newspaper or TV Media would look at this list and connect the dots, between Campaign Contributions, contracts the City has with them. Is the City funding these non-profits in any way???

Good news for the Crony-Capitalists and their fellow travelers we do not have a Fourth Estate here in Indy. We have an embedded Media.

Anonymous said...

"A real Newspaper or TV Media would look at this list and connect the dots, between Campaign Contributions, contracts the City has with them. Is the City funding these non-profits in any way???"

Such as Reprographix? They have ties to several of this businesses, were handed the printing contract for DPW improvements (not to mention other "improvements" such as the 400 block parking garage and CityWay) and seemingly handed the contracts for major construction projects like Lucas Oil and Eskenazi hospital. No competition, just "awarded". I'd like to know what kinds of contributions are coming out of businesses like Reprographix and shutting the rest of us out!