“Council Republicans just filed the new Justice Center Proposal w all 13 Republicans sponsoring,” Minority Leader Mike McQuillen wrote on his Twitter account. "No more time 4 Democrat stalling! #Progress." As an illustration of just how biased and inaccurate the reporting is by the Indianapolis Star's city beat reporter, check out how Brian Eason opens his story:
After weeks of inaction by the City-County Council on a proposed criminal justice center, Republicans are pushing the plan forward, whether Indianapolis’ Democratic majority is ready or not.
Democrats in December announced that they would delay a vote on the massive public project until their probe of a controversial Regional Operations Center lease had concluded.
But facing deadlines that the administration says could threaten the project’s financing, 13 Republican council members on Friday sponsored a measure to introduce the proposal at the council’s Feb. 9 meeting . . .First of all, how can the reporter accuse the Democratic-led council of "weeks of inaction" when the administration is still blocking access to all of the critical information the council would require in order to consider the complex and costly 35-year agreement, which will consume close to $50 million a year of the city-county budget when the complex opens for business? If someone is trying to sell you a new home and the seller refuses to provide you a written contract and allow you to independently inspect the home and otherwise carry out the necessary due diligence, is it your fault as the buyer that a closing on the sale of the home hasn't occurred?
Would it also not seem logical to tie up loose ends on the investigation of the costly Regional Operations Center, particularly since the same administration trying to sell the council on the criminal justice center project has stonewalled the administration for more than a year in turning over key information the council needs in order to determine why Marion County taxpayers got taken to the cleaners by entering into a long-term credit-tenant financing agreement that left no outs for the county after it was discovered the building wasn't suited for its intended purpose? It was only recently that we discovered the administration's claim that the city had no other choice than to build the ROC to comply with its agreement with the NFL to host the Super Bowl in 2012 was an outright fabrication.
It is the height of hypocrisy for the Indianapolis Star to bash Gov. Mike Pence's administration the way it did this past week for its efforts to create a centralized news agency website to allow the public easier access to a wealth of information emanating from dozens of state agencies when this newspaper seems to care so little about transparency in any number of governmental decisions, whether it be public financing for a new sports stadium and hundreds of millions in subsidies for their billionaire sports team owners, or the ROC and the criminal justice center project, all of which the newspaper's editorial writers endorsed site unseen with nothing more than a cursory review that largely regurgitated the talking points of those who benefited financially from these public transactions.
The Gannett-owned Indianapolis Star has forfeited the public's confidence altogether. Many like to condemn the political bias of the newspaper's former owners, but at least the Pulliam family required its reporters to dig and dig until every possible stone was overturned on any number of major public matters regardless of the opinions of the editorial page writers. Reporting by the Star's reporters today merely reflect the narrow-minded views of the newspaper's top management, who are made up entirely of out-of-state transplants who have few long-term ties to the community and share few, if any of its values.