Saturday, August 29, 2015

Joe Hogsett Won't Do A Damn Thing About Blue Indy

Radio talk show host Amos Brown interviewed Democratic mayoral candidate Joe Hogsett yesterday afternoon, and he did an excellent job setting up a question for Hogsett at the top of the interview concerning the corrupt manner in which the Ballard administration went about establishing the Blue Indy electric car sharing monopoly business for the French company Bollore. Remember, Hogsett is the candidate running TV ads saying he's going to put an end to the downtown insiders cheating the system and stealing our tax dollars. What Brown's listeners heard from Hogsett was nothing short of a complete let down.

Hogsett completely side-stepped the question of what he would do about Blue Indy, saying that was something the council had "already engaged in" without success I would add. What followed showed in no uncertain terms Hogsett has no intention of doing a damn thing about the illegal Blue Indy deal. "I really want to be the kind of mayor for our city who looks to the future and looks forward," Hogsett said. "When we focus on the past and mistakes that have been made or omissions that have been incurred . . . we're really holding ourselves out from reaching out to those in the most critical needs in neighborhoods that have been overlooked over time," he added. That was after Hogsett prefaced his comments with praise for Ballard's focus on green energy initiatives.

What this tells me is that the words Hogsett speaks in his TV ads about putting an end to the downtown insiders cheating the system and stealing our tax dollars is just talk. Of course he's not going to cut off the hand that feeds him. You only have to look at who is bankrolling his campaign to know that he's not about to stop the gravy train a few downtown insiders enjoy at the expense of the rest of the city. I also highly suspect that the law firm where Hogsett is a partner now has a connection to representing parties involved in Blue Indy. Their officers are just separated by a few floors in the Chase Tower. Like so many issues, Hogsett cannot speak his mind without running afoul of his law firm's representation of its clients. Blue Indy has no real incentive to work with the council at this point given Hogsett's hands-off position.

So when Hogsett becomes mayor in January, which I believe is a foregone conclusion, he's going to tell the members of what will likely be a Democratic-controlled council to lay off this issue. Will there be some tinkering? Perhaps. City-County Councilor Kip Tew (D) plans to introduce an ordinance that will require Blue Indy parking spaces exclusively reserved for the private company's electric cars to be accessible to the public so long as there is more than one open parking space at any of the hundreds of power charging sites that are being installed around the city. Blue Indy plans to have a fleet of 500 cars so it's highly-unlikely there will be very many open parking spaces at those charging stations, particularly in the high traffic areas like downtown and Broad Ripple where the cars, if they are utilized, are most likely to see their busiest trade. Additionally, it is Blue Indy's intention to allow non-Blue Indy electric car owners to purchase memberships to use their exclusive stations for charging stations. If non-electric cars are using up the spaces, then its profit-making scheme just got overturned. What's not clear is if Tew's plan would require the re-installation of electronic parking meters that have already been yanked out since the Blue Indy cars aren't required to feed those meters.

Tew's proposal is hardly a solution to a far greater problem created when our mayor broke numerous laws to steal the most valuable public parking spaces in the city and give them to a foreign-owned business for its exclusive for-profit use. The council has done very little other than provide lip service to the public to date. They insisted the mayor couldn't spend $6 million out of the parking meter fund and whatever other funds he chooses to tap to give to Blue Indy. The administration delivered the council the middle finger again this week when it had the Board of Public Works approve that expenditure and inform the council it required no further authorization from it to go forward with its plans. Since our federal and state prosecutors refuse to prosecute the public corruption occasioned by this deal, the public will just have to pucker up and move on like we're always told to do in what has become a Nazi-styled government.

UPDATE: The Indianapolis Star, which is a cheerleader of every crony capitalism deal our corrupt politicians can think up, has a story that reads more like a press release regarding the Blue Indy service that will be available at the airport.

The BlueIndy electric car-sharing service will have space for 20 electric vehicles at Indianapolis International Airport, four times as much as its standard stations.
The electric plug-ins will be on the fifth floor of the parking garage, across from the terminal. Traditional rental cars are parked on the first floor of the garage.
Airport officials said BlueIndy also will pay airport fees, just as Enterprise, Hertz and other rental companies do . . . 
Airport executive director Mario Rodriguez hailed the addition of BlueIndy as a convenient transportation choice for airport travelers.
“This exciting partnership with BlueIndy will allow us to provide a new transportation option to our customers, while doing so in a sustainable and economical way,” Rodriguez said in a prepared statement.
The reporter, John Tuohy can barely hide his excitement for Blue Indy and his contempt for those who criticize the illegal manner in which the deal was accomplished. The reporter wants you to know that you the cost of taking a Blue Indy car to the airport is only about $12 if you have an annual $120 membership compared to the $30 to $35 you will spend if you take a taxi. Of course, he's assuming a drive to downtown since The Star's primary focus is on the convenience of these cars for our out-of-town visitors, not the inconvenience and business harm they are causing Indianapolis business owners and residents.
The BlueIndy proposal has not moved forward without controversy. Earlier this month, the City-County Council backed off on an unusual threat to tow five BlueIndy demo vehicles from a Downtown site. The council also says the BlueIndy funding proposal was never properly vetted and allege it has been rolled out in violation of city procedures, a charge the mayor’s office denies.
You would think it's at least up for debate that Mayor Ballard broke multiple state and local laws, but Tuohy isn't about to give you that impression. Is there a reason this reporter refuses to talk to attorneys knowledgeable in the law to determine the facts? Does he think a long-time attorney like Fred Biesecker just makes up lies about what the law requires when he offers opinions on these matters? Apparently so.

I wonder if Visit Indy and the CIB have started fretting yet over a reduction in car rental taxes. Tuohy makes it sound like Blue Indy is playing on a level playing field with companies like Hertz. What he neglects to mention is that Blue Indy is exempt from paying the onerous 17% car rental tax. Perhaps the car rental companies should be filing a lawsuit against the City on the basis that the exemption for Blue Indy is unconstitutional. Why should Blue Indy rentals be exempt from the car rental tax and not other rental vehicles? Under the one-sided agreement Ballard signed with Blue Indy, city taxpayers will be required to reimburse the company if taxes its agreement with the city exempted it from paying are ever levied against it during the 15-year term of its contract with the city. How do you like that?


Charles M. Navarra said...

Gary, you are absolutely correct that this career politician candidate for mayor who through his life received numerous paychecks from taxpayers, this liberal Democrat Joe Hogsett, "has no intention of doing a damn thing about the illegal Blue Indy deal." Neither, apparently do any of our City County Councilors who instead shield themselves behind the foolish idea that the multi-billionaire French Blue Indy battery car manufacturer Bollore will refuse to pay "franchising fees" and thus doom Greg Ballard's Blue Indy rental car business.

And that's what Blue Indy is.. Blue Indy is a RENTAL CAR BUSINESS hardly different from Hertz, Avis, or Budget Rent-A-Car... except that the Hertz, Avis, and Budget were not unilaterally awarded contracts and millions in taxpayer monies and credits to get started.

When I point out the ludicrous nature of their "franchise fee" thinking, I am told if that fails they know they have the votes to stop Blue Indy. Huh? What? I only hold a high level university degree, have credits toward a second baccalaureate, and have been in a Master's program so I suppose I am the stupid one here.

I am in possession of an email from a Councilor who advised me to create a street march protest the day Emperor Ballard is police escorted to the ribbon cutting for his latest illegal deal... possibly at the site of that ribbon cutting. I called that Councilor to ask how I would go about doing that because I am a neophyte to public advocacy; I wanted to determine what it would take to energize an effective number of persons to march... but after deep consideration I realized that idea of "marching in the streets" is "drama" and "grand standing" whose outcome will be without effective resolution for the people. Further, that idea asks individual citizens to do the job the citizens elected their Councilors to do.

I have a better idea for that Councilor. And my idea is that all of our City County Councilors do the job we elected (and pay) them to do.

Charles M. Navarra said...

Save the history, values, and your control of your neighborhood before it is too late.

Stop Blue Indy NOW!

Anonymous said...

So the Hogster lied in his ad where he said "I'm not afraid to take on the insiders".
HA! I laughed then and laugh now. Politicians. They promise anything to get elected and never plan on following through.

What a sack of liars.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Sounds like Jim is on board with the United Nations Agenda 21 plans do depopulation. Heartbreaking!!!

Marycatherine Barton said...

corr: "Joe" not "Jim" sorry

Flogger said...

I do not know Fred Biesecker but he seems to be a standout person compared to the City County-Council, Mayor Ballard and Joe Hogshitt. Poor Fred the Council Democrats send him out to perform all that work and research. I presume was paid for it. Then Fred charges up the hill, weapons blazing, Go Fred, Go take that hill and the Democrats sit cowering in their fox holes.

Hogshitt, has taken the position Obama did when he took office. No one was going to take the hit for GWB's invasion of Iraq on false, cooked intelligence. No one was going to take a hit for 2007/08 disaster on Wall Street, Too Big to Fail, too Big to Jail.

Just yesterday a report from >> Solyndra received substantial loans from the Department of Energy during the financial stimulus that followed Obama's election. DOE's inspector general has weighed in with a report describing its investigation into Solyndra's loans. The report suggests that, while political pressure may have made matters worse, lies by the company's executives were central to the loan failures.

Now for the kicker but no surprise >> At the same time, allegations were made that the company's executives weren't fully truthful in the documents they filed with the DOE; several prosecutors started investigations, but no charges were ever made.

DOJ declined to prosecute anyone for those misrepresentations. “In early 2015, we were informed that the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal prosecution of Solyndra officials,” DOE’s report noted.

I read not long after the Soviet Union collapsed, that the system itself did not fail, but there was massive unsustainable corruption among the Communist Party. We have massi unsustainable corruption by Crony-Capitalism.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate all of the coverage you have provided to this Blue Indy scam. At the same time, it infuriates me that so much of what I've learned from reading this blog is not being reported by the newspaper or the TV stations. Can someone explain to me why our local news media is hiding this information from the public?

Anonymous said...

Hogsett is Oprah and Tully wrapped up into one. Zero substance. Another empty suit. In a sense, he's the perfect mayor for Indy. He'll wear his Colt Jersey on blue Fridays. He'll talk about the Livability article that ranks us as the third best downtown, but he won't mention that two cities with very mediocre downtowns (Minneapolis and Pittsburgh) were rated above us. He'll say all the right things about crime and potholes while doing nothing. His brother in the streetlight business, or maybe his cousin, will make some bucks. Most importantly, he'll do whatever the DT Mafia tells him to do AND then he will explain it to us in such a way that makes us feel so fortunate to have been raped by men of such stellar character.

Pete Boggs said...

While establish-meant hacks behave as though it's a carnival ride; the trajectory of corruption is failure. The establishment is extremely limited, intellectually, in what they call vision; or their carnal obsession with "gotta get mine," fallen fruit of greed-rot entitlement, in a world they misperceive as one of limited abundance.

Anonymous said...

The auto rental tax exemption is one I hadn't heard about before. I'm pretty sure the state law does not give Ballard authority to exempt Blue Indy from the auto rental tax.

Anonymous said...

Tribune owned Fox 59 just had a puff piece about Blue Indy and the cars being parked at the airport. As if that's a good thing

Anonymous said...

You should have heard the Star's Tim Swarens on Fox 59 this morning claiming all of the controversy about Blue Indy was just politics. He's either a poor excuse for a journalist or a crook sharing in the loot from this theft.

Anonymous said...

IMPD will be used as the security force for the Blue Indy cars.

IMPD will probably also have a keen eye out for people who hotfoot in a Blue Indy car.

Government-funded security guards for private business.

I call it a fair bet that Indy will eventually impose a "green" downtown sticker/pass. They want those downtown millennials driving an electric car, preferably owned by Bollore, or not at all.

Pete Boggs said...

Do we thing BIC will be here in 10 years; post, weather, high voltage, crash, vulnerabilities? What could go wrong?