Thursday, December 31, 2015

Downtown Developer Underwriting Joe Hogsett's Inaugural Ball

Michael G. Browning
If you got an invitation to the inaugural ball of Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett, it was addressed from "The Inaugural Committee and Browning Investments." WRTV's Kara Kenney says the invitation is an error. Browning Investments is not underwriting the costs of the inaugural ball. That would be Michael G. Browning, Chairman of the Board for Browning Investments. He wrote a $30,000 check for the ball being held at the downtown Marriott Hotel's ballroom. The company's CEO defended Browning's financial support to Kenney:
“Browning Investments has been an integral part of helping Indianapolis grow for nearly 40 years, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in crucial projects that have contributed to economic development,” said John Hirschman, Browning Investments’ President/CEO, in a statement to Call 6 Investigates.“We're very dedicated to seeing the city be as successful as it can be. As part of that aim, Browning Investments supports the local election and political process -- for both parties and across issues.”
Hirschman said the company has contributed just under $8,000 to both candidate election campaigns in 2015.
As for Hogsett, his team pointed out the inaugural ball is completely separate from the January 1, bipartisan swearing in ceremony.
"In the tradition of numerous Indianapolis mayors, the campaign will be hosting an inaugural gala as a fundraising event,” said Hogsett for Indianapolis finance director, Emily Gurwitz. “This celebration is political in nature and separate from the efforts underway by Mayor-elect Hogsett and his transition team to address critical community issues like public safety and neighborhood development."
Browning's bio on his company's website boasts that he "has played an active role in the Indianapolis "public-private" partnership. Translated, that means tens of millions of your tax dollars have gone straight into the multi-millionaire real estate developer's pockets in exchange for the very generous campaign contributions he makes to politicians like Joe Hogsett. It's just further proof that Hogsett lied to Indianapolis voters when he promised to "take on the downtown insiders who cheat the system and steal your tax dollars." Happy New Year!. The next four years are going to be very profitable for the Browning household regardless of the fortunes that lie ahead for you and me.

In other news, Hogsett belatedly announced some key executive staff appointments on the eve of his swearing-in as Indianapolis mayor. The most disappointing appointment comes in the critical city controller's job. Hogsett passed over the imminently more qualified City-County Council CFO Bart Brown to pick Fady Qaddoura, a former FSSA project manager. Qaddoura's past experience does not even remotely qualify him to serve competently as the city's controller.

Hogsett named Angela Smith Jones, a senior staff member of the extremely corrupt Indy Chamber of Commerce as his deputy mayor for economic development. Hope Tribble, who struggled and stumbled as the City-County Council's CFO during much of the Ballard administration, has been named director of Audit and Finance.

Hogsett made a solid choice in Andrew Mallon to serve as corporation counsel. Mallon, an attorney in private practice, has served as counsel for the Marion Co. Election Board.

A lobbyist at Hogsett's law firm, Ahmed Young, will head up the Office of Education Innovation. That's quite fitting putting a lobbyist in charge of that office given that the Indianapolis charter school program has been nothing more than an extension of the mayor's campaign committee during the past two mayors.

Hogsett's campaign communications director, Taylor Schaffer, will become the mayor's communications director. An attorney at Faegre Baker Daniels, Timothy Moriarty, will serve as special counsel to the mayor. Hogsett previously announced his campaign manager, Thomas Cook, would serve as his chief of staff.


Anonymous said...

Bart Brown has been a disaster for the Council. I'm sure that is what kept him from having a role.

Gary R. Welsh said...

That's a laughable assertion. The council didn't start questioning the lies Ballard's controller had been feeding the council until Bart came aboard.

Pete Boggs said...

The statist or modern "Democrat" mindset is exposed in this morning's, less than citizen centered headline from Indy Democrat: "Hogsett takes control."

Anonymous said...

After listening to Hogsett the shyster read his inauguration speech, I can say with certainty that this city will continue on its downward path under his, uhh, leadership. I didn't think it was possible to find a politician phonier than Greg Ballard and yet Indy had no problem finding him. I'm sad for this city. I'm glad my money is invested elsewhere. T

Anonymous said...

Andy Mallon is a good guy; great choice, although I'm not sure his work ethic is the best.

Flogger said...

Politics in Marion County is like theater, the actors and actresses may change, but the directors, and producers remain the same. You will not see these directors and producers as the public face of of the political theater. Different people get the leading role and some of the bit part players on the council keep their roles as long as they do not deviate from the script.

Anonymous said...

Andy Mallon - Is he connected to Louisville attorney Vince Mallon who is connected to DC?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:58: Not sure if he is related or not; don't believe so. Andy's dad was an attorney at Ice Miller, and Andy was Melina Kennedy's campaign manager when she ran for mayor against Ballard. Nice guy, but doesn't push himself too hard.