Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bart Lies On Gray Ethics Investigation

It was one of those moments of total disbelief. Mayor Bart Peterson (D) during tonight's debate with Greg Ballard (R) claimed nothing had been done about Monroe Gray's ethical violations because no complaints had been filed. He knows damn good and well that an ethics complaint was before his appointed ethics board at Gray's own request after the Star first raised questions about work his concrete company performed on publicly-financed projects, which Gray failed to disclose. The rubber stamp board dismissed the complaint against Gray after he agreed to amend his statement of economic interest. As Councilor Phil Borst would later complain at a city-county council meeting, the ethics board didn't fully investigate the charges against Gray. That failure prompted Republican councilors to seek an independent investigation of Gray. Democratic council members, including Gray himself, voted to block that investigation.

The spineless Peterson refused to level any criticism at the thoroughly discredited Gray tonight. Instead, he simply said it was up to the voters of Gray's district to decide his fate. Gray is elected from one of the most Democratic of the 25 council districts and, unless lightning strikes, he will likely be re-elected. Peterson knows this. This tells us Peterson is perfectly comfortable with Gray continuing to preside over the CCC if Democrats retain control of the council regardless of how damning the evidence of his corruption is. Peterson also completely sidestepped a response to Norm Cox' question about Gray's alleged ghost employment at the fire department. Greg Ballard was more direct. He says Gray's ghost employment at the fire department is the worst kept secret in the fire department. He sees one more police officer who isn't on the street because Gray is being paid $83,000 to do nothing but steer the Peterson administration's legislative initiatives through the council.

Peterson's opening statement provided a good laugh. As if someone were poking him from behind as he falsely claimed his consolidation efforts to date had saved taxpayers more than $20 million, Peterson was overcome by a brief coughing spell. Ballard provided a solid opening statement about the direction he wanted to take the city, but he didn't leave listeners with any memorable one-liners tonight. Mayor Peterson provided many openings for him to go on the attack, but Ballard was too reticent to fire any shots at Peterson. When Ballard responded to a question on immigration, I was kicking myself that he didn't mention the fact that his own wife is an immigrant. Alas, it occurred to him later and he followed it up in rebuttal. The story could have been much more poignant, however, if someone had just taken the time to condense the story of his immigrant wife down to a folksy level.

Hats off to Norm Cox for questioning Peterson about the city's lackluster effort at closing down the city's pea shake houses--the illegal gambling operations in primarily African-American neigbhorhoods which are also associated with drugs, guns and prostitution. Unbelievably, Mayor Peterson claimed he had nothing to do with recent efforts to close the pea shakes. He stated flat out he never called up the police chief and asked him to raid pea shake houses. They have operated uninterrupted throughout the eight years he has been mayor of the city. It wasn't until the blogs and local news media started making waves this past year about the pea shakes that city police started raiding them. As Cox pointed out, the illegal businesses often reopened within days of a police raid. Peterson denied this was happening, but I don't know how he would know since he claimed he never spoke to the police chief about them. Ballard agreed the pea shakes needed to be closed down, but he failed to capitalize on the point by criticizing Peterson for failing to do anything to shut them down for the past eight years to the detriment of these troubled neighborhoods. It demonstrated once again Peterson's failure to lead. Sadly, Ballard didn't take advantage of the big opening the mayor provided him.

As an aside, I assume other people experienced problems with WRTV's signal during the storm. I assume they were using a satellite upload to broadcast tonight's debate. I doubt this would have been a problem if they had simply broadcast from the station instead of the empty theater at the Indiana Historical Society.


Anonymous said...

And some bloggers out here say the "Bart lies" thing is old. It is old if it isn't true, but guess what, BART LIES!

Anonymous said...

Ballard turned in a very good performance. He was at ease, knew what he wanted to say and put it out there. Ballard can be mayor. On the other hand, Peterson's heart just isn't in this race. How he can possibly finish out a third term? He should have told his friends, I've put in 8 years--I'm out.

Bart Lies said...

Bart also (again) lied about homicides. Lie by ommision. Down 25% from last year? A month ago he was saying 30%.

Yet, homicide went up in 2006 by 30% so the next is up 5% over 2 years. And the first year of his first term - we had 103 homicides. It went up to 140 and is on track to 'go down' to (ahem) 123 at the current rate. It's been no lower than 105 since Bart took office. That, folks, ain't 'reduced.'

Bart Lies.

And Bart omits facts so you arrive at incorrect conclusions from his only-partly-true statements.

Sir Hailstone said...

I wonders myself why they didn't do the debate at the studio instead of at the historical society.

BL - I know I wanted to reach through my iMac and choke Mayor Bart. "Homicides are down 25%" but he conveniently leaves out the fact last year set a record (or came awful damn close!)

Anonymous said...

here's what will happen. bart wins. hillary choses evan. hillary wins and wins big. bart goes to washington as part of the administration.

at least we get rid of him. who then takes over as mayor? discuss.

Anonymous said...

Monroe Grey ?


Anonymous said...

If an entire campaign is based on the slogan Bart Lies with no explantions or proof and no plan for the future then Ballard is in worse shape than I thought he was.

Anonymous said...

Ballard has nothing to do with "Bart Lies". Bart lies is citizens who are fed up with the city being sold down the river. Obviously 835 you are a Peterson supporter who is starting to sweat.

Anonymous said...

I am not worried about Bart losing but I am tired of the sleaze, dirty politics and the character assasinations being used by the Ballard campaign. I suppose when you have no money and your own party organization isnt backing you that you have to lie. Next Ballard will claim MIssion Accomplished!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry - 8:35 is right. The bart lies crowd is hurting Ballard. I am an anti-bart person, but would never say that I am a Ballard person because of the crack pots that are related to his campaign.

Sir Hailstone said...

8:09 - If Bart wins, and leaves office the Deputy mayor assumes the role of mayor.

That would be Steve Campbell.

Someone more versed in law would have to comment of whether a special election is required. AFAIK, the acting mayor fills out the remainder of the term.

Anonymous said...

I also caught not only the little coughing spell, but at least one other time the Mayor kind of laughed after reciting something that wasn't quite true (remember Don?).

These debates must be difficult for Greg Ballard because he isn't an "experienced" politician and his prior management experiences wouldn't have prepared him well for adversarial debate. I imagine that "military officer" and "business manager" would have been more geared towards collaborative discussion, which would discourage adversarial confrontation.

Greg Ballard may also come off as "unpolished" because he appears to be a deliberate and thoughtful speaker, which causes him to pause while he gathers his thoughts in an extemporaneous speaking environment.

The only suggestions I would have for him is to practice more under bright lights and cameras, try to contain his gestures (on TV) to one hand or the other, and get rid of the white shirts. Both hands gesturing is distracting and white shirts aren't overly flattering under television lights.

Anonymous said...

Sir H,

Currently, John J. Dillon, III, Chief Deputy Mayor would become Mayor in Bart Peterson's absence/withdrawl.

Anybody who knows this man should be aghast at the prospect.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The provision for the chief deputy mayor to serve in the absence of the mayor is only on an interim basis. The Democratic committeepersons would select the successor if Peterson resigned.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't make me feel any better...;)

Steve said...

"I am not worried about Bart losing but I am tired of the sleaze, dirty politics and the character assasinations being used by the Ballard campaign. I suppose when you have no money and your own party organization isnt backing you that you have to lie. Next Ballard will claim MIssion Accomplished!!"
1. Name one lie that Greg Ballard has told (with backup)
2. Name one promise that Bart Peterson has kept (with backup)
3. Name one Peterson lie that "Bart Lies" has alleged that is not actually a lie
4. Give your first name so we know you at least have the honor to stand behind your statements

Anonymous said...

Great, 7:31, that would mean they would select Monroe Gray as mayor. I wonder if he could get Lucas Oil to sponsor a pea shake?

Anonymous said...

i think people are confusing the ballard campaign with members of the general population sick of the lies and corruption of the peterson administration and ready to protest vote for ballard.

they are also being hypocrites. just look at how jen wagner -- the communications director of the democratic party, an OFFICIAL for god's sake -- slams ballard. she smeared his as a racist this summer when the guy is in an interracial marriage with biracial kids.

Anonymous said...

Well said Steve.

Everyone knows those Bart Lies people don't lie and everyone knows they are not part of Ballard's campaign staff.

The Bart Lies people were around long before Ballard announced his candidacy. You can see them in old city council meeting tapes.

However, actual documentation of the truth means nothing to likes of Peterson's increasingly smaller camp.

Anonymous said...

Where do I file a formal complaint against Sweet Pea Gray?


Sir Hailstone said...

"they are also being hypocrites. just look at how jen wagner -- the communications director of the democratic party, an OFFICIAL for god's sake -- slams ballard. she smeared his as a racist this summer when the guy is in an interracial marriage with biracial kids."

On top of that, Winnie Ballard is a LEGAL immigrant to the United States.

Van: My bad. I thought Dillon was CoS and Campbell was Chief Deputy Mayor. My goodness Bart has about a couple dozen deputy and assistant deputy mayors.

From my conversations with Greg Ballard he's intending to use far less people to run things in his office.

Anonymous said...

Funny picture of 38th and capitol peashake at

Anonymous said...

IIRC, Sir H, the MuniCode allows for 16 Mayoral staff.

I quit counting at 32 with the current listing on IndyGov's Mayor's Office staff listings.

I'm sure that the overages are accounted to "other" departments.

I just hope that Greg Ballard relies on "outsiders" more than anybody that "insiders" would try to get him to bring on board. In the short term, that might prove to be perceived as a negative, but in the long run, I think it would be the best thing for Indy citizens' best interests.

Bart Lies said...

So the 'prove bart lies are lies' can't even recognize that when Bart says homicides are down he's lying because homicides are up.

Or, is it 'not a lie' to claim they are down merely because Bart can't see all the way back to the start of his tenure?

In school, we learned a technique in Calculus, that involved making hypotheses and calculations which often included the phrase 'for sufficiently small values of epsilon'.

So we can say (truthfully):

"Bart doesn't lie, for sufficiently small values of epsilon, where epsilon is 'how far back you start counting the number of homicides.'

What a crock! We are measuring the number of dead people, not integrating the area under a curve.

Basing a key part of your campaign on (a) an incomplete year's worth of data and (b) asserting that 2007 homicides are 'down' despite being the 2nd highest of the past 8 years is despicable. It is blatant deception. It is deliberate attempt to falsify Bart's record. It IS A BALD-FACED LIE.


It is not sleaze. It is not dirty politics. It is a demonstrable fact.

BART LIES, While Indianapolis Dies.

Anonymous said...

Bart Peterson LIED???? I find that hard to believe! He's such an upstanding, honest, hard working, caring, mayor.

Excuse me, please. I have to get another glass of Kool-Aid!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Bart is every bit the upstanding and honest person that Monroe Gray is.

Anonymous said...

2:54 did you ever consider that the Marion county GOP is in bed with Peterson and that Ballard (as a political novice) is the best thing the people could ever hope for.

At least we know he is beholden to us and not to power brokers. We just want a politician who will obey the law and strive to do what is in the best interest of the people...not the best interests of his political cronies.

Peterson covers up for Monroe Gray because Monroe Gray has lots of dirt on Peterson. Any news when the indictment is coming?