Thursday, November 01, 2007

What's Wrong With Peterson's Negative Attack Ads?

First, Mayor Bart Peterson launched an ad attacking Greg Ballard's 23 years of military service by suggesting he was unqualified to be mayor, never mind that Ballard's leadership experience far surpasses that of Peterson's 8 years ago when he first ran for mayor. Peterson followed his first negative ad with a second, which falsely claims Ballard plans to raise taxes and cut public safety. Blue Indiana, responding to Ballard's criticism of the ads, writes, "I think it's perfectly legitimate for questions to be raised about what exactly Ballard has in mind when he discusses things like abolishing property taxes and cutting the city's budget by 10% . . . Greg Ballard has been skimping on substance from the beginning, and I don't think it's unreasonable for people to demand an explanation of how he intends to do all of these things he talks about."

Blue Indiana misses the point. Peterson may think Ballard's plans are vague, but that shouldn't give him a blank check to fill in the blanks with whatever he thinks will harm Ballard's standing with voters in the closing days of this campaign. PolisPolitics has a good analysis of what is wrong with Peterson's latest attack ad--it's untrue. The Republican blog provides this fact check of the Peterson ad:

Let's roll the transcript:

"What do we really know about Greg Ballard? In a time of financial crisis, Ballard proposed a new $100 million dollar government building."

Fact Check Point 1: This item comes from the WISH-TV debate. Jim Shella asked what should be done with the old Market Square Arena site, which has gone undeveloped since the old arena's demolition. Fred Peterson proposed a park, Bart Peterson high rise condominiums, and Ballard proposed a criminal justice center. No price tag given; no timetable for building it. That was his preferred use for the site.

"And the press revealed Ballard's tax plan would substantially increase sales and income taxes."

Did you miss the big Star investigation into Ballard's tax increase plan? So did we. The two articles used to support this claim are an article on a property tax forum where Peterson and Ballard offered solutions to the property tax crisis, and one entitled "Peterson faces bumpier '07 amid tax angst." Ballard is on record supporting a local economist's plan to eliminate property taxes and replace it with 2% increases in some other taxes, among them sales and income tax. Ballard's plan is not to raise income and sales taxes, but to reduce overall burden by eliminating property

"and require severe cuts in services, like Emergency 9-1-1, tracking deadbeat parents, and the crime lab."

When did Ballard propose these horrible cuts? He didn't. What Peterson cites are Ballard's repeated pledges to cut spending by 10% or he will not seek a full term. As Ballard's detractors point out, Ballard has put out no plan to cut spending, so Peterson is suggesting items for him. These are all items that could be cut, but would be foolish to do so. Peterson chose the most foolish cuts for his attack ad.

"No wonder the Star says Ballard is 'ill-prepared.' Greg Ballard: higher taxes, no experience, wrong for Indianapolis."

There you have it, folks, an attack ad at its finest. Another website's name might best describe Peterson's latest tactic, a name that hints at Peterson untruths. Can Peterson really be in a great position if he is on the attack this hard?

The analysis PolisPolitics provides of this Peterson ad should be done by the local news media for the benefit of voters. They're too busy cashing the Peterson campaign's checks for his huge media buy to concern themselves with critical analysis. A few years ago, the media started doing this in campaigns as a matter of course. Some would even pull ads that were shown to be blatantly false. Why hasn't any of the local TV stations pulled this latest Peterson ad? It's a damn lie and Peterson knows it. For a man whose election is supposed to be assured, he sure is acting awfully desperate in the closing days of the campaign.


Anonymous said...

Polis Politics also talked about this.

Anonymous said...

This Polis is complete garbage. Ballrd proposes a new justice center for the Market Square site. Obviously a government building that will cost plenty. Polis cries foul because Ballard didn't give a figure.
Ballard proposes raising income and sales tax - which is what the add reflects. Polis cries foul because that's not the whole plan. This is an awfully Clintonesque argument. Ballrad need to take responsibility for his public stands, not hide behind this kind of very transparent hyperbole.

Gary R. Welsh said...

As you know Paul, we've outgrown the city-county building. We're leasing space all over town at a pretty heft cost. I think the point Ballard was trying to make is the use of the vacant land on the site adjacent to the city-county building. It makes more sense to consolidate the leased spaces for the prosecutor, public defenders, coroner, forensic services, courts, etc. in a single justice center. The building could be built by a private developer on a build-to-suit basis under a long-term lease with the option to purchase. The plan is still in its infancy. Ballard never said he plans to build a $100 million building. Hell, Bart gave away more than $50 million to the Simons and Paris Hilton's family to building their high-rise buildings downtown. I think Ballard would have been better off saying nothing about it until it had been better thought out. I'm aware of who put the idea in his head, and although the guy is a Republican, there is little doubt in my mind he actually is supporting Peterson. On the issue of taxes, Peterson clearly tries to leave voters with the impression Ballard wants to raise taxes on the whole. He knows better. It's particularly hypocritical since Peterson himself has raised taxes 19 times. It's a damn shame that Tom John and the Marion County GOP have failed to run a single ad making the point that Peterson raised taxes 19 times and expanded the city budget by 40% in 8 years and gave awsy tens of millions of public dollars to some of the nation's wealthiest people.

Anonymous said...

City Councilman Vernon Brown told me that Peterson already has plans for a new city government building at the MSA site. The condo plan is dead and Brown has plans to propose the Gov building plans for Peterson as soon as funds are available.
Courts, and city office space is needed and the CCB is in bad shape.
Where do you think they plan to get the Cash? MORE TAXES that's where.
A new government building has been hashed around for years.
Brown told me last summer that he, Peterson and Gray are planning the building right now. All that is needed is funding and selling the idea to the citizens.

Anonymous said...

And GRAY is suppling the concrete????? Maybe he could also get some free smoke detectors also???

Anonymous said...

Local news media -- critical analysis?

HA-HA-HAHHHH! Those are two mutually exclusive concepts in this town.

Anonymous said...

Either 10:52 or Vernon Brown is lying.

It really doesn't make any difference which one is, but trust me--one of them is not telling the truth.

The Mayor has no tacit deal with Brown to put a criminal justice building on that site.l As proof, he has taken substantial hits for continually directing his DMD to build residential/commercial mix on that site.

And if you think he needs a partner on the council to build a cirminal justice building, AND if you think that partner would be Vernon Brown, you really haven't been paying attention. Brown is one of the biggest airheads on the council, and everyone knows it, including the Mayor.

The plan Anonymous is touting, is actually a plan the judges have bene circulating. And remember, under Indiana law, they can issue
a judicial mandate for a new building, and it cannot be fought.

They're angry that the city/county govt. has put this plan on the bakc burner for years.

If we want more efficient and stern courts, we need more space. It's that simple. This need has been dominant for over 20 years, and, like other expensive problems, prior Republican mayors ignored it.

It will not go away.

Here's one fix the judges have bene mulling: a Court Building construction bond, financed solely by increased fees to use the courts. And, the former City Hall, which until recently hosued the temporary Main Library, is now vacant...with some remodeling, it could ease (but not solve) the problem.

Anonymous said...

The Peterson ad isn't about new buildings, raising taxes or cutting 911--it's about being behind in the polls. Most years it would work but thanks to high tax bills and smaller paychecks, voters are paying close attention and this ad won't work. The Peterson campaign has given up trying to convince people to vote for the mayor. There only hope is to use hard negative ads to keep a rallied public from voting for Ballard. I bet the Peterson campaign has an even tougher, over the top ad ready to go.

Anonymous said...

One of the more famous political quotes was when Harry Truman made the following statement regarding false statements mad by Richard Nixon. Truman stated:


I think that's the general reaction of Johnny and Janie Lunchbucket about Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson's attack ads against Ballard.
Politicos always try to read a lot into these ads that Peterson is running. The average voter, especially in municipal elections, don't generally buy the garbage that's spewed out.
Peterson has proved himself to be a very consistent liar. Maybe "liar" is too strong a word but how else can Peterson be described. He is what he is........" a shifty-eyed goddam liar and the people know it".

Johnny and Janie Lunchbucket will decide on election day. The smart money's on Ballard.

Anonymous said...

Voters and taxpayers seem to forget that they own the Market Square site NOT the Mayor.

Quite frankly, I don't want anymore damn subsidized condos. I DO want the 16,000 criminals that are out running the streets on LOW bond to get thru the courts and locked away.
Inceased court fees would not only build the needed court space but more jail space as well.
Ballard is not off base with wanting a new center built on the MSA site becaue it WILL pay for itself at no cost to me, a taxpayer.

Sir Hailstone said...

"I bet the Peterson campaign has an even tougher, over the top ad ready to go."

I wouldn't put it past Peterson do use stuff like John Murtha, Dingy Harry Reid saying "we've lost the war" and Jon Carry saying "Terrorizing women and children in the dark of night" to insult Greg's military service.

At least that'll shore up the Broad Ripple Anti-War Hippie vote.