Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Star Wants State Bailout Of CIB And Help From Irsay

An Indianapolis Star editorial today recommends splitting the baby. It calls for a state rescue plan for the CIB, which could mean a tax increase or a plan that would allow the CIB to divert revenues now intended to be used exclusively to pay off the construction bonds on Lucas Oil Stadium to pay operating and maintenance expenses. The editorial also asks Colts' owner Jim Ir$ay to share some of the advertising revenues the CIB gave away to him during the stadium negotiations. The editorial reads, in part:

The state, which wrested control from the city over negotiations with the Colts and built the stadium, cannot continue arguing that cost overruns for operations are the city's problem. And the team, which invested all of $50 million in the enterprise and retained all sponsorship rights as well as a cut of all gate receipts, cannot keep calling itself a mere tenant that made a deal cast in concrete.

Encouragingly, state Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, the state's key man in the affair, has offered to work with the beleaguered city in finding a way to close the latest gap, focusing on user fees as the most palatable approach. New taxes, at any level, can only be a last resort if they're not off the table entirely.

What's left? The CIB has suggested the sale of naming rights or sponsorships to the convention center. We would suggest, as we have previously, that the Colts share a portion of the revenue from stadium naming rights and sponsorships, which will exceed $20 million a year. It is, after all, the public's stadium that bears those signs, even if the (rent-free) tenant was handed the spoils.

A deal's a deal? The Colts and the state may sing that refrain all they wish, but the city's negotiators can say much the same regarding their expectations. So can the overburdened taxpayers of a city that's stuck with a management job for an eight-county region.

Let's set the record straight. Jim Ir$ay did not put $50 million of his own money into this stadium. He put in nothing. The so-called $48 million break-up was just a shell game the CIB set up to give the public the appearance he was kicking in something. It is also believed, according to one reliable source, that Ir$ay actually tapped an NFL team owners' slush fund for the additional money, and he has no obligation to repay that money.

We have to stop this bailout. Jim Ir$ay paid nothing for this new stadium. We must change that. It's time for him to step up to the table and give the money back that Bart Peterson and Fred Glass put in his pocket. We still haven't heard where most of Marion County's legislative candidates stand on this issue. Rep. Phil Hinkle, Rep. Jon Elrod, Adam Nelson and Ed Angleton have all gone on the record opposing the bailout. A running tally of where the candidates stand will be maintained at the top right column on this blog. We need to hear from the following:

Sen. Teresa Lubbers (R-District 30)
Sen. Pat Miller (R-District 32)
Greg Taylor (D-District 33)
Sen. Jeane Breaux (D-District 34)
Sen. Mike Young (R-District 35)
Rep. Jeb Bardon (D-District 25)
Ed DeLaney (D-District 86)
Rep. Cindy Noe (R-District 87)
Pamela Hickman (D-District 87)
Rep. Brian Bosma (R-District 88)
John Barnes (D-District 89)
Rep. Mike Murphy (R-District 90)
Rep. Robert Behning (R-District 91)
Stephanie DeKemper (D-District 92)
Rep. David Frizzell (R-District 93)
Cherrish Pryor (D-District 94)
Chad Miller (R-District 94)
John Bartlett (D-District 95)
Greg Porter (D-District 96)
Mary Ann Sullivan (D-District 97)
William Crawford (D-District 98)
Vanessa Summers (D-District 99)
John Day (D-District 100)


M Theory said...

Gary, please stay on this issue like a pitbull.

Downtown Indy said...

Let's dissolve the Corrupt Insider Brotherhood. Take whatever assets they have and apply that to the shortfall.

Crizzle said...

Is it $100 million contributed by Irsay, 48 million of which was the breakup fee? That is the number that was bandied about for th elongest time. Or is it $50 million contributed by Irsay? Which is it?

Downtown Indy said...

By all means, list the 'not opposed', preferably in bright red ink. They are the ones who need to be called out.

M Theory said...

Senator Teresa Lubbers in District 30 accepts campaign contributions from Nancy Irsay. I'll be interested in hearing her position on this. She's done zero, zip, nada, on the property tax front. She absolutely never defends and stands up for the taxpayer. I swear she acts like a democrat.

I'm pretty sure Sen. Lubbers would not have a problem using taxpayer money to bailout the stadium deal. We'll see if she even cares enough about the future of the pepole in her district to contact you.

7th CD guy said...

Irsay pay his own way?? HA! He doesn't have the money. He's broke. All his money is tied up in Oxy-Contin, ruhipnol, and booze! How can he afford to help pay for a new stadium? Brt Peterson gave him only 50 Million to get by on!

Russ said...

Gary, you will never hear from Bob Behning. I've been trying to get a response from this guy for years after my property taxes went up when our neighborhood's property values went down. He is just a duckling that follows Brian Bosma around and does whatever he says, "Yessir, no sir."