Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scales Weighs In On Vote Against CIB Bailout

City-County Councilor Christine Scales (R), the only Republican councilor to vote against the $27 million a year tax, spend and borrow bailout of the Capital Improvement Board, takes issue with a recent IBJ editorial characterizing the council's vote largely along party lines as partisanship at its worst in a letter to the editor. "This superficial pronouncement of the reasons behind Proposal 285's vote tally lacks thoughtful evaluation of why councilors cast their votes the way the did . . . ," Scales writes. In Scales' defense of her own vote, she says "there were many reasons why councilors balked at voting for the measure foisted upon us by the General Assembly." Scales particularly detested the fact that the council had been handed an all or nothing proposition by the legislature. At its best, Scales notes, the bailout plan "offered only short-term solvency" for the CIB.

Scales desired a "thorough examination of past CIB decisions in order to develop a health strategy for how to best avoid past mistakes." Scales was troubled at being expected to commit to such "a large financial rescue package when the determination of actual dollars needed seemed in constant flux." She adds, "Available funds in the CIB budget were being 'newly' discovered just days before the council vote took place." Scales worried about the negative impact from having the highest hotel tax in the nation on the City's tourism industry. And she complained about the inability of councilors to contribute to"crafting a sound, forward-thinking policy."

Throughout the CIB bailout debate, the IBJ news staff provided some of the best reporting and analysis of the CIB's financial woes. If you followed the IBJ reporting, you would have easily concluded that the bailout plan before the CIB was public policy at its worst. I think this is a case where the IBJ's editors discarded the proof within their own news coverage of this issue in favor of currying favor with Indianapolis' elites, who practically held a gun to the City-County Councilors heads demanding passage of the bailout plan. Kudos to Scales for setting the record straight with the IBJ's editors and its readers.


Patriot Paul said...

Two thumbs up for the post and for the boldness of Scales who refused to rubber stamp the partyline vote. Sounds like she really wants a pro-active and thoughtful council and that's refreshing.

swan said...

And I am still shaking my head, in consternation, that Jackie Nytes,D., and all of the Republicans, except Christine Scales, voted to raise the hotel taxes in Marion County, and targeted those millions solely to bail out the over-rated CIB. Good for Councilor Scales to write the IBJ, and explain her vote, for the people. If only we had more independent councilors, such as the one Libertarian.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, After the 1994 Republican landslide election, the Indiana House Republicans foolishly tried to redistrict all of the state legislative district maps for political advantage. The Democrats walked out of the House in protest, and the Star editorialized against their actions. They had to pull the redistricting legislation to get Democrats to return to work. I'm hoping the Republican council doesn't have a similarly bad idea.

artfuggins said...

The Dems need to throw Jackie Nytes out of the party...if she had not been a traitor on the GOP tax increase, it would not have passed.

Paul K. Ogden said...


The Democrats wanted the CIB measure to pass so they could use it against Republicans in 2011. Plus they weren't philosophically against the tax increase. The D's were always going to provide the R's enough votes to make sure it passed. Don't think for a second that Nytes vote was contrary to what the party wanted.