Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ballard Wastes Millions More On Crime Prevention Grants

In an utter display of fiscal irresponsibility, Mayor Greg Ballard announced that he's giving away $4 million of your taxpayer dollars to various nonprofit groups and church-related organizations for the purpose of crime prevention. Take a look at some of the groups he's funding with these grants:

100 Black Men ($37,000)
Andrew J. Brown Academy ($46,500)
Bethlehem House ($56,000)
Christamore House ($37,000)
Church of Acts ($74,000)
Concord Center ($39,000)
Dove Recovery House ($75,000)
Ebenezer Retreat and Camping Institute ($59,000)
Fathers and Families ($94,000)
Forest Manor Multi-Service Center ($46,500)
Greater Commission Church of God ($64,000)
Indiana Black Expo ($39,000)
Indiana Latino Institute ($20,000)
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. ($139,000)
Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition ($124,000)
Indianapolis Urban League ($84,500)
Jamal Abdullah Martial Arts Center ($37,000)
Mt. Carmel Community Center ($69,000)
New Light Christian Church ($32,250)
Peace In The Streets ($99,000)
Tanniehill Wrestling Academy ($49,000)
The Mind Trust ($117,500)
Use What You've Got Ministry ($46,500)
Wailing Women Win ($46,500)
Wishard ($169,000)

Reading through the list of grantees, you can quickly pick up the hand of Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams. A number of them are directly associated with his activities prior to joining the administration. Williams was one of the black ministers who threatened to shut down construction of Lucas Oil Stadium if then-Mayor Bart Peterson didn't agree to give them $25 million over five years in crime prevention grants. Funding for these grants were included in Peterson's 65%, $90 million a year income tax increase as a payoff to the black ministers. Peterson actually received a higher percentage of the black vote in his losing re-election bid than Andre Carson got during his 2008 special election win. Yet, that didn't stop those same black ministers from running to Ballard after the election to claim credit for his victory. You won because we convinced our people to stay home on election day. Ballard bought it hook, line and sinker. He quickly hired Olgen Williams has his deputy mayor of neighborhoods and began passing out money to the same people who conducted a public shakedown of our City's mayor in 2007.

Ballard has convinced himself that he's going to do better than other Republican mayors in winning support in the black community in the next election by spending millions on these useless grants. Any intelligent Republican should know that it is nothing more than a scam. Many years ago when I was working in a state legislative race in Illinois, our campaign was visited upon by a prominent black minister. He told us $10,000 in cash could help our candidate win considerable support in the black community on election day. My candidate turned him down. The candidate told me later that he wouldn't play the game because he knew if he gave him the money that the minister would run down to his opponent's campaign and take twice as much from him. That was campaign money. Mayor Ballard is using our taxpayer dollars to play this game. Think about that long and hard when Mayor Ballard has to tell us in a few months that $20 to $30 million will have to be cut from the City's budget to make up for smaller reimbursements from the state.

Also, the last time I checked the Indiana Constitution it still has a provision barring the use of public funds for religious purposes. Yet our city is giving out grant money to churches? Mayor Ballard made his announcement of this year's grant recipients at Light of the World Church. That would be the same church where The Bishop delivers sermons mocking gays and otherwise promoting hate towards people based on their sexual orientation. Here's a little of what The Bishop at Light of the World has had to say on the subject:

The most dastardly thing about homosexuality is silly silly homosexuals going around trying to convince people that what they're doing is normal. That’s the sin; the abomination. Instead of saying I have a serious problem and I am struggling with it and I know that it is wrong . . . Homosexuality is a spirit of the underworld and you who collaborate with that spirit collaborate with the devil himself. But be careful on who you think is a homosexual and who is not. Everybody that is effeminate is not a homosexual, they just didn’t have the kind of parenting where a father said ‘son take that switch out yo' walk boy, son we don't walk like that, or bend like that either.’ The first time a father sees his son do his wrist like this he needs to take his hand and say
.....uh............uh...........here. Your wrist goes like this. Men don’t talk up here (high). It’s a choice, you can change, you can choose, you can choose. Every effeminate person is not gay and every weight lifter is not straight. He might be the biggest girl in the city.” Uproarious laughter breaks out in the congregation.


Concerned Taxpayer said...

So...as much tax money as IDI already gets, now they get this:
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.$139,000)???

And how about Wishard Hospital...$169,000 for CRIME PREVENTION!!
What are they going to do, disable the criminals that come in there injured?
Is it any wonder that people are losing faith in republicans?

guy77money said...

If only they would use the money for something truly needed in this city like fixing the pot holes that have cropped up over the winter. I don't see the cities tax revenues picking up anytime soon or in the next few years. The city (Ballard) needs to cut out all these phony grants and concentrate on the services people in this city need.

Downtown Indy said...

I"m not familiar with all those organizations, but are any of them NOT in Center Twp?

And since they are presumably all not for profits, they already get a pretty good gift from the city and state. I think any more than that is way in excess of reasonable.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I think the money that is paid to Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. is to pay the cop on a bike that patrols the downtown area when he's not working his regular job as a cop.

Sean Shepard said...

Hey $4 million dollars (maybe around $10 per Marion County family?) taken and handed out to private enterprises.

Say, wasn't that 1% hotel tax increase pushed through after so much consternation to raise around $4 million a year?

Wouldn't cutting $4 million bucks from the budget allow the county local income tax to drop from 1.62 to maybe 1.60 or 1.59 further rescinding the Peterson increase the Republicans were voted in to get rid of?

"Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, after the money's gone
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was..."

Citizen Kane said...

One of the many ways taxpayer money is legally (and illegally - but when white-collar crime occurs in Marion County, is it really a crime if no cares to prosecute?) stolen.

So, when they say they have no money to fund basic services, they are lying, but no one call them on it. Everyone knows, of course, that all of these not-for-profits do great work - it goes without saying. Just like our downtown tourism industry is the economic engine of Central Indiana. It's an undisputed fact!

Marycatherine Barton said...

These millions of dollars a year of our tax money, given by Mayor Ballard to those groups he says will help prevent crime, is wasteful and insulting. Reading that unChristian sermon of one wealthy recepient of such funds, demonizing gay men, to the amusement of many of his congregation, made my skin crawl. I think it is likely that he is passing out our money, to gain favors for himself!

Indy CraftMarkt said...

I had a bad experience at Wishard's emergency room a couple of years ago. I had placed my id badge on my thigh rather than on my chest, which apparently incensed the guard. When it was said and done, I was escorted off the property - because I refused to place the badge on my chest.

The next day I reported the incident to the security office. A few weeks later, I called to find out what happened and also to get clarification of the hospital's policy. I found out my complaint was never recorded.

I then called an administrative department to replay my complaint. Someone called me to tell me I was told "it was being handled internally". I never heard back from them so maybe the money is going to be used for training. lol