Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Still Hope For Legislative Sanity: Kenley Drops Sponsorship Of Mass Transit Boondoggle

It looks like some lawmakers, and I'm talking about lawmakers who have an "R" behind their names, are starting to think like Republicans instead of the out-of-control tax-and-spend crowd running our municipal governments who want to sucker you into agreeing to yet another local income tax to support some pie-in-the-sky mass transit undertaking. A key Senate lawmaker who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) has pulled his sponsorship of the multi-billion dollar mass transit plan pushed by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Carmel Mayor James Brainard a day before a key committee vote on the measure. From the IBJ:
Already skeptical of a mass-transit plan for the Indianapolis metro area, influential Sen. Luke Kenley has dropped his sponsorship of a related bill that’s due for its first Senate hearing Wednesday.
Kenley, R-Noblesville, said he decided it was inappropriate to be listed as a sponsor without giving the bill his unqualified support.
“I’ve never been too persuaded by the need for this,” he said Tuesday morning . . .
Earlier this month, Kenley told IBJ that he had doubts about transit promoters’ financing plan, but he was willing to give local government the opportunity to put the question to voters.
Kenley said he reconsidered giving the referendum a green light after seeing that 60 percent of his constituents oppose the plan, according to a poll he conducted on his website. Many wrote notes to express just how strongly they oppose the plan, Kenley said.
Kenley, chair of the Senate appropriations committee, also serves on the tax and fiscal policy committee, which is likely to hear the bill if it passes the first committee. He downplayed his influence over colleagues. “I don’t know of anybody in the Senate that votes the way I want ‘em to vote,” he said.
I'm happy to hear that Kenley is listening to his constituents, unlike many of his Republican colleagues who are drunk with power and who are more interested in currying favor to the pay-to-play crowd wining and dining them and their cheerleaders in the editorial room of the Indianapolis Star than the people they were elected to represent. My guess is that Kenley also grew skeptical that the proponents of mass transit really have no concrete vision of what it is they plan to do with the billions of dollars that will fall into their hands if, God forbid, this ill-conceived plan becomes law. The proponents' plan changes from day-to-day depending on what they believe they need to say to mollify skeptical lawmakers, but the breadth of the taxing authority vested in an unelected, unaccountable metropolitan transit authority remains intact. Let's hope more Senate Republicans rethink this boodoggle.


CircleCityScribe said...

I only hope the other members of the legislature follow Kenley and let this bill die. Indiana can't afford it and doesn't want it.

How many of that bill's supporters have thought through the effects on the people of Indiana:

1) More "Taxing and Spending"
2) Creating another layer of government. (Geeezzzz, they haven't even eliminated townships yet. Why not?).
3) The effect of crime on the areas served, using what I call the "Chicago Wilding" plan...where groups of dangerous youth engage in random acts of violence. (Like the Castleton Square mall incident involving guns recently, or the multiple gunfire incidents near Circle Center Mall, including one infamous incident reported in The Huffington Post where Nine people were injured at three shooting scenes near Circle Centre mall on a Saturday night, shocking people and disrupting traffic in a Downtown full of visitors.)
4) In addition to the additional layer of government, expense of construction, operation and maintenance, remember, you'll likely need to create a Metropolitan Transit Police Force...all of this costs TAX money.
5) The idea of giving the breadth of the taxing authority vested in an unelected, unaccountable metropolitan transit authority is scary! It invites special interests to have a field day.
6) A metropolitan transit district board proposed with as many 14 appointed members that can TAX and determine what kind of transportation system they would spend our tax money on. Seats on board include a union representative from the transportation union of the employees of the district. (Didn't we just pass Right to Work? Now they want to legislate the creation of special interest UNION jobs and give a UNION member authority to tax?????)

Appointments to the proposed board would be made by mayors, the governor, county commissioners, a union etc. All who can distance themselves from the special interest by declaring they are not voting members of The Metropolitan Transit Board, yet while controlling who that member is....(does anyone see anything stinky about that???)

Pete Boggs said...

Let's see, we need mass transit to keep people off the roads we improved all over the city?

Flogger said...

The Star's editorial today, urges the Senate to allow the Voters to decide on the mass transit plan.

It is a trust the Voters piece to make the right the choice. The Voters of course are never trusted to Vote on if we will build stadiums, and maintain stadiums for Billionaires.

This new Mass Transit Plan has same look of the CIB - Unelected Board that will end up doing what ever they want. The Politicians are not likely to appoint any "Watch Dogs" to the guard the hen house.

Marycatherine Barton said...

In the meantime, Indianapolis was mentioned as a city with repeated instances of racial violence that is wrecking havoc down town, by Colin Flaherty in the American Free Press podcast: "Media Censors Violent Race War Raging Across America." What do you think, AA.

Marycatherine Barton said...

In Flaherty's new book, AN EPIDEMIC OF BLACK MOB VIOLENCE, he itemizes episodes in Indianapolis, which he concludes is a very dangerous city. Scary estimate, asd he writes that the mayor, council, media, and police chief should be expected to deal with this, protect the innocents here.

Marycatherine Barton said...

WhiteGirlBleedaLot.com has a lot of such news items, that the media REFUSE to report, and the police dept. cover up. Flaherty claims that Nordstrom moved out of Circle City Mall because of these type of attacks. How would a mass transit boondoggle help!!