Monday, March 03, 2014

Council Committee Approves $23 Million Gift To Big Campaign Contributor To Build Luxury High-Rise Apartment Building

The theft of public funds in Indianapolis continues to accelerate. The Metropolitan & Economic Development Committee tonight gave approval to awarding a $23 million gift to Flaherty & Collins in appreciation for all of the campaign dough they're stuffing in the politicians' pockets to fund their 28-story luxury apartment building to be built on multi-million dollar prime real estate downtown that was stolen from the taxpayers and given to this selfish, greedy developer to develop for use by the top 1%.

TIF funds are being used for this project at the site of the former Market Square Arena even though it's not located within the downtown TIF district, something that is not supposed to happen. The rules can be bent any way they like when there is a big campaign contributor to reward. Because the money is being borrowed, you're really gifting this developer about $40 million when interest is included.

Once upon a time, any elected official who would misappropriate public funds the way our elected officials in the City of Indianapolis do with our taxpayer dollars today would be prosecuted and sent to prison for lengthy terms. The members of this committee played a dance with this real estate developer for the past several months, pretending that they found the deal presented to them to be unacceptable. We now know that it was a game to extort favors in secret discussions to which the public was not privy. They adopted the proposal exactly as it was served up to them by the corrupt Ballard administration.

Until the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office get off their butts and start doing their jobs, we are going to continue to see hundreds of millions of tax dollars be pilfered to reward those who are stuffing money in the politicians' pockets. Make no mistake about it. Indianapolis is the most corrupt city in all of America. There is nothing on the scale of public corruption that is taking place in any other city in this country right now. It is clearly going to take a taxpayer revolt to turn these bastards out of office before we have any hope of restoring sanity to our local government. These people are so out of touch with their constituents it is beyond belief.

UPDATE: I want to correct misconceptions being reported in the local news media that the council committee obained a concession from the developer on local hiring. A TIF ordinance previously passed into law by the council requires businesses that receive TIF grants for their development projects to achieve a goal of hiring at least 40% of the workers used for construction on the project from Marion County unless they can demonstrate that despite good faith efforts the goal couldn't be achieved. The City and this developer take the view that the local hiring ordinance doesn't apply because the project is not located within a TIF district, even though TIF funds are being used to finance it. Again, we have another case of the rules being bent to serve one's ends. We don't have to follow the rule that TIF funds only be used for projects within the TIF district, but we're not going to be bound by the rules that are supposed to apply to TIF projects.

The developer agreed to a target of 30% but will only be penalized if it achieves 25% local hiring; however, there is no penalty. The city's economic development director Deron Kintner suggested that the penalty might be a claw back of some of the monies disbursed to the developer. That won't happen. No developer has ever been penalized by this city for failing to do something they promised to do with our tax dollars. This developer will not reach the local hiring goal, and you can take it to the bank that contractors on the work site will utilize a large number of undocumented aliens who are paid well below the prevailing wage rate for construction workers in Marion County and receive no benefits. If any of them get injured on the job, they will be transported to Eskenazi Hospital for medical treatment where they will be provided free health care courtesy of the taxpayers per standard operating procedure in this county. That's the ugly truth the dishonest news media in this town will never tell you about. And contrary to the media meme, this is not what council members have been debating with this developer and the Ballard administration for the past few months; they've been debating behind closed doors what's in it for me if I vote for this multi-million dollar give away.

This developer claims it has a lot of skin in the game. Au contraire. Not one dime of the developer's personal funds are at stake; the developer is relying on taxpayer dollars and borrowed funds that will go to this newly-created limited liability entity. If it fails, the developer will file bankruptcy on the legal entity and walk away just like occurred with its high-rise development in Charlotte, North Carolina that sat vacant for years.
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Anonymous said...

You have to be able to clearly tie a specific exchange of money to the end result.

In Lake County corruption cases, they are able to do that.

In Marion County?

Anonymous said...

When you hand public money to a private company for a private benefit, that's theft.

When you give $500 of public money to the plumber to fix the broker park fountain, that's not theft.

In Indy, they're clearing out the public's coffers and handing public money to private persons.

Did anyone ever consent to a government that would be used as a front company?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Federal prosecutors tied up resources of the federal government to put away a former executive at Simon Property Group who received token-sized kickbacks on multi-million dollar construction projects the company bid out, but they won't allow any resources to be used to prosecute the large-scale theft of public funds in Indianapolis. That proves to whom they really answer, which of course is not the people who pay their salary to enforce our laws.

Anonymous said...

The US Attorneys office in Indianapolis is a joke why they have refused to do anything about FSSA, DWD, and IURC is beyond inept! Hogsett should be fired now!

Flogger said...

This clears the fog away about why the Mayor and the 1% Elite, want the Courts, etc., moved out of downtown.
There is a lot in the News lately about Ukrainian and Russian Oligarchs, but we have our own Oligarchs here in Indiana who equally immune from laws.

Anonymous said...

It's clear as day what they want at that intersection. They want their own version of the Boston Fanueil Hall Market Place, and they don't want the rabble from the courts driving off frail liberal urban shoppers and soft downtown condo dwellers.

They're trying to remake Indy's downtown into a soft, liberal, tolerant, bike-friendly, locally sourced congregation of wimps and nutjobs where weak millennials will feel comfortable shopping.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the former Market Square location be the perfect site for a new criminal justice center?

There could even be a skywalk to the jail and CCB.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Ballard's first public safety director, Scott Newman, actually proposed using the site for that very purpose. Yes, that's where the criminal justice system should be built. People don't want to waste valuable land downtown for a jail, but there is no reason the jail can't be located in sublevels of a criminal justice complex where inmates aren't able to find ways to break out through windows and can be easily transported by elevator for court appearances without ever leaving the building.

C. Roger Csee said...

About 12-15 years ago, there was a video produced, I believe by the Marion County Bar Assoc. that showed how they could build the new building across the street and pay for it with "user fees" on filings, fines, etc.
I wonder what ever happened to that plan?