Monday, April 28, 2014

Rebuild Indy 2 Should Easily Cover The Cost Of The Mayor's Re-Election Campaign

Mayor Greg Ballard has been pitching the idea of funding Rebuild Indy 2, a plan to spend about $350 million over the next three years on streets, sidewalks and whatever other projects he can imagine, such as a sports park to play cricket. The first $150 million in spending would come from a bond issue. Ballard's original Rebuild Indy spending program was funded by close to $500 million the City netted from the sale of the water and sewer utilities to Citizens Energy, which ratepayers have been paying for in the form of repeated, double-digit rate increases.

By coincidence or not, city contractors who received Rebuild Indy contracts contributed about $1.5 million to his campaign committee over the past four years. The top ten contributors were all engineering firms which received no-bid contracts. Interestingly, their contributions accounted for over $700,000 of the $1.5 million raised from Rebuild Indy contractors even though they collectively represented only about $78 million of the nearly $500 million spent. Construction companies, which received the bulk of the Rebuild Indy money, contributed much less to Ballard's campaign committee, perhaps because the contracts they were awarded were subject to public bidding requirements. The top ten are listed below. The number in parenthesis is the amount of contracts awarded to the firm, while the second number is the amount of contributions the firms and their key employees made in campaign contributions over the past four years.

1.   American Structurepoint, Inc. ($37,203,475)--$129,700
2.   RW Armstrong & Associates ($13,554,892)--$90,000
3.   United Consulting Engineering, Inc. ($9,066,041)--$101,250
4.   Bernardin Lochmueller and Associates, Inc. ($7,406,845)--$83,500
5.   Christopher Burke Engineering ($5,722,494)--$38,500
5.   Butler, Fairman and Seufert, Inc. ($3,847,164)--$63,550
6.   V.S. Engineering, Inc. ($1,957,866)--$41,000
7.   M.D. Wessler and Associates, Inc. ($1,835,236)--$30,250
8.   First Group Engineering, Inc. ($1,282,052)--$36,250
9.   Janssen & Spaans Engineering, Inc. ($1,384,600)--$42,500
10. DLZ Indiana, LLC ($736,250)--$88,905

I don't fault these engineering companies and their key employees for contributing so generously to Mayor Ballard's campaign committee. They know how the game is played. Either they pay up or they won't play. After all, that's why they call it "pay to play," and pay to play is the Ballard way. A special shout out to the reader who took the time to compile this data to be shared with the public.

UPDATE: The original top ten list of contributors omitted the actual 5th place finisher, which was Christoper Burke Engineering, and which was awarded $5,722,494 in consulting contracts and contributed a total of $38,500 to Ballard's campaign committee.

1 comment:

Indy Rob said...

Gary, I wonder if you can provide a list of the mayor's large donors (> $10,000 maybe) that did not benefit from city contracts. It would be interesting to see if there is anyone who did not get paid back from this corrupt administration.