Monday, September 28, 2015

WTHR's Investigative Reporter Upset Pence Announced Subaru Incentive Before IEDC Board's Formal Approval

WTHR's Bob Segal is suddenly making an issue of a practice that's been going on for many years where the state's governor or a local mayor will announce economic development incentives being offered to a business before their formal approval. He thinks there's something wrong with Gov. Mike Pence's decision, in particular, offering Subara $7.9 million in state economic development incentives accompanying a $140 million investment expected to create 1,200 new jobs before IEDC's board, which is controlled by the governor's appointees, has formally approved the award.
 . . . But 13 Investigates has learned the IEDC skipped an important step – and forgot to mention some important details – before announcing it had awarded the economic incentives deal: the IEDC Board of Directors has not yet reviewed or approved the money . . .
.  . . a week after the Subaru incentives were announced in an IEDC news release, the agency admits it has not sent the $7.9 million incentive package to the board for a vote -- and that probably won't happen for several more months.
"No, the board has not approved it yet. We hope that will happen at the board's next meeting in December," said IEDC executive vice president Chris Cotterill. He told WTHR it is not unusual for the IEDC to publicly announce it has offered incentives to a company before the board takes formal action.
"More often than not, companies make an announcement after the board has given approval. But it can happen the other way, too," Cotterill explained.
"By saying the subsides have been ‘offered,' IEDC staff is speaking for a board action that has not yet been voted. That suggests the board is rubber-stamping the staff's work and begs the issue of the board's actual oversight and authority, said Greg LeRoy, director of Good Jobs First, a non-partisan policy resource center that promotes government accountability in economic development. "It's ironic that privatized state development agencies like IEDC are touted for being more ‘nimble' than public offices, yet it has no board mechanism for voting on major deals outside its quarterly calendar. That's the opposite of nimble."
So Segal is shocked, shocked to learn the IEDC board is just a rubber stamp for the governor? Please. This investigative reporter hasn't said a word about Mayor Greg Ballard illegally entering into a 15-year agreement with Blue Indy that involved the theft of tens of millions of dollars in public assets, including a $6 million subsidy to the French-owned company that Ballard included in the City's agreement awarding the company the right to operate a monopoly electric car sharing business. Ballard broke multiple state and local laws and obligated the City to give the company $6 million before the Board of Public Works, let alone the City-County Council, had given its blessing to the deal. The mayor also announces incentive packages at big press events before the Metropolitan Development Commission has given its approval to them. It's the way business has been conducted for years on these matters, Bob. There's so many cases of real corruption taking place in this state and city. Why do you have to manufacture controversies, Bob?


Anonymous said...

Is he gay? I have no idea but it seems these people have a visceral, irrational hate for Pence. They call it tolerance.

Gary R. Welsh said...

No, I suspect he's just fulfilling the marching orders of his news director. I've talked before about how the Star, the IBJ and each of the local TV stations are part of GIPC, Indianapolis' shadow government. Whatever GIPC decides is best for this city and state, the media reporting will be couched to reflect those views.

Anonymous said...

At least this reporter has a pulse
compared to Jim Shella who won't
attempt to investigate any possible

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:09 makes a perfect point. The people waging the acrid and loud-mouthed war on Mike Pence are strangely silent on the completely corrupt Greg Ballard and about the multiple criminal and civil laws the RINO Republican mayor breaks seemingly on a daily basis. For whatever it is worth, I am no fan of Mike Pence.

If ANYONE should not be governor, if ANYONE should never again be elected to public office again, it is Gregory Ballard.

Kyle Walker's corrupt lawless bought-and-paid-for mayor must be brought to justice and acquainted with a snappy orange hued jumpsuit complemented by wrist bracelets some call police handcuffs.

Anonymous said...

This is Justin, Part 2. The media doesn't like it when state officials scoop the local press.

When the Gov. grabs a mic, the media has to do something immediately and can't pace its coverage of the few events it wants to cover over an entire week.

Anonymous said...

The laugh is that Mike had next to nothing to do about this expansion but the pretense is of long practice. It is part of the preening process where the groundlings are expected to award the laurels to political sorts rather than the folks who actually do the work, raise the cash, have the talent, roll the dice.