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Party of No Becomes Party of Go

When I was a kid there was nothing better than a trip to the circus.  Monday night’s Council meeting was a return to my childhood.

I don’t know which contributed more to the circus-like atmosphere.  The Council Democrats who got up and walked out of the chamber before Mayor Greg Ballard delivered his budget address.  It might have been the protester who held up the sign, and I am not making this up, “Stop rapeing the taxpayers”.  Or it could have been the Baptist Ministers Alliance, which is always good for a chuckle or two.    The sad part of all this is that this city has serious issues that need to be addressed and you would think people would want to keep the silliness down to a bare minimum.  So with that said, the Democrats who left get the Ringmaster award.

With a $75 million drop in sales and income tax revenue you would think that Democrats would want a place at the table to make sure programs important to their constituents remain a funding priority.   Instead most of them walk out (please note Joanne Sanders, Jackie Nytes and Mary Moriarty Adams stayed for the entire address).    The walkout was reportedly the brainchild of Democrat Vern Brown, the gist of his complaint being that the city never consulted with them before putting it together.   I asked City Controller Dave Reynolds about that and he told me they never asked.

The only “idea” that has come from the Dems regarding the budget so far was from City-Councilor Jose Evans who put out a release saying the city was going to end its policy of take home cars for police officers.  The city is not eliminating take home cars for police officers, but looking at take home car usage in other areas of public safety, IFD, Animal Care and Control and Homeland Security.

My Democratic friends must be taking a playbook from the national Republicans, complain, don’t offer up any real ideas and hope voter anger is enough to carry the day.    I shouldn’t be shocked at this behavior, for the past three years they have been scarce on offering substantive public policy ideas.  And the ones that do have a thought are ostracized by members of their caucus.

Oh well, I guess a majority of them leaving the room and walking out was for the best.   If they have nothing to offer the best they can do is leave.  So now instead of calling them the party of no, I can label them the party on the go.

  • Think Again

    Damn. So much material. So little time.

    First of all, it’s not the Democrats’ obligation to ask the royal Mr. Reynolds for time in his chambers. It is the Ballard administration’s job to reach out to all 29 councillors. Always. And they haven’t done it.

    That said, it’s the job of my fellow Democrats to stay at the table, to listen, to learn, to bargain. Walking out should be reserved for the most-aggregious matters. This ain’t one of them. They’re trying to tie the public’s mind from IMPD outrage to budgets. Like the national GOP trying to tie mosque locations to outrage over the economy. It’s a very thin line, and once you cross it, you just look stupid.

    To top it off, if it was the brainchild of Vernon Brown, it’s embarrssing to most of us, that he could muster 11 folks to do anything. Please don’t lump all Democrats in this city with Mr. Brown. Or Larry–we can spell.

    And this throwback, of sorts, if you’ll permit, Abdul:

    Remember three weeks ago, when you heralded the arrival of the city budget, and the timetable? As if it was early, and jsut came down with the tablets in Moses’s hands. You were wrong and I called you out on it. That budget has been under development all year in the mayor’s office and among his cabinet. The state-mandated budget timeframe called for advertisement and public hearings on a calendar that far preceded your post. Reynolds had you eating out of his hand.

    Shame on all involved for not rolling up their sleeves in April, May and June, to get their heads around the needed cuts.

    Taxpayers, unite: the budget process for any governmental unit doesn’t suddenly “come to life” in August and September. That’s really the 3/4 mark on the budget racetrack. Ask questions in February, March and April.

    Vernon and many othiers, including some GOP councillors, will probably look at you like you’ve landed from Mars, but if you want to have input, that’s the time to have maximum effect.

    This budget was 85% put-to-bed in June.

    And to all fellow Dems on the council: walk out again, and many of us may walk out on you. Don’t ever resort to the McConnell-Boehner tactics. It doesn’t fly. Stay at the table.

    I know it’s frustrating. It was just as frustrating for the GOP for eight years under Peterson. That’s the way we roll–vote, live with the results, participate, argue, advocate.

    Which you cannot do outside the room.

  • Anonymous


    I wasn’t wrong on the budget. The city had to get initial budget requests from the different agencies and department heads. I’m working on a blog post about what each agency requested and what was finally submitted. Because I knew it was going to take a while before they got everything reconciled.

  • Anonymous

    Well, you can’t spell egregious.

    Seriously, I agree we can do without futile grandstanding.

  • Think Again

    Abdul: yeah, you were, in tone if not in content. The budget you trumpeted as freshly-done, was stale when Reynold gave it to you.

    You bought the company line.

  • Dave

    On this morning’s show, Councilor Vaughn gave a charitable, well reasoned account of last night’s meeting.

    By definition, a budget must be balanced or reconciled. The term “revenue” however, ought be reconsidered, if not corrected or replaced; with a more fitting term like “taxpayer contribution.”

    While government can benefit taxpayers with efficiencies learned from the private sector; government is not a business! Government is a consumer and not a producer; fed by contributions, of that which is produced by the private sector.

    The city has done a pretty good job of budgeting in this economy of declining contributions; a direct result of income declines within the PRIVATE SECTOR (the source of those contributions). Good budget results however, can become somewhat mixed, when diluted by things like the CIB mess.

    And yes, there’s been a rash of bad news lately, but the good news is that public safety is trending in the right direction, due in large part, to the commitment of Mayor Ballard & his administration. Citizens should debate priorities, but this administration doesn’t have a commitment problem.

  • Think Again

    The city’s done a pretty good job? On what planet do you live? In the last four months, we’ve:

    1. Sold off our water utility, sacrificed at the altar of 6-10 year sidewalk/road improvements, in a 50-year-or-so-deal; and

    2. Offered up a 50-year parking meter deal, fresh off the printing presses of the GOP-fed & led Barnes/Thornburg “partnership,” only one first-cousin removed from that wretched Mitch Roob-IBM-state welfare fiasco.

    As a city, we’ve become big check whores. With little thought abotu the long-term effect, and perhaps with poorly-written specs which attracted only the low-hanging fruit of corporate America. The buzzards swarmed and this is the best we can do?

    Sad. Hell even Goldsmith did better, and everyone hated that little publicity goon.

  • indyernie

    Vernon Brown should just stay away from every meeting… he’s a do nothing councilor anyway.
    The only proposals Brown has introduced in the past three years were tax increases (.65%) or fluff proposals. Brown won’t return calls to constituents when they need help not even to his loyal democrat constituents.
    His strongest suit is to attach himself to another councilor’s proposal after they have done the work. Why should we expect him to do anything more.
    Vern getting up and walking out is the most energy he’s exerted in the chamber so far this year.

  • John Howard

    When it’s a budget they think they won’t like, the D’s leave the room. When it’s a budget they think the taxpayers won’t like, the D’s lock them out of the council chambers.

  • Noname

    You forget think again that the Republicans had control of the council during Peterson’s first term.

  • Ramon

    Walking out could not be the brainchild of Vernon Brown. Vernon Brown has no brain.

  • Indyracer57

    How you balance to the budget is hand over 33 millions to the pacers and then tell taxpayers that the city is broke. Looks like the push for downtown has not worked. They say this is going to continue thought 2012. Is not the “Super Bowl” coming to Indianapolis in 2012? Where is all the money some of you said that the tax supported Locus Oil Stadium was going to bring Indianapolis? Looks like the plans to make Indianapolis the sports capital of the world is taxing on the taxpayers once again.

  • Anonymous

    If 500 Liquors had a sale on vermouth, that may be where Vern went….anyone got a breathalyzer?

  • pascal

    http://paulryan.house.gov/ for those who read only Gannett and are thus capable of a boner like, “My Democratic friends must be taking a playbook from the national Republicans, complain, don’t offer up any real ideas and hope voter anger is enough to carry the day”. It is true that No Republican in the House of Representatives voted in favor of Obamacare and good them them. To say that by voting no that they did not offer good alternatives is not only incorrect, it betrays a lack of depth, fortunately, easily curable by reading the Ryan Report (road map) probably available at the site provided.

  • Think Again

    I didn’t forget. I’d like to, but I didn’t.

  • Think Again

    Nah, Pascal…the jury’s in on national Republicans. Ask around.

  • pascal

    It is not likely that the people I would ask would be people known to you though they would be people with vast knowledge. While a few people believe the R’s will capture the Senate, most people think they will capture the House, easily. Not that R’s merit any confidence at all except that they have recruited good numbers of conservatives while the D’s have, in the Obamacare debate, shown no spine at all. It is almost like they crave the stupid party label long held by the R’s.

  • pascal

    TA, Walking out is like failure to respond and so where does your boy stand on the Muslim building at ground zero? Does he stand with Obama or Harry Reid? Just how excited are all of these Black Christian Ministers (who read history) about having a radical Muslim representing them in Congress? Black ministers are acutely aware of Black Genocide as practiced by the Democrat Party and how happy are they with your boy’s vote to let us all pay for abortions?

  • pascal

    Pascal notes that no less an asshole than our President Obama called Ryan’s Roadmap “a serious proposal”. One may look far and wide and long for ANY Democrat proposal that eliminates the deficit and one won’t find the first one. Why is that? Buyer gives one answer to Garrison, “Of Congress, I would not hire nor recommend for hiring about 70% of them” (this includes both R an D). Or, Ryan’s comment, applicable to our local radical muslim, “We have more “be-ers” up here than “doers”. ” People want to be a congressman rather than to actually do something”. Naturally, I don’t think the roadmap, even the short 97 page version, is capable of being understood by our current rep or any of the TA style liberals.

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