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Democrats Put Self-Interests Above Public Interest

As someone who writes frequently about events over at the Indiana General Assembly, it is not uncommon to be in a situation where you have multiple events taking place at the same time and you are running back and forth between the two.  I found myself in that situation recently while trying to keep tabs on two pieces of legislation important to Indianapolis,  HB 1011, mass transit and SB 621, Marion County Government reform.  The Senate Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee was hearing the mass transit bill, while the House Local Government and Regulatory Reform Committee was hearing the Marion County bill.

And just to keep everyone up to speed the mass transit bill would have called for a referendum on a tax increase to fund the expansion of bus and rail service in Marion and Hamilton counties and it would have given the remaining donut counties the ability to opt-in.   The Marion County bill would, among other things given the Mayor more control over the entire city-county budget, as well as his appointments, and prior to the language being changed at the hearing, it would have eliminated the at-larges.  The bill was amended so the at-larges will now stay.

What struck me as most interesting was not only were both rooms packed but exactly who was doing the packing.  In the Senate hearing there were representatives from the business community, local government, faith community, etc.  It was a widespread, cross section of individuals all supporting mass transit.  Meanwhile, at the House hearing, it was mostly individuals connected in one capacity or another to the Marion County Democratic Party.  Now before I get the usual e-mails complaining that I am leaving out certain facts, please note I said “mostly”.  Also testifying against the bill was Republican City-County Councilwoman Christine Scales as well as a couple of representatives from some neighborhood groups.  And also there might have been fewer people in the room than I counted because “Black Pope Wannabe” Stephen Clay was there and he took up a few seats.

I was not surprised to see the SB 621 hearing look like a Democratic slating convention.   Democrats also packed the room when the legislation was originally heard in the Senate.  What did shock me though as that when it came to the mass transit bill, the Democrats must have got off on another stop because they have pretty much been AWOL in that debate.  No, I take that back, State Senator Jean Breaux, who is living proof that competence is not a prerequisite for public office, threatened that Democrats would withhold support for mass transit if the Republicans went forward with SB 621.

Here is what was really going on.  Democrats have been more concerned about keeping four people employed (the at-larges) than employing the thousands of their constituents who would be helped by expanded bus service.  An informal count showed the number of elected Democratic officials who showed up to testify against SB 621, about a dozen or so.  The amount that showed up to testify on behalf of mass transit, zero.  Now, in all due fairness to the Marion County Prosecutor, Terry Curry did hold a news conference in support of mass transit, arguing that is a tool to help fight crime because it would help people get to work and become self-sufficient, but it would also get witnesses more access to the courts and criminal justice system.

Unfortunately, the rest of Curry’s party doesn’t seem to see things that way.  They have put self-interest ahead of the public’s interest.  I guess the good news for them is that the four at-larges got to keep their jobs.  Too bad their constituents won’t have mass transit so they can look for a job to keep.

  • Peteboggs

    Economically, crash transit is not about jobs. It’s about easy money for a few “connected;” not connecting “poor folks” with jobs.

    If this were about jobs, city county government would get out of the way & stop pretending to be “in business.” In living the faith of their “jobs” claims, local government would lower tax & regulatory barriers that repel business (!!!) in the city, where the “poor folks” live; rather than adding inefficiency & cost to their distant or next county employment “opportunities.”

    Translation: ignore Marion County employment barriers, create an illogical, costly out of county “solution” to benefit the careers of a few profiteers & legacy hustlers; publicly funded or powered by a high spin emotive, of OPM addiction (Other People’s Money) asserted / excused as “logic.”

    When did it become government’s job to create a “culture” of mass transit (the categoric being division or creation of the divisive)? What other cultures or divisions would Ron Gifford suggest the government create or promote at taxpayer expense? Is that modern, enlightened business thinking?

    If they existed; wouldn’t real wizards be capable of selling “if you build it they will come” ideas to SEC quality, informed investors, based on UNDERSTOOD market sustainability & return on investment? Fleecing low information voters with inequitable, deceptive referenda drafting is fraught with future legal problems; if we’re a nation of laws, disclosures, citizen / consumer rights, etc.

    This, is the “best” we can do?

  • Rod Tokita

    Where’s the article on Bennett’s boondoggle or IPS enrollment up from 27,000 to 31,000 despite vouchers and charters??

  • Peteboggs

    IPS numb-ers, up? It’s been reported otherwise: http://www.wibc.com/news/story.aspx?ID=1774273

  • Steve

    Doubt you will see that here, just the New Superintendents remodeling cost. Bennett’s purchase from a former employee of his is just smart business decision.

  • LYRIC hearing aid

    You made some clear points there. Great piece of writing, I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post.