My grandfather, Gordon Gilmer, used to represent most of Pike Township on the Indianapolis City-County Council years ago. This was the first time in a long time I’ve been inside that room for a council meeting, and arguably the first one I attended where I had enough knowledge to recognize what was going on.
During this meeting, the city-county members and the selfish supporters of the resolution took up the vast majority of a four hour meeting. They presented their figures about how much the CIB, and moreso, the convention industry, does for the city. The hotel management even dragged their workers to this meeting, which took up the back half of the public meeting space. In uniform. Just as Mr. Ogden predicted on his blog.
Only two were not blatantly biased in favor of the bill. A professor put together a quickly done study, ordered by Robert Lutz, that showed only 7,300 jobs are produced as a result of the convention business and the money visitors spend during those conventions. This figure is drastically different than the 66,000 jobs that the proponents cited, but Don Welsh managed to spin the professor’s independent study so it’d go along with his presentation. As for the second, a representative of the Libertarian Party was called forward to give some testimony. But he got off topic during his time, and it’s clear none of the representatives bothered to listen.
After all of that, Lutz strictly limited public input to two minutes per person. Apparently, 3 and a half hours into it and having only heard one side, he had all he needed, and didn’t need to hear about stuff like what the public thinks, or what the Indiana Constitution says, or any of that pesky non-sense.
Over at Hoosiers for Fair Tax, they mention the part of the Consitution I read during the public's two minutes per person. Article 10, Section 6, which clearly prohibits the county from using tax payer money to support what the CIB does, which is prop up the Colts and Pacers. And don't be fooled, just because the $15 million wasn't in the specific budget NOW, doesn't mean that the money won't be used for it.
But that isn't the only part of the Constitution that this violtes. Article 10, Section 12 says "nor shall the credit of the State ever be given, or loaned, in aid of any person, association or corporation; nor shall the State become a stockholder in any corporation or association."
Clear as day.
But the committee voted 5-1 against the Constitution. Against the will of the peope. And probably against a good number of no new tax pledges too.
Hooisers for Fair Tax has more about the two council members who didn't bother to show up.
A new entry will link to all the blogs covering this event, as they'll surely be updated soon.