Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CIB Bailout: How will the Democrats Use It?

With Chris Worden's iPOPA blog on indefinite hiatus, I think I'll try to put on my analyst/reporter cap and leave my opinions at the door. You can pretty much go to any of the other blogs in town and find some excellent opinions and analysis, but I've been pondering something else.

How will the Democrats play this issue? The leading candidate in the Mayoral race on their side, Melina Kennedy, has been quiet on the utility transfer due to her day-job at the law firm of Baker and Daniels (who is representing the city in the deal). And Democratic candidates who haven't even gotten the nomination wouldn't dare talk trash to Herb Simon, a long time supporter of Democrats (though like many of the movers and shakers of this town, he contributes to both parties locally). So what will they do?

I thought that they might criticize some of the finer details of the deal. Gary Welsh has already started their homework for them in two excellent posts. Someone like Brian Williams, who sunk his teeth into the water utility sale, could get in on the ground floor and point out specifics of the deal that could be played as bad, and what a Democratic administration would've done differently. A Democrat could also note that the deal won't have any City-County Council over site because it allegedly is coming from within the Capital Improvement Board's budget, and the Council only would need to review if it requested new spending. Finally,they could go after the short-term fix, since it just leaves a new deal for another administration to handle if the current one doesn't get re-elected.

And to prove how right I am, I had an e-mail exchange on Facebook with Jon Easter, one of the writers over at Indy Democrat. He basically confirmed my suspicion, and these points appeared in his latest post.

But there's one final viewpoint I'd like to cover: the viewpoint of the public. It really does seem like this bailout is getting overtly negative reviews, but what impact will it have on the average citizen in 2011 and their decision of who to vote for? As bloggers, sometimes we have more of a long-term memory or tend to focus in on certain subjects. That isn't true for everyone, and what is an issue now might be forgotten in a week, month, or a year from now.


  1. I could be wrong, but... I do believe that unless the CIB has the entire $10 million already sitting in its 'other services & charges' portion of its operating budget, that it would have to have the Council approve a transfer between the other "characters" of its budget and this one. Of course, I am assuming that a loan to a private company is legal at all - a point raised in other blogs.

    Even the agreement with the Pacers spells out the need for the Council to appropriate the loan funds in the 2nd and 3rd year.

  2. Pat, I honestly don't think it'll matter. The council majority has been satisfied with knowing as little information as possible and has refused to question the stats and numbers the CIB presents them. If it does come before the council, Bob Lutz will push it through Rules and Public Policy, and the full council vote will probably get 1-2 Democrats to appear bi-partisan so a single Republican can take a principled stand without endangering the overall vote.

  3. The Democrats will do to Ballard exactly the same as he did to Peterson; they will label him a tax and spend politician. Start out with a voice of a Ballard promise to lower taxes and reduce spending and then morph into a Ballard rate increase announcement; repeat as necessary.


Please see the Indy Student Blog Policies page for the full policy on blog comments. Verification of comments by typing in a random word is required to prevent spam. Due to recent blog inactivity, comments are now pre-screened to prevent spam advertisement.