Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

SB 621: Beware an impending fire "sale" or giveaway!

   I take a break from this week's series about how the internet has affected writing and publishing to comment on Senate Bill 621, a legislative effort that largely would remove "checks and balances"---important concepts to the Framers of the United States Constitution as well as every civics textbook, American history lesson, college intro to poly sci courses, etc.---from the operations of the Mayor of the City of Indianapolis.

   Why would Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, who seems to be (deservedly) quite unpopular seek to push a measure that sharply increases the power of his office when the demographics and baseline voting patterns of Indianapolis indicate Indianapolis will be a solid "blue" political entity after the next municipal elections?

   First, he cannot seriously believe he will win re-election in 2015. The tepid campaign effort garnered by his opponent last election cycle will re-occur only if the Democratic Party is foolish enough to refrain from attacks on Ballard's record. Of course, if one believes there is little difference (if any) between the two parties in this City and the same corporate hands pull the marionette strings of political candidates, then Ballard could run and win as many times as he likes, voters be damned. And face it, we are.

   Second, if we pass over the point in the previous paragraph, and the Democratic Party gets its head out of the orifice from which one emits the type of solid waste Tony Soprano's company processed, what has SB 621 accomplished? Any long-term political changes the Republican mayor would make would be wiped away by the next administration.

   Ah! Unless the "changes" he makes are contractual in nature. We have seen the City bent over a table as political pals have had their ways with her. The parking meter deal was a sham. Most of us will be dead by the time that deal expires. The heirs of the shareholders of the people who benefits from that deal safely will be ensconced on St. Barts or some other place of which nearly everyone in Indy only reads. The Broad Ripple parking garage is such a farce that it should have been run in an April Fool's Day edition of the paper. 

   If Mayor Ballard or Mayor Ryan Vaughn enters into a bevy of contracts with political pals over the next couple of years, and the City's capital assets are given away---maybe not even under the cover of a PR campaign that would tell us down really is up and Big Brother loves you---what is there to do? The recipients of the largesse probably will not bother even to smile as their lawyers inform the City's lawyers of the protections of the rights to contract, the ink long-since dried on the various give-aways, and the possible sanctions of legal actions against the contracts.

   I will not call the people "fat cats." I respect cats. They clean up after themselves. I will not call these individuals "pigs," either, because pigs are intelligent, although many is the tale of a farmer who ends up as a porcine dinner when he has a heart attack in a hog lot and falls down. This would not be a "fire sale," either. Rather, it would be a sacking/looting of public assets as Mayor Ballard cleans out his desk.

   These political "pals" are human beings. They are well-connected human beings. They are human beings growing richer at our expense and with little benefit to us or the next generation or two to suffer.

   Third, Mayor Ballard could believe these changes will enable him to run for higher office. April 1, however, is over a week past.

   Why else would Mayor Ballard (or Mayor Vaughn) seek such short-sighted gain?

   Beware the Jabberwock, my friend.        

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