Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ballard: my first broken promise

the indy star mentioned it first. then the accidental mayor blog was the first to draw attention to it. then, state dem party chair dan parker put out a press release. mayor-elect ballard has already flip-flopped on property taxes, only a week after being elected, and before he even takes office.

the abduls of the world can hem and haw and say that ballard hasn't really changed his position here. but he has. here is the promise, directly from the property taxes page of his campaign site:

1. Lobby the state legislature to pass a constitutional amendment eliminating property taxes in Indiana. I believe that with the current makeup of the legislature, 35-40% of legislators approve of such a measure.

2. Failing a state constitutional amendment, I will find an acceptable mix of taxes within Marion County to greatly reduce the influence of property taxes in Indianapolis. This will help bring the middle class back to Indianapolis, increasing the overall tax base and reducing the tax burden on the poor.

pretty simple, huh? basic, straightforward language, right? in order to keep this promise, ballard doesn't need to actually get property taxes repealed. all he has to do to keep this promise is lobby the legislature for a constitutional amendment. then, when that fails, he can go on to find another solution.

has ballard lobbied for an amendment? no. will he? apparently not, if he now supports the governor's plan. so if he promised to do X, has not done X, and has no intention of doing X, then there's no other way to look at it: he's broken a campaign promise. and he isn't even in office yet!

it would've been such an easy promise to keep! after all, candidate ballard had to know that the mayor has no power to actually do anything about property taxes. all he had to do was some token lobbying, then when it inevitably failed he could get behind the mitch daniels plan. easy as pie, campaign promise kept. but no, he couldn't even do that. he can't even be bothered to respond to questions about his flip-floppery.

not that i'm surprised. property tax repeal for indiana truly is a radical, fringe idea, and ballard's support for it was one of many reasons that i and people like me never took him seriously as a candidate. it's the kind of thing that sounds nice as a one-sentence poll question—hey, do you want to pay less taxes?—but like i said over at doug's place, just about everyone who's actually looked at the numbers know it's not feasible. property taxes bring in billions of dollars that fund our schools and other important stuff. you can't just get rid of them without doing something major to offset all that lost revenue, like massive increases to sales and income taxes, which would do plenty damage on their own.

the only question is: will the tax protesters now turn on the mayor-elect, their once-hero?

oh, and one more question: when will someone create ballardlies.com?


Wilson46201 said...

Both www.GregLies.com and www.GregLies.org just got registered...

steph said...

The tax protesters will be evenly split - half will think they solved the problem by voting for Ballard and are no longer paying attention, and half that were just partisan hacks in the first place and didn't care about taxes as anything other than campaign issue in the first place.

Now if I could get a "Greg lies" yard sign for my yard...

varangianguard said...

You three are going to be quite amusing over the next four years.

Now, I just have to come up with who your counterparts are from the BartLies crowd.

And here I was beginning to think that all the comedy was over for awhile.

stAllio! said...

v: if mayor ballard actually accomplishes half of his campaign promises, i'll be the first to congratulate. i don't have anything personal against the man, unlike the bart lies crowd, who all took their loathing of bart very seriously.

stAllio! said...

oh, and v, if you actually believe what you wrote about me at abdul's then you obviously haven't been reading this blog very long.

i know gary welsh says that once a month, but sometimes these things need to be said. i may be partisan, but i have perspective. i'm well aware of the peterson administration's flaws and mistakes; i just didn't think he was bad enough to warrant replacing with a complete wild card like ballard. better the devil you know, as they say.

melyssa said...

The bartlies phenomenon was truly grass roots and organic. It was effective because it was real, not forced, and sprang up out of genuine citizen outrage.

No one will ever be able to say the same about the copycat greglies.com (Although imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, Wilson)

The guy behind BartLies.com is not the guys that did the bumper stickers and signs...in fact I am not sure they knew each other until the CCC protests this summer.

The effective Bart Lies campaign started first among the cops at a downtown protest back in 2006. They had a sign that said "Bart Lied"...it was then suggested (by me) that they change the message to present tense.

Then came along the Indy Chicken and the PAC and the techie talented guy who started the BartLies.com website.

It's hard to deny that the Bart Lies campaign, working in tandem with other activist factions, had a drastic impact on an election that NO ONE (except a tiny few of us) thought Greg Ballard would win.

As Greg Ballard left a Meridian Kessler fundraiser a few days before the election with cash and checks from regular folks stuffed in every pocket, I knew for sure he has a destiny ahead of him as the people's mayor.

If anything, there is a lesson here. The ego driven political know-it-alls don't know squat. Afterall they got out-smarted by rogue groups of political hacks who had very little access to money.

When you attempt to copy something sincere and genuine, that just makes you and your work a fake.

varangianguard said...

Well stAllio, I'm busted. I hadn't been aware of your blog until about 6 weeks ago, or so. :)

stAllio! said...

i suspect that the "bart lies" campaign was less effective than you believe, melyssa. people were upset about property taxes, and to a lesser degree about COIT and crime. shadiness at the CCC didn't help either. they didn't care about bart's "lies"; they were pissed at all incumbents. bear in mind that a lot of republican incumbents lost in other cities.

if anything, the "bart lies" folks and "fair tax" folks were able to tap into that real anger to make themselves look more important than they were.

at any rate, i'm not expecting much from greglies.com... it seems obvious that the idea behind the name is to mock ballard supporters for their foolhardiness, not "copy" them.

the "accidental mayor", though... that's funny. ballard won because he was in the right place at the right time. still, if he's half the man you think he is, he should be able to rise to the occasion and do a decent job. i will give him credit for being the only one with enough chutzpah to run back in may, when everyone (including me) thought bart's reelection was inevitable.

melyssa said...

Curious? Did you ever get to know Greg or meet him? He carries a demeanor with a reassuring strength and calm. He also truly cares about our city, ahead of his own politics or personal gain.

Some people can't be bought or sold, you know. I'm one of them.

The spark that made me take that 10 hour bike ride to bring people to the Governor's mansion was, in the beginning, was to bring awareness of the national Fair Tax because I was a fair tax volunteer.

It worked, because it got this whole town talking about the Fair Tax. Before that I couldn't get 15 people out of their house to go to a meeting. Now we've got a huge network, although you don't see all of us at rallies for good reason.

One of our activists was fired on election day. The company he works for is run by hard core dems and it was retaliation. Shouldn't humanity come before politics and money?

Let's keep faith, regardless of which side of the aisle we're on, that Indiana will emerge a better and more secure place to live because of our work.

stAllio! said...

no, i've never met the man.

Heaven? Or Indiana? said...

Hope you didn't sprain your arm patting yourself on the back, Miss Ann. I almost expect your posts to have fife and drum midi files attached.

I have a question though; why didn't the Colonel stop by for a photo op during the O Day street theater your group staged? He's still with you all, right?

And yes, I've met the man and talked to him at length early on in his campaign when he had nothing but time on his hands. If not for his tacit approval of his supporters, like yourslef, running a full-on smear camapaign against his opponent, I probably would have voted for him.

Anonymous said...

Had Ballard not been on the house floor DURING our funeral march, he probably would have said "hi".

Many people could not march with us that day for fear of being seen on television and losing their jobs.

Unfortunately with trolls like Wilson on the prowl, that is a reality. You should know he wrote to my company anonymously more than once in an attempt to get me fired. I've got the IP addresses and the emails in case anyone wants to see them.

Anonymous said...

Ballard said he could balance the budget and run the city without a tax increase. He should support the Dem move to sunset the COIT and balance the budget like he said he could during the campaign. "All you have to do is to trim the fat from the budget" Let him try and do it..................

Wilson46201 said...

Unfortunately with trolls like Wilson on the prowl, that is a reality. You should know he wrote to my company anonymously more than once in an attempt to get me fired. I've got the IP addresses and the emails in case anyone wants to see them. ¶

—posted by Anonymous, at 1:51 PM, November 29, 2007

That simply never happened. I assume that was Melyssa Donaghy posting anonymously above. She is flat out LYING.