the increasingly embarrassing ballard administration reached new heights of humiliation yesterday when it was forced to admit that it can't get the numbers to work on its latest plan to bail out the CIB.
the mayor has proposed or signed on to a few different bailout plans that have fallen through for various reasons. this latest plan was proposed by governor daniels, and was viewed by observers as a power grab because it would replace the CIB with a new board, with fewer mayoral appointees and a couple seats appointed by the governor. still, ballard rapidly and eagerly signed on to the plan.
but there was one problem: the numbers behind the governor's plan were bogus—complete junk. this should've been obvious to all when the governor announced that his plan included an additional $13 million in cost savings, but refused to give any examples. but the ballard administration apparently didn't figure out that these numbers were garbage until now. and instead of announcing that the governor's numbers are bunk, the mayor has taken the puzzling approach of pretending to support the plan while simultaneously admitting that the numbers don't add up.
the result is that ballard once again looks like a fool, while the governor gets to act like he came up with some great plan that the mayor's just too dumb to pull off. because the mayor isn't criticizing the governor for coming up with these fantasy figures, the mayor is taking all the heat for them.
the situation is reminiscent of what happened a couple years back when the city was trying to put together a plan to pay for the new stadium. then-mayor peterson had put together a plan, the centerpiece of which was a proposed downtown casino that would bring in money to keep the CIB afloat. governor daniels didn't like that plan, so he made his own. it was this plan—the governor's plan—that was eventually passed, despite not including enough money for operating expenses. yet today, only liberal bloggers seem to remember governor daniels's primary role in creating the whole CIB mess.
all in all, it's a pretty neat trick. the governor proposes a plan he knows can never work, and then when it fails, someone else gets the blame! it wouldn't work if the mayor would just stand up and say that the governor's plan is crap. but for whatever reason, the mayor can't or won't do that, so in the end it amounts to yet another failure of the ballard administration. ¶