Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Ethics" Committee Meets Tonight - One Agenda Item - Disclosure of Free Tickets to Sporting Events

Two Council committees will meet tonight, both beginning at 5:30 pm.  Public Works will get the big room and the live WCTY feed.  So, we'll have to wait for tomorrow's posting online and subsequent airings to see what the "Ethics" Committee does with Prop 28, which "amends the Code concerning ethics disclosure to ensure more transparency with respect to gifts provided to Councillors and their families".

This proposal was heard by the committee on Valentine's Day and can be viewed in the WCTY archives.  Only 4 of the 6 members showed up to discuss more disclosure to the public.  This is the minimum needed for a quorum.  There was much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, but no vote on the proposal.  The list online shows the committee to be chaired by Councillor Robinson, with other members being Simpson, Miller, Shreve (took over for Freeman who is still listed) - the 4 present.  Missing were Brown and Cain.

Councillor Simpson ended the meeting saying to the proposal's author, Councillor Mahern, "Let's really work on this", and "Good work, Brian".  The proposal was continued to the next meeting of the committee, which was to be March 14.

The is notice of a March 14, 2013, meeting of this committee, but no minutes or WCTY video are posted.  Prop 28 was the sole item on that agenda, as well.  An email exchange with SaRita Puckett, Ethics committee secretary, clarified that there was, in fact, no meeting held that date.

This proposal is pretty darned simple - on top of existing reporting requirements for gifts, it would also require that Councillors disclose receipt of gifts from Municipal Corporations (like the CIB).  It would require that dollar amounts be estimated for the value of gifts received.  And, it would require that gifts made to Councillors' spouses and dependant children be disclosed.  Not all gifts require disclosure in the current or proposed Code on ethics - only those valued at more than $100 for one gift, or an aggregate value of more than $250 in a calendar year.  So, a cup of coffee shouldn't tip anyone's scale.

But tickets to sporting events would definitely tip the scales.

Tonight we shall see if this Council would rather be open and above board in disclosing what tickets to what sporting events they and their family are treated to, or if they'd rather keep the public in the dark and guessing.  This committee will not bring forward a proposal that would embarrass the full Council by forcing a vote to strengthen the public's right to know, when that vote would be a very public and very accountable 'no'.  We shall see if Councillor Simpson and the rest of the "Ethics" committee really want to make this proposal the best it can be - or if they want to bury it.


Unknown said...

The typical suite at Lucas Oil costs $110,000 for ten Colts games. Twenty tickets go with the suite. Each ticket has a worth of $450. The CIB suite is better located than most but we'll leave it at $550. As a member of the Capital Improvements Board, Council President, Maggie Lewis, receives two tickets to each Colts game. Two tickets times ten games times $550 equals $11,000. Democrats will protect Maggie.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Lewis does not need protecting - the public does.

Jon said...

I see this going the same way as the TIFs discussion; there will be discussion but no action will be taken. The local politicos will protect themselves first and foremost.

Anonymous said...

I love it when Democrats start eating their own...

Jon, I woud be interested to find out who the politicos are. I thought the Dem caucus was a puppy dogs and butterflies> Let hope that Maggie does run for Mayor.

Had Enough Indy? said...

So, Anon - you value those Rs (presumably only Rs from your comments) who tow the party line rather than stand up for what is right?

Its not about eating your own - its about standing for something.

Pete Boggs said...

Now, let's consider the legality of lobby favored, proponent referenda drafting...

Anonymous said...

ICAN, (Indiana Canine Association Network) Is the prison dog training program Hope Rippey belonged to before her suspicious early release. Melinda Loveless belongs to it now and is their lead dog trainer. No one knows who paid for Melinda’s attorney with her attempt at release in 2007.

Why is NASCAR’s Tony Stewart’s foundation for disabled children supporting a prison program led by a convicted child killer?
ICAN is a prison dog-training program Stewart supports and high-profile child killer Melinda Loveless is an active dog trainer there. Melinda masterminded the 1992 kidnapping, 10 hr torture, and murder (burned alive) of 12-yr-old Shanda Sharer.
Search: “Shanda Sharer”
Search: “ICAN”+”Melinda Loveless”
Fellow inmate and assisted murderer of Shanda, Hope Rippey was in the ICAN program and released early under suspicious circumstances.
Search: “Hope Rippey”+”Early Release”

ICAN’s mission statement is;
“To qualify for the program, offenders must have a background clear of violent behavior.”
So why is Melinda, and Hope before her in this program? Indiana prisons are overflowing with non-violent offenders, so better choices are available.

There is no way Tony does not know about Melinda and Hope with his active support and participation with this prison program.
Stewart should pull his support of ICAN until Melinda is removed from the ICAN program as their mission statement requires.

Tony Stewart’s affiliation to ICAN
Search “ICAN”+”Tony Stewart Foundation”

Time: November 10, 2012 from 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Location: Indiana Roof Ballroom
City/Town: Indianapolsi
Event Type: fundraiser, celebration
Organized By: Dino Sierp – ICAN
ICAN'S Decade of Dogs - 10 years of unleashing abilities and changing lives - on both ends f the leash.
Nascar Champion Tony Stewart and Indy Car Team Owner, Sarah Fisher are honorary co-chairs.

The pups were donated by the Tony Stewart Foundation to the Indiana Canine Assistance Network.
The correctional facility here is the fourth prison to work with ICAN.

Irwin also said that ICAN partners with the Tony Stewart Foundation for financial support,

For 2011, the board of the Tony Stewart Foundation awarded $10,000 Grant to ICAN
Stewart is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops/ Mobil 1 Chevrolet

Anonymous said...

Patty Spitler, of Pet Pals TV, hosted the event with Sarah Fisher and Tony Stewart (by video) opening the evening with words of inspiration
In addition, we extend our sincere thanks to the following businesses for their generous support:
Tony Stewart Foundation
Whiteland Raceway Park (Stewarts Indy go-kart Racetrack)
Sarah Fisher Hartman (Builds NASCAR racecars)

Anonymous said...

ICAN Revenue: $10 mil. - $25 mil. But; ICAN’s Sally Irvin says only $291,000 per yr in another interview. Over ten years that only adds up to $3 mil, so where is the rest going?!search/profile/company?companyId=343300506&targetid=profile

Anonymous said...

This is the link to the Ethics Committee.