Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lobbyist Ties To Councillor Leroy Robinson Continue Unabated

Councillor Leroy Robinson, Chairman of the Metropolitan & Economic Development committee of the City-County Council, continues his cozy relationship with lobbyists who have business before his powerful committee.

His latest campaign finance report, covering contributions from January 1 and April 10 of this year, lists contributions from lobbyists D. William Moreau, Jr. and Greg Hahn.   Hahn is, and has been for some time, a registered lobbyist for Lamar Companies and Outfront Media, both billboard companies.  Moreau was registered to lobby for Clear Channel last year, but has not registered to lobby for them this year.

Hahn is also Robinson's Campaign Treasurer.

Hahn is not doing a particularly good job at that position as far as filing a complete report is concerned.  Hahn reports, as he should, donations for the reporting period as well as the total donation by an individual for the year-to-date.  Since these time periods are one and the same, both columns should be identical.  They are not.  Hahn lists himself as having given a $250 donation on March 15 and a year-to-date total of $500.  There is no entry of another time at which Hahn gave Robinson's campaign the other $250, as there is required to be. 

Additionally, Hahn lists Moreau's $250 donation on February 15, with a year-to-date total of $700.  Again, there is not another entry showing exactly when Moreau gave that money.

And, the summary cover page does not report the year-to-date figures.

Also, there is no mention of any donor's occupation, whereby the public might have a shot at putting two and two together.

You might be interested in the fact that on April 21, after the campaign finance reporting period ended, Robinson had a fundraiser, co-sponsored in part by not one, not two, not three, but four lobbyists with business before his committee --  Greg Hahn, Ahmed Young, Carl Drummer and Lacy Johnson.  Of course, the public will not be able to find out how much these 'interested citizens' helped Robinson's campaign raise that night, until after the Primary Election on May 5.

Robinson has tried to do some good things while in office, of that I have no doubt.  But, he is damaging, if not destroying, his reputation and the public confidence in him by continuing to have lobbyists front and center of his campaign.  The fact that they have business before his committee is cause for immense concern.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Property Taxes to Pay for Criminal Justice Center????

At last night's Public Safety & Criminal Justice Committee meeting, Council CFO, Bart Brown, presented part of the analysis the Council commissioned to analyze the Ballard Administration's estimates of the cost for their proposed Criminal Justice Center.

The completed report, "Marion County Justice Center Fiscal Feasibility Analysis", which also compares the cost to the taxpayer for the City to build and operate such a facility without the elaborate public-private partnership Ballard favors, can be found on the Council's website.  I have read it once, and have a number of questions to follow up with before I say anything here about it.

Brown's presentation last night, however, was more tailored to where the Administration says there are present funds that can be turned to pay for the construction and operation contract it hopes to ink down with WMB Heartland Justice Partners and how reliable the Fiscal Feasibility Analysis finds each of these sources to be. 

Below is the clip from WCTY's broadcast of Brown's presentation, along with a very pertinent follow-up question from Councillor Leroy Robinson, where Brown suggests new property taxes just might have to be raised should the Council approve the CJC plans now on the table.

Brown's last PowerPoint slide kind of says it all:
"There exist[s] a high probability that the next Mayor & Council must raise revenue to meet an obligation to WMB"