Ballard Stumped On Job Claims

WTHR's Bob Segal tenaciously investigated the 100,000 job claim the Daniels administration touted that it had created since he became governor and found that in reality only about 38% of those claimed new jobs had been realized. WRTV's Kara Kenney similarly questioned Mayor Greg Ballard's recent claim his administration had secured 8,737 jobs in 2010 alone. She learned that the City had written agreements covering less than 25% of the jobs companies had supposedly committed to create, or 1,634 of the 8,737 figure cited by Mayor Ballard. Nine of the 72 companies touted for economic development activity made only a commitment to retain existing jobs, she found. Naturally, Ballard refused to sit down with Kenney to discuss his job-creation claims. She had to track him down for comment at a public event and apparently his press office had tipped him off to be on the lookout for her. "That the paradigm we inherited. That's what the previous administration did. That's what the city has done for a long time," Ballard told Kenney as he ran off while refusing to answer her questions. I suspect Ballard doesn't even know what the word "paradigm" means, or perhaps he does. He may have promised he was going to run things differently when he ran for mayor, but now you've heard it from the Mayor's own mouth. Bart Peterson's administration is the model for how the City of Indianapolis should be run. If he had only told us that four years ago, we could have just voted to re-elect Peterson. At least then we would have known what we were getting in a mayor. Be sure to check the video of Kenney's attempt to question Ballard here.

Last week, I lamented the City of Indianapolis offering tax abatements to Roll-Royce simply to move jobs already existing locally from other locations around the city to a building downtown that had been vacated by Eli Lilly, after Lilly reneged on its promised job commitments it made with the City more than 10 years ago  in consideration for hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives and instead shedded thousands of jobs. I noted at the time Rolls-Royce was heavily dependent on defense contracts to support its local jobs and defense spending would likely be curtailed drastically because of the serious financial crisis facing the federal government. Yesterday, the Defense Department directed Rolls-Royce and GE to halt work on an engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that is being manufactured locally in Indianapolis and elsewhere around the state, potentially affecting about 2,500 jobs between the two companies, which could increase to 4,300. "The Pentagon in a statement said the stop-work order applied immediately for 90-days, halting the expenditure of $1 million a day for an engine the military has said consistently since fiscal 2007 it does not want," the IBJ reported. "The order doesn’t terminate the program, however, the Pentagon said."