Libertarian candidate Chris Bowen has maintained a very low profile since being tapped earlier this summer by the Libertarian Party as its mayoral candidate. Nuvo has been profiling all of the mayoral candidates. The responses for Mayor Greg Ballard and Melina Kennedy were very predictable. I thought Bowen might offer some alternative ideas appealing to the disenchanted. Glancing at his responses to Nuvo's questions, that would appear not to be the case.
On what makes Indianapolis an exceptional city, Bowen responded by saying fluoride toothpaste was invented at Indiana University and Indiana State Police invented the breathalyzer as a sign of "a thriving community of entrepreneurs." On the shortcomings of the city, he is echoing Kennedy's views on the need for the mayor to take a more active role in improving our education system. He also talks about how "we've put off a lot of infrastructure upgrades" but offers no solutions.
Bowen missed a big opportunity on a question about the proper role of government in economic development. He suggests that there are too many organizations doing the same thing and that "government should get out of the way so that private industry can start to thrive", but without adding any details he moves on to the smoking debate. Naturally, he opposes a smoking ban in public places, including bars and restaurants, but he wants to tack a new fee on businesses that allow smoking to fund anti-smoking campaigns. If you want "fresh ideas", you'll have to rely on his promise to hire "the best and brightest people."
In response to a question about how he would prioritize redevelopment projects throughout the neighborhoods, he wants to "focus on expanding the arts and continuing to connect those areas of talent together." He talks about neglected neighborhoods, but he offers no proposals on how he would address that problem. On fixing the air quality in Indianapolis, he said: "What a mayor can do about that? I really don't know." His discussion on global warming is too convoluted to even mention.
Bowen's discussion on cutting waste suggests he has spent little to no time at all studying the city's budget. He says, "When you look at a line item and it says personal services, and I've talked to some people about it and they go 'Are you sure that doesn't mean personnel?'" Huh? He continues, "Well, as a personnel management specialist in the Army, I understand the difference between personnel and personal. And, if you were to look at the budget, it says personal services. So I've asked some people, What does this mean? Do our city officials get dry cleaning services? Is this the take home vehicle program? Is this the fuel for the take home vehicles? What kind of things lead in to the budget?" Yeah, I think he needs to do a little more homework on that subject and a lot more.