Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ogden supported Ballard on Cars until Barnes and Thornburg Rumor Surfaced.

First we would like to wecome the regular readers of Ogden on Politics. Welcome!

One of those readers, Leslie Sourwine/Buringtonasacoach, asked us this question: "Everything I've seen on Ogden's blog was backed up with facts.... Will this blog also provide facts and evidence to back up the opinions coming from it or will this blog merely an opinion blog?"

I agree Mr. Ogden does include many facts, which is what made is blog so promising. It has been his concusions regarding the facts that are both wrong and objectionable.

It reminds me of the scene in My Cousin Vinny where Vinny tells his nephew the parable of the playing card and the brick. He says the other attorney wants you to believe the paying card was a brick (metaphorically). The card had four sides like a brick. The card was rectangular like a brick. The card was red like a brick. But the other attorney wanted you to see the card in a certain way so it looked like a brick, because if you turned it a certain way it was as thin as a playing card. Vinny said the attorney's arguments may seem like they were made of brick, but were simply a house of cards.

With Mr. Ogden, let's take his musings (quoted in the Ogden Truth Squad masthead) on Indianapolis's purchase of hybrid cars. Mr. Ogden first post on this topic was on December 6th. In December, Mr. Ogden questioned the politics of not buying American, but said Mayor Ballard made a defensible choice. Mr. Ogden wrote in that post:

I totally understand why the Mayor made the decision he did. The purchase price of the Toyota Camrys was fine and I agree that they'll probably save money over the long run.
However, on January 14th, Mr. Ogden wrote a second posting, changing his anaysis based soley on the presence of an entity Mr. Ogden hates:

So I had mixed feelings about whether it was a good deal...that is until I started hearing the rumors that pay to play politics might have been involved in the decision. The information I have is that it has been confirmed by some high-level Republicans, that Andy Mohr Toyota is indeed a client of Barnes & Thornburg, whose partners Bob Grand and Joe Loftus, regularly sit in on meetings with the Mayor, meetings where this kind of decision would have likely been discussed.

Curiously, Mr. Ogden makes a "freudian slip" in using the words rumors and information interchangeabley. In this post, there are no additional facts given, no documents showing the Toyota dealer is a client of said law firm, no facts showing Barnes and Thornburg was involved in a decision made on the purchsing level recommended by the Budget Office headed by David Reynolds, no evidence that he confirmed the rumors with Republicans or that those Republicans were indeed "high-level." Those items would be facts. All Mr. Ogden gave us to change his mind were rumors and innuendo, which he believes to be information despite the absence of fact.

So what to make of this? Mr. Ogden believed Mayor Ballard made a defensible decision based on facts. Then, Mr. Ogden heard rumors that his archenemy Barnes and Thornburg had degrees of separation to someone in the story. Mr. Ogden, armed with no facts, assumes the rumors are true and paints Ballard as doing something unethical, again with no facts to back it up.

The argument was nothing more than a House of Cards.

1 comment:

  1. Mary Jo, Mary Jo your latest post reminds me of the presidential race where McCain and Palen kept throwing banana peelings out to try and slip up the Obama campaign. Had they thrown the whole banana they might have not kept slipping on their own banana peels and maybe, just maybe had a better chance at winning the election. Your post on Odgen’s remarks is like the McCain and Palen banana peels. You didn't include his whole remark only that portion you think provides facts to your statement. Let me help you out a bit.

    What Ogden actually said on his first post was this, "The purchase price of the Toyota Camrys was fine and I agree that they'll probably save money over the long run. The problem was the political price tag that was on those vehicles. It will be the Mayor and not the taxpayers paying the political price of the decision.

    In Odgen’s second post you left out a whole paragraph that pointed out that a member of the city council was also questioning how the bidding process was done since the owner of the Camry Dealer is a possible client of B&T’s, a client who may be represented by B&T and who the mayor is buying the cars from. I’ll help you out here as well and include the rest of Ogden’s statement.

    Odgen continued to say in his second post, “Joanne Sanders, minority leader on the council, has asked questions about how the bidding process was done. They are legitimate questions. Bob Grand, Joe Loftus and the Mayor's Office need to disclose whether Andy Mohr is indeed a client of Barnes & Thornburg. There should be zero tolerance for secrecy in such matters. Questions regarding whether Andy Mohr is a client of Barnes & Thornburg, and the influence of that fact on the decision-making process, need to be answered, and answered honestly.

    As for other facts posted on Odgen’s blog I am most curious about the quarter of a million dollars paid to Marion County Jail II owners, CCA who are also clients of B&T. Odgen posted the contract the city signed with this corporation on his blog and nowhere does it show where the city owed them a quarter of a million dollars. Go to this link http://www.inmateabuse.tv/ to read of copy of the operating contract and then come back and point out to me where the city owed the money it paid to CCA at the request of another elected official, Sheriff Anderson. Yet without city council members reading the operating agreement, and in spite of the many contract violations that occur at this private facility the city council and the mayor provided them with a huge reward from taxpayer’s money no questions asked.

    Leslie Sourwine says just because a snake sheds his skin he’s still a snake in fact, crawling on his belly through the grass. It’s time for the mayor to stand up and answer the people who are asking questions.