An Interesting Observation

I attended a small political gathering yesterday, and during the “mixing and mingling” had a conversation with a member of the Indiana House. We were discussing the legislature’s refusal to allow Indianapolis to hold a referendum on public transportation, and she noted that the same people who don’t believe Indianapolis residents can be trusted with that vote are among the most vocal proponents of “letting the people decide” ¬†whether Indiana should constitutionalize its ban on same-sex marriage.

Evidently, we aren’t capable of deciding whether to pay for better bus service, and it would be dangerous to put such a serious matter to a vote; however, we are perfectly capable of deciding whether other citizens should be denied equal access to a fundamental human right.

Tell me again–how did we elect these people?


  1. These observations make as much sense as the Repubican Senator (I have mentally blocked her name and state) who is against same-sex marriage because straight people will take advantage of the benefits they will receive if these marriages are approved. This will be done when straights, claiming to be homosexuals when they marry, will reap the benefits of same-sex marriage partners (whatever they may be) but continue living separate life styles. “These people” continue electing one another for reasons unknown even to themselves…this is staunch Republicanism. These same people are against improving any mode of public transportation while continuing to pave more and more of the state with new roads, interstates and highways but allow infrastructure to deteriorate. Some days, only my sense of humor helps me maintain my sanity.

  2. The transit referendum isn’t “democracy”, it’s a hoax. The odds of it passing in Marion County are 99.99%. The federal government is spending $1 million on advertising to push mass transit. The unions will bring in organizers from all points, to get the vote out. In the end, though most people won’t even vote, the referendum will pass by a 5:1 margin.

    Wouldn’t it bother mass transit fans if the federal government spent $1 million in opposition ?

    Doesn’t it bother legal scholars that the restriction of the plan to central Indiana counties violates the state constitution ?

    Transit is good. This plan stinks.

  3. Per Eugene’s complaint, this plan’s first focus will strengthen IndyGo. Transit is good.
    This plan recognizes our regional economy and political structures and includes design and funding elements that satisfy both. Transit is good.
    This plan isn’t yet willing to jetison light rail, but makes it the last priority of a many-year plan. Transit is good.
    And this plan is no more dependent on tax subsidies than our ever-sprawling highway system. Transit is good.

  4. You act like we’ve been doing nothing all of these years on mass transit. We’re funding IndyGo to the tune of $65 million a year. Many would argue that IndyGo hasn’t done a very good job; some say that’s because it doesn’t have enough funding. What efforts have been made to increase its funding to make it a more attractive alternative to the automobile? Do you ride the bus to work? Does your son ride the bus to work? Why not? You have easy access to bus stops.

    Zach, I notice you drive to work every day to your business downtown even though you live on the near eastside. You have easy access to bus service. Why don’t you utilize it? You’re asking all of us to levy a new tax on top of the property tax we’ve been paying for decades to expand service to the suburban counties, which levy no taxes currently to fund mass transit. Explain to me why Indianapolis residents are expected to finance the bulk of the metropolitan mass transit plan so a very small number of people living in the suburbs can access a bus service that Indianapolis residents refuse in large numbers to ride. And for the life of me I don’t know how any city council member in their right mind would support transferring total control of our mass transit system to an unelected mass transit authority that will not only control the new income tax to be levied but the existing property tax revenues as well and watch IndyGo over which it has some oversight be dissolved.

  5. I agree that this is an absurd double-standard and, although my position on taxation has previously been made clear, as long as it continues to amount to a pipe dream it should certainly at least, for the sake of democracy, be put to a referendum. That said, I’m unclear on how exactly having the government arbitrarily give the stamp of approval to one of your interpersonal relationships is a fundamental civil rights. As long as the government continues the ridiculous practice of recognising marriages, I definitely think it should extend the option to any consensual relationship (Yes, without exception, to forestall anyone trying to catch me out with “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE INCEST” or something. Yes, I mean that too.), but the concept of marriage is fundamentally an unequal treatment – some people are given benefits others are not based entirely on what amounts to arbitrary whims of bureaucracy. We should get out of the business altogether – none of these arguments people on both sides advance for why marriage is supposedly so important make any sense.

  6. The local CBS channel 8 news just reported the City will evidently be paying $2 million to erect luxury suites in Lucas Oil Stadium – have any of you been involved in this decision? This never-ending support of Lucas Stadium is why mass transit is being ignored along with other major issues that effect all of us on a daily basis. Is there any way to stop the runaway sports drain on our tax dollars? We will never be allowed to hold a pubic referendum on this issue because people in this city are too smart to continue dumping tax dollars into sports stadiums.

  7. “…we aren’t capable of deciding whether to pay for better bus service, and it would be dangerous to put such a serious matter to a vote…” But…

    In the past week or so we have seen announcements in the Star that $2 million more of our tax dollars have been approved to pay for two luxury suites at Lucas Oil Stadium, 59 IPS employees will lose their jobs and Mayor Ballard announced to businessmen in Indiana that he wants a cricket venue in Indianapolis; “When people around the world think of cricket, I want them to think of Indianapolis.”

    What is wrong with this picture? I would like to know what people around the state of Indiana think of Indianapolis at this time. Just my observation!

  8. I’m sorry; Mayor Ballard made that anouncement to businessmen in INDIA – not Indiana. This nonsense and the bombing in Boston has scrambled my thinking processes. Wonder if Ballard has the nerve to make such an announcement locally.

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