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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Retiring State Senator Luke Kenley's Legacy of Tax Hikes, and the Bicentennial and I-69 Extension Boondoggle's!

Tax Raising State Senator Luke Kenley 

Yesterday Tony Cook of the Indianapolis Star reported that longtime Republican State Senator Luke Kenley of Noblesville would be retiring on September 30th of this year. He was doing this inspite of the fact last year that Mr. Kenley successfully ran for reelection to another four year term in the state senate. IR's readers might recall that we have expressed less than positive views of the good senator especially in his choosing to vote for Mike Pence's idiotic plan to lease the state of Indiana's cell phone towers in the Agile Networks debacle. Like his master Governor "Taxman" Eric Holcomb he has submitted to his masters call to raise taxes and fees on the already overburdened population of Indiana. We have blogged about good old Eric's tax raising ways here

Before riding off into the sunset. "Servile" Luke Kenley took part today in a hearing before the Indiana Finance Authority asking them not to repeat their past mistakes regarding the financing and construction of the I-69 extension. Kaitlin Lange in today's edition of the Indianapolis Star speaks at length on the hearing in her article "Lawmakers urge officials to avoid repeating I-69 mistakes". We have previously reported on the I-69 Extension snafu and former Indiana Governor Mike Pence's part in it here.

Miss Lange wrote earlier today reported:

Lawmakers urged the Indiana Finance Authority to learn from its mistakes as the state takes over a failed public-private partnership to build a section of I-69.

The section of the highway between Bloomington and Martinsville is almost two years behind schedule. The finance authority is dissolving the state's contract with a consortium that was to have designed and built the road and then maintained it for 35 years.

The company at the heart of the deal, Isolux Corsan, filed for bankruptcy in Spain earlier this week. IndyStar previously reported that the state missed several warning signs in choosing the consortium I-69 Development Partners.

"I do want to ask that in the future, as the state looks at doing business with folks, that we do business with people who are capable of getting it done — reputable people," Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Crothersville, said at the State Budget Committee hearing Thursday.

Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, said the finance authority should study how it got into this situation and how to monitor best practices in an evolving market for public-private partnerships.

Lange notes that: "Not a single member of the public attended the hearing, which was posted with less than 24 hours' notice on the State Budget Agency website."

We will return to Miss Lange's piece in a bit. But a reader just shared some interesting information from Kaitlin Lange's twitter feed:

@markalesia and I are at the State Budget Committee meeting over I-69, section 5. The meeting notice was posted online sometime today.

According to the committee's website, public announcements are supposed to be posted online 48 hours before the meeting.12:57 PM · Jul 6, 2017

It doesn't look like anyone from the public is here, even though these meetings are open to the public.

I'm not sure how anyone knew of today's meeting.

I only knew because a source told me.1:32 PM · Jul 6, 2017Vincent said that termination of the agreement was considered in late 2016, early 2017. Pence would have been governor at the time.1:45 PM · Jul 6, 2017I asked Sen. Kenley about why the meeting wasn't posted in advance. He said he'll look into it.2:16 PM · Jul 6, 2017
Lange's article continues:

Proponents of public-private partnerships say they take advantage of private sector efficiency and innovation and transfer financial risk from the state to a private company.

Detractors have pointed to Indiana and I-69 as an example of what can go wrong. Kenley, however, said the state needs to keep using the public-private model.

"There are a lot of lessons here," Kenley said after the hearing. "It appears that the major weakness here was in the selection of somebody who didn't have the financial capability to do what they needed to do."

Kenley said the state needs to "take a look at more than just the bid price and say, 'Who are the bidders and what is their credibility and what's their past track record?' "

That's a good point Senator Kenley. Why the Hell didn't you guys look into the bidders credibility and track record in the first damn place?

The late great Gary Welsh writing on Advance Indiana three years ago in 2014 warned of the problems with this whole scheme  If you and the other lawmakers had bothered to read what Mr. Welsh wrote. Instead of listening to Matt Tully's Circle Jerk Gang this whole problem would never have happened!

The "Vincent" referenced by Kaitlin Lange is Miah Vincent the director of Indiana's Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Vincent stated that the idea of the state terminating the agreement with I-69 Development Partners was originally discussed while Mike Pence was still Governor. Certainly puts a dent in good old Mike Pence's image! Also the fact this meeting was announced less than the 48 hours that is required and Kenley's continued white washing of this whole nasty business. Leads the IR team to conclude that Luke can't leave office soon enough! 

Kudos once again to Miss Lange on another well written work of journalism! 


  1. Love this latest article about the early retiring Luke Kenley- an insider feeble minded Indiana Republican
    politician when it comes to finance and for whose departure I will not shed one tear. Gary Welsh was a keen observer of the crony crooked Republicans (and the crooked Democrats) and Welsh invariably always got it right. Welsh was spot on about Luke Kenley. The loss of Welsh's intellect and insight has only made some remaining local GOP bloggers (not inclusive of ‘Indy Republican’) lazy, boring, arrogant, and short-sighted groupthink meisters.

    Establishment Hoosier Republican old guard (Indiana eGOP) and the corrupt connected attorneys who actually run the party and its candidates have perfected the intentional trick to get long-in-the-tooth insiders reelected with the quiet scheme of retiring the aging electees prior to the expiration of the "new" term. A party pawn is then inserted into the retiring electee's seat and that inserted political chess piece can then run as an incumbent. A person running as an incumbent almost always has certain election advantages over a non-incumbent.

    Remember the last minute push to keep doddering great grandpa Democrat-Lite Dick Lugar in his Senate seat? Remember the mud slung at Murdock (admittedly, some of it Murdock's foolish making)? The eGOP crooked attorneys who run the Indiana GOP surely had the goal to re-elect Lugar, who no longer had a valid Indiana address, in State Senate office only to then have Lugar retire early so corrupt Hoosier GOP attorney party bosses could insert a favored political chess pawn.

    When the GOP is every bit as selfish and corrupt and deceitful as the Democrat Party, where does the informed voter turn for honest candidates? In politics, nothing that occurs is accidental. Think of the 5th Congressional race when RINO and seemingly apolitical Susan Brooks- she of the perpetually super-glued goofy ear to ear grin- ran against an inordinate, unusually large group of GOP contenders. If you don't think David most likely ran most of those other “candidates” to bleed votes from McIntyre and position his Ft. Wayne attorney doll for a win, you don't know crooked politics.
    I appreciate Indy Republican’s efforts to fill the cosmic void left upon Gary Welsh’s way too early passing.

    1. We all thank you kindly for your comments and insights. We agree Gary's passing was way to soon. His good work continues. Anyone of goodwill and something worthwhile to say carries on his work whether it is online or in their everyday lives.

  2. To Kenley's credit, he did sort of fight crony TIFism.


    1. Eric,

      It's true Kenley did some good as a state senator and he did have the guts to stand up to Mitch Daniels. But on balance it is good he is retiring.

  3. I don't disagree. I wish they'd all retire! Eric


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