Kennedy Attacks Ballard on Job Commitments; MCRCC Hits Back

Yesterday, Melina Kennedy decided it was a good idea to go after Mayor Greg Ballard on his job commitment numbers in an email and a press release.  We cannot say we are surprised. 

While we agree with Gary Welsh at Advance Indiana that Kennedy has completely struck out on her first two attacks on Mayor Ballard, we think she simply has got to find a way to discredit his jobs numbers. 

Think about it.  You are Melina Kennedy.  You were Deputy Mayor in charge of economic development and you tout it as a major part of why you are best equipped to be Mayor.  But, you have a problem with some numbers.  Ballard created more jobs in 2010 than you were able to in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 COMBINED. You’ve got to make those numbers irrelevant or at least muddy the waters. 

Unfortunately for Kennedy, it doesn’t look like the Ballard crew plans on letting that happen anytime soon. 

Marion County Republican Chairman Kyle Walker hit back in the below email and, we have to say, it made us wonder if the Kennedy campaign needs someone to donate a subscription to the Indianapolis Business Journal.


Melina Kennedy’s campaign just sunk to a new low. Kennedy sent an email today that included lies about Mayor Ballard’s record on job creation. Additionally, Kennedy’s email demonstrates that she is either misrepresenting the Ballard administration’s record or Kennedy doesn’t understand the city’s economic development work (which she touts she did for several years).

We all know why Melina Kennedy is launching false attacks…because Mayor Ballard’s administration has produced a record number of job commitments for the city. In 2010, Indianapolis received commitments for 8,702 new jobs and $934 million in capital investment – both are record highs. And it is more job commitments than Melina Kennedy’s economic development efforts yielded in 2003, 2004 and 2005 combined!

As the Indianapolis Business Journal noted, “The city’s current procedures for reporting job commitments and tracking them are essentially the same as they were during Democratic Mayor Bart Peterson’s administration, according to two Peterson-era economic development officials.”

Melina Kennedy has previously promoted her “record” of economic development, compiled the same way by both administrations, but now she doesn’t want to compare numbers.

Melina Kennedy’s email claims “only about 20 percent of Ballard’s “new jobs” are solid commitments.” That is simply not true!  According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, “City records of tax-abated jobs show, in 2009, about 82 percent of the job commitments expected in that year came to fruition. That figure was 84 percent in 2008, and 64 percent in 2007.  The state’s numbers show an average of 87 percent of jobs came to fruition from 2005 to 2009.”

Melina Kennedy also tries to claim that the Ballard administration isn’t making information public. As the Indianapolis Business Journal article indicates,

“Companies that get local tax abatements-temporary relief from the taxes paid on new development-must file annual paperwork with the city to report their progress in bringing promised jobs or risk losing their city money. Those receiving other public incentives also are tracked by the city to ensure compliance. Those reports are public.”

Here are some more facts reported by the Indianapolis Business Journal:

“Of the 8,702 jobs committed, 4,403 were associated with companies receiving local public incentives, such as tax abatements or infrastructure upgrades. Other companies are offered local incentives but accept only state tax credits; they account for 2,600 of the jobs.

Still others get no public dollars but accept Develop Indy’s help in recruiting employees or selecting a site. Those companies committed to 764 jobs on the city’s list.

A handful of other companies on the list-representing 935 of the job commitments-remain confidential because they have not yet publicly disclosed their move or expansion plans.”

Since competing apples to apples with Mayor Ballard’s job creation record doesn’t bode well for Melina Kennedy, she’s trying to change the rules of the game. Don’t let her! Arm your friends with the facts by forwarding this email today.


Kyle Walker
Marion County Republican Party


About Washington Street Politics
Covering policy and politics from end to end of Washington Street in Indianapolis

6 Responses to Kennedy Attacks Ballard on Job Commitments; MCRCC Hits Back

  1. Commitments aren’t the issue. It’s the delivery, and it’s Ballard’s completely boorish behavior in the interview with 6 News’ Kara Kenney. Now, he has just opened up a new can of worms by dodging her a second time. It’s over on this one, my friends.

  2. Wow, this is fun answering the same things twice. 82% of the commitments in 2009 came through. Do we need to take up a collection to get you the IBJ too?

    • John says:

      82% in 2009 probably makes the Mayor feel pretty good. You think that really helps those 13,281 ACTUAL PEOPLE WHO LOST JOBS from January 2009 to January 2010? You think they feel pretty good too?

  3. John says:

    Think about it. You are Greg Ballard. You have seen 35,000 jobs disappear from Indy on your watch. This is worse than ANY other of the top 50 cities in the country during the recession. The worst. You know you have to do something on jobs or get crushed when these numbers get out. So you throw everything you can onto a list- jobs the state secured, “retained” jobs, and even confidential jobs that no one can investigate. Then you publish it with great fanfare to make it look like we are doing really really well even though you know you are not. Then you hit your opponent trying to make people forget she was in charge of economic development when the City was thriving, unemployment was incredibly low, when the fundamentals of the Indianapolis job market were sound. Not necessarily honest and “transparent” but understandable . . . politically that is. Unfortunately, you nose dive on t.v. and show how very little you know about any of this since all you can do is repeat an odd “paradigm” line that a consultant once told you. Good thing your campaign team has good writers to try to pick up the pieces in a Star op-ed.

    This is the new paradigm as the IBJ and WRTV picked up- when the City is bleeding out on jobs, trumpted up, pie-in-the-sky, wish list of job committments is of little relevance NOW. If Ballard wants to keep talking about an old “paradigm” when the City had a strong economic foundation that kept people employed with little needed help from economic development officials and economic development “scores” were icing on the cake, great. Not sure he wins an election from there. Here is another lesson- when people are out of work, don’t try to tell them they are employed, but just not yet since those committments aren’t due for a couple years and aren’t enforceable anyway.

  4. Someone has been reading their Kennedy campaign talking points.

  5. John says:

    Not sure what her talking points are aside from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers on how many jobs Indy has lost since Ballard has been at the helm. Probably better than what I wrote. Anyway, is that better or worse than reprinting a letter from Ballard’s mouth-piece? This is a letter that mentions Melina Kennedy nine times before she is even the nominee. Kyle Walker just couldn’t wait to start hitting Melina Kennedy- and his guy is the incumbent! Patience, Kyle, patience. But do keep pounding this jobs issue. This is definitely the turf where Mayor Ballard and his 35,000 job losses needs to be focusing his campaign. Run, baby, run (on your 35,000 job losses)!

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