Irsay got a shabby dealJim Irsay should be insulted at the shabby deal Mayor Peterson is offering him and his Colts. When you compare the sweet deal the Simons got with the Conseco Fieldhouse a few years ago, Irsay is being treated shamefully. Consider the following:

Peterson wants Irsay to pay $250,000 annual rent while the pampered Simons lease the Conseco sports palace at a more affordable $1 per year.

Irsay would be allowed only half of all the revenue from concerts and non-football events while Herb and Mel Simon get to keep every penny that comes into the Conseco Fieldhouse!

Unless the Pacers turn a whopping 18 per cent profit, the City kicks in $3.45 million annually for maintenance, utilities and incidentals. Poor Irsay is being asked to stretch a paltry $5.5 million over 30 years to maintain the Colts practice facility on 56th Street.

Worst of all, Irsay would be forced to pay $52 million of the construction costs on the $680 million Colts Stadium while the Simons only paid $2 million of their own money (all of which was later refunded).

The Simons were recently given public parkland and $20 million in other incentives by the City to erect an office building. Not an acre of free parkland is even being offered to Irsay! (Hint: Eagle Creek Park is just across the street from the present Colts Practice Facility)

The taxpayers erected Circle Centre Mall for the Simons to use as their own private cash cow downtown. Irsay isn’t even getting an abandoned Seven-Eleven from the brutally unfair Peterson.

It’s insulting and outrageous and it points out a major failure of the Peterson Plan. Indianapolis needs to treat all of its deserving corporate welfare queens equally and fairly. And we can do it, too! Irsay can receive the same honors lavished on the Simons if the Mayor acts boldly. Here’s how — since our City’s primary industry is officially “FUN,” and giving away as much public money to elite special interests the Mayor’s number one priority, Peterson should ask the Indiana General Assembly for the following:

Legalize prostitution and all forms of gambling in Indy.

Allow drug importation from Columbia (Note to Bart: Better check with your campaign contributors at Lilly on this one.)

Instead of only 1500 slot machines, go for 5,000 and keep those babies humming 24 hours a day. Legal black jack, roulette and poker will attract countless other gambling addicts, er…fun seekers.

Liquor license requirements should be eased, and topless dancing vigorously promoted.

You don’t need the state’s approval to insure that everyone with money is welcome in Fun City. Our hospitality will be obvious with signs posted stating, “No Shoes, No Shirt … WELCOME!” and “Spitting, Swearing and Drug-use … WELCOME!”

The Mayor’s lackeys on the City-County Council will jump at the chance to trim the budget by firing the vice squad and replacing it with the new Department of Public Amusement (DPA).

The popular women’s magazine Self currently rates Indianapolis 197th out of 200 large cities in “livability for women.” These bold measures are sure to improve that standing especially with prostitutes, exotic dancers, lady gamblers, drug enthusiasts and Donald Trump.

These courageous far-sighted actions will make sure that Indianapolis is “FUN” on the 357 days each year that the Colts don’t play here and the gaming revenue alone will bankroll the City’s corporate welfare program forever. Las Vegas will envy the neon pleasure-drome glittering on the septic banks of White River. Hollywood will scramble to remake the holiday film classic It’s a Wonderful Life. This version of course will show how “glittering and fun” a normal town turns out because a certain mayor was born. I’ll bet Steve Buscemi would kill for a chance to play Peterson.

Most importantly, Indy will be awash in cash and no pesky tax increases will annoy the mayor’s wealthy friends and campaign contributors. Everyone will be having so much fun that they won’t even notice the choking air on the south side, the four billion gallons of raw sewage gushing into the river, the lack of parks, good schools, decent transportation, those pesky boil-water advisories, etc.

Come on Bart — stop playing favorites with Indy’s deserving corporate welfare queens and put Indy on the map to stay!

Jack Miller

Indianapolis

Putting the working class downOnce again the Bush administration says one thing and does another. The recent proposed cuts in financial aid for the most deserving college students is just one more way for the elitist establishment in the White House to put the working class in their place. That seems like the “moral” values that a slight few espoused that tilted the election in favor of Bush.

“Leave no child behind” is just another Bush “double-speak” when it comes to actually stepping to the plate to assist the most deserving students with the needed finances to attend college. Perhaps Bush needs to push the “second class” citizens even further down to fill the ranks of the military to fulfill his personal war in Iraq.

Since over a thousand military personnel have lost their lives in this Bush war and thousands more have been injured, Bush probably needs to fill the ranks of the military by cutting funds for deserving high school students and thereby denying them the opportunity to attend college. These deserving students only option is to enter the military to fortify the numbers for Bushs agenda. What a goal for this administration!

As all of you Bush backers set back and glow in the “thousands points of light” of victory with the impending inauguration, there is still a distinct divide in this country for those who have and those who have not. It is just the beginning of another four years of what this administration has been all about the previous four years!

And I haven’t even discussed the destruction of the environment in the name of the “compassionate right” that your children and your children’s children will have to pay for in during their lives in the name of big business.

Rick G. Webb

Indianapolis

Don’t throw the baby outDavid Hoppe’s article (Hoppe, “Meet the Henkels,” Jan. 12-19) was right on the mark and one our new governor should take note of. If ever there was a case of bipartisan cooperation this should be it.

We fully support Mitch Daniels. We believe he ran a great campaign and will work to turn Indiana away from its vast array of problems. We also support the Henkels. As a matter of fact, our family is very proud to be personal friends of theirs. These are fine, talented people. Both Beth and Dan are very hardworking individuals whose character and dedication are beyond reproach. They are an asset to our state government and to Indiana.

We implore our new governor to take a hard look at this case. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Keeping the Henkels would prove that our new governor is no longer just the “My Man Mitch” of one party, but rather OUR Man Mitch for all of Indiana.

John and Sara Campbell

Indianapolis

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