Once upon a time, when this Indianapolis Observer was waxing eloquent about some government ethical lapse or other, a seasoned pol said: "Politics is the art of the possible."
I kept that in mind listening to Jackie Nytes describe her support of Mayor Ballard's egregious bait-and-switch maneuver regarding Citizens Gas and water/sewer utilities. Sure, it's a hidden tax increase, but it's a tax increase spread over the widest possible tax base, she said. Everyone knows that it's not possible to pass a bond issue in this economic climate. How else is the city gonna get the money it desperately needs for streets, curbs and sidewalks?
OK, so it's slimy. It's backroom dealing. It's sleight of hand. It's politics as usual. But...it's perhaps the only possible way to get the funds Indy needs to spend right now.
If the whole scheme comes to pass, and Ballard's infrastructure slush fund is created -- will it all be spent for window-dressing downtown for Super Bowl 2012 in a sort of Potemkin Village sort of way? That remains to be seen.