Monday, August 18, 2003

If I May Change the Subject...

The only subject on the tongues of a great many of the citizens of Indianapolis is property taxes. As the issue exploded, Mayor Bart Peterson, a Democrat, immediately sought to distance himself from any responsibility for his (or anyone else's) inability or willingness to cut spending in the face of obviously shrinking revenues. Now he's run away from the subject entirely, by creating an issue where there was none, citing the 'problem' of adult bookstores and peepshows.

"National and state laws allow for adult businesses to operate in our country, but that doesn't mean they have free reign to threaten public health," said Peterson.

Well, Mr. Peterson? How are these businesses threatening public health? No reply in the article. None will be forthcoming. It isn't necessary. The purpose for introducing the legislation is to dodge the property tax issue while trying to lure conservative voters from Republican Greg Jordan.

It must be that Mr. Peterson believes the economy of this city is so robust, so vibrant, so positively bursting at the seams, that the businesses he doesn't like- or more accurately, the ones he thinks undecided voters don't like- can be shut down at whimsical times. Maybe he believes that if the porn shop is closed on Sunday, the would-be customers will choose instead to go to church. Sure, either way they talk to God, but: Are ye mad?

In the meantime, other business is leaving the city. Lafayette Mall is apparently suffering the loss of a major retailer, JC Penney. Interestingly, there is a poll on the page with the article linked in the previous sentence. It asks, "Will Lafayette Square Mall be able to survive after losing both Lazarus and JC Penney this year?" With 153 votes in, it's 85% saying, 'no'. Thanks, Mr. Mayor!

Normally, I wouldn't assign blame to a Mayor for a retailer leaving. But since Mayor Peterson believes it is his business to stick his nose in the retail business, it's clearly his fault. If he were attending to keeping retailers here instead of shutting them down according to his tastes and schedule, Indianapolis would be in better shape on Tuesday morning than it will be.

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