Trading Day Countdown

The Latest IPSE NEWS

Stay Tuned for a Mock Trading Session for all of our new readers!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dr. Ogden Makes Diagnosis On the Ballard Adminstration. IPSE Asks - What's the Cure?

OBSERVATIONS:   We have very little to add to Paul Ogden's (OGPL) post calling out the button men in the Ballard administration.  Paul has succeeded in finding the their Achilles heal, an aversion to public disclosure of their activities and worse attaching a face to them.  It's pretty obvious that Joe Loftus (JLOF) , Bob Grand (BGRN) and Tom John (TOJO) are in firm control of the levers of government, that just happens to be fueled with your taxpayers dollars.  So if you're an insider life is good. Very good. If you're an outsider you probably wondering if there's any hope.

Fortunately bloggers like Paul Ogden  and others, in the absence of an effective independent news outlet, are making it a little more difficult for these guys to get away with their strong arm tactics.  I guess for now the only safe investment for the taxpayer is to buy stock in in Barnes and Thornburg and Ice Miller.

We've got some inside info on the latest budget woes of this administration and we'll post it later today. In the meantime our question to Dr. Ogden - Is the cancer benign or malignant?


UP:  MKEN $170, OGPL $240

DOWN:  GBAL $40, JLOF $70, NQAI $10, BGRAN  $60, TOJO $10

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is GOP County Chairman Tom John Hijacking Ex-Offender Program To Install Wife As Director?

OBSERVATIONS:  Some believe that being the wife of a public figure is tough, others like Christina Trexler, wife of Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John (TOJO) would say it pays pretty good.  Thanks to her husband's political wheeling and dealing Christina is only a heartbeat away from a nice position in a local not-for-profit supported in part by taxpayer dollars. 

We first picked up this story from the comments section of one of our earlier posts and considered it idle chatter until three of our readers sent us a series of emails with enough insider information to warrant a post. But let's start at the beginning.

Shortly after the election Tom John tried to use his political influence to obtain a job for his then-girlfriend Christina Trexler in the Ballard administration despite the fact that it was well-known by everyone that Tom worked unsuccessfully to derail Ballard's campaign shortly after his primary victory.  Left with few alternatives he negotiated with political insiders to get Christina appointed to the board of Marion County Community Corrections 

As the Ballard administration began to focus on re-entry he again tried and failed to get her appointed as the Director of Re-Entry under Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams. Olgen was apparently unimpressed with her abilities and selected former IDOC staffer Khadijah Muhammad. 

Meanwhile our sources report that Christina was able to use her board position to scout various not-for-profits that were in line for lucrative state and federal funding attached to prisoner re-entry. That's when they found the perfect match in PACE/OAR a well-respected community-based program that works with ex-offenders and known for being apolitical. 

Once they decided this was the organization they wanted, insiders say that they, (Christina, Tom and Abdul) began to schmooze with the executive director Ms. Rhiannon Williams-Edwards even going as far as inviting her to the Republican bastion of power the Columbia Club and securing her husband a job. 

They then convinced her to install Christina as a deputy director and place local attorney/talkshow host and Tom John's BBF Abdul Hakim Shabazz (INBR) (yes this is the same who thinks its ok for police to beat suspects) on her board of directors with the promise that this would bring Republican fundraising to the organization.

When Ms. Muhammad was fired by the City, Tom and Christina tried a different tactic. They urged Rhiannon to apply for the job and suggested that Christina act as interim (deputy) director until the Board could vote on a replacement.  Up to this point the scheme was working, Christina was earning a paycheck with a simple majority vote separating her from a  permanent high-profile directorship with a non-profit organization. 

Of course title alone doesn't make a good leader and it soon became apparent to employees as well as key stakeholders that despite the assistance of her politically powerful husband and strategically placed board ally, she was in way over her head. In a matter of weeks one of the major private funders of PACE/OAR, the nationally known Annie E. Casey Foundation yanked their funding after only one meeting with Ms. Trexler and vowed to withhold all funding unless there was an immediate leadership change. Meanwhile, according to inside sources Mr. Shabazz was quietly working behind the scenes to ease the path for Christina's selection as director despite her obvious deficiencies. 

The appointment of Dr. Frank Straub as Public Safety Director changed the dynamics of this situation as his management style made things so uncomfortable  for Ms. Williams-Edwards she decided to return to PACE/OAR. With her the former donor reconsider withholding their support and internally things began to settle back to down normal. Of course what was good for the organization was bad for Christina as this placed her ascension to the throne on indefinite hold. 

Which brings us to this point. Insiders are extremely nervous because they believe that once again Christina Trexler is in contention for the top job as Rhiannon is making plans for a maternity leave with the possibility of not returning.  Christina has not been shy to board members and staff alike that her husband Tom John and Abdul Hakim Shabazz played a key role in the recent awarding of over a quarter of a million in Federal funds for the organization and therefore its only fair that she is given the permanent appointment as executive director regardless if Mrs. Williams-Edwards returns or not. 

So there you have it. The sordid backroom dealing and manipulation usually found in government/business community has finally leaked into the not-for-profit sector, in this case within an organization that is known for doing yeoman's work with individuals who have no where else to go when they are released from prison.

Sadly we wonder what will the community will think when this issue comes to light.  We've never heard any Republican speak with any degree of passion about this issue and so find it highly questionable that a conservative talk-show host and Republican Chairman would work so hard for ex-offenders.  You would think that a partner in a law firm with that much political clout could find his wife a steady job without soiling the good name and reputation of a effective grassroots program.

Tom John has once again proven that he's a political force to be reckoned with as he successfully injected political cronyism into an effective and essential community agency. And for the record don't think for one instant that Democrats are unaware. 

Ice Miller lobbyist Carl Drummer sits right next to Abdul on the board.

Finally , congrats to all but declared executive director of PACE/OAR Christina Trexler-John.

And may God help those ex-offenders who need jobs but lack the political connections or marriage license to get one. 


UP:  TOJO  $80,  INBR $160


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fresh Out of Options Mayor Greg Ballard Knocks On Heaven's Door

OBSERVATIONS:  Lacking any new ideas, saddled with an incompetent staff and self-interested advisers Mayor Greg Ballard (GBAL) has decided to turn to divine intervention to help him find a palatable message for his 2011 re-election bid.  Below is the announcement of the event sent to us by one of our readers.

An Open Discussion with Mayor Ballard

City of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will meet with senior faith leaders of Marion County to expand the dialogue between the City and the faith-based community on current issues and challenges facing our youth, neighborhoods and communities. This will be an opportunity to respond to the questions of today and look to the future with a common goal of peace and unity among our citizens.

Mayor Ballard accepted a request by senior pastors to speak to a larger group. About 200 participants are expected. The meeting will include a Q&A with Mayor Ballard.

What: An Open Discussion with Mayor Ballard Faith-Based Leadership Meeting
Where: North United Methodist Church, 3808 N. Meridian St.
When: 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 17, 2010

For additional information please contact:
Andrea Velasco
Front Porch Alliance, Special Assistant
Office of Mayor Greg Ballard – City of Indianapolis
T: 317.327.2745

After reading this announcement we have three words: campaign photo op. Cynical you say? Not when you have the background info we have been provided. First the Front Porch Alliance the brainchild of former Mayor Stephen Goldsmith is a shadow of its former self. It is a staff of two (Doug Hairston) and an intern Ms. Velasco. Second the office has no financial resources, agreements or networks with any not-for-profits in Indianapolis. It has no record of accomplishments, partnerships or involvement with the neighborhoods.  As amatter of fact the only presence the Front Porch Alliance has in many neighborhoods are the Adopt-A-Block signs put up during the Goldsmith administration.  By all appearence there is neither substance or structure to this intiaitive and begs the question why have the office at all?

From our sources it appears that the community's overall perception is that the Front Porch Alliance is typical of this administration's community efforts- unfocused, underperforming and unremarkable.

That brings us to our conclusion that this meeting's only benefit is to give the illusion that Ballard is engaged in the community and also provides him with a chance to capture the image of hizzoner with a set of recognized leaders inoculating him against charges of working against the established urban pastors like Reverend Clay and the Black Ministerial Alliance. 

Unfortunately we think that having this meeting only 14 months from his re-election bid is a bit disingenuous considering he has spent more time on globe-trotting junkets with Mrs. Ballard and insider horse-trading than working alongside community leaders. But this just our opinion of course, your conclusions may vary.  And for the attendees just make sure that the Mayor's photographers get your good side.




Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ballard Seems Comfortable With Chaos In His Administration

OBSERVATIONS:  A physician, an engineer and a lawyer were arguing about whose profession was the oldest. 

The surgeon announced, "Remember how God removed a rib from Adam to create Eve? Obviously, medicine is the oldest profession."  

The engineer replied, "But before that, God created the heavens and the earth from chaos, in less than a week. You have to admit that was a remarkable feat of engineering, and that makes engineering an older profession than medicine."

The lawyer smirked, and said, "Who do you think created the chaos?"

We think this joke captures the essence of the Ballard Administration.  In this case the Mayor has relied on two attorneys Barnes and Thornburg's Bob Grand and Joe Loftus as his key advisers relegating the mayor as little more than a point man for overseas junkets. In the space of two days we are witnessing the beginning of chaos and Mayor Ballard seemingly unaware or unconcerned.

First you have this bizarre story from Russ McQuaid on what appears to be an internal Watergatesque scenario that allegedly links Dr. Frank Straub to a possible wiretapping of  IMPD Major William Benjamin's office.   This is on top of a botched vehicular accident investigation involving an IMPD officer leading to a civilian fatality.

Second, WTHR13 Mary Miltz has a politically embarrassing piece on John aka "Jetson" Clark's well documented spending spree, arrest and recent job interview all on the taxpayer's dime.  Ballard's response to Milz inquiries sounded like the mid-manager he truly is instead of the leader of the 14 largest city in America as he unsuccessfully tries to shift the blame to the Airport Authority Board.

According to a couple of sources who contacted us via email,despite repeated warning from others these two characters were hired under the direct orders from our two modern day Rasputins, Joe Loftus (JLOF) and Bob Grand (BGRAN).  It is painfully obvious that this Mayor is an empty suit of a man. In some sort of Faustian deal he has given all of his power and authority to these two attorneys in exchange for what appears to be his political manhood.

In the meantime the City of Indianapolis is beginning to look a lot like a taxpayer financed reality show with Ballard as its comically clueless star.  And for the record, we feel that this upcoming speech by Hizzoner only address the symptoms of what is ailing IMPD. Ballard and his incompetent sycophants fail to understand that this isn't a crisis of the rank and file, this is a crisis of leadership. His leadership.

Indianapolis residence are again asked a familiar question: "Had Enough Yet?"

Our answer "No Question About It."


UP:  MKEN $180, SiMi $105

DOWN:  GBAL $30, FSTRA $30, NQAI $10, JLOF $70,  BGRAN $80

Friday, September 3, 2010

IPSE Asks: What Caused the Rise and Fall of Obamamania?

We found this article particularly interesting as it focused almost singularly on the Hoosier state which as we all know is normally red state that went blue for the first time in more than 40 years.

As TIME Magazine is no Heritage Foundation we're asking what do you think happened to change Obamamania to Obamaphobia?  We will publish our analysis of the POTUS later today.


UP:  NoSa $120

DOWN:  HoCha $40

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Is the Majestic Ballard Building Schedule for Implosion?

OBSERVATIONS:  Not since the demolition of the Market Square Arena have Indianapolis residents been able to see the step-by-step preparation for a public demolition of a well recognized structure, in this case the massive but hardly functional  Ballard Building. It's most recognized guest Mayor Greg Ballard resides quite comfortably apparently totally oblivious to his surroundings as he gazes out his 25th floor penthouse suite. Even on a cloudy day he can see the dilapidated and heavily-subsidized public housing units for struggling law firms managed by the local Republican party. 

We will start with a visit to Indianapolis Times (ITIM) which has great post as local Democrats (SilentMinorites) have finally found their voice.  True to form, Ryan Vaughn continues to demonstrate he is in way over his head when it comes to politics.  Ryan's dismissal of Democrat requests to establish a bi-partisan committee to investigate the bizarre actions of Director Straub is nothing short of hypocritical considering it has only been days since Republican council members decided to re-write IMPD's hiring and promotional policies.  We think that this move is going to be one of several explosive charges that will be used to topple the House that Ballard built.

And of course when faced when the meeting with the AmenCorner fails to gain traction Ballard trots out Toastmaster-in-training Olgen Williams, arguably the only one we believe is worse at public speaking than the mayor himself.  Our question to Olgen Williams is Whatever happened to the ole' "grassroots and self-destiny mantra" you were known to tout before you got a corner office on the 25th floor? 

Oh well, you can only play with the team the owner assembles.

As we mentioned in our earlier post, the continued presence of Dr. Frank Straub on the payroll will continue to become an embarrassment for the mayor as the truth slowly oozes out.  We also want to give Democratic mayoral hopeful Melina Kennedy a big boost for her succinct comments...

"A leader has to take command and be in charge. You have to be involved and engaged in what's happening, and you have to be aware of the facts."

Ouch. Unfortunately Mayor Ballard has yet to show the ability to take command or to be even slightly aware of the facts, unless of course they are presented by Joe Loftus, Bob Grand or Tom John.

I guess managing the delivery of port-o-lets and toilet-paper for a couple hundred thousand American soldiers in Iraq is a lot easier than maintaining a semblance of law and order in Indianapolis with a couple of thousand cops. Go figure.

UP: MKEN $160, SiMi $85, ITIM $150

DOWN: GBAL $50, NQAI $20, OWMS $70

When It Comes To Frank Straub And Mayor Ballard, This Song Says It All....

Even if you substitute "woman" for "mayor" the lyrics will still carry the same meaning...Based on this  interview we believe that before the end of the year political reality will start paging Ole' Doc Straub to report to the unemployment line. Which just goes to prove that there really is such a thing as "bad press".