Recent Blog Posts

Brazen state legislators

March 16, 2009
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Former Nuvo editor and columnist Harrison Ullman has been dead nearly nine years, but his axiom that no worse legislature exists than the one on Capitol Avenue seems particularly apt during this term. One reason is the extraordinary resistance...
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Men’s and women’s earnings

March 13, 2009
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It’s old news that men earn more than women and that more women than men graduate from college. What it means is another matter. To that end, the Indiana Business Research Center has published a study showing that men...
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Audacious young investors

March 11, 2009
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There’s something comforting about 30-somethings who have enough hope in the future to try something audacious. As IBJ reporter Peter Schnitzler wrote this week, 15 people in their 30s are raising a $1 million venture fund in Indianapolis. This...
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Will health care IT drop the ball?

March 10, 2009
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Indianapolis finds itself smack in the middle of a big national trend, thanks to President Obama’s stimulus package. The stimulus allocates $31 billion to help doctors wire their offices to send information digitally, with the goal of improving health care and...
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Making up for lost decades

March 9, 2009
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Just four more years and Indiana will celebrate its 40th anniversary of peak economic performance, at least in modern times. As Morton Marcus points out in a column in this week’s IBJ, Hoosiers earned 2.53 percent of average national...
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Ban Barbie in Indiana?

March 6, 2009
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Tired of the economy and stimulus packages? Let’s end the week with Barbie. Not only is she turning 50, but now a West Virginia legislator wants to ban the doll and others like it because he feels they promote...
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Obama’s mortgage plan

March 5, 2009
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Barack Obama’s $75 million plan to stop the carnage in the housing industry aims to help 9 million homeowners refinance mortgages or restructure loans in order to lower payments. As Obama and Congress hammer out a bailout, to what...
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Signs, everywhere Big 10 signs

March 4, 2009
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If you haven’t heard by other means, perhaps you’ll learn about the upcoming Big 10 basketball tournaments at Conseco Fieldhouse from the street signs downtown. The tournament, which runs tomorrow through Sunday for the women, and then the following Thursday through...
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Food, children and bars

March 3, 2009
Comments(14)
More bars in the state are allowing minors â?? people under age 21 â?? with the proviso that parents are there, too. State law also stipulates a barrier separating bars and family dining areas. Supporters of the trend say...
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Indy's best leaders

March 2, 2009
Comments(10)
Conseco has seen a string of leaders since the company began to stumble and co-founder Steve Hilbert stepped down nearly nine years ago. The insurer still doesnâ??t have its footing, saying today its auditors arenâ??t convinced it can More

C.P. Morgan aftermath

February 27, 2009
Comments(33)
Tract house builder C.P. Morgan officially bites the dust today. Which raises plenty of questions: --Has anyone else been more influential in the type of housing stock built in the Indianapolis area in the past decade than Chuck Morgan?...
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Indy as IT outsource center

February 26, 2009
Comments(13)
Information technology companies would do well to outsource business processes to Indianapolis, a new KPMG report says. The accounting and consulting firm included only one other U.S. city, Boise, Idaho, on an international list of 31 places where companies are likely...
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Return to horse slaughterhouses?

February 25, 2009
Comments(2)
Paul Dieterlen is the unusual veterinarian who doesnâ??t have a pet. But Dieterlen, who retired recently from overseeing the meat-inspection division within the State Board of Animal Health, says that if he had one, it would be a horse. So it...
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Tax commuters for marketing?

February 24, 2009
Comments(14)
How do you feel about taxing commuters to supplement promotion of the cityâ??s convention industry? The idea was floated in an article by IBJ reporter Anthony Schoettle about the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association asking for more money...
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'Livability' for Indianapolis

February 23, 2009
Comments(11)
A year into his tenure as mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard over the weekend articulated what may be the closest thing weâ??ll hear for his vision for the city. Ballardâ??s State of the City address touted making Indianapolis the...
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Gold at $1,000 an ounce

February 20, 2009
Comments(3)
The gold hawkers are right, at least for now. Gold has been a better investment than stocks, bonds and other conventional places to park moneyâ??hitting $1,000 an ounce today. That signals investors are nervous about prospects for the economy...
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Can Saturn be saved?

February 18, 2009
Comments(9)
As just about everyone expected, General Motors and Chrysler are back asking for more bailouts. Instead of $17.4 billion, they now want $39 billion. As part of its turnaround plan, GM plans to jettison Saturn, the brand launched in...
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Ideal places for public companies

February 13, 2009
Comments(8)
Just as an Indiana company goes through the nationâ??s first initial public offering in months, its executives ratchet up their plans to move the headquarters out of state. Mead Johnson, the Evansville baby formula maker, staged a successful IPO...
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Wobbly on township government

February 12, 2009
Comments(19)
State legislators seem to be looking for excuses to dodge the recommendation in the Kernan-Shepard report to eliminate township-level government. This wasnâ??t unexpected. Township officials often are close friends and political allies of legislators, so the legislators donâ??t want...
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Coming to work sick

February 10, 2009
Comments(10)
Now that smokers are mostly banished to the outdoors, thereâ??s a new work place pariah â?? those who show up coughing, sneezing and otherwise obviously sick. In the not-so-recent past, failing to make it to work while under the weather could be...
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Tap the rainy day fund?

February 9, 2009
Comments(11)
The weakening economy is producing worse and worse tax revenue forecasts for Indiana. As a result, Democrats are calling for Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, to open the stateâ??s $1.3 billion rainy day fund. Tough times like these are what...
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Tax cheats, or just ignorance?

February 6, 2009
Comments(6)
A third nominee to join the Obama administration has gone down in flames after revelations about problems with income taxes. A Senate panel last night called off confirmation hearings for U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis, who was nominated to lead the Labor...
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Obama and executive salary caps

February 5, 2009
Comments(9)
All things considered, there shouldnâ??t be a fuss about President Obamaâ??s plan to cap salaries of executives in companies that receive federal bailouts. Thatâ??s the take of Dan Dalton, an Indiana University specialist on corporate governance. Dalton points out that...
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Integrity of organic foods

February 4, 2009
Comments(7)
The organic food industry is in an uproar over concerns that organic fertilizer may have been spiked with synthetic versions. Last month, FBI and federal agriculture officials searched a California organic fertilizer factory, but wouldnâ??t disclose their motive. The...
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Foreign-born entrepreneurs

February 2, 2009
Comments(9)
Midwestern cities donâ??t attract a lot of immigrants, and Indianapolis is no exception. The weather is uncomfortable and the region has a reputation for close-mindedness â?? not the kind of place where newcomers want to sink roots. A recent blog...
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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