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Star biz columnist leaving to lead Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute

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Indianapolis Star business columnist John Ketzenberger is leaving the newspaper to become president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, the organization said today.

Founded in 1987, the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-partisan research on Indiana’s major public-policy questions, particularly matters related to tax policy and the state budget.

Ketzenberger will begin his new role Sept. 14.

“I am excited to join the institute and look forward to continuing the organization’s mission of being the leading, credible source for research and analysis,” Ketzenberger said in a prepared statement. “I truly want the institute to have a statewide presence, and am ready to grow our membership. After speaking with elected officials and business leaders, it is clear to me that the institute’s work is vital to Indiana’s future.”

The Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute has been largely dormant since former CEO Steve Johnson resigned in August 2007. Johnson had led the institute since 2003. At the time of his departure, Johnson complained that he’d been forced to devote most of his time to raising funds, not policy analysis. Since then, it has intermittently released policy papers written by volunteers.

Ketzenberger has been one of the Star’s most visible columnists in recent years, appearing frequently in promotions for the newspaper. He also is regular commentator on Indiana Week in Review, which airs statewide on public television stations. He spent seven years as managing editor of the Indianapolis Business Journal before joining the Star as lead business columnist four years ago.

Over its history, Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute has analyzed subjects as diverse as property-tax assessment, public pension management, Hoosier school funding, technology progress, daylight-saving time policy, the college brain drain, welfare and Medicaid reform and the Hoosier Lottery.

“We are thrilled to have John lead our organization,” Steve Rahn, chairman of the institute’s board of directors, said in a written statement. “His vast experience and knowledge of both the political and budget processes will not only serve the institute well, but also the taxpayers of Indiana.”

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  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

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  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.

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