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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

And You Thought the Siding Salesmen Were Bad...

Indiana State Representative Steve Heim (R-Culver) remarks on a strange attempt to influence the General Assembly this week that has resulted in ticked-off constituents and even more ticked-off legislators.

Rep. Heim writes on his weblog:
Someone is paying a company to send automated phone calls into legislative districts in an apparently lame attempt to win friends and influence people regarding Indy Works. So far, the effort only seems to be irritating voters and alienating lawmakers.

When the phone is answered, the constituent is asked to "press 1" if they believe in small government. If the person does nothing or presses 1, then the call is transferred to the legislator's phone at the Statehouse. If the person hangs up, then the call is still transferred and both the home and Statehouse phones ring.

Needless to say, people living outside the donut counties have no idea what Indy Works is about nor are they told in advance who they are being connected with or what they are supposed to say when the phone is answered.

In short, someone is wasting a lot of money to annoy a lot of people.
IndyWorks is the name given the legislation to consolidate and reorganize a hugh swath of Indianapolis and Marion County local government functions.

It does make you wonder who is running this show. I have never understood how the Indyworks group could so underestimate tax savings for the first year of city-county consolidation. They estimated savings at $40 million while standard accounting practices drop that figure down to about $4 million. Hiring a ham-fisted marketing firm comes natural.
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