We hope that today’s “READERS FORUM” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?

IS IT TRUE we found it interesting that the former one-term Mayor of Evansville and current City Controller Russ Lloyd, Jr. is defending the City $10 million dollars plus deficit spending as of February 28, 2019?

IS IT TRUE the City Controller seemingly feels because former City Councils and Mayors of Evansville also experienced some deficit spending it’s ok for the Winnecke Administration to do similar?

IS IT TRUE when former Mayor Russ Lloyd, JR. tried to do some deficit spending the DEMOCRATIC controlled City Council won’t allow him to do so?  ….during the third (3rd) year of his tenure as Mayor, City Council forced him to cut $12 million dollars from his proposed city budget?

IS IT TRUE that former Evansville Mayors Jonathon Weinzapfel and Frank McDonald Jr. not only lived within their budget restraints and when they left office they had impressive cash balances and “Rainey Day” funds?

IS IT TRUE isn’t it the responsibility of a City Controller to make sure that the Mayor and City Council members live within of the budget restraints?  …we can guarantee that the City Controllers that worked for Mayors Jonathon Wienzapfel and Frank McDonald Jr. made sure that the City lived within their budget restraints?

IS IT TRUE, that in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industrial Regulatory Authority (Finra) all cities and towns with populations of greater than 100,000 will be required to report their financial status by using the accrual method of accounting for the year ending December 31, 2019? …that Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, and South Bend have been using the accrual accounting method for many years? …over the years Evansville has been receiving adverse opinions from the SBOA in regards to overdrawn accounts? …that the current monthly financial reports by the City weren’t compiled by using the accrual method of accounting?  …once the Winnecke Administration is forced by the State Board Of Accounts to report all their unrecorded liabilities including leases that the Bond rating of the City will be greatly affected?

IS IT TRUE Revenue Bonds are rated based on the revenue they generate to make principal and interest payments, and based on any assets pledged to secure the bonds? … Corporations are judged on their ability to generate earnings, while a municipality may issue a bond backed by fees from a toll road or a sports venue?  …a state or local municipality may also issue a general obligation bond, which is backed by the taxing power of the municipality? …the more revenue a bond can generate, the higher its credit rating?

IS IT TRUE the local “FOP Political Action Committee” recently held a meeting to discuss political endorsements for the upcoming City Council primary? …many people were surprised that the “FOP Political Action Committee” only made only one endorsement in the upcoming primary race?  …that the committee endorsed the 2nd Ward City Councilwomen Missy Mosby?

IS IT TRUE we were told by an unreliable source that Structure Point Engineering was responsible for the design and engineering flaws of the $18 million dollars North Main Street renovations project?  …this rumor was totally incorrect?   …the bottom line is the Structure Point Engineering has an impeccable reputation in the Engineering and Design profession?  …we are pleased that Structure Point Engineering was recently selected by the”Vanderburgh County Jail Study Committee”  to do the Design and Engineering work for the new renovations of the jail?

IS IT TRUE our staff member went to the Grand opening of BUD”S (Rocking Country) BAR AND GRILL on Friday evening and was really impressive in what he observed? …by 9:00 PM the place was jammed packed with people waiting to get in?  …the atmosphere was festive and the food was very appetizing and affordable?  …the band were really talented and played down home county music?  …if you’re looking for a “Downhome Place” to enjoy great county music and delicious food,  BUD”S (Rocking Country) BAR AND GRILL is the place to go to? …we give five (5) cheers to K. C. Chesser and his business partner Chad Brady for bringing this exciting Country Bar and Grill to the Westside Franklin Street area?

IS IT TRUE that a member of our staff went to the Civic Center to conduct some business?  …that Dottie Thomas, Chief Deputy Treasurer waited on him and she did a superb job in assisting him?  …Dottie Thomas was not only extremely professional but she knew her stuff?  …we need more people like her working at the Civic Center?

Todays“Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that it’s unacceptable for the City of Evansville to have a $10 million dollars spending deficit during the second month of this calendar year?

Please go to our link of our media partner Channel 44 News located in the upper right-hand corner of the City-County Observer so you can get the up-to-date news, weather, and sports. We are pleased to provide obituaries from several area funeral homes at no costs.  Over the next several weeks we shall be adding additional obituaries from other local funeral homes.  Please scroll down the paper and you shall see a listing of them.

.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County

FOOTNOTE:  Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.




    Attorney General William Barr just engaged in utterly cowardly dereliction of duty


    When we were awaiting the Mueller report yesterday, I wondered whether William Barr was thinking about two things he had said as part of his confirmation process. First, in his column that has always been interpreted to say that a President can’t obstruct justice, at the bottom of the first page, he instead acknowledged that a President actually could obstruct justice

    Obviously, the President and any other official can commit obstruction in this classic sense of sabotaging a proceeding’s truth-finding function. Thus, for example, if a President knowingly destroys or alters evidence, suborns perjury, or induces a witness to change testimony, or commits any act deliberately impairing the integrity or availability of evidence, then he, like anyone else, commits the crime of obstruction

    Barr — who at the time had no understanding of the evidence — made three comments in his confirmation hearing about obstruction. Among others, he point blank said that a person could not lawfully issue a pardon in exchange of someone’s promise not to incriminate him

    “Do you believe a president could lawfully issue a pardon in exchange for the recipient’s promise not incriminate him?” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Barr during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee

    “No, that would be a crime,” Barr said

    We know Trump has repeatedly floated pardons to witnesses who have, in hopes of obtaining a pardon, not incriminated him.

    That’s true of Paul Manafort most of all.

    So on the basis of what he said to get this job, Barr is already on the record saying that Trump obstructed justice.


    Now consider how Barr — having been given the job by Mueller of deciding whether Trump obstructed justice — he avoided holding himself to sworn views he expressed during confirmation.

    In the letter sent to Jerry Nadler (who surely just kicked off an impeachment inquiry in earnest) and others, his analysis consists of the following.

    The guts of the letter describe the two parts of Mueller’s report. The first part reviews the results of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. It describes the conclusions this way:

    [T]he Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts

    [T]he Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in [its] efforts … to gather and disseminate information to influence the election

    Note that the second bullet does not even exonerate Roger Stone, as it pertains only to the Russian government, not Russians generally or WikiLeaks or anyone else. This is important given that we know the Trump campaign knew of and encouraged Roger Stone’s coordination with WikiLeaks.

    Then Barr moves along to the second section, in which Mueller considered whether Trump obstructed justice. In it, Barr doesn’t mention the scope of the activities that Mueller considered evidence of obstruction of justice. He notes that, after laying out a case for and against accusing the President of a crime, Mueller’s report,

    states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him”

    Barr and Rod Rosenstein have spent 72 whole hours considering that evidence to come up with this judgment:

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense

    In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding

    Here’s the thing, though: at least given what they lay out here, they only considered whether Trump was covering up his involvement in the hack-and-leak operation. It doesn’t consider whether Trump was covering up a quid pro quo, which is what there is abundant evidence of.

    They didn’t consider whether Trump obstructed the crime that he appears to have obstructed. They considered whether he obstructed a different crime. And having considered whether Trump obstructed the crime he didn’t commit, rather than considering whether he obstructed the crime he did commit, they decided not to charge him with a crime.

    • Whoa instant karma! Trump cleared and look who was arrested. Looks like there is 1 less 2020 Democrat Presidential candidate. Even old dollar bill Stormy claims to be a victim, again:

      FBI officials said [Democrat creepy porn lawyer] Avenatti was arrested in Manhattan on Monday as he arrived at an expected meeting with lawyers for Nike.

      The charges mark the latest and most remarkable chapter in the strange public saga of the California lawyer who had represented Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress paid to keep quiet during the 2016 presidential campaign about her alleged sexual tryst with Trump several years ago…

      Authorities charge Avenatti threatened to hold a news conference on the eve of the NCAA college basketball tournament to reveal damaging allegations against Nike unless it paid his client $1.5 million and agreed to hire Avenatti and another lawyer for $15 million to $25 million to conduct an “internal investigation” into the purported allegations…

      Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, dropped Avenatti as her lawyer earlier this year. In a statement issued after his arrest, she said she was “saddened but not shocked” by reports he had been charged. Avenatti, she said, “dealt with me extremely dishonestly.”

    • FLASHBACK: Watch Avenatti Claim He Was Going to Take Down Trump

      Trump-hating Avenatti faces at least fifty years in prison for his alleged crimes.

      Just ten months ago Avenatti was flying high as the Democrat media complex’s darling, giving daily interviews claiming that he would take down President Donald J. Trump.

      “I believe that ultimately he will be forced to resign due to information that he’s — is going to come to light in connection with our case, as well as the raids by the FBI,” Avenatti told a panel on “CBS This Morning.” “We’re going to prove the details of this reimbursement. I think there’s going to be criminal liability, criminal exposure in how this payment was handled.”

      The case never panned out, and eventually Daniels was forced to pay Trump’s legal fees.


    Republicans Trapped By Transparency

    A little more than a week ago, the House of Representatives voted 420-0 to recommend a public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Even President Trump said he supported letting the public see the report, not just the summary of “principal conclusions” that Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress on Sunday

    Since Mueller sent his report to Barr on Friday, many Republicans have suddenly become more reluctant about transparency. On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday Rep. Jim Jordan was asked if the investigations and indictments by Southern District of New York prosecutors concerned him, Jordan could only reply “It’s been an amazing two and a half years under the president’s leadership” and punted when asked about the release of the full report with “That’s the attorney general’s call” and when host George Stephanopolos pointed out that Trump could also order the full report released, Jordan dodged again “That’s the president’s call”

    It’s hardly surprising that Trump’s most committed defenders might not want a full airing of the report. They may see Mueller’s decision not to issue any more indictments for conspiracy with Russians over the 2016 election as vindication. But that doesn’t mean the report will necessarily show there was no fire fueling all the smoke. As Rep. Adam B. Schiff noted on “This Week” that “There’s a difference between compelling evidence of collusion and whether the special counsel concludes that he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the criminal charge of conspiracy”

    Mueller may not have indicted anyone else because there wasn’t any evidence. But it also could be because Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and others lied and/or refused to cooperate, because rules about classified evidence hinder making the case, or because Barr still thinks he couldn’t indict a sitting president

    As law professor Randall D. Eliason wrote in a Post op-ed Saturday “There are many actions that are deplorable, naive, reckless or unwise that are not criminal” We’ve already seen this fine line in action. Recall that though Southern District of New York prosecutors have not indicted the president, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to crimes committed “in coordination with and at the direction of” then-candidate Trump

    A public release of the full Mueller report may show even more suspicious contacts between Trump campaign members and Russian beyond those already publicly proven. It could reveal more damaging information on other criminal investigations related to Trump, such as the SDNY probe into his inaugural committee. And it could expose even more corruption from Trump and his associates. While not rising to the level of criminality, none of those outcomes would be good for the president. No wonder many Republicans are back to hemming and hawing

    • Perhaps Barr slanted the Obstruction issue . . .why? . . . the Dems will take the bait and over the remainder of this year and next with the help of their handmaiden media allies will keep this rhetoric and most likely impeach . . .sound like 1998 and of course Trump will be re-elected and perhaps Nancy will be packing her bags . . . she knows that the unhinged radicals will investigate and not legislate . . .and will receive the wrath of the voter . . The dems need to let it go and get down to work!!!

    • March 25, 2019
      Trump-haters horrified that Mueller found no evidence the president is a traitor
      By Patricia McCarthy

      The left predictably melted down in shocked and sensational fashion when the summary of the Mueller report written by AG Barr and Deputy AG Rosenstein was released and read on Sunday, and it was announced that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Despite the abundance of facts that have long proved the Trump-Russia collusion meme was a hoax devised by the Clintons, approved by Obama and orchestrated by the corrupt overlords at the DOJ and FBI, our pathetic media, even Fox News, called the news of Mueller’s exoneration a bombshell.

      Where have these folks been? Clearly their heads have been stuck firmly in the sand like the ostriches they are. Facts they do not want to hear? They do not exist; they can wish them away. Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer, and of course Rachel Maddow and her colleagues at MSNBC were not only shocked but catapulted into paroxysms of horror. Apparently, it had never occurred to them that their beloved Mueller would not do their bidding and find Trump, his kids and his campaign guilty of crimes against humanity.

      The “breaking news” alerts on Fox were equally shocked, calling the news a “bombshell.” A bombshell it was not. The shock was that Mueller and his team of partisans could not find their way to indicting Trump for any wrongdoing. So certain that their folk hero Mueller would criminally implicate the president, the Trump-deranged could not, cannot, accept his conclusions that there was no collusion with the Russians.

      On one level, their outrage is humorous, like SNL’s Rosanna Danna discovering the difference between Soviet Jewelry and Soviet Jewry. On the other hand, it is not one bit amusing; the left was hoping with every fiber of their being that Trump was guilty of being a traitor to our nation. Despite his obvious love for this country, they hoped he was a Russian agent who had worked against our interests.

      That is how disordered the Trump haters are; they hoped to learn our President had committed treason and are disappointed he has not.

      C. S Lewis wrote years ago:

      “Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.” (Mere Chistianity)

      A long quote but a relevant one. Our left was hoping for the worst. Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler and the denizens of CNN and MSNBC should take note. They’ve all gone off the rails of civilized discourse.

      They have left all aspects of tolerance behind. Since Trump won the election of 2016, they’ve become overtly what they perhaps have always been at heart; grossly intolerant themselves. They now rationalize any and all forms of discrimination if it serves their ends.

      The bombshell is that even Bret Baier and Ed Henry at Fox were shocked by Mueller’s conclusive report. As careful and bi-partisan as Fox has been, they too assumed the worst and looked forward to it, ratings and all. As has been noted, Fox is changing. They suspended Jeanine Pirro for posing a perfectly logical question about Ilhan Omar’s allegiance to Islam over America. The same week they hired the corrupt cheat Donna Brazile. Fox may lose those of us who have long valued its mantra of “fair and balanced.” It appears that may be a thing of the past.

      The truth that the Trump-Russia collusion was a hoax from the outset has been revealed over the last two years, drip by drip, fact by fact. John Solomon, Sara Carter, Peter Schweitzer, and a host of others including Judicial Watch have been writing about and revealing the truth regularly, not to mention the numerous congressional hearings that also revealed the duplicity of the left and the calculated plan to see that Trump never took office. The amazing thing is that the Jake Tappers, Chuck Todds, and Rachel Maddows of our media have not bothered to read the work those reporters produced. They ignored the revelations of those hearings. They dismissed any and all facts contrary to their cemented-in-stone conviction that Trump had somehow cheated to win as specious. They did not want to know about the extraordinarily incriminating emails between those higher -ups at the FBI and DOJ. Not one of the usual suspects could admit that their bête noir, Donald Trump, could have won fair and square after all they had done to prevent such an outcome. They all had their fingers in their ears screaming LaLaLaLa so that no disagreeable information reached their brains.

      Given the team that Mueller hired to investigate the President, Democrat partisans all, and that at least twenty-five million taxpayer dollars were spent with the intent to take Trump out of office, the results of Mueller’s two-year scrutiny of all things Trump is also the exoneration of those of us who supported and voted for the man. This much is clear: President Trump is a far better man than all those who sought to bring him down.

      • The under-educated RR doesn’t understand the American justice system functions as a prosecutorial body with the charge to prove only guilt, not innocence. No trial is commenced with the aim to prove the charged is innocent of allegations. The state bears the burden of proving guilt. Never has a prosecutor exonerated by trial a defendant of guilt.

  3. I swear I think someone down at the civic center is posting as Ronald Reagan and Joe Biden trying to keep the comments section away from topics like this one. I guess I can’t blame them. It’s working.

  4. Why does the City of Evansville avoid accrual accounting and GAAP protocols? They are running a $300 million plus budget the way you run a lemonade stand. Cash accounting is how a person who sells stuff out of their closet on EBay does things. It is not for large organizations with audited financials. This is asinine.

    • I highly recommend the Fiscal Benchmarking handout for the IU Public Policy Institute

      Cash Accounting Instead Of Accrual Accounting

      Indiana’s local governments are required to submit an Annual Financial Report (AFR) containing information on the revenue, expenditures, and debt activities of the previous fiscal year each March through Gateway (IC § 5-11-1-4)

      Currently, local governments are required to report all financial data in their AFR’s using the cash basis of accounting. Under cash-based accounting, local governments are only required to report a transaction when cash changes hands. In contrast,accrual-based accounting requires each local government to match revenue with expenses at the time the transaction occurs, rather than when cash changes hands

      Under cash accounting, the government can simply report revenue or expenditures as they occur, making it difficult to determine if the local government’s financial situation is truly in balance. As a result, local governments with unfunded liabilities could potentially hide these obligations for several years before it becomes apparent they are unable to meet them.

      In addition, meeting GAAP standards requires local governments to produce government-wide financial statements under the accrual format. Failure to produce GAAP-based statements reduces the comparability of Indiana’s fiscal indicators to states that comply with GAAP, and likely will result in higher local government borrowing in the future

  5. Looking at the image of the City of Evansville financial statement:

    It appears the General Fund was even more overdrawn last year than this year (the red circle partially obstructs the prior year number).

    Look at Downtown TIF–a $ 2 Million negative swing year over year. I thought Downtown development was the City’s savior ??

  6. Two additional comments on the City of Evansville financials:

    3) Local Income Tax-Public Safety is a new (or at least increased tax)–or the year to year gap would be even larger; and

    4) Look at the decline in Riverboat Cash–looks like the City is milking the cow too often !

    • McGinn opened the door on the river boat money that was initially just for capital improvement. Police cars ,fire trucks etc. He said we got all this money laying there why not use it and of course the council went along with it. It is hard telling where it is used at with the shoddy accounting practices in place.

  7. Bill Barr’s “Troubling And Bizarre” Letter “Raises Many Questions”

    Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti explained Sunday that special counsel’s findings revealed a lot, but that there is still a great deal that Americans still don’t know

    Mariotti explained that Attorney General Bill Barr’s letter “raises many questions and is NOT the full report. But it does tell us many things that are very important”

    His first example was that it outlined the unbelievable information processed by the investigation. Mueller issued 2,800 subpoenas and interviewed 500 witnesses

    “That is an amazing amount of work to complete in under two years, and it suggests that he thoroughly investigated these matters, even though there appear to be many remaining issues that he handed off to other components of the Justice Department”

    “For better or worse, the Mueller investigation has been wrongly turned into an exercise in whether “collusion” can be proved. I’ve said many times that “collusion” is not a legal term, and explained why that was NOT Mueller’s mission.”

    Indeed, collusion is not a legal distinction. The charge would be “conspiracy”

  8. I stopped looking at and commenting on topics posted on the CCO because of JB and RR. They are both welcome to comment, but only on topic. The CCO must stop posting ANY comments that do not pertain to the days topic. We, Evansville, are not interested in their hate/love affair with Rep and Dem DC news. If they go off topic, don’t post it. Evansville news is what we are interested in. DC has no interest when our city and way of life is going down the bad sewers of the city. It is a crime the administration of Evansville is not on the hot seat for their poor fiscal responsibility. Thank you.

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