IS IT TRUE December 17, 2013


Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics
Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics

IS IT TRUE December 17, 2013

IS IT TRUE that the City of Evansville received the RFP [request for proposal] from Indiana University to construct the medical school that it hopes to attract to downtown Evansville?…that on page 8 of the RFP it is stated the developer must provide evidence of ten years of experience, the developer must provide the legal structure, i.e. corporation, partner, limited liability company, the developer’s management structure, the major shareholders, members, or partners, resumes of the key individuals in addition to references?… THE DEVELOPER MUST ALSO SUBMIT INFORMATION REGARDING THEIR FINANCIAL CAPABILITIES EVIDENCED BY THEIR FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, INCLUDING A COPY OF A CURRENT OR MOST RECENTLY AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENT OR EACH OF THE FIRMS PART OF A CONSORTIUM AND EACH MAJORITY OWNER THEREOF, I.E. PERSONAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, TOGETHER WITH BANKING REFERENCES AND CONTACT INFORMATION AND DESCRIPTION OF ANY MONETARY CLAIMS MADE AGAINST ANY DEVELOPER OR MEMBER OF A CONSORTIUM OF FIRMS BY ANY COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY?…during the hotel debate, Evansville City Councilman John Friend, the finance chairman requested the same information from the proposed hotel developer and was labeled “an obstructionist, an unreasonable man, openly asked, how dare him to ask for such information?”…”How will we ever attract developers to our fair city if we are demanding such data” was also used as an excuse to tar and feather Friend for asking for personal financial records?… we wonder if the “HOTEL AT ANY PRICE” crowd believes that Indiana University is being an obstructionist by requesting the same information that Councilman Friend requested during the great hotel debate?

IS IT TRUE that the City of Evansville has proven time and time again that it has no concept of the meaning of the word VETTING, how to VET, or even the will to VET correctly when they have a plan openly published for their use?…the news that IU is asking for the very things that the powers that be in Evansville were either ignorant of or lacked the courage to ask for proves again that the VETTING process in Evansville needs to be outsourced to protect the people of this town from its own government?…at least we now know that IU knows what they are doing?

IS IT TRUE that by the time most people read this the golden hardhat and shovel day should be announced for the groundbreaking of the hotel?…this news is reportedly to be coming from today’s report before the Evansville Redevelopment Commission?…we do hope this announcement is for real but offer some cautionary advice?…if this announcement is not accompanied by the news that a) HCW has loan approval for their part of the deal, and b) that the $11.5 Million that ONB is aggregating from certain high net worth individuals that the hotel project is still not assured of going forward?…if this announcement does not come with the proven news that these two financial milestones have been met then we wonder what the announcement was made for anyway?…with a six month delayed audit, the still reconciliation of the books still up in the air, and the judgment day for the Earthcare Energy loan looming during the next couple of months, making early announcements may have the purpose to distract?…we certainly hope today’s announcement is based on reality and it not just another seasonal feel good announcement?

IS IT TRUE Evansville’s own and former Bosse High basketball star JaQuan Lyle who decommitted from Rick Pitino’s University of Louisville Cardinals was in the national news recently?…this time Lyle who is playing is last year of high school ball at a private academy in West Virginia was named as one of only three of the nation’s top 100 prep stars that are not yet signed to play college ball?…in the article Lyle is quoted as stating he is still looking for the right fit for himself?… two schools mentioned as on Lyle’s radar were UCONN and Memphis?…we wish JaQuan good fortune in his basketball and education related future?


  1. We can’t have IU here. They want to pry into the personal financial statements of private developers! Damn them!

  2. Yes well, by asking for the same information John Friend was stepping on the wrong political toes. Evansville has devolved into such a two bit chump political arena I just lack adequate words to describe.

    In truth though, asking for that depth of information it makes you think this is some DOD ubber top secret project and they should have included background checks on all involved. Hmm, maybe all involved should include the politicians.

    Its not surprising these types projects are infected to the core with politics and there is no cure. Its so sad even at the local level such governments are so anal with micromanagement requirements. So much for the founding principles of the Constitution.

    • Lets take this opportunity to remind ourselves of a couple of the individuals who said Councilman Friend was going to far and motivated solely by politics:

      Wayne Parke,
      Phyllip Davis,
      Missy Mosby,
      Phillip Hooper,
      Jonathan Weaver,
      Ed Hafer,
      HCW President Rick Huffman…

      Feel free to add names to this list. We’ll call it the “Wall of Idiocy”.

      • Lloyd Winnecke
        Steve Schafer
        Kelley Coures
        Nancy Tarsitano Drake
        Bob Warren
        Debbie Dewey

        How about a wall of practicality and honor for those who supported vetting

        John Friend
        John Dunn
        David Dunn
        Joe Wallace
        Brad Linzy
        Phil Shultz
        Ron Cosby

        • Wall of Practicality additions:

          Bart Gadau – Libertarian Chairman
          Sid Trevedi – Owner of Econolodge
          Stephanie Riley
          Conor O’Daniel
          Dan Adams
          Al Lindsey
          Connie Robinson

          • How about Alan Rossi or Christopher Flener? That’s right. They called your efforts failures to the Libertarian Party and criticized the decision making skills of you & Phil Schulz.

          • Yes they did. I disagree with them. Ideally, the subsidy would have been zero. I am with them on that. Some Libertarians aren’t satisfied with any effort that doesn’t produce 100% fidelity to the libertarian ideology. I’m not of that mindset. I believe our efforts led directly to a $17.5 million reduction to the cost to taxpayers. I believe Mr. Flener and Mr. Rossi were simply blinded by their ideals and simply were not savvy enough to understand the politics of the situation. I believe that could change as they gain more life experience.

      • Brad,

        They are just working with what they have, looking at the list you have politically motivated, financially motivated, the clueless, and people who share a brain, Phyllip is the only one on the list that is troubling to me, as a business man I would think he would know better, the rest performed as expected.


        • Unfortunately, Phyllip doesn’t know better. He is a Republican PC, and I can only assume he thought by supporting subsidies and ridiculing opposition he was being a good toady, which would come with some future reciprocity. Who knows.

          • Have you seen pictures of me at the hotel meetings before the Republican position was announced by Wayne? I was there in April. When did you show up on the scene? After the Republicans announced? That’s because you saw the opportunity to fight the establishment. Always the agent of chaos. I’ll never run for office because it would take away my ability to rub your face in the piles of doo that you are constantly dropping on this site. I supported it because it is what’s best for my community. No other reason. I looked at the studies that projected the ROI and I know that there is a need for the jobs that it would create. Never assume anything about me. I am honest and stand behind my position openly.

            • So Mr. Davis, just how much taxpayer money would you have agreed to to get a hotel? What is your threshold of pain? Would you support $50 Million, $60 Million, or even $75 Million putting the whole tab on the backs of the taxpayers?

          • Yoda,

            It depends on the ROI. There are variable and non-variable expenses to go along with the investment. If you are suggesting that the hotel would remain the same size and keep the same amenities and you want to know my threshold for that, then there’s no correct answer to satisfy you. I have no interest in playing your game of “Gotcha”.

            • You just did. Gotcha! My assumption was the deal was identical to the one that is getting a $20 Million taxpayer investment along side of it. No Ritz Carleton for Evansville.

          • Phyllip,

            It boils down to this: either you are sycophantic with respect to the hotel deal, or you are completely oblivious. As someone already pointed out, you being a businessman and a self-described “conservative” precludes one from drawing any other conclusion, I’m afraid. We have a limited set from which to work here.

            Maybe your toadyism was directed toward Winnecke; maybe it was McClintock. Again, I don’t claim to understand your metaphysical inner workings; I just know those few available conclusions to which all the available information point. You seem to smart to be totally deluded, so I’m leaning toward sycophant.

          • Phyllip…

            I don’t know how you were hoodwinked into thinking that a hotel that costs $40m and will have a value of $20m and requires a 70% occupancy rate at a average of over $100 a room could in any stretch have a ROI, add in the fact that it is downtown and convention business is dieing all over the country and it looks like a very bad investment unless you stand to gain something from it being built.

            The thing to remember is that studies are paid for, they are slanted and biased, and 10 years down the road when the hotel is in receivership, bankrupt, and on it’s 2nd or 3rd owner no one will remember the study that said it was a great idea.

            I’ll say it again if it was a money making idea Mr Dunn and ONB would have already built the hotel and payed the city for the privilege to do so.


      • I’ve said, and I still stand by it, that there is no way that I would give Councilman Friend any confidential information. He does not know the definition of confidential. He proves it time and time again and also proved it on this very issue when he released the Crowe Howarth letter as soon as he received it. I have much more confidence in IU’s ability to respect confidentiality.

        • If you bid on a City/County construction project, you are required to submit a current financial statement for your company as part of the bid documents. Should have been no different for the hotel developer, especially for someone that was “supposedly” already “pre-qualified” by the Mayor and associated cronies.

          • I believe the issue was not in providing the company’s financials. HCW balked at the requirement for the personal financial information.

          • Also, they had no problem giving this information to Crowe Howarth. They wanted the ability to block the information from getting into City Council’s hand. Confidentiality issues.

          • Phyllip, yes HCW balked at providing personal finance info. You are restating the obvious. What you’re not saying is that the IU RFP shows this practice is NOT, as you claimed during the hotel debate, out of the ordinary or self-serving on the part of Councilman Friend, who, I believe, is now entitled to an apology from everyone on the Wall of Idiocy list, including you.

          • Brad, you are comparing apples to oranges. There are not many similarities to these projects, yet you are trying to draw parallels for your purposes. I guess it would have made perfect sense to you if Council had asked for Top Secret security clearance, since it is required for some federal jobs.

            • Both are construction projects. They are of similar square footage when the apartments are considered. Both involve the gift of land from the city. If there were ever two similar construction projects these are it. The vetting for one should equal the vetting for the other. The ones against better vetting simply do not know what they are doing when it comes to high finance. Try to buy a rental house in an LLC or corporation without a personal guarantee and a personal financial statement before funding. Even for $50,000 at ONB it ain’t gonna happen.

  3. Rather than outsourcing vetting, how about the City Council DO THEIR JOB and pass such ordinance as would provide precise and stringent vetting procedures for all publicly funded projects?

  4. Various rumors, musings and rants:

    Rumor has it they are having trouble raising the money for the Hotel REIT? Duh!! I can’t imagine that.

    I also heard that the minimum investment/unit is a cool $500k. How many people in tri-state have that much just laying around in their MM accounts just waiting for an investment idea? Can the editor verify this?

    Is it true that the honorable councilman John Friend assured myself and other 5th Ward constituents that he would not vote yes on the Hotel project unless the $11.5M private investment was secured by an escrow account, irrevocable letter of credit or some other similar financial instrument??

    Has it occured to the “Let’s do both” crowd that the City seems to be incapable of plowing the streets of snow, filling the potholes, maintaining its cemetaries and parks, reconciling its bank accounts and passing its audit but we’re going to be capable of getting into the ultracompetitive convention business?

    I thought all the vettting of HCW occured when Bob Jones and company put together their REIT? You can bet some real vetting will take place when HCW tries to get its loan.

    • Yeah your points about the “Let’s do both” crowd makes me wonder if they suffer some Roman emperor (Nero) mental defect.

      BTW, the sewer system is just fine. The potholes multiply and get bigger. Snow removal is much more complex than we ordinary folks can imagine. Why the logistics alone to marshal four plows requires planning of such depth it makes Air Traffic Controllers look like rookies. Reconciled bank accounts and passing audits? Who needs such last century mundane things, that’s old school stuff and not fitting of today’s progressive politicians. You see it’s all part of the plan to transform and to do that requires the destruction of what was. Unless they (the politicians) have figured out to violate several laws of physics.

      I have often pondered this incestuous and lurid affair Evansville politicians has had with the convention business. It has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions and I am not convinced an honest and accurate audit would show its worth. Especially when those hundreds of millions could have been used to more effect.

      As you well point out it is competitive and to be competitive requires a solid foundation. You know, like why anyone would want Evansville for a convention. I exclude here the payoffs, political favors, etc, etc to entice those of the past. In my view Evansville has never had anything close to a solid foundation for that in a profitable and sustainable way.

      • Today,looks like sublimation and critical pressure is again Evansville’s friend,”weatherwise”, anyhow…maybe.. 😉

        • Hmmm, not sure I would agree with sublimation as applied to the concept of maturity at least as defined by Freud. Well, I guess I would after a few healthy snorts of cocaine followed by a well crafted Cuban cigar 🙂

          Then again over the many decades of whoredom Evansville politicians have played with the “need” for convention facilities they are still in their teen years.

          • Look at that like this D,as applied thermodynamically.

            Sublimation: “Condition where a substance changes form a solid state to a gaseous state or vaporizes without becoming a “liquid state.”

            Applied to your politics there D make what you can of it,good luck,latent heat is usually involved,as well.

            Latent heat: “Heat energy absorbed in the process of changing state (melting,vaporization,fusion)without change in temperature or pressure.”

            Latent heat of vaporization: “Amount of heat,required per pound of a substance to change its state from being liquid to vapor.”(gas)

            Latent heat of condensation: “Amount of heat released(lost) by a pound of a substance to change its state from a vapor(gas)to a liquid state.

            Relative Humidity: Ratio of(difference between) water vapor present in air to greatest amount possible at same temperature.

            Political exasperations: of (Relative Humidity) and (Sublimation) would be unseen heat applied in concern to a banker brother in law or family with solid or liquid assets in concern to assets state of vaporization”..”sweat(condensation)popping out, on his forehead.” 🙂

      • LOL! Great post. But just think you’re getting a new state of the art $400/unit water meter.

        • …whose batteries will die within 15-20 years, just as the service agreement is expiring.

          • Batteries 15-20 years, meah, If they are not submerged by then. Heck cloud based is the way to go on that. The advancing equipment senses the flow from ABOVE the ground,both ways as well, I might add,in and out….fair billing,better cleaner environmental control factors forward. More clean water nation wide incrementally, Actual sustainability in climate change blending..”more bang for the buck.”

            Evansville needs to wake up,its the 21st century.
            When I work on this stuff thinking of the past,present and soon to be future solutions are always somehow leaned back towards lessons learned and ignored,everybody does it,thats why we should always explore with open minds, one supposes.

            Going back to that today pondering the electrical cooling problem On the ISS Lab in orbit. Geez, Your towns history pops right in there. The thermodynamics involved are old concepts once feeding lots of families in your town,think the “old Virginia and Franklin street corridors HWY41,Morgan avenue, and then,think those old location,locations, and the new INDOT project at the Lloyd and the HYW41s access,”now think back’….ARKLA industries natural gas absorption refrigeration. Applied science with ammonia refrigerant systems. Then think bio medical lab science stability petri dish electro thermoplate cooling. Hospitals,research chemistry,manufacturing materials science,”critical temperature management”. What some of those rotating things you see in the ISS videos, some are solar panels,cooling coils,vanes and such. Add some extreme ambient orbital science same stuff. Watch your GAGE presentation on public broadcasting last night,one council person talked about razing some “space” for new growth….hey!

   alone in the Night ” by David Peterson”

            “sub sole nihi novi est”

            theres nothing new under the sun.

          • Brad the average service of a water meter is ten years. you do not want a fifteen year old meter. Meters slow down with time. the normal replacement rate in the industry is ten years. At least 1% will fail every year just from the environment they work in. The batteries are not the problem.

  5. That buzz up in the air isn’t one of Bezo’s drones. It’s EarthCare, circling on our money. Suited up and ready to parachute in and surround the mayor the first time he’s left unattended. You really can’t blame them.

  6. Can’t to wait hear Wayne Parke spin on this issue. Wonder what Wayne Parke thinks about Joe Harrison, Jr. (past GOP Chairmen), Nick Hermann, County Prosecutor, Honorable Judge, Les Shivley, County Commissioner Joe Kiefer and about 50 other rank and file members of the Republican party attending Dave Wedding Christmas party/political fund raiser?

    Doesn’t look like Wayne is in control of his GOP troops.

    • The explanation could be as simple as saying that this is America and people have the right to go where they want and support who they want. With the amount of time that Wedding has served our community, would anyone expect him not to have support within both parties? Thanks for showing everyone that you know how to copy and paste from yesterday’s remarks.

      • Super sleuth “taxpayer” saw both Republicans and Democrats at a Christmas party? What’s next? Discovery of Republicans and Democrats at an Aces game? If “taxpayer” looks hard enough, he may even discover there were Libertarians, Presbyterians and even librarians at the Christmas party.

  7. No consoldiated statements for HCW with consolidating notes equals no loan..if you don’t know how their existing hotels cash flow you don’t know if they chasing their tail..PFSs that are not verified are not worth toilet paper..that is why you have not heard anything from the equity players that seemed to be good to go and ready to launch.. I recall ONB was to be one of players or at least that was how it was presented…I doubt the OCC would be thrilled with them financing this and they won’t be an investor for sure..magic 8 ball says doubtful this thing works out with existing players..

    • The fact that there was nothing said about loan approval for HCW means there is no loan approval. The same goes for the suckers(investors) that ONB is trying to shake down. Didn’t Weinzapfel do the premature insertion of the golden shovel routine a couple of times for this same project? I remember him saying that “Tom Crean will want to sleep somewhere” when a reporter cornered him about one of the blown hotel deals. Kunkel was always 30 days away from closing a loan too. Why will these guys be any different? Winnecke is just showboating to take people’s minds off of the audit and Earthcare.

    • cdad,

      Let us assume that the Hotel funding lingers on past the award of the IU Med School, and as luck would have it City’s downtown Med School carries the day.

      Do you drop the Convention Hotel like 3rd period French, or do you attempt to do both/?

      • That would depend if you could tie some enhanced viability argument of the hotel to the med school being built..both have different sources of repayment..I don’t see how, because a med school would be built, now a hotel must be built..they are decisons exclusive of one another.

        I don’t subscribe to the online Courier but how is ONB contributing $14 million? Is it a loan or equity? Seems a REACH to me. This going to be hoot to watch and I truly hope it is not a dog and pony show for the sake of all parties involved. There is a bunch a credibility on the line here, and making face saving decisions now, will only lead to negative consequences in the future.

    • Agreed. I think this has all the hallmarks of an ill-conceived Hail Mary, a ploy to buy time and revisit the additional needed funding at a later date; or maybe they intend to devise some more magical banking transactions that move millions of funds from one account to another with no apparent explanation other than a banking error, hoping no one will be paying attention.


    Update: Vanderburgh County Commissioners have approved a deal to rename The Centre in downtown Evansville.

    It will be named the Old National Events Plaza, for the bank’s support of the downtown hotel project. A majority of that $13 million is from Old National Bank, and according to County Commissioner Joe Kiefer, part of the deal was the naming rights to The Centre.

      • Ford Fieldhouse does have a much better ring to it and significance in our state history.

    • Well Classy,The bank is one thing,and in “your area” the name carries the “immediate understanding” of the commercial sponsorship,and the strength of that meaning.
      However,after observation,actually if I didn’t know better myself,gazing in on that,from afar,when ones looking for a convention location maybe something about projected marketing aspects does pop into the mind. At the dealt first hand toss. The “OLD NATIONAL EVENTS PLAZA”….Ummmm, might gaze around the table a bit, hold the poker face,maybe draw a card or two before a fella goes all in ?

      Innovative,emerging,marketing for any “spot on the planet” that’s said to already be an funding loss location, by your own counties council persons. “not so much”

      The(ONB REGIONAL)events plaza)”doesn’t sound so grounded by timing”,maybe establishes a “positively defined” and “effective footprint” area,easy signage,strong impressions, so to speak. (signs?)

  9. With $7 million dollars “down the drain” propping up the “Centre”, so far, and since the “arena” is also called “The John” by locals it would seem fitting considering the CSO problem as well,, that the “complex”, with Old Downtown’s Bee Slough in close smelling distance, be dubbed,
    — Old National’s “Outhouse Acres”.:)

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