IS IT TRUE December 20, 2013

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

IS IT TRUE that Vanderburgh County government officials have said they had tried for the last few years to sell naming rights on the 13-year-old Downtown convention place formally known as The Centre?.. they now say after supposedly selling the 30 year naming rights for $14 Million to the Old National Bank that they found no takers in all other efforts?…it is not a stretch to postulate that these people had approached Old National at some point in the past and were turned down?…the reason given by these officials is that the building is too old?…this revelation sort of makes a public declaration that the value of the naming rights for The Centre is exactly ZERO which should raise the eyebrows and interests of the shareholders of ONB because their company is proposing to invest $14 Million to pay for something that has no value?…the more these people spin the more ridiculous this loosy goosy potential transaction looks?…the most nonsensical words uttered in a while came from the mouth of County Commissioner Joe Kiefer in a TV interview when he said The Centre could not continue to operate without this new deal?…we wonder of Commissioner Kiefer realizes that if all of the money from the transaction goes toward the convention hotel and not to The Centre that the $500,000+ per year losses will continue infinitum?…this statement by Commissioner Kiefer ranks right up there with proclaiming an empty plate as manna from Heaven that will provide immediate nourishment?…the 2013 antics of the City of Evansville and the Vanderburgh County Commissioners offers the kind of entertainment that can’t be bought at any price?

IS IT TRUE that we have been asked many times in the last 24 hours about the status of the $11.5 Million of private investment that was giddily announced by Mayor Winnecke and ONB CEO Bob Jones back when the City Council voted to borrow $20 Million to subsidize the downtown convention hotel project?…there is no official update to that status to report but MOLES tell us the offering was not well received by the wealthy individuals that were offered the opportunity?…many of these people were no doubt all gung-ho to build the hotel when it was regular everyday taxpayers footing the bill to the tune of $37.5 Million but seemly balked when the reality of the return on investment was staring them in the face?…if we happen to be wrong on this (and we hope we are wrong) then there should be $45.5 Million available right now to move forward with?…that would constitute $11.5 Million from the private investment offering, $14 Million from the naming rights, and the $20 Million previously committed by the City of Evansville and the County Commissioners?…with a warchest like that HCW is not even needed and the people of Evansville will soon be the owners of a new downtown convention hotel?…if anyone believes that is the reality of this Christmas Season we have some beach front land in Warrick County for the IU Medical School that we would like to sell you?

IS IT TRUE if ONB ponies up $14 Million for the naming rights for The Centre, that money should go into the coffers of Vanderburgh County?…then the County Commissioners will have a real decision to make?…they can take that money and operate The Centre at break even for the next 30 years OR they can give it to the City of Evansville for a downtown convention hotel?…for the County Commissioners led by Marsha Abell who reportedly brokered this deal to take County dollars or assets and give them to the City of Evansville after the voters of Vanderburgh County defeated consolidation by a 2 to 1 majority is to spit in the face of the will of the people?…shenanigans like this are exactly why the consolidation vote failed?…it may just be time for some mutiny on the bounty if the County Commissioners have the audacity to violate the duties that the voters have entrusted them with?…loyalty stops at the asylum door?

IS IT TRUE this is the kind of thing that happens when local government has no master plan, no vetting, no cognizant thought process, and lives hour to hour like jungle animals?…if Councilman Friend had been allowed to VET this hotel deal in full up front the panic of the month would not be playing out on a frozen lot on January 23rd, 2014?…that which the voters have sown is what the voters will reap?…the exception to that is if the County Commissioners clearly make a decision that mocks the will of the voters with respect to consolidation?

IS IT TRUE we hear that political activates  Bruce Ungethiem is postured to announce that he shall be a candidate for County Commissioner in the Republican primary?  …if he does we predict that President  and County Commissioner Marsha Abell shall have the political battle of her life?


  1. Maybe he was implying they couldn’t continue to operate without the hotel being there and not saying they couldn’t operate without the naming rights revenue. I’m not defending these rats, just trying to play devil’s advocate.

  2. To be fair, the “forced merger” was shot down 2 to 1 with the help from our good “county residents” living inside city limits, and not 3 to 1.

    Joe Kiefer is a “city government” supporter. He initiated the movement to merge both governments while sitting on a city elected position back 8-10 years ago.

    Even that it was legal, seems queer for Kiefer to be a representative for a government that he oppose too. Then again, the current mayor had done the same thing in recent years.

    Kiefer and Abel are in the real estate business that would make sense of the coziness to ONB. Could this back room deal be a “got ya” from the merger support crowd?

  3. It seems to me the only way IU would want to come to Evansville at this point is if they see us as a giant cartoon steak. Our leaders look like easy marks.

    In other news, I still haven’t seen Wayne Parke comment on the “up to $14m” thing.

    • Tom Morrison of IU delivered quite a smack-down to the suck-ups that have been trying to wine and dine the committee members at yesterday’s meeting. More and more, I think USI is Vanderburgh County’s last best hope.
      It seems One-Term-Winnecke’s got nothing.

      • High ground as well, ELKB, they’re built into that with forecast aspects of several of conditionals of the terminology offered. Where the final site is approved, actually the way I see it, any site south of I-64 and East of the Wabash,North of the Ohio,and at least West of State road 261 would drive lots benefits for the whole of your metro.

        The thing is a “century timing growth projection forward”,so I too hope the trustees get it right for the whole of region first draw in. IU is a science based institution the science of to today vectored forward,is in the identification and capture of the changing planetary environmental balances. In the applications to predictable human needs, as medically applied sciences,its probably going to drive every learning and research function mankind has planet wide if we are to remain viable with our only offered planetary habitat halo.

        The human anthropological environmental population distributions will drive that globally within 25 years,big stuff medically applied.
        Hopefully with confidence,I would say that is an incremental imprint driver the IU medical school is putting sustainable location focus,onward with, into balances met forward.

        “commune periculum concordum parit”

        “common danger brings forth harmony”

        “orcae ita”

        ‘pretty straight forward”

        • I’m really having difficulty with the ethics involved in our Mayor “fighting like the dickens” for any one location. He should be standing by in support of whatever location is chosen. If a downtown proposal is to be made, it should not be sponsored by the local politicians, to my way of thinking. Surely, a private group could come on board to offer a proposal on the land the City claims to have optioned.

          • ElKb,you are not alone in that difficulty, The more I try to understand this I run smack into someones perceived boundary.

            Its said science should have none. Political boundary layer (BLC)(jet fighters high pitched howling noise at lower speeds) controls are spoiling the lifting bodies ability to gain altitude with speed.
            Clear up the boundary layer control needed for lower approach speeds and the airframe will accelerate to altitude without adversely messing up its barrier performances for better in flight speed and altitude performance.

            Analogy of boundary layering,hidden lift applied by engine bleed air of the staged compressor section…”High pressure, hot air” projects larger wing leading edge footprint thermodynamically,however not with mechanical flap or slat projections when its cycled off the drag effectively goes away,so you can get fast again. Unique application, decades old as used on some carrier based aircraft “for landing with a short deck”,so to speak.

            Some barriers are good, some are bad,in an analogy,sometimes the science can define the politics.

            If anything at least you learned why some aircraft are way louder than others…on the approach.

      • elkaybee

        There are a lot of people who are crossing their fingers on USI getting selected as the chosen site for the medical school proposal. Like you and others, the Mayors choice of “downtown or nothing” is going to doom him IMHO

  4. Warrick beach front property for IU,well they sure could do a riverfront site with a little thought into the picture. But wait! I think the planet is winding up a pitch to show your local medical site projections just what your landscape elevations and soil management offer for run off drainage.
    Paducah,regional NWS/NOAA hydrology used “copious rain fall event” Yup lots of rain. They warn of current soil saturation conditionals are conducive to excessive run off.
    The interesting part is the big picture casting is about 2-8 days out. The Ohio drainage basin is getting this one for downstream up…”not so good”.

    Factoring in the conditionals around the western slope Appalachians tributaries and the confluence in the Pittsburgh area,the amount of snow cover,the saturated lower level atmosphere and the rise in temperatures,the planet just loaded its formidable squirt gun blaster. The Ohio river basin is gonna get a massive influx of hydrological surface conditionals.
    Its back filling from the mouth confluence with the Mississippi near Cairo first, then dumping out upstream, as well.

    The metro will likely see some drainage infrastructures put to the test,(CSO) in the non combined regions the road ditches and creeks are going to fill rather quickly,so know the best traffic throughput adjustments for those conditionals. Your in town CSO related areas maybe places where show plowing threw ice and other debris onto storm water drains should be cleared ahead of the rain event projected. North side solar exposures,and streets around urban forestry that creates excessive leaf discharge into the rain water drainage systems around The PARKS to be exact.
    All this then atmospheric instabilities as the system penetrates the area.
    Wind,gusts, bringing back the cold freezing temperatures upon clearing. Wait about a week and put the litmus test to just where the waterfronts are,and just what elements they actually contain. Real time observations expected,hope its a smaller event,however it doesn’t look that way as of now.

    If you don’t like the Ohio basin weather climate,hang around about a day or so It’ll change. 😉

    • I want to explain the term “show plowing” over the weekend of the ice and snow event,some relatives and I travelled into your historical district downtown,looking into the Rietz homes Christmas tours down there,the Saturday after the storm. Well no luck they were not open so we just stopped by a nice little coffee shop for a bit and returned out to the metro.
      We had a good AWD vehicle so weather wasn’t much of a problem, What I did notice that day was around downtown they had plowed,and were plowing around the local entertainment features and show timing throughput infrastructures. real nice work there,good support timing.We even observed two salt trucks “fluxing”(corrosive oxidizers with road chemicals)the roads close to the present bus station.

      One thing though and this is just a byproduct of the snowplowing. The slush and ice builds up over the storm drains,if those aren’t cleared after the final plow run,shoot when the snow melts they become an obstructive input to storm water management at any location.
      We ended up out on the metro east side for lunch that day thinking the shoppers would be held at bay somewhat by the weather,not really. However most of the roads structures were still snow packed ice,and the openness of the throughput was directly related to the amount regular vehicle traffic on the surface. Cleared by use input more than surface plowing forward.
      The timing of the storms pretty much shut down the guys with the equipment,until conditional allowed safe and costing productive applications, I would determine, best action there. One thing though, your throughput to the entertainment functions downtown was axed out and restricted by the approach infrastructure to move in and out north to south. High volume traffic feeds such as the Washington,Lincoln Morgan,Diamond,Stringtown,1st avenue,Heidelbach and St Joe were in need of some serious clearing efforts per traffic counts,the only traffic encountered downtown was the snowplow and the people whom filled the parking lot at the coffee shop we stopped by.
      Observed less than five other private vehicles driving anywhere downtown at that given time. The intersection alone at Stringtown and Diamond had at least 40 vehicles stopped for signaling.on snow packed ice. Hundreds sliding around the east sides retail commerce district,on snow packed ice.
      Sunrise on through the day,then. “The use of actual traffic counts recorded infrastructure should drive the focus on the accessibility to sustain throughput commerce per regional metro.” Open the roads not only for entertainment,but for the actual everyday revenue producing venues 24/7.
      Creates more actual logistical throughput commerce for funding the of municipal servicing for actualities.

      The impacts of Climate Change science throughput carbon management drives actual engine on times and productive distance traveled,and that’s timing per cost,per carbon balance imprinting. “More bang for your buck”, economically, and planet smart forward.

      Grade for the experiment: About mid range,comments,observations “Application improvements,through timing structures and observation needed to proceed”
      Expectations user interactions: Cheap solutions,expansion of various applied tax revenue inputs. No real equipment additionals required too “meet or exceed,and balance”.

        • Most likely clash of timing involved of the serviced coverage areas manpower and equipment availability for per actual surface milage cleared.

          Not a Union problem its a logistics work out,thats cheap fixable, with improved incremental staging, just like I said.

    • Just a strait explanation of the 11.5 or 14 would be great. This needs to be put into common terms even the toadies understand. Does the 11 go to the hotel, PLUS 14 for the Centre into the county coffers? Way too many gaps in this backdoor shuffel. Your turn politicos.

      • There is no $11m (of course I’m guessin’) ONB couldn’t attract the private investors because there won’t be a ROI, but the $14m minus a few $m held by the county will be their portion of the obligation the county has towards building the hotel and it’s connection to the newly named ONBEC.

        Keifer kinda’ let the cat out by stating that without this the Centre couldn’t survive, the question is was he talking about the infusion of $14m to the county or was he talking about the downtown hotel?

        My money is on the hotel. 😉


  5. Ungethiem will win. He will easily beat Marsha and then he’ll easily win in November because it’s going to be a monster of a republican year with everybody hating Obama/Care.
    Word is Jarboe thinks he’s going to take on an unpopular Marsha and win easily. He’s wrong. He’ll get smoked by Mr. U. Jarboe is so unpopular if he runs he better expect a primary of his own too.

  6. The decision on the IU Med School will be made by January 31st. If the City wins that big fish, here’s hoping that City Council then doubles back and rescinds the $ 20 Million on the Hotel Subsidy–as at that point, 100 % private money will build the hotel(possibly more than one).

    That having been said: City Council–‘brakes on’ re: Hotel subsidy, and use this Naming Rights ruse as cover.

  7. You guys are totally missing it on the naming rights. ONB did not purchase naming rights for “up to $14M”. They were basically given the rights in recognition for their commitment to the city’s desired hotel project. The money ONB is investing gives them a percentage ownership in the hotel. Government is not getting any of that money. I’m not supporting their investment, it seems like a bad choice for ROI to me, but the recent articles here are completely inaccurate regarding buying naming rights. They are not spending a penny on that.

    Regarding the difference between the original $11.5M and the new $14M, here is what ONB spokesman Kathy Schoettlin told the C&P:

    “The exact amount of Old National’s share is not set. A figure of $11.5 million had been quoted earlier. Schoettlin said $14 million from the bank is “a high-end estimate, and HCW is still finalizing it on their end.”

    • We know this but have chosen to lampoon the headline that spewed from the machine. Ms. Schoettlin’s statement negates the possibility of the beachfront campus in Warrick County. Surely you knew that was written in jest.

    • Curious:

      OK, let’s test your premise: what is ONB’s “percentage ownership in the hotel” ? Because if they invested in the Hotel, they do own some percentage, right ?

      As someone said yesterday, ONB was “given” the naming rights for their investment, + some tickets. What do the Citizens get for their Investment of $ 20 Million ?

      • I don’t know the percentage that was negotiated. The following was reported earlier:

        “The new private investors will have equity ownership in the hotel, said Rick Huffman, CEO of project developer HCW of Branson, Mo. Jones said Old National has done business with hotels before, and this new endeavor would be “just a different kind of support for that industry.”

        As far as what the citizens get for their subsidy (not investment), you know the answer to that.

        • I think the original $11.5m deal was supposed to include 25% equity in the hotel; but that’s moot if there are no investors. I find it rather hilarious all the ERBC Grand Poohbahs have twiddled their thumbs and shrugged their shoulders at investing their own money. It shows what we’ve said all along – there will be no ROI in this for anyone but HCW…and now ONB through this latest sweetheart deal.

          Still I chuckle when I imagine the heated phone calls that must be taking place behind the scenes. Heads will ROLL over this. This swindle has been exposed.

    • I will say this is as simply as I can: ONB can not have an ownership in this project period. The OCC is already going to hammer hard this as end run financing. This is a way to avoid making a loan that would be dissected every year by the OCC. I don’t care if it is held in the holding company either.

      The machinations being done cover the exaggerated claim of ONB acting as a psuedo investment banker are a hoot. Think about it, the big six banks are being told they can not trade securities, which were very profitable for them and helped them survive. You think the OCC is going is going to allow ONB to throw $14 million as a hotel investment? This money is going to shore up the hotel financing package and is not in addition to the umpalumpa investors’ mythical contributions. Why would the county need to cover losses once the hotel is up and running?

        • That is more related to ONB selling to another bank (pray that does not happen ever) and the buyer not wanting their name tied to a crappy development, I think. You can’t fence this off; there is no magic bullet for off balance sheet. There is also the risk of having excessive capital requirements in whatever vehicle is used, sometimes as much as 20%, per Basel III. The more you invest the more capital you need if it’s not a traditional bank investment like a T bill. I don’t want to bore anyone but there is a lot more than meets the eye. If ONB can write it off as an expense for naming right it can possibly be amortized over life of rights. This way you don’t have a charge for loan loss and avoid the pesky OCC maybe. I would not count avoiding OCC issues or concerns.

          • What specific reg are you talking about CDAD? Most of the regs that the OCC oversees is either bank security related (like GLBA, SOX, or the banking secrecy act) or compliance with lending laws such as the sub-prime loans that the banking industry was forced to give out. I have never seen the OCC step in when investing (if that’s what we call it) into a local business venture.



          • Brent,

            The regs would be Basel III consideration with respect as to what you can invest in and what you can’t without additional capital..again if a bank can’t trade stocks on its own account (Volker Rule) how are they going to own a hotel as a national bank? When you go thru a OCC credit review believe me believe they can influence how you lend and most certainly how you can invest.


          Section 4.1 Investment

          ONB, or a subsidiary or affiliate of ONB, shall make a one-time investment of up to Fourteen Million Dollars ($14 million) in economic development in downtown Evansville, Indiana, including specifically the downtown Convention Hotel project (the “Investment”).


          • According to this Article IV, what Old National Bank is investing in is “…economic development in downtown Evansville, Indiana”.

            It says nothing in this article about the exact amount of any payment, or who is to receive payment.


          • Exactly. But what type of econ development. Loans are one thing and investments are another and naming rights are another. If the $11.5 is not forth coming, which according to ONB, ONB was the only taker, the question is if ONB is the only investor in the $11.5 million group, and if the up to $14 million promise from ONB makes up all of the $11.5 million of umpalumpa investment. If they are an investor, this will lkely be an issue from a regulatory point of view; show me how many banks own part of hotels except as OREO. This investment scenario, unless it tunrs out to be a loan or it is classified as an intangible investment, is extremely challenging for a bank of this type and size. I wish them the
            best as a lot is on the line.

    • Yeah, Like you said as before mentioned “you can’t make this stuff up”. “Betcha straight draw, none of’em are hanging ten though.” 😉

  8. ONB spokesman Kathy Schoettlin told the C&P: “The exact amount of Old National’s share is not set. A figure of $11.5 million had been quoted earlier. Schoettlin said $14 million from the bank is “a high-end estimate, and HCW is still finalizing it on their end.”

    So it is as I we suspected yesterday; there is no $11.5m. The “up to $14m” includes the $11.5.

    This should be obvious to everyone. Here’s what’s about to happen: they will use this “promise” of “up to $14m” as justification to move forward and begin construction even though the money isn’t really there. When the time comes, a blade will be held to the throat of the County by HCW and ONB. The County will end up on the hook for any budget shortfalls or cost overruns. If they refuse to foot the bill, they’ll be left with a partially built skeleton they dont even OWN while HCW gets its beak wet with development fees upfront and ONB gets its $1m in free tickets, 60 free rent uses, and free naming rights.

      • I speculated privately they would find a way to weasel out of the $11.5m private investment and it was only sprung out of desperation. It appears I was right about that. I guess we will see on the rest. It makes sense to me, if I’m HCW, I want to get ground broken and start building immediately, with or without the full ante. They don’t start getting paid their $10m developing fees until they start doing work.

        Bottom line is, HCW can walk away from a half-built hotel smelling like a rose. We cannot.

  9. Has anybody heard from Wayne concerning the alleged ONB $14 million gift to the County. Come on Wayne your subjects await to hear your divine wisdom on this subject.

    • The reason why Wayne hasn’t said anything is he is waiting for his marching orders from Marsha.

    • Two days and no defense from Phyllip Davis or Wayne Parke. That speaks for itself.

      • It’s kinda hard to keep defending ideas when they’ve been totally discredited, but I thought between those two thick-headed apologists, at least one of them would keep trying. I’ve never been more happy to be wrong.

  10. through all the political bull shit this year still have a merry christmas and a happy new year………and to all you tax and spend obamacare nightmare libs…..well…..a lump of coal in your stocking…….

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