Ironically, Governor Holcomb was in the region cheering the same disastrous plan that is opposed by an overwhelming majority of voters in Northwest Indiana
May 2, 2018-As Governor Eric Holcomb was in Northwest Indiana cheerleading for Representative Peter Visclosky’s regional transformation plan, Tennessee voters were going to the polls to overwhelmingly reject a similar tax and spend plan for Nashville. In the region, voters overwhelmingly rejected the Visclosy regional transit tax in a referendum in 2009. Indiana legislators made it as easy as possible for the referendum to pass, requiring a simple majority of votes in just two of the four counties which were mandated to vote for the measure. The proposal was so unpopular that Lake County refused to put the measure on the ballot citing the futility and the cost. In St. Joseph County the regional transit measure garnered just 1 “yes” vote for every 18 “no” votes. Porter County rejected the measure by a 4 to 1 margin.
Similar to the Regional Transit Plan originally pushed by Visclosky and the failed Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, the Tennessee plan called for new taxes to fund a wish list of transportation projects. Proponents of the plan cited the need to control traffic congestion and touted the plan as a new way forward for Nashville.
Same Playbook Different Locale
Similar to the playbook in Northwest Indiana, proponents of the plan lined up corporate sponsors, media and phony not for profit organizations to shill for the plan. They even have a group called Nashville Emerging Leaders which, if anything like the Northwest Indiana Emerging Leaders has no leaders but rather a bunch of paid shills cheering on transit for a paycheck. So pitiful were the group of “leaders” that even the bogus not-for-profit One Region rejected the employment application of the Emerging Leaders main spokesperson.
Same Solution, Different Problem
In Nashville the regional transit plan was pushed as a solution to the rapid growth of the City. Supporters cited the statistic that “100 people per day” were moving into the area. Unfortunately, decades of Democratic corruption and Republican neglect have caused population in the region to stagnate. Thus, Visclosky cites the fake statistic of “73,000 school children” who have left the region as the reason to tax current residents for a train to Munster. Exactly the opposite problem requires the same solution according to the politicians and corporations who stand to profit billions from the similar plans.
Why They Keep Pushing a Failed Plan
Despite a referendum and public opinion polls showing that residents overwhelmingly reject the Visclosky/Slager Regional Transformation Plan, the One Region Times, NIPSCO and other cheerleades who push the plan point out that voters have re-elected every single politician who has thwarted the will of the people and pushed forward with the plan. Even Lake County Commissioner Mike Repay was re-elected after campaigning on a platform of no Lake County income tax and then looking down at his shoes in disgrace as he allowed the tax to pass.
If voters in the region want to protect their neighorhoods, retain an identity that is unique from Chicago, and create reasonable, sustained growth they must get out to the polls and tell the elected officials “Enough is Enough.”