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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, December 07, 2017 5:40 pm

Indiana Policy Review director critiques JG article

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

The director of the conservative Indiana Policy Review had pointed words Wednesday for The Journal Gazette regarding its coverage of the Fort Wayne City Council's vote this week to approve creation of the Summit City Entrepreneur and Enterprise District.

The JG article, published in Wednesday's edition, included the 6-2 vote but did not give adequate voice to those who dissented, said Craig Ladwig, the organization's director, in an email to the newspaper and posted to the Indiana Policy Review website. Over 11 paragraphs, Ladwig invoked President Donald Trump, 20th Century English journalist Rudyard Kipling and broadcaster Al McGuire in his critique. 

"The degree of acclamation was such that the reader was surprised when in the 13th paragraph he learned that two councilmen actually voted against this civic boon," Ladwig said. "Had they dozed off? Were they drunk? Were they merely disgruntled, defeated by the forces of progress? We don't know. The reporter didn't ask them." 

Actually, the fourth paragraph of the story said the vote was 6-2. The councilmen who voted against the measure were identified in the 13th graph.

Tuesday's vote was to expand the city's urban enterprise zones through a new state law enacted this year by the Indiana General Assembly.  The new designation allows the city to apply for up to $1 million in state grant funding to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses within the district. 

City Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, was one of the 'no' votes against the Summit City Entrepreneur and Enterprise District. During discussion, Arp suggested that urban enterprise areas treat some areas of a city differently than others. City Councilman Paul Ensley, R-1st, joined Arp against the proposal.

"The market kind of sorts a lot of that stuff out, because if you have areas that are under-developed, the prices are low so you can buy them cheaply and then there's a lot of open square footage you could put machinery in pretty easily," Arp said. 

According to its website, Indiana Policy Review seeks to "marshal the best thought on governmental, economic and educational issues at the state and municipal levels." It is associated with the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a libertarian think tank.