Posted on January 13, 2009

Mayor Defends City Buying Himself a Gas Guzzling Hummer

Geoff Williams, Wallet Pop, January 9, 2009

Some politicians seem to have such a dense understanding of what’s going on around them, it’s a wonder they were elected. Exhibit A: the mayor of Gary, Indiana, who is driving a government-purchased, gas-guzzling Hummer, despite the fact that his city is operating with a $36 million deficit.

Gary, Ind., Mayor Rudy Clay bought a Hummer with government funds while his city is experiencing a $36 million deficit.

A Mayor’s Choice

Recently, Rudy Clay asked for a cap on property taxes for his city, but when Ryan Kitchell, chairman of the state panel that decides these sorts of things, learned about the purchase, he was a wee bit upset. {snip}

If the economy wasn’t in such dire shape, it would almost be funny how tone deaf some politicians can be about the economy.


Clay defended himself mightily when he spoke in front of the state’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board: “What do you want me to do, walk around here? I’ve got to have a car.”

Sure, but a 2009 Hummer H3 for $29,970? Clay proudly noted that he received a $5,000 discount. Otherwise it would have cost more. And until he was criticized for the purchase, the cash-strapped berg of Gary, Indiana was picking up the gas tab. Now, apparently, the mayor is paying for his gas.

And in Clay’s mind, he is a cost-conscious mayor. After all, as he told the state board: “We’re saving taxpayers money by riding in a Hummer. I could’ve bought a $50,000 Expedition.”


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