by Willa J.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has raised $3.88 million dollars in campaign donations, earning $1.5 million in 2019 alone. This has some people questioning why this election is special. Upon further investigation of campaign finance records Hogsett’s campaign coffers are filled with large donations from attorneys, and real estate developers.

Prior to being sworn in for his first term in 2016, Hogsett’s Inaugural Ball listed co-sponsor of Browning Investments. This was the first time a mayoral candidate listed a private business on the inauguration invitation, which raised questions. One of the major campaign promises that won Hoosiers over, was his strict stance on keeping out “downtown insiders” from over developing and pricing out residents.

There are no campaign donations found from Browning Investments directly to the campaign. The Chairman of Browning Investments, Michael Browning has donated a total of $120,174 on three different occasions from 2015-2019. Since donating to the Hogsett Campaign, Browning Investments has been awarded their first City of Indianapolis contract for$1.12 million dollars. The contract is for downtown real estate planning services relating to the old city hall building and the new justice center.

Bose McKinney and Evans, another top coffer and previous employer of Hogsett, has given a total $50,000 directly from the firm and an additional combined total of $45,000 from Greg Hahn & Dennis Otten, Partners at Bose McKinney and Evans. The combined campaign contribution is $95Kin 2019. In the past 10 months, Bose McKinney and Evans have been awarded two state contracts totaling $1 million dollars.

Architectural firm DLZ Indiana has donated $5,000 to the Hogsett campaign, while the owner of DLZ Indiana, Vikram Rajadhyaksha has donated $25,000 in 2019. DLZ currently holds over $1.2 million in state contracts.

Aspiring to political positions used to be synonymous with public service, over time it looks as though it has evolved into a quid pro quo. As Indianapolis is slated for the most expensive mayoral election in history, this certainly raises questions about the benefits of donating to political campaigns and the ethical ramifications these situations have unearthed.

Willa J is a driven community activist and an independent investigative journalist.