Indiana Mayor Defends City Purchase of Hummer

“The word Hummer really throws people off, makes you think you’re driving a big automobile. I’m not driving one of those. They’re gas-guzzlers.”

Rudy Clay
Mayor of Gary, Ind.

Rudy Clay, Mayor of Gary Indiana, is defending his decision to purchase a new $30,000 2009 Hummer H3 at city expense—while the City of Gary faces a $30 million budget deficit.

Clay got into hot water last year for using the Hummer H3 for his professional and personal use, during a time when gas prices reached record highs. The Hummer H3 is rated at 14 miles to the gallon in the city and 18 mpg on the high. In 2008, Clay was using city funds to pay for gasoline but pledged to begin fueling the vehicle with his own money. On Wednesday, he reiterated his commitment to pay for his own gas.

Appearing last June on Fox News’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” Mayor Clay said that the gas mileage on his 2006 Hummer H3 was “really good.” Cavuto replied, “It’s not exactly hybrid material, and your tax payers are paying for it. They have every right to say, mayor, cool it.”

Mayor Clay responded, “The word Hummer really throws people off, makes you think you’re driving a big automobile. I’m not driving one of those. They’re gas-guzzlers.” Clay owned the 2006 Hummer H3 before becoming mayor.

Gary’s decision to purchase a new Hummer comes at a time when municipalities across the country are buying more and more hybrids for their fleets—both to save money when gas prices are high and to reduce the environmental footprint of city-owned vehicles.

Clay defended the purchase based on the discounted price he received for the 2009 Hummer H3, which is about $5,000 less than the sticker price of $34,135. Local citizens expressed disapproval of Mayor Clay’s decision. Herb Smith, a local businessman told the Post-Tribune, “I think we have enough vehicles owned by the city that he could have used one of those.”

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  • Hide that Hummer!!!

    “Clay defended the purchase based on the discounted price he received for the 2009 Hummer H3, which is about $5,000 less than the sticker price of $34,135.”

    Another politician talking non-sense out of their mouths. Mr. Clay clearly fails to understand the concept of practicality. Instead he relied on amount saved off the sticker as the main reason for getting it. By the same reason he should have bought a private helicopter. I’m sure they will give him a discount of >$5k to get his business. If he had said Hummer is the only vehicle that could fit his ego, it would have been more believable.

    This example of poor leadership may explain why the City of Gary fell into such financial disarray.

  • Shame

    Save $5k off the sticker? Big whoop.

    Leaders should be embracing positive change and moving towards cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicles.


    Stone age mileage for stone age people with stone age beliefs.

    See you in a cleaner future when the rest of us drag you there.

  • Samie

    Funny but sad……….
    There’s a noble idea buy a sedan for 15K and donate the rest for a scholarship to an outstanding graduate of their public school system.
    Greed and ego……..

    Talking heads on radio and TV turn this kind of junk into propaganda in not trusting government in spending your dollars. Sad people like Rudy Clay add to this when in fact underspending of government funds are hurting school environments and human health/social services.

  • Rather

    He realized a sedan would look ridiculous with some 24’s.

  • Demetrius

    This is what happens when inner city voters are granted voting rights. 90% of all americans should do the 10% of us a favor and not vote…please

  • Ross Nicholson

    Tampa Florida’s mayor Pam Iorio replaced her city-provided Lincoln Town Car with a 2005 Toyota Prius. If mayor Rudy Clay of Gary Indiana wants to buy some pollution credits, Mayor Pam has some ready to sell!

  • Bryce

    Fun stuff

  • Bankrupt Taxpayer

    Rudy Clay is just another reason Gary,Indiana is just a slum and a haven for crack dealers and whores. It all started in 1969 when Richard Hatcher became Gary’s first black mayor. In the 1950’s up untill ’69, Gary was a town that was clean and respectable. When Hatcher became mayor, rioting started,looting became rampant and the dregs of society took over a once good place to live and raise a family. If black politicians want to help their fellow citizens, they are gonna have to have morals and ethics. They need only look to our President-Elect. I believe there is going to be a great awakening, and soon. They will not be getting a get-out-of jail free card……just because their skin is black. The very same thing is happening in Memphis, Tennessee and Altlanta,Georgia too. My father, thank God, moved us away from Gary in May of 1970. It is now just a wasteland…….because of greed and a total lack of care…….

  • Priusmaniac

    His next car can only be better!

  • Anonymous

    wow this guy is a douchebag…..yea thats all i got

  • Laughing Mike

    Hauled ass out of Gary when Hatcher got in, Lived in Porter County until ’73, then made Florida home, reading about Gary every once in a while gives me a good laugh, I am really surprised it’s still a City.

  • Garystime

    Hello there, why some may or not approve of this purchase or the condition of the city I feel we all need to get off of each others backs and focus on what it will take to change Gary. Granted things, events have occurred that may or may not have contributed to the challenges, but to stick any one man by saying his fault, his fault is ludicrous. I believe that it is a combined attitude fueled by a lack of regulation from the top (meaning the state) not the folks in office at the local level. I could be totally wrong here and sound naive, but my point is rather than play the blame game, why don’t we join hands and in a respectful way offer your suggestions to the folks that can make a difference. I like getting up in the morning knowing that there is hope, not just for Gary, but for our nation, I’m sure Rudy feels the same way, one step at a time guys, better days are coming.

    Thank you
    Roger Hayward