September 5, 2012


CA: UC votes against privatizing UCLA business school. University of California faculty leaders said current policy doesn’t give them the power to allow UCLA’s Anderson School of Management to privatize its funding, a move administrators had sought to put the school on par with private business schools. A graduate affairs committee of the UC Academic Senate voted 10-0 against continuing a review of the conversion, with UCLA’s representative abstaining, according to a letter to Anderson dean Judy Olian on Friday  … The UC committee wrote that “a serious failure” of current systemwide policy does not allow them to approve the move to private funding. The committee “recommends that the UC Office of the President and the Academic Senate develop an explicit policy regarding such conversions,” according to the letter.   Sacramento Bee ‎

CA: Costa Mesa pushes outsourcing despite conflict … And while the Big Issues are pending in Orange County Superior Court (you may recall that the Costa Mesa City Employees Association sued to stop Costa Mesa from laying off workers whose jobs might be outsourced, and won an injunction forbidding the city “from contracting with a private entity for any of the services that are performed by CMCEA members or laying off CMCEA members as a result of such contracting” until those Big Issues are decided at trial), the city is pressing the issue hard, trying to force its opponent into moral checkmate. Last week, even as the legal maelstrom swirled, Costa Mesa asked the union to give its blessing to outsourcing jail services  to save the city millions. Costa Mesa argues that it can proceed with contracting out jail services — even in light of the injunction and pending suit — because state law expressly allows “general law” cities such as Costa Mesa to do so…. If these strike you as fighting words, you’d be right. And the union is fighting.  OC Register

IN: Two foreign firms among four interested in state lottery. Two foreign companies—one based in Australia, the other in the United Kingdom—are among four firms competing for a chance to become the first private manager of Indiana’s lottery… The companies competing to win a private management contract with Indiana include Tatts Group Limited, a Melbourne, Australia-based company that has several lottery licenses in Australia. Also in the running is Camelot, a U.K.-based firm that runs Britain’s national lottery and was a finalist for Illinois’ private lottery management contract that last year became the first of its kind in the U.S. Two American firms are also in the running, including GTECH, a Rhode Island-based company that’s one of the nation’s largest lottery vendors. ….The head of the Illinois Lottery has criticized Indiana’s search for a private lottery manager, saying its process mirrors Illinois’ problem-plagued lottery outsourcing effort that saw revenue fall millions of dollars short of what the vendor promised. “It’s as if they didn’t learn anything,” Illinois Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones told Indianapolis Business Journal.  Indianapolis Business Journal

IN: Daniels, Pence want northern Indiana to pay state’s tolls – opinion…Gov. Mitch Daniels leased the toll road that northern Indiana drivers pay for and used the money to pay for freeways throughout the state. Yet he thinks it’s fair for us to pay tolls to rebuild this bridge. Why couldn’t some of the over $3 billion from the Indiana Toll Road lease pay for Cline Avenue? Apparently he just thinks the northern part of the state should pay for the roads throughout the state. Seen any toll roads in Indy? Once again, the governor is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Should Mike Pence be elected he’s got the same agenda. The people of Indiana will be paying tolls to go to the grocery store, at least in northern Indiana. I think I’ll move south so the rest of you can pay my way too!  NWTimes

DC: Memo tells of politics, power for D.C. lottery deal. As a federal grand jury weighs evidence that key figures in D.C. business and politics manipulated the city’s lottery contract because of political considerations, the international gambling firm that won the $38 million-a-year deal in 2008 and again after a rebid a year later has remained largely silent.  But a previously unexamined internal memo drafted by Greek company Intralot SA during that period offers its inside view of a toxic climate in the District that prompted the vendor to spend more time worrying about local political machinations than about the lottery itself. Washington Times

FL:  Analysis: Florida Lottery Rip-Off .  Italian gaming consortium, Lottomatica, has been granted a contract renewal to provide instant-ticket vending machines and online lottery games and services within Florida, through its Rhode Island based subsidiary, GTech corporation, for another 4 years, without allowing any other potential vendor the ability to bid on the contract and to possibly offer better terms, better technology, better oversight, and better games to the Florida residents and taxpayers who are supporting the State lottery…. How does a company with a worldwide reputation of committing fraud, orchestrating bribes, and promoting government corruption get one of the most lucrative Lottery contracts in the country? Examples of GTech’s shady past could illustrate how they are able to acquire so many lottery contracts around the world.  Tea Party Miami

Party Platforms Are Poles Apart in Their View of the Nation…When it comes to Medicare, the Democratic platform says the party will oppose “any efforts to privatize or voucherize” the program, while the Republican platform would reshape the program for those under 55 so they would get “an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice,” including a government plan.  And while the Democratic platform opposes any privatization of Social Security, the Republican platform says younger workers should be given the option of “personal investment accounts as supplements to the system.” New York Times

Analysis: Unions face fights on multiple fronts. Attacks on collective bargaining rights. Pension cuts. Privatization. “Right to Work.” School vouchers. Limits on voting. In the last year and a half, unionists have been like soldiers in a foxhole, surrounded by an enemy that is constantly shelling them. Ever since the anti-worker Radical Right, its business backers and its ideology – crafted into legislation by the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – took control of governorships and legislatures nationwide, labor has been battling an enormous range of anti-worker schemes, state by state. Workday Minn