January 3, 2013


PA: Gov. Corbett’s trip paid for by a businessman is subject of a complaint

Harrisburg area activist Gene Stilp wants federal, state and county prosecutors to review Gov. Tom Corbett’s acceptance of a trip from a Pennsylvania businessman who contributed to Corbett’s campaign and serves on his privatization council….Moran and his wife, Ann, gave Corbett’s campaign more than $100,000 since 2009, according to state campaign finance reports. Moran was appointed last year to Corbett’s Advisory Council on Privatization and Innovation. He also co-chairs the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, a not-for-profit business group that receives funding from the state. Stilp’s complaints point to the Code of Conduct for executive branch officials that bars the governor from accepting gifts from parties that have or are seeking to do business with the commonwealth.  The Patriot News

VA: Bill would give Legislature say on ports privatization deals

A bill the state Legislature will take up this session would give lawmakers the power to say “yea” or “nay” to any sale of state-owned ports. The bill’s author, Del. Harry R. “Bob” Purkey, R-Virginia Beach, said he is targeting the type of port privatization deals currently before state officials.  Daily Press

VA: Latest Dulles Toll Road price hike fueling renewed protest

The latest toll hikes on the Dulles Toll Road that went into effect on Jan. 1 may have rekindled the protest over how the new Silver Line is being financed, WTOP reported. The tolls went up 25 cents to $1.75 at the main toll plaza, and a larger hike is scheduled for the next two years. NoTOLLincrease.org, a citizens group that has been fighting the tolls for months, is now circulating a petition asking the state to consider two other alternatives to the tolls. Washington Business Journal

AR: Arkansas privatizes high school diploma program

Individuals seeking a GED have always enrolled and tested for free in Arkansas–one of the last states to offer it at no cost. But by 2014, the program will be privatized and digitized–and students will be charged a hefty fee.  KUAF/NPR

TN: School vouchers debate continues

The six municipal mayors in Shelby County will return to closed door talks Thursday about the future of a merged school system….Memphis Education Association President Keith Williams said school vouchers are not a friend of public education.“Vouchers take public money and give it to private coffers. I have never supported it.  Nor has the NEA, TEA nor MEA,” said Williams.  WMC-TV

Food & Water Watch Criticizes USDA on Australia’s ‘Privatized Meat Inspection’

Food & Water Watch is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to review its decision to allow the newly privatized meat inspection system of Australia to be considered equivalent to U.S. inspection, according to a press release by the group. “Documents from USDA and Australian officials reveal that this is not an isolated problem,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “The repeated problems with products coming from Australia in 2012 show that this is a systemic problem and that privatized meat inspection in Australia is not working.” Food Safety News