April 22, 2013


MI: Mich. lawmakers propose privatizing some prison services. Michigan’s Corrections Department will be required to take private bids on prison clothing and electronic monitoring services under a proposed $2.02-billion budget sent to the full Senate by its appropriations committee Wednesday. All five Democrats on the 11-member committee voted against the budget proposal, mostly because of objections to the private bidding mandates. Committee Democratic Vice Chairman Glenn Anderson of Westland argued privatization of prison services is “a failed idea. It hasn’t worked for the state and it hasn’t worked across the country.”  Detroit News

OH: Foes of Cincinnati’s parking privatization plan have enough signatures to force Nov vote. Opponents of a controversial parking plan that would help balance Cincinnati’s budget by privatizing parking have gotten enough signatures to force a public vote on the issue in November, setting the stage for a fierce campaign over the next six months…. Under the parking plan, the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development would pay the city $92 million upfront and at least $3 million annually for 30 years. In exchange, the port would gain control over street parking for 30 years and off-street parking for 50 years. That would mean higher parking rates and longer meter hours, although increases would be capped.  The Republic

LA: Early prognosis for privatization. Louisiana legislators are looking closely at the first week of operations of the state’s first charity hospital placed under private management…. Officials with nearby hospitals say the closure is leading to increased — and often unpaid — visits to their emergency rooms…. More than 7,000 employees will lose their state hospital jobs, though some will be rehired by the private partners. The Advocate

LA: Analysis: EKL closure shows pitfalls for LSU deals. The closure of LSU’s public hospital in Baton Rouge left employees, community leaders and local lawmakers declaring a breach of the public’s trust, criticizing a scarcity of information and describing a litany of still unanswered concerns. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration would be wise to take lessons from those hard feelings as the governor seeks to privatize eight other university-run hospitals around Louisiana that care for the uninsured and that train many of the state’s medical students. San Francisco Chronicle

PA: Bucks GOP may dash Pa. booze reform. The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports that this has to do with state Sen. Chuck McIlhinney’s friendship with Pasquale “Pat” Deon Jr. Deon is the Mr. Big of state Republican politics. He chairs SEPTA. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. He has gaming and construction interests. He is a GOP rainmaker. He also owns a beer distributorship in Fairless Hills, Deon’s Beverages. His business would certainly face increased competition if the state unleashes free market forces by dissolving its overpriced, poorly run, crummy-selection, DMV-like booze business. phillyBurbs.com (blog)

WI: New Report Exposes Bradley Foundation Funding Behind “Massive” Campaign to Promote School Privatization. In a new report, entitled “P is for Payoff: Inside the Bradley Foundation’s Campaign to Privatize Education in Wisconsin,” the non-profit activist group One Wisconsin Now has detailed the Bradley Foundation’s funding of a coordinated campaign to promote school privatization in Wisconsin and across the nation. The report “reveals a web of right-wing groups are part of a $31 million-plus propaganda campaign pushing a massive privatization of public education in Wisconsin. Underwriting the effort is the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair, Michael Grebe.” PR Watch

TN: Knox Countians Solidly Against TVA Being Privatized. This week’s Knoxville Focus poll asked voters the question, “In your opinion, should the Tennessee Valley Authority be privatized”? More than 80% of likely voters said that no, TVA should not be privatized. The Knoxville Focus

TN: Opinion: Why Privatizing the TVA Would Be a Dam Shame. Imagine the uproar if the Washington Monument or the Jefferson Memorial were up for sale. These national treasures are safe, of course, but another public monument — the Tennessee Valley Authority — is not. President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget plan proposes a strategic review of TVA, the biggest publicly owned U.S. power company, which could lead to its sale.  Bloomberg

The Privatization of Water: Nestlé Denies that Water is a Fundamental Human Right. The current Chairman and former CEO of Nestlé, the largest producer of food products in the world, believes that the answer to global water issues is privatization. This statement is on record from the wonderful company that has peddled junk food in the Amazon, has invested money to thwart the labeling of GMO-filled products, has a disturbing health and ethics record for its infant formula, and has deployed a cyber army to monitor Internet criticism and shape discussions in social media. Center for Research on Globalization