July 24, 2013


WI: Armed, Masked and Dangerous: the Militias of Privatization vs. the Public Good. Wisconsin, the battleground state where Governor Scott Walker has wielded his power with the grace of an elephant in a Crate and Barrel outlet store, has become the scene of armed, mask wearing, camouflaged security outfits patrolling the backwoods on the lookout for eco-terrorist types at the behest of a mining company more than willing to defile the environment for profits…. Ganson said that the guards “carried semi-automatic guns, were dressed in camouflage, and wore masks covering their faces. ‘As you can imagine, it was quite a shock for five middle-aged people out for a walk,’ he said. Ganson tried to engage the guards, but was ‘met with stony-faced silence.’ He was alarmed but managed to grab a few photos of the men. ‘I was thinking if the worst scenario happened, at least there would be photos on my camera.'” Truth-Out

PA: Pa. Lottery should not follow Illinois path, lottery outsourcing opponents say. A story out of Illinois that raises questions about that state’s outsourcing of its lottery management is resonating with those opposed to Gov. Tom Corbett’s interest in hiring a private manager to run the Pennsylvania Lottery. The story that appeared in Monday’s edition of Crain’s Chicago Business discusses how Northstar Lottery Group LLC, the consortium hired in 2011 to manage the Illinois Lottery, fell short of hitting its profit targets for the second consecutive year. Instead of the $947.1 million in profits it committed to bring in last year, the article indicates Northstar generated $793.5 million. It also discussed how Northstar failed to increase the number of lottery vendors as promised and its on-line ticket sales proved to be a bust.  Patriot-News

Cities Need to Weigh Costs of Private Partnerships – Donald Cohen. DealBook recently published a piece by Kent Rowey that makes a troubling argument for selling public services and infrastructure to Wall Street banks and other corporations. Under the guise of making recommendations for Detroit, Mr. Rowey tried to sell the idea that auctioning off our most vital services and assets to for-profit companies is a simple win-win solution for strapped governments. It sounds simple, but the real track record of public-private partnerships is fraught with problems. New York Times