September 24, 2013


Does profit motive affect security clearance investigations?….Returning to the question of conducting the investigations, should that continue to be done by private companies, with their obligation to make money, or federal employees, whose obligation is to serve the people and their government? The background investigations provide the information that agencies need to determine who gets security clearances to work on military bases and in other sensitive government facilities. For the largest government employee union, long wary of contractors doing the government’s work, the answer is clear. Washington Post

Congress Fuels Private Jails Detaining 34000 Immigrants… Since 2009, when then-Senator Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat, inserted a change into the Homeland Security Department’s annual spending bill, federal immigration officials have been placed in the unusual position of operating under a statutory quota on how many people to hold behind bars. Congressional Republicans have been defending it ever since. “People are being kept in detention — in many cases for weeks or months at a time — without consideration for the individual circumstances,” said Denise Gilman, co-director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas law school in Austin. “This is being done at a tremendous financial cost to taxpayers and a tremendous human cost to families.”  Businessweek

The Debt Vise Tightens…One reason Moody’s continues to have a negative outlook for the US toll road sector is the weak and uneven pace of the economic recovery. Bacon’s Rebellion

TX: Fort Worth To Hold Public Meeting About Privatizing Water Dept. The City of Forth Worth is holding a public meeting at city hall Tuesday night to get input about privatizing its water ….Fort Worth had hoped to find some big money savings when it appointed a task force to look into privatizing its water department. But, documents supplied to the task force suggest the city would save money by keeping control of water system.  CBS Local

PA: Corbett asked to end rumors of link between Pa. liquor privatization, transportation funding. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa is again asking the administration to announce there is no effort to keep transportation funding hostage in order to pass a liquor privatization bill, or vice versa. The GOP House Majority Leader agreed that it falls to Corbett to disconnect the two items.

PA: House Majority Leader slams federal school policy in Philly visit. U.S. REP. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, …came to Philadelphia to slam federal education-funding policy and to call out U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for a lawsuit the Department of Justice filed last month against the state of Louisiana. ….”Are political leaders so out of touch that they can use a school system in crisis as a backdrop to peddle a school privatization scheme?” Weingarten asked.

MI:  State plans to start privatizing prison food service Oct. 1. Gov. Rick Snyder says his administration will consider objections raised by a Republican senator and others to a bidding process that led to a state decision to privatize food services for its 45,000 prisoners, but he hopes the protests are not merely attempts to delay action.  Port Huron Times Herald

IN: Unions: State Shouldn’t Privatize Public Employees’ Pensions. AFL-CIO Indiana President Nancy Guyott says adjusting to market conditions through privatization means public employees will lose more than they need to. Indiana Public Media

CA: RAD public housing privatization: Stealing our last acre and our one remaining  mule …“Can you guarantee there will be housing for low, low income people, ’cause many of our folks are low, low income?” The inquiry from San Francisco Public Housing Commissioner Patricia Thomas was tentative, her voice building power with each word. San Francisco Bay View