October 30, 2013


WI: Most with vouchers didn’t come from public schools. Nearly 80 percent of students who received a taxpayer-subsidized voucher to attend private school this year did not go to a Wisconsin public school last year, data released Tuesday showed. The voucher program is touted by its supporters as a way to help students escape poorly performing public schools. Opponents, primarily Democrats and public school advocates, say the program is unaccountable to taxpayers and takes resources away from others who need it… “These numbers expose the expansion of the unaccountable private school voucher program for the scam that it is,” said Scot Ross, director of the liberal anti-voucher group One Wisconsin Now. “It’s not about helping kids; it’s a far-right-driven effort to privatize schools and satisfy the wealthy campaign contributors and well-connected special interests behind it.” San Francisco Chronicle

PA: Gov. Tom Corbett once again delays decision on Pa. Lottery privatization pursuit. Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration will continue its examination into the privatization of the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery for two more months. The administration announced Tuesday that United Kingdom-based Camelot Global Services has agreed for an 11th time to extend its bid’s expiration date, which was set to expire today. It now is good through Dec. 31. Patriot-News

PA: Auditor General calls on Corbett to stop spending on lottery privatization consultants. In a news release issued Tuesday, DePasquale said he directed his staff to immediately begin to review and scrutinize this diversion of use of Lottery Fund dollars from funding senior programs to paying for consultants. “Funds from the Pennsylvania Lottery are supposed to help older Pennsylvanians with prescriptions, transportation, home-delivered meals and property tax and rent rebates, not to fatten the coffers of law firms and private consultants over a Lottery privatization contract that may never see the light of day,” DePasquale said. Penn Live

OR: Seven arrested in Portland postal privatization protest. Seven people were arrested during a protest at a downtown Portland postal facility Tuesday after a security guard clashed with demonstrators. The protest was being held in opposition to the outsourcing of postal jobs…..Demonstrators were protesting the recent loss of postal jobs to private corporations in Portland and Salem…. “We’ve written letters, we’ve called and were up there before when they promised they would meet with us,” Daniel said. “Then they said no, they would not meet with us.”  OregonLive.com

LA: Feds looking at privatization funding. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is asking questions about the financial arrangements needed to make privatization of LSU hospitals. The Advocate

CA: New City Ambulance Deal Wages Public vs. Private. San Diego firefighters now want the contract for emergency medical transport services. Since 1997, a private firm named Rural/Metro has been the city’s ambulance provider. San Diego’s Fire-Rescue Department chief now wants an in-house operation….” “There’s big profit in it, and that’s why you’re seeing the lobbyists and these timely, so-called reports that these taxpayer groups are putting out. When, in fact, their whole board is comprised of people that have an interest in it because they’re all wanting to privatize,” he said. “We’re not in it for a profit. Our shareholders are the citizens. We want to provide the highest services.” NBC 7 San Diego

CA: San Diego hires efficiency expert with controversial past. Stephen Goldsmith…is known as an expert in privatizing city governments…. Goldsmith served two terms as Mayor of Indianapolis, America’s 12 largest city, where he’s said to have saved local government hundreds of millions of dollars in spending by cutting government services and selling those out to the private sector. His measures are also reported to have resulted in hundreds of government worker layoffs. More recently, Goldsmith served as Deputy Mayor of New York City, brought in by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help him run the city more efficiently. That didn’t go as planned, he resigned 14 months into the job after being arrested for domestic violence, but was reportedly never criminally charged.  10News

Fighting Fires is Big Business for Private Companies…As the private firefighting industry has grown, so too has its influence on politicians and government. Despite, the rapid growth of the industry, there has been little public debate about the role of these companies until now. “Why is fire management on public lands being turned over to profit-seeking corporations?” asks Timothy Ingalsbee, Executive Director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology. “They don’t share the same interests as folks with a vision of long-term stewardship.” The main concern people like Ingalsbee share is that private companies are putting profit over the environment.  Earth Island Journal

Privatization Everywhere: Public Universities Want to Go Private. The reason why this is so is not too hard to figure out: as states have cut (and cut) funding for their public universities, public higher education inches toward the private university model: higher tuition costs, and more financial aid for those students the universities want to attract. And who are those students? The ones that will boost a school’s rankings and prestige. This of course means that more and more students from lower-income families will (are) being priced out of higher education. ProPublica has shown that, in a gross inversion, wealthier kids are sucking up the aid from colleges and universities, leaving the most financially needy in a bind. Houston Press (blog)