November 7, 2013


TX: Talk of I-35 and SH 130 toll lane swap resurfaces…. “If the inference here is that the TxDOT commission would shift the financial burdens for SH-130 to people who commute daily to Austin to pay for the tolling failures of SH-130, this is yet another example of how our state government is using crony capitalism to bail out private enterprises. “It is curious that this proposal follows on the heels of reports last month that the private owners of SH-130 may not be able to make debt payments in 2014 because actual traffic is well below their initial estimates.   Austin Business Journal (blog)

MI: Detroit elects fix-it CEO as mayor, but his hands could be tied. Mike Duggan, who rescued Detroit’s largest employer for near-insolvency, will be the next Detroit mayor. But the governor’s emergency manager is the real man in charge…. Labor groups in Detroit have “had mixed experiences” with Duggan “over the course of his business career” but “expect him to honor his campaign commitments to protect retirees, resist privatization,… and make Detroit’s economy work for all residents,” said Chris Michalakis, president of the Metro Detroit chapter of the AFL-CIO.  Christian Science Monitor

CT: Bristol Union Protests Outsourcing Plan. Unionized school cafeteria workers turned out in force Wednesday night to protest a plan that would end their jobs and hire a private contractor to run the food service operation. Dressed in green T-shirts and carrying signs reading “Privatization equals corruption,” several dozen Local 2267 members and their supporters showed up at the monthly school board meeting to demonstrate their discontent. Hartford Courant

‘Parade of horribles’ in privatized prisons….In the past 24 months alone, two riots left a guard and inmate dead. Corrections Corporation of America, which runs four Florida prisons, admitted it lied about understaffing an especially violent Idaho lockup. GEO Group Inc., which operates two other prisons in this state, came under fire by the Justice Department for sexual assaults of young offenders in Mississippi…..Yet since 2000, no riots resulted in major damage or serious inmate injuries in Florida’s state-run prisons, none was closed over inmate abuse, and none was investigated by the Justice Department over widespread squalor. Worcester Telegram