August 15, 2014


CA: Orange County Fairgrounds Preservationists Seek Jerry Brown Veto of Privatization Bill
. . . The group is urging those who oppose privatization to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to veto Assembly Bill 2490, which is characterized as the first step in removing public fairgrounds from state oversight in California “so they can be handed over to private corporations.” “No member of the public ever asked for this bill to be written–lobbyists for groups wanting to take our public fairgrounds away from us and turn them into private property wrote the bill,” states an Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society email to supporters. “When our fairgrounds are handed over to a private corporation, we all lose.” OC Weekly (blog)

MD: Is Baltimore City’s Water Supply Up For Privatization?
City Hall denies the charge, but workers and advocates say an upcoming water contract could be a foot in the door for privatization. The Real News Network

IL: Redflex Officials Charged With Bribery, Fraud, Conspiracy
Karen FinleyThe former head of US operations for Redflex Traffic Systems was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury. Karen Finley, 54, was charged with nine counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, three counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy to use bribes to win and expand a lucrative red light camera contract with Chicago, Illinois worth $124 million. . . . In May, federal prosecutors indicted John Bills, Chicago’s deputy transportation commissioner, for accepting $643,000 worth of cash and benefits from Redflex in return for his providing essential insider information on how to win the lucrative contract for what became the world’s largest municipal red light camera program.

Transportation to federalize some IT contractors
The Transportation Department will be federalizing some of its IT contractor workforce in order to save money and invest in new programs, according to its chief information officer Richard McKinney. He said at the 2014 Federal Forum in Washington Aug. 13 that there are about 50 federal employees and 250 contractors running its shared services and common operating environment platforms, and that contractors cost significantly more money . . . “We did an exhaustive analysis and the long and short of it is we were spending a lot more. Just let me say the number was eye-popping,” McKinney said. He said he sat down with agency employees to decide which jobs should be federal and which should remain contractors.  Federal Times