October 9, 2012


OH: Ohio Turnpike Privatization Plan Advances

Ohio Gov. John Kasich reportedly expects to unveil a privatization plan for the Ohio Turnpike within the next 30 days. Kasich has talked about privatizing the 241-mile turnpike, one of Ohio’s most lucrative assets, since taking office, saying it could generate up to $2.4 billion. It’s one of several proposed public-private partnership plans aimed at raising cash for the Buckeye State. ..KPMG LLP is advising the administration on the deal… Kasich’s announcement comes a week after the Ohio Supreme Court dealt a blow to his plan to advance a long-stalled plan to privatize its liquor distribution system as part of a $1.5 billion plan. The top court last week announced it would not take up the state’s lawsuit, sending it back to the lower courts. The legal process delays a plan for the newly created non-profit entity JobsOhio to sell $1.4 billion of bonds to take over the liquor distribution system. The proposal had called for $500 million of the proceeds to be used to plug a deficit. The Bond Buyer

CA: How Gloria Romero Became The Face Of Prop 32

New York University Research Professor of Education Diane Ravitch, who has followed the lobbying efforts of DFER since its inception in 2005, is blunt about Romero: “She’s working for Wall Street hedge fund managers. That’s where her interest lies.” Indeed, DFER is the brainchild of Whitney Tilson, founder of the hedge-fund firm T2 Partners – an LLC that, like other hedge fund contributors to DFER, is conveniently exempted from Prop. 32′s proposed donation restrictions. In a 2010 New York Times interview about charter schools, Tilson suggested that privatized education was a potentially lucrative investment target for Wall Street. Huffington Post

LA: Teachers: Don’t let Gov. Jindal sell the Office of Group Benefits!

Despite an outcry from thousands of public servants, Governor Bobby Jindal seems determined to sell the State Office of Group Benefits to a private company. OGB manages the health insurance of some 60,000 current and retired public employees, including teachers and school employees in a number of school systems. It is one of the best-run and scandal-free operations in state government. In fact, it has built up a surplus of some $500 million over the past few years. Please click this link to learn more and tell members of the Joint Budget Committee to vote NO when they are asked to approve privatizing the Office of Group Benefits.  Louisiana Federation of Teachers