January 17, 2013


VA: Virginia cites high toll rates in proposed ‘buyback’ of private toll road

Virginia taxpayers may end up spending millions of dollars to buy back a privately operated toll road. Lawmakers are searching for the means to buy back the 14-mile Dulles Greenway, saying the state can set toll rates lower than the current operator, a consortium owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Group of Australia. Lawmakers believe a state-operated tolling authority could do it cheaper.  Land Line Magazine

PA: City gas panel OKs plan to hire advisers to sell Phila. Gas Works

Over the objections of unionized gas workers and the city’s public advocate, the commission voted, 3-2, to hire a team of lawyers, financial advisers, and communications consultants to solicit bids to privatize PGW, the largest municipal gas utility in the nation. Philadelphia Inquirer

PA: House Dems don’t like PaLottery privatization, have no idea what to do about it

The Republican administration is lining the pockets of the U.K.-based Camelot Group at the expense of senior citizens who benefit from the programs the Lottery pays for, Democrats kvetched. And with the likely expansion of Keno into Pennsylvania’s bars and taverns, there will be “more people spending their paychecks in bars and more ruined families,” Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, said. But the noisy Democrats were reduced to cricket-like chriping when asked whether they had any legislative remedies to halt the administration’s planned contract with Camelot, which operates the National Lottery in the United Kingdom.  The Morning Call

PA: Editorial: More answers needed before gambling on privatizing the lottery

Privatization of government programs makes sense when efficiencies are realized that either reduce costs or increase revenue. Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed deal with a British company to take over the Pennsylvania Lottery raises more questions it can answer concerning how the contract would work and how much profit might be expected. This is a gamble we don’t support at this time. Centre Daily Times

DE: Del. Senate OKs lawmaker say in port privatization

The bill, which passed the Senate 11-9 and now goes to the House, prevents the state-controlled Diamond State Port Corporation from entering into any agreement to privatize or lease the port without first obtaining approval from both chambers of the General Assembly. Houston Chronicle

Influential group of CEOs calls for raising retirement age to 70 for Social Security, Medicare

An influential group of business CEOs is pushing a plan to gradually increase the full retirement age to 70 for both Social Security and Medicare and to partially privatize the health insurance program for older Americans. Washington Post

January 16, 2013


PA: Public vetting of potential lottery privatization deal appears to go administration’s way

Finally given the chance to ask questions, political observers expected state lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration to spar over the pending contract with a British firm to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery. Instead, they heard three-plus hours of relatively polite exchanges.  PhillyBurbs

NY: NYC Bus Strike Kicks Off to Fight Privatization of Yellow Buses

The president of the union representing New York City school bus drivers announced earlier this week that a citywide strike will be starting Wednesday morning. This will be the first time in more than three decades that NYC’s largest union for school bus drivers will strike…. The city wants to cut transportation costs and has put bus contracts with private bus companies up for bid. The union is criticizing lack of employee protections, fearing current drivers may lose their jobs once contracts expire in June.  The Nation

MS: Senate committee approves charter school bill

Legislation to expand charter schools in Mississippi is once again moving forward, with the state Senate Education Committee approving Senate Bill 2189 on a split vote Tuesday. Senators said they expect the bill to come to the Senate floor Wednesday. MySanAntonio.com

FL: Group wants private prisons to rehab Fla. inmates

A group with strong business ties urged Florida lawmakers to divert nonviolent felons into privately operated prisons for substance abuse and mental health treatment to cut costs and help prevent them from returning to crime when they are released. The proposal by the Florida Smart Justice Alliance drew opposition from public employee unions representing guards and other prison workers. They questioned the safety of private prisons as well as cost savings claimed by the alliance.  San Francisco Chronicle

CA: Parents seek to take control of failing Los Angeles school

Critics of the parent trigger law say it can divide communities and lead to the privatization of public schools, while proponents say it empowers parents to improve their children’s educational opportunities.  Reuters

MN: Privatization at Wirth Park

…In return for raising $3,000,000, The Loppet wants a 25 year lease on the new Welcome Center and 22.5 surrounding acres. The Loppet would serve as “Developer” subletting the building to tenants like a restaurant, a bike shop, a winter sports store, offices, etc. It appears The Loppet would keep all building revenue. The Loppet would also have naming rights to the building and all interior areas. Finally, the MPRB would “credit” the Loppet’s annual rent payments for 20 years, total value $3 million.  Twin Cities Daily Planet

When Public Outperforms Private in Services

Ten years ago, BP was the darling of the energy world — the unprofitable duckling transformed by privatization under the government of Margaret Thatcher into a highly profitable swan. But then, in 2005, a BP refinery in Texas City blew up, killing 15 and injuring around 170. In 2006, a leak in a BP pipeline spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. And in 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 and resulted in the biggest offshore oil spill in the history of the United States…. Long dormant in the United States, the debate has acquired new urgency as governments from Washington to statehouses and city halls around the country consider privatizing everything from Medicare to the management of state parks as a possible solution to their budget woes. New York Times

Aaron Swartz – a Fighter Against the Privatization of Knowledge

Two colleagues and friends of Aaron Swartz talk about his activism and vision of technology in the service of a more democratic and just society. The Real News



January 15, 2013


Pitney Bowes pays lawmakers to push privatizing Post Office

Pitney Bowes seems to be promoting a reckless and astoundingly flawed plan to privatize every part of the Postal Service except mail delivery. This reckless plan was brought up years ago by the Libertarian Cato Institute but was quickly dismissed. Yet the idea has been reintroduced recently. Why would this plan be suddenly creating interest in DC at this time? It’s simple: follow the money.  Peoples World

PA: State lawmakers vet Lottery privatization proposal

Senior executives of the British-based company poised to take over the day-to-day management of the Pennsylvania Lottery say they have a simple plan to get more people playing scratch-off and numbers games that underwrite services for the state’s growing over-60 population.  Allentown Morning Call

PA: Editorial: Wrong number for lottery

Corbett’s zeal to privatize management of the Pennsylvania Lottery raises more doubts about the deal, even as it increases the likelihood that the state will needlessly hand over the hugely profitable games – and a share of the winnings – to a British to a British firm.  Philadelphia Inquirer

NJ: Dems fight back against Gov. Christie’s plan to privative state lottery

Democratic lawmakers today advanced two measures that would slam the brakes on Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to privatize parts of the state Lottery. The Star-Ledger


January 14, 2013


Education reform as a business

Did you know that the education sector now represents nearly 9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product? That for-profit education is valued at $1.3 trillion, and is one of the largest U.S. investment markets? These facts were part of an advertisement for a conference for investors in for-profit education ventures, just one example of how much the profit motive has entered into the public education arena. The conference is one of two examples of how school reform has become little more than a business in some arenas (and just how removed some reformers have gotten from classrooms and the actual dynamic of teaching and learning).  Washington Post

PA: Corbett moves ahead with privatization, taps Camelot Group to run Pennsylvania lottery

The administration said it had issued a “notice of award” to Camelot, providing a 20-year private management agreement for Camelot. The company has said it can generate $34 billion in profits for the 42-year Lottery. A notice of an award is not a binding contract, the administration said…. Reaction from legislative Democrats, who have opposed the planned privatization was swift and critical. Democrats were upset that the administration had awarded the contract, even though a state Senate oversight panel had scheduled a public hearing on it for Monday at 10 a.m. Allentown Morning Call

PA: Committee Questions Privatization Of PA Lottery

Monday morning’s hearing by the Senate Finance Committee comes fresh off Friday evening’s announcement that the Corbett administration intends to award a 20-year contract to run the Lottery to a British firm called Camelot Global Services. Legislative Democrats have protested that lawmakers have been shut out of the process and the state treasurer has indicated he may withhold payments to Camelot if he deems necessary.  CBS

MI: Michigan Private Prisons Law Could Reopen Facility With Checkered Past

Under legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder (R) this week, Michigan could send inmates to a troubled private prison or privatize other prisons as part of an effort to trim costs in the state’s $1.9 billion corrections system. The legislation is a potential boon for the GEO Group, the nation’s second-largest for-profit prison operator, which owns a now-vacant youth prison in rural Baldwin, Mich. But the Baldwin prison has a checkered past. The state closed the facility, its only private prison, in 2005, following a series of audits and investigations that found high levels of assault, frequent staff vacancies and operating costs that exceeded those in comparable state prisons. Huffington Post

AZ: Ariz. charter schools oppose more state regulation

Arizona charter school officials say they don’t want the state to impose more regulations on how the mostly privately operated schools buy goods and services with taxpayer dollars, and the state board says no changes are in the works. The State Board for Charter Schools held a study session with charter school officials Wednesday in response to an investigation by The Arizona Republic that found that board members and administrators of some charters did business with their own schools.  San Francisco Chronicle

IL: Rahm appoints committee to advise City Council on whether to privatize Midway Airport

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday appointed a committee–with an independent adviser and representatives from labor, business and the City Council–to advise the city on whether or not to privatize Midway Airport. Emanuel decided last month to test the privatization market for Midway–with a 40-year lease, profit-sharing for Chicago taxpayers and safeguards against consumer price-gouging–nearly four years after then-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s 99-year, $2.5 billion Midway deal collapsed for lack of financing.  Chicago Sun Times

CA: Court sides with union on Costa Mesa outsourcing

A California Court of Appeal has affirmed a preliminary injunction against the city of Costa Mesa, which attempted to contract out work currently performed by city employees. The union representing city employees—the Costa Mesa City Employees’ Association (CMCEA)—sought the injunction, alleging the city’s actions violated state law.  Business Management Daily

“Free Market” Social Services Fail to Deliver

For over thirty years we have been privatizing public social services in the belief that free markets are more efficient than government in providing the best services at the lowest cost.  Little attention is given to the inescapable fact that market driven systems create uneven results by their very nature.  This is true in commerce but especially true in public social welfare.  OpEdNews







January 11, 2013


AZ: Ariz. charter schools oppose more state regulation

Arizona charter school officials say they don’t want the state to impose more regulations on how the mostly privately operated schools buy goods and services with taxpayer dollars, and the state board says no changes are in the works. The State Board for Charter Schools held a study session with charter school officials Wednesday in response to an investigation by The Arizona Republic that found that board members and administrators of some charters did business with their own schools.  San Francisco Chronicle

PA: Extension possible on Corbett decision on firm’s bid to privatize lottery

Another extension of a deadline is possible for Gov. Tom Corbett to consider whether to hire the British national lottery operator to manage the $3.5 billion Pennsylvania Lottery.  The Republic

VA: 2 local lawmakers seek to halt port privatization deal

Two senior local lawmakers from opposite sides of the political spectrum are trying to halt a multibillion-dollar deal to privatize the operations of the port of Hampton Roads. Legislative proposals from state Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, and Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, were introduced separately but share a common aim: preventing Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration from turning port operations over to a private company.  The Virginian-Pilot

DE: Bill would require Wilmington port deal approval

Sen. Robert Marshall has introduced legislation that would require state lawmakers and the governor to approve any deal to privatize the Port of Wilmington. In early December, the Diamond State Port Corp., the governing board of the state-owned port, entered into exclusive bargaining with Kinder Morgan for a possible contract operation agreement. DelawareOnline

Murderous Reform: A Plan to Privatize Postal Profits at Public Expense

The National Academy of Public Administration has released a ‘Work-in-Progress’ report entitled ‘Restructuring the U.S. Postal System: The Case for a Hybrid Public-Private Postal System.’ The Academy is now embarking on a study of this proposal, which would privatize a large portion of the country’s postal system. The proposal is predictably one-dimensional — as befits men who seemingly have little or no sense of the public service mission for which the Post Office was created 238 years ago under the direction of Benjamin Franklin. Its purpose, then as now, was democracy and equality, not efficiency or profit. Thus, the report omits much.  OpEdNews


January 10, 2013


PA: PennDOT, turnpike will seek bids to privatize traveler info system

While the administration of Gov. Tom Corbett fends off challenges to his plan to privatize the state’s lottery system, it has come up with another privatization option — the systems run by PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike that provide information about traffic to travelers…. PennDOT’s 511 system and the turnpike’s Roadway Information Program…provide information about traffic conditions, accidents and weather-related problems to users; PennDOT’s 511 systems also provide nearly 700 traffic cameras around the state, and pushes automatic updates to subscribers via email, texts or Twitter.  Timesonline.com

PA: Lottery privatization: A decision on another bid extension from lone bidder not expected today

It now appears that Thursday will be the day when the commonwealth announces whether Gov. Tom Corbett has a little more time to make a decision about handing management of the Pennsylvania Lottery over to a private firm. The United Kingdom-based lottery manager, which was the only company to submit a bid to manage the 42-year-old state lottery, initially set Dec. 31 as the day its bid would expire.  Patriot News

KS: Kansas’ privatization, limit of welfare orgs worries advocates

Advocates for the poorest Kansas residents say Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration is making it tougher for the state’s needy to rise out of poverty by cutting much-needed assistance.…. They also fret about the administration’s decision to turn the delivery of Medicaid services over to three private health insurers in a system known as KanCare that started Jan. 1. Private insurers, advocates fear, will boost their bottom lines by refusing or restricting services to the 380,000 poor, disabled and elderly Kansans on Medicaid. The state counters that KanCare will be more efficient, and that privatization will stem rapidly growing Medicaid spending and save Kansas close to $500 million over five years. Topeka Capitol Journal

KY: State Senate committee hearing jabs at family services

State Sen. Julie Denton said she expects to file legislation when the session reconvenes in February that would press for changes in how child abuse and neglect cases are handled. One of the recommendations, Denton said, will be to privatize foster care in Kentucky. Denton said child protective services would continue to investigate, but would not have to provide the foster care. She said she is still working out the details of the bill she will propose.  The Courier-Journal

Ravitch on Rhee

The PBS show “Frontline” on Tuesday night aired John Merrow’s documentary on school reformer Michelle Rhee, which focused on the 3 1/2 years she was chancellor of D.C. Public Schools…. I was disappointed that the documentary did not mention that Rhee is now working on behalf of a far-right agenda of privatization; that Washington Teachers Union President George Parker now works for StudentsFirst; that Rhee’s “miraculous gains” as a teacher in Baltimore have been discredited.  Washington Post

Michelle Rhee gets a failing grade on her report card

Michelle Rhee and her misnamed school privatization organization, StudentsFirst, recently issued a report card on the nation’s schools that has been roundly criticized, and rightly so. Rhee ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia by how closely they hew to her vision of school “reform,” which involves high stakes testing, maximizing the number of charter schools, expanding voucher programs that use tax dollars to pay for private schools, and eliminating teacher tenure and pension plans. Rhee is so keen to reduce the pensions of teachers and their reward for longevity that she makes their elimination an “anchor policy” and gives it triple weight in her ranking methodology.  EPI

Decision to keep federal screeners at Calif. airport has national implications

Republicans in Congress have repeatedly pushed for more privatization. AFGE and its Democratic allies have constantly pushed back. The Sacramento decision is an important victory in labor’s effort to combat privatization efforts generally.  Washington Post





January 9, 2013


VA: Va. legislator withdraws support from controversial Loudoun charter school proposal

A Virginia state senator has withdrawn support from a proposed charter school which would be the first in Loudoun and possibly in northern Virginia if allowed to open because of public “misgivings” and other concerns.  Washington Post

CA: TSA Union Gets Sacramento Airport Privatization Revoked

After close to one year of lobbying efforts and a public campaign, the American Federation of Government Employees—the union for TSA workers in Sacramento and nationwide—today applauded the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors for voting to rescind its approval for Sacramento International Airport to be allowed to privatize, or use corporate airport screeners in place of federal employees. The Herald

PA: Union fights effort to privatize Pa. Lottery

With a day to go until the private company’s offer is set to expire, AFSCME Council 13 is waging a strong counterattack against outsourcing the profitable lottery in the courtroom, the Statehouse, and the streets. This week, a particularly edgy – some might consider over-the-top – billboard appeared near the Capitol, skewering the British firm that is the sole bidder for the lottery, which dedicates 100 percent of its profits to programs for seniors. The billboard depicts a caricature of a pig in a suit with a Union Jack on its lapel, holding a vacuum cleaner that is sucking dollar bills out of an elderly woman’s purse.  Philadelphia Inquirer

NY: SUNY Downstate Medical Center: Too big to fail

Facing chronic deficits SUNY brought in a new director and hired Pitts Management to fix the hospital but it’s resulted in layoff notices going out to PEF-represented nurses and others.“What’s happening at SUNY Downstate is a thinly veiled attempt to privatize this public hospital, which provides necessary health care services to hundreds of thousands of patients,” said UUP president Phillip H. Smith.  Albany Times Union

Massive Cuts to Postal Service a Step Towards Privatization?

Activists argue this is part of an ongoing divestiture of assets that, along with $12 billion of annual outsourcing, is a significant step toward the privatization of the US Postal Service…. And now thousands of buildings may be sold and thousands of workers laid off in what USPS says is an attempt to save itself, but critics argue is a step toward privatization. The Real News Network

January 8, 2013


NY: Long Island Power Should Be Private, New York Panel Says

The Long Island Power Authority should be converted into an investor-owned utility to end poor management practices that exacerbated slow and halting repairs of blackouts from October’s Hurricane Sandy, a New York state investigative panel said today. Privatization would make management of the state-owned electrical system answerable to the New York Public Service Commission, which should be empowered by the legislature with stronger sanctions including the ability to revoke a utility franchise, the panel told Governor Andrew Cuomo today in a preliminary briefing.  Businessweek

PA: Lawsuit filed over effort to privatize Pa. lottery

A state employees union and seven Democratic lawmakers filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court on Monday seeking to stop the state from privatizing the management of the lottery, saying Republican Gov. Tom Corbett doesn’t have the authority to make such a move.  The Mercury

PA: Trial opens for pair accused of bilking municipalities

Two Lackawanna County businessmen pocketed lavish bonuses while a Lehigh Valley town they promised to save money through a streetlight privatization project forked over more than $800,000 to them for work that was never done. Standard Speaker

NC: State report card on mental health care           

North Carolina’s mental health system has been in “chaos” in recent years, partly due to safety concerns at state psychiatric hospitals as well as bumpy efforts to privatize community care.  USA Today

TX: Texas revenue estimate brighter on eve of session

A resurgent Texas economy fueled a strong state revenue projection Monday, but while majority Republicans preached restraint Democrats saw enough money on the table under the $101.4 billion estimate to reverse deep cuts currently on the books….Teachers groups that marched on the Capitol in 2011 used Monday’s figure to again call on lawmakers to restore cuts. “It would be extremely short-sighted for state politicians to stick their heads in the sand and falsely plead ‘austerity’ in order to pander to ideological extremists intent on privatizing public schools and sacrificing our future,” said Rita Haecker, president of the Texas State Teachers Association.  San Francisco Chronicle

Distressed toll roads

Toll road revenues have been adversely affected by the economic recession and rising gas prices, which drove down traffic overall. The availability of alternative, free public roads has also dissuaded drivers from using toll roads. In some instances, toll roads have not achieved revenue projections because they were built in anticipation of new housing and commercial developments that never materialized.   Lexology


January 7, 2013


TX: Rick Perry Versus the School Children of Texas

The conservatives of the Texas legislature are about to try again to fool the state’s taxpayers into funding private schools with a voucher program. The Republican argument, which falls apart under scrutiny, has been that no child should be condemned to attend a failing public school. No conservative wants to talk about why the public school system might be troubled, however, nor do they contemplate the even greater long-term damages to be wrought by school choice.  Huffington Post

WA: Advocates decry, Kansas defends welfare cuts

Advocates point to Gov. Brownback’s refusal to expand Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul, which could leave 120,000 to 140,000 low-income Kansans without insurance. They also fret about the administration’s decision to turn the delivery of Medicaid services over to three private health insurers in a system known as KanCare that started Jan. 1. Private insurers, advocates fear, will boost their bottom lines by refusing or restricting services to the 380,000 poor, disabled and elderly Kansans on Medicaid. The state counters that KanCare will be more efficient, and that privatization will stem rapidly growing Medicaid spending and save Kansas close to $500 million over five years.

DC: Frontline’ raises questions about test-score tampering under Rhee

Student standardized-test scores at an award-winning D.C. school dropped dramatically in 2011 after the principal tightened security out of concern about possible cheating, according to a new “Frontline” television documentary to be broadcast Tuesday. The hour-long program raises questions about whether District officials have adequately investigated persistent suspicions that public school employees may have tampered with tests during the tenure of former schools chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.  Washington Post

DC: D.C. charter schools expel students at far higher rates than traditional public schools

The District’s public charter schools have expelled students at a far higher rate than the city’s traditional public schools in recent years, according to school data, highlighting a key difference between two sectors that compete for the District’s students and taxpayer dollars.  Washington Post

MI: Editorial: Michigan right to avoid privatization mandate

Among things lawmakers got right during last month’s lame-duck session was their decision to permit — not require — privatization of one Michigan prison if that will produce adequate savings. Their original legislation would have all but forced the corrections department to create a privately run prison.  Detroit News

FL: Privatization means 60 workers at 2 area prisons to be laid off

Healthcare employees at two areas prisons will be laid off in the next three months as part of a privatization plan, the Department of Corrections announced Friday.  TCPalm.com

FL: Threatened Tortoises Make Way for Central Florida Toll Road

Construction of a 25-mile long toll road that will complete a beltway around Orlando is due to begin in February, but before building on the Wekiva Parkway can start, threatened gopher tortoises have to be moved out of the way.  Transportation Nation

‘Disciplinary fees’ show the trouble with charter schools and privatization

Our neighbors at MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry report that Chicago’s Noble Network of Charter Schools is making some cash on the side by charging “disciplinary fees” to unruly students. The parents of one teenager, writes Traci Lee, had to pay close to $2,000 in fines for infractions including “an unkempt appearance and not making eye contact.”   MSNBC

Students Rush to Web Classes, but Profits May Be Much Later

New companies are partnering with universities to offer online courses, in an effort that could define the future of higher education — if anyone can figure out how to make money. New York Times

12 States Get Failing Grades on Public School Policies From Advocacy Group

In just a few short years, state legislatures and education agencies across the country have sought to transform American public education by passing a series of laws and policies overhauling teacher tenure, introducing the use of standardized test scores in performance evaluations and expanding charter schools. Such policies are among those pushed by StudentsFirst, the advocacy group led by Michelle A. Rhee, the former schools chancellor in Washington. Ms. Rhee has generated debate in education circles for aggressive pursuit of her agenda and the financing of political candidates who support it. In a report issued Monday, StudentsFirst ranks states based on how closely they follow the group’s platform, looking at policies related not only to tenure and evaluations but also to pensions and the governance of school districts.  New York Times



January 4, 2013


Think tank to study privatizing most Postal Service operations

As members of Congress pledged Thursday to revive legislation to save the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service, a Washington think tank announced it will conduct an independent study of how the quasi-government agency could cede much of its operation to private companies. The review by the nonprofit National Academy of Public Administration will analyze the benefits of restoring the agency’s financial health by using a “hybrid” model, which would farm out to the private sector postal operations other than the last delivery mile. A letter carrier would still drive or walk that last part, dropping letters and packages in mailboxes.  Washington Post

GA: Court petition contends woman jailed because she can’t pay fines

A woman jailed for nearly three months is too poor to pay-court ordered fines and fees is being held illegally, a habeas corpus petition filed this week contends. The petition, filed in Richmond County Superior Court on Wednesday, seeks the release of Virginia Cash, 32, and a declaration that privatizing probation services is unconstitutional… Cash’s petition contends Sentinel has an economic incentive to have judges extend probation sentences by ordering sentences to run consecutively and stopping the clock on sentences when probation violation warrants are obtained. The Augusta Chronicle

FL: State, vendor OK deal to privatize S. Fla. inmate care

Gov. Rick Scott’s administration announced Thursday the state has signed a contract with a Pennsylvania based company, Wexford Health Sources, to outsource all medical care to more than 15,000 inmates in several South Florida prisons. Miami Herald

PA: Lottery privatization: Camelot would look to get more people playing the lottery a little

The private company that is vying to takeover running the Pennsylvania Lottery says it would seek to boost profits by encouraging Pennsylvanians to think of buying lottery tickets as they would any consumer good.  The private firm looking to takeover running the Pennsylvania Lottery wants to attract more players to play a little rather than a few to play a lot. “We think lottery is like a can of Coke or a bar of gum,” said Alex Kovach, managing director of British-based Camelot Global Services, in an interview in Harrisburg. “Our philosophy is to broaden the player base, to get to as many people and get them playing a little bit as opposed to many lotteries which are focused on core players playing a lot.”  Patriot-News

IL: Advancing Privatizing Midway

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration is advancing the idea of privatizing Midway Airport but suggests having a lease agreement much shorter than the $2.5 billion 99-year proposal backed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley that fell through in 2009. Southwest News-Herald

NJ: Closter privatization of trash pickups rejected for now

The Borough Council’s rejection of a proposal to privatize trash collection does not end the discussion of outsourcing pickups to cut costs, said officials. NorthJerseycom

CA: LA County to ‘Privatize’ Janitorial Services at 15 Libraries

County Librarian Margaret D. Todd is asking the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to approve an initial four-year contract with a janitorial firm for custodial services at 15  county libraries. SCVNEWS.com

CA: Opinion: Let’s prevent public resource from being peddled for profit

Natural resource privatization, especially water privatization, is a huge threat to the way of life of citizens in the state and will continue to cause further problems. Bakersfield Californian