March 20, 2013


IL: Lawmaker Wants To “Privatize” State Agency. Governor Pat Quinn’s administration is fighting to keep control of its economic development arm. Legislators are debating whether to move it to a private model.  Northern Public Radio

IL: Rahm Emanuel ‘Opportunity Areas’: Mayor’s $3 Billion Worth Of Old Ideas Have  A New Name. “Private-sector” investments or so-called “public-private partnerships” have long been interpreted as Emanuel’s code for privatization, especially when hailed under the banner of cost-savings for the city. “Chicago is reflective of the outsourcing that’s been going on for years,” Leonard Gilroy, director of government reform at the libertarian Reason Foundation said in a December Chicago Reader cover story on city privatization. Huffington Post

NJ: Dems symbolically block Christie’s lottery privatization. The lottery privatization train is on its way into Trenton. Any day now, the gov is expected to sign a deal with a private operator to run the sales and marketing of the $2.8 billion state institution…. So yesterday legislators did something largely symbolic: They passed a bill demanding that the Legislature sign off on any privatization deal. The move is futile, because Christie could announce the deal tomorrow and summarily veto the bill. There is just one bidder for the lottery, and negotiations with Christie’s people are ongoing behind closed doors. I’ve reported the details that we know here. Since Christie officials have refused to testify on the issue, Democrats saw this bill as their only recourse. Philadelphia Inquirer

PA: The Heron’s Nest: The road to liquor privatization. An amendment offered by Rep. Mark Mustio, R-44, of Allegheny makes a significant change to the Corbett plan. Instead of blowing up the state store system, and turning the entire business over to private enterprise, Mustio instead will gradually phase in privatization. Delaware County Daily Times

PA: Pennsylvania State House to debate liquor privatization Wednesday. On Wednesday, the state House of Representatives is scheduled to begin debating the bill designed to change the way alcohol is sold in Pennsylvania. The House plans to take up House Bill 790, the liquor privatization bill. However, it’s questionable if there will be any vote Wednesday, given the number of amendments tacked onto the bill. Patriot-News

PA: Pennsylvania: Eight Charged In Toll Road Scandal. Top officials at a toll road in Pennsylvania have been charged with shaking down motorists and pocketing the cash. Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane last week filed charges against a former state senator, two contractors and five Pennsylvania Turnpike employees, including the CEO, chief financial officer and a commissioner. According to the indictment, vendors interested in landing lucrative, multi-million dollar contracts with the toll road were expected to provide campaign contributions, gifts and other benefits to turnpike officials in a massive pay-to-play scheme.

GA: MARTA privatization bill looking deader by the day. One of the amended bills, SB 168, which was originally designed to make it easier for companies to bid for public contracts, was suddenly expanded from 46 lines of text to 306 lines. In doing so, say Gold Dome insiders, Jacobs has stirred up a hornets’ nest of resentment among some very powerful players, including Senate Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, a co-sponsor of the amended contracting bill; Transportation Chairman Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, whose committee Jacobs is seeking to circumvent; and even Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who doesn’t appreciate upstart House members trying to cheat his chamber of its ability to review important legislation.  Atlanta Magazine

A lesson from Iraq war: How to outsource war to private contractors. One of the most important lessons of the Iraq war is that this military privatization is likely to continue in future conflicts. Christian Science Monitor