July 12, 2013


 Gangs Ruled Youth Prison as For-Profit Model Left Blood on Floor. More than 130,000 state and federal convicts throughout the U.S. — 8 percent of the total — now live in private prisons such as Walnut Grove, as public officials buy into claims that the institutions can deliver profits while preparing inmates for life after release, saving tax dollars and creating jobs. No national data tracks whether the facilities are run as well as public ones, and private-prison lobbyists for years have successfully fought efforts to bring them under federal open-records law. Yet regulatory, court and state records show that the industry has repeatedly experienced the kind of staffing shortages and worker turnover that helped produce years of chaos at Walnut Grove. Businessweek

House GOP Offers Housing Bill Without Government Guarantee. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling introduced a housing finance reorganization bill today that would liquidate U.S.-owned mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and limit government mortgage guarantees. The proposed legislation, seen as a Republican counterproposal to a bipartisan bill unveiled June 26 in the Senate, is unlikely to gain support in the Democratic-led Senate and has yet to attract broad support among House Republicans.  Bloomberg

Edward Snowden and the disaster of privatization – Donald Cohen. Snowden’s leaks exposed a widespread lack of oversight of the contractors working at every level of our government; outsourcing can be nearly as damaging at the state and local levels as it is for federal contracts. The same lack of transparency, accountability and oversight threatening our national security threatens public services provided each day across the country. Cash-strapped mayors and governors are handing over control of critical public services and assets to for-profit corporations and Wall Street investment banks that promise to handle them better, faster and cheaper. Too often, such deals entirely undermine transparency, accountability, shared prosperity and competition — the very underpinnings of democracy. Reuters Blogs (blog)

NC: Public private partnership bill hits Senate snag. A plan to turn North Carolina’s job recruitment functions over to a public private partnership appears to have hit a snag in the state Senate, where skeptical lawmakers say they want to “thoroughly examine” the ideas behind one of Gov. Pat McCrory’s key priorities. McCrory, a Republican, has been pushing the legislature to create a private nonprofit that would contract with the state to handle everything from tourism promotion to the recruitment of new businesses.  WRAL Tech Wire

FL: Miami-Dade probes cheating allegations at district-run charter. Miami-Dade schools police are investigating cheating allegations at a district managed charter school overseen by a former senior district official. Miami Herald