August 27, 2013


Private lobbyists get public pensions in 20 states. He’s among hundreds of lobbyists in at least 20 states who get public pensions because they represent associations of counties, cities and school boards, an Associated Press review found. Legislatures granted them access decades ago on the premise that they serve governments and the public. In many cases, such access also includes state health care benefits. But several states have started to question whether these organizations should qualify for such benefits, since they are private entities in most respects: They face no public oversight of their activities, can pay their top executives private-sector salaries and sometimes lobby for positions in conflict with taxpayers.

Profit, prison, and privatization. Lawmakers first embraced outsourcing to private correctional facilities as a cost-cutting option. These companies inherently value profit over the welfare and rehabilitation of the people in their custody.  The more bunks filled, the more money they make.  The resulting maltreatment and recidivism has long term costs for the health of our communities, whose tax money is paying for this broken system. (blog)

OH: New state report card proves Ohio’s charter school experiment has failed. After 15 years of charter school expansion, the new Ohio school report cards provide the strongest evidence yet that this method of using charter schools to supposedly reform education in our state is a complete failure.  The latest results from the state make it clear that the large urban districts are not dramatically improving and the charter schools that are supposed to be transforming educational practices while being given every advantage (including a greater amount of state funding) are doing no better.  Plunderbund

IL: Alderman Worried About Fallout From Possible Midway Airport Privatization. Opponents of privatizing Midway approached Zalewski about instances of possible union-busting and black-listing of workers by one of the finalists for the Midway lease, Spanish firm Ferrovial. Chicagoist

FL: Proposal envisions Pasco toll road, with some elevated lanes. A development company called International Infrastructure Partners LLC has proposed building a privately run toll road, some of which would be elevated, across south Pasco from U.S. 19 to Interstate 75 and then east to U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills. The privately constructed and operated toll road would be the first in Florida.

PA: CDC opposes liquor store privatization in PA. The CDC claims that when the free market sells alcohol, more alcohol becomes available at cheaper prices. That, the CDC says, leads to  illegal sales to minors. Crunching number from multiple studies on privatization efforts of the 70s and 80s, the study cites a 44 percent median increase in per capita alcohol sales post-privatization.  Pennsylvania Independent