September 5, 2013


Justification for Privatized Poultry Inspection Flawed, GAO Study Reveals. “The GAO saw through the euphemistically named ‘modernization’ proposal and confirmed our fears that FSIS does not have the scientific basis to justify privatizing poultry inspection,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “Since 2008 we’ve known that the HIMP model jeopardizes food safety and this latest GAO report will hopefully serve as a wake-up call for the elimination for HIMP in order to protect consumers.” Food and Water Watch

The Case for Charter Schools and Vouchers, Decimated. In her new book, Reign of Error, Ravitch documents how public education’s antagonists have manufactured a crisis in order to advance their agenda. They deploy doom-and-gloom language to characterize the threat.  Slate Magazine

MI: Detroit Contemplates Privatizing Parking Assets. In his quest to leave no source of potential revenue unexplored, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is looking into selling Detroit’s parking lots, meters and garages. The experiences of other cities who’ve trodden a similar path offer cause for caution.  Planetizen

IN: Indiana’s appeal set in IBM welfare privatization case. The state is appealing a Marion Superior Court judge’s 2012 ruling awarding $52 million to IBM after the state canceled a contract Daniels had hailed in 2006 as the solution for fixing one of the nation’s worst welfare systems. Instead, the project ended with the state firing IBM in 2009 after hundreds of millions of dollars were spent for a system that generated widespread complaints of delayed benefits and impersonal interactions. Indianapolis Star

FL: Could this be the end of prison privatization?… Well, probably not. But it’s at least a start. Citing the egregious abuses of corporations – like the GEO Group, which is headquartered in Florida – ColorOfChange and Grassroots Leadership launched a campaign today that aims to encourage investors to divest from the private prison behemoths. The campaign comes at an interesting time for Florida. Though the drumbeat toward mass privatization has been banging around for years, typically being cut off at the pass during the state’s legislative sessions, this year (following multiple legal challenges) the courts gave the state the green light to move forward with privatizing prison health care (at a cost of 2,000 employees).  Orlando Weekly

LA: Civil Service panel OKs LSU hospital privatization. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration won approval Wednesday from the Civil Service Commission for the privatization of the LSU hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, which will remove nearly 3,300 people from state employment rolls. The 4-1 commission vote was the final step needed for the Oct. 1 start date of the outsourcing contract and allows the university system to lay off 3,262 hospital workers at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport and the E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe.           

LA: Editorial: Transparency, accountability should be part of privatization efforts. Privatization is not a bad thing. The issue, though, is that government contracts worth millions of dollars are signed and legislators don’t get a chance to look at these contracts beforehand. And sometimes these contracted companies don’t deliver the goods and aren’t doing what they said they would do. American Press

LA: Gonzales residents concerned about privatization of EMS services. “I have not received one complaint about our ambulance service, about our EMS. It makes you wonder why on earth we would even bring this up,” Mayor Barney Arceneaux said. On Wednesday, Arceneaux received a letter signed by 42 senior citizens who stated they are happy with the current services. Alice Ducote, a senior citizen who lives in Gonzales, drafted the letter. She and others who have called on the fire department for medical help said they are concerned a private company will cost them. “For a senior on a fixed income that’s very important. That’s one of the key reasons why we would  like to keep it, besides fact their response time is very good,” Ducote said.  WBXH

PA: Corbett extends Pa. Lottery bid another 2 months. The extension is the eighth agreed to by the operator of British national lottery. Corbett, a Republican who is a proponent of privatizing government services, began searching for a private manager in early 2012 and chose the only bidder, Camelot, in January. San Francisco Chronicle