June 17, 2015

Rep. Bill Shuster Releases ‘Principles’ For Bill to Privatize US Air-Traffic. Questions about who will establish rates have been among the most controversial aspects of the continuing privatization debate, along with maintaining pay and pension rights for current controllers. Wall Street Journal

Jeb Bush: Next President Should Privatize Social Security. Jeb Bush thinks the next president will need to privatize Social Security, he said at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Tuesday — acknowledging that his brother attempted to do so and failed. It’s a position sure to be attacked by both Republicans and Democrats. Bush has previously said he would support raising the retirement age to get Social Security benefits, a common position among Republicans. And he backed a partial privatization that House Republicans have proposed that would allow people to choose private accounts. International Business

IL: Judge’s ruling on Illiana may be Rauner’s ‘way out’. A U.S. District Court judge on Tuesday dealt what could be the fatal blow to the proposed Illiana toll road, ruling that the federal government’s approval of the controversial project was invalid. The Federal Highway Administration’s 2013 endorsement of the bistate project was “arbitrary and capricious,” and in violation of U.S. environmental law, according to the decision handed down by federal Judge Jorge Alonso.   Chicago Tribune

IL: Feds focus on LAZ executive for alleged parking meter bribe. Federal agents have been investigating an executive with the firm that manages Chicago’s privatized parking meters on allegations he took kickbacks to steer a meter contract to a favored company, according to a court record obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.   Chicago Sun-Times

IL: Red Light Camera Bribery Trial Stays In Chicago. Federal judge turns back attempt to move Redflex bribery trial out of Chicago, Illinois. The trial of the former managing deputy commissioner of the transportation department in Chicago, Illinois, will stay in the Windy City. Judge Virginia M. Kendall on Friday issued a ten-page order rejecting an attempt to move the trial of John Bills to Nevada on the grounds that Chicagoans are so blinded by their hatred of red light cameras that they would take their frustration out on him. . . .Judge Kendall did not buy the argument that twelve impartial individuals could not be found in a judicial district with eight million residents. TheNewspaper.com

TX: Kingston’s stumping for trinity of anti-toll road allies may have paid off. . . Though he didn’t have an opponent in the election, council member Philip Kingston had been hard at work for months. His efforts may have paid off with the election of two new council members who, like him, oppose the construction of a tolled highway inside the Trinity River levees. Kingston, along with council members Scott Griggs and Adam Medrano and former council member Angela Hunt — all toll road opponents — marshaled dozens of volunteers to campaign door to door for Mark Clayton in District 9 near White Rock Lake, Adam McGough in District 10 in Lake Highlands and Joe Tave in District 3 in southwest Dallas. Dallas Morning News

NY: School Privatizers Donate Heavily to NY State Senate GOP: Common Cause. A new report by Common Cause may offer a clue why Republicans in the New York State Senate oppose the proposal to create a monitor for the troubled East Ramapo school district. Common Cause/NY’s report, “Polishing the Apple: Examining Political Spending in New York to Influence Education Policy,” analyzes efforts to influence the debates around education policy and funding—Specifically, about using tax dollars to fund private schools, including religious schools. Patch.com