Your weekly rundown of news and analysis about the corporate takeover of education, water, and other public goods—and about the people fighting back. Here’s a direct link to this blog post. Not a subscriber? Sign up.
- Prices of Covid-19 rapid tests skyrocket without government aid.
- In the Public Interest’s Donald Cohen spells out how to get education reform right.
- A new school privatization battle is unfolding in Charleston, South Carolina.
First, the good news…
1) National: In the Public Interest Executive Director Donald Cohen joined Sam Seder on The Majority Report to discuss his new book, The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back (New Press, 2021),, co-authored with journalist Allen Mikaelian. “Donald Cohen dives into this privatization of community, working through the disastrous effects of charter schools and private schools on our education system, before taking a step back in scale to discuss how socialized medicine gave us all of the benefits of the vaccines, while the privatized profits have contributed to all of the horrors of the variants, and what the privatization of the judicial system has looked like. They wrap up the interview by touching on how we can push back against rampant privatization, focusing on pressuring our local and federal governments on legislative and policy issues, and reminding the public of the surface of the state that protects us in everyday life.” [Audio, at 15:00].]
2) National: Donald Cohen joined Claire Potter, co-executive editor of Public Seminar and Professor of History at The New School for Social Research, to discuss Why Privatization Is Worse Than You Know: An Argument for More, and Better, Government. “CP: It sounds like government officials are just naïve. Is that true? DC: I haven’t used the word naïve, but governments do get taken. There is a massive imbalance in financial and legal expertise between a global finance company or a national corporation, and the government agencies they negotiate with. Also, people who run governments have a lot of problems to solve. If you’re a mayor, and someone comes to you and says, ‘Cheaper, better, faster, problem off your desk,’ it’s tempting. It’s very hard work to think forward about the fiscal impact, the financial impact, the service impact, of these deals.”
3) National: PowerSwitch Action’s Senior Campaign Lead Edgar Beltrán spoke with Communications Director Jeff Barrera about People-Powered Budgets. “Local budgets have a long history of being racist and exclusionary,” says Beltrán. “Too often they’re shaped by a small group of powerful elites, who siphon off public resources into private hands at the expense of Black, Brown, and working class neighborhoods. That’s why we’re so excited to be flipping that dynamic on its head, and use budgets as a tool to make governance more democratic and focus our public resources towards addressing the overlapping crises we face right now.”
4) North Dakota: A state judge has ruled that thousands of documents related to security during the construction in North Dakota of the heavily protested Dakota Access Pipeline are public and subject to the state’s open records law. “North Dakota Newspaper Association attorney Jack McDonald said the ruling also is “a good decision for government transparency” and has wider ramifications. ‘It establishes clearly that records in possession of a public entity are public records—absent any specific exemptions—even if the person submitting those records didn’t intend them to be,’ he said. ‘It also establishes that agreements between companies about nondisclosure are only good between those companies, and does not affect those records once in the public domain.’”
5) Wisconsin: Teaching staff at Carmen Schools of Science and Technology—a group of six charter schools in Milwaukee—are attempting to unionize, and CEO Jennifer Lopez says she won’t stand in their way. “‘I see so many passionate, dedicated, and excellent Carmen staff come and go,’ Carmen Southeast High School teacher Leland Pan said in a news release. ‘Our students deserve experienced and highly qualified workers from a range of backgrounds and identities.’ Pan said when comparing salaries, benefits and work hours to MPS schools, Carmen ‘is contributing to a race to the bottom for employee conditions.’”
6) National: Writing in The Washington Post, In the Public Interest’s Donald Cohen spells out how to get education reform right. “Over the past few years, public schools from places as diverse as the suburbs of Tampa and Los Angeles have been implementing what’s called the ‘community school’ approach. Community schools bring together local nonprofits, businesses and public services to offer a range of support and opportunities to students, families and nearby residents. Their goal is to support the entirety of a student’s well-being to ensure they are healthy, safe and in a better position to learn. These benefits then extend to the surrounding community—which has been especially crucial during the pandemic.”
7) National: The Network for Public Education/Network for Public Education Action 2022 conference is coming up. March 19 and 20 in Philadelphia. The theme will be “Neighborhood Public Schools: The Heart of Our Communities.” Register now.
8) National/Illinois: As debate across the country over how school systems should respond to the COVID pandemic rages, The Real News Network’s Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talked about the Chicago lockout with Ana, a CPS teacher and Chicago Teachers Union member, and Quetzalli Castro, a CPS teacher and a delegate and organizer within the CTU. [Audio, about an hour and 15 minutes]. American Federation of Teachers’ Randi Weingarten says“What these educators & support staff are demanding is the basic mitigations the CDC & others have proposed: are testing and masking to try to stop outbreaks, ventilation vaccinations. This is true including in Chicago, the only district in the US where there is a job action.” NEA President Becky Pringle says “the safety and wellbeing of our students will always be our top priority. We must use every tool in the toolbox—vaccines, boosters, testing, and more—to keep everyone at school healthy.”
9) Illinois: Is Arne Duncan coming back? In a letter to the editor of The Chicago Tribune, Jackson Potter, a teacher at Back of the Yards College Preparatory High School in Chicago, says, “Recently, Arne Duncan, a former secretary of education, expressed interest in becoming Chicago’s next mayor. While some may not remember him as the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, I do. Duncan and the school board decided in 2005 to close the school where my teaching career began, Englewood High. It’s easy to forget that he started off as Mayor Richard Daley’s appointed CEO of CPS and ushered in an era of school privatization that resulted in dozens of controversial school closings, which were concentrated in the city’s Black community. Not to mention that he famously called Hurricane Katrina ‘the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans.’ (…) Now Duncan is back as an anti-violence activist and often mentioned as a front-runner on a short list of mayoral hopefuls for the 2023 election cycle. (…) If we are ever going to have an honest conversation in this city about how institutional racism has perpetuated the violence, life expectancy gaps and myriad other disparities we see across our 77 community areas, it has to come alongside a reckoning for those who perpetuated those policies. I hope in the future we ask these tough questions of the former education secretary or anyone else who thinks they have our best interests at heart.” [Sub required]
10) Louisiana: Another New Orleans charter school will close, this one part of the IDEA charter network. “IDEA Oscar Dunn charter school, which opened in New Orleans less than three years ago, will close at the end of the 2021-2022 school year in May amid declining student enrollment citywide, according to an announcement from the NOLA Public Schools district. The school is the second NOLA Public Schools district charter school this week that officials have said will close due to low enrollment. On Monday, FirstLine Schools announced it would close Live Oak Academy. (…) State officials did issue what they called ‘simulated’ school performance scores, rather than formal letter grades. Under the statewide scale, however, Dunn’s score would have earned the school an F.”
11) Mississippi: A legislative committee released its report on the funding balance between charter schools and traditional public schools. Among its findings: “Academic performance of the charter schools that administered Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) assessments in both the 2018-2019 and 2020-2021 school years dropped in all three academic areas, presumably due to the learning loss resulting from COVID-19. Notably, due to school closures resulting from COVID-19, students did not take the MAAP assessments in the 2019-2020 school year.”
12) Nevada: Could infrastructure banks turbocharge the charter school industry? Nevada may be the canary in the coal mine. “Facility funding for charter schools has long been a lobbying point of the charter school industry. Charter schools are publicly funded in that they receive the same per-pupil dollars allocated by the Legislature as traditional public schools, but they are not currently eligible for dedicated funding to support their physical facilities, which are generated at the county level through property taxes and provided to traditional school districts.’ School districts typically use public bonds to fund new buildings.”
13) North Carolina: The State Board of Education is considering closing a charter school and has deferred a decision to a lower oversight board.
“Specifically, the board has asked the advisory panel to review:
- Potential misuse of federal and state funds, including grant funds
- Governance concerns, including a lack of oversight
- Potential conflicts of interest by its principal and executive director — Cynthia and Donnie McQueen. Specifically, whether their actions on behalf of or in lieu of board of directors or management organization have benefitted them personally
- To make a recommendation on whether Torchlight Academy’s charter should be revoked.”
However, the State Board of Education did vote to close another charter school—Three Rivers Academy in Bertie County—run by the same group, Torchlight Academy Schools LLC. “The school has a far lower than average proportion of students receiving special education services. The state has accused the school of negligence, failing to properly create and update students’ individualized education programs, falsifying records and having unqualified staff.”
14) Ohio: A coalition of school districts has filed suit in state court challenging Ohio’s private school voucher program. The public education advocacy group Vouchers Hurt Ohio “specifically targets the EdChoice private school voucher program, saying that program has grown disproportionately, while the public school system was left to flounder with less and less resources. Represented in the lawsuit are the Columbus City School District, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, the Richmond Heights Local School District, the Lima City School District, the Barberton City School District, two Cleveland Heights parents and the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, a regular participant in education funding lawsuits.”
15) South Carolina: A new school privatization battle is unfolding in Charleston. “Since desegregation efforts decades ago, the Charleston district has returned to de facto segregation at many of its schools, accelerated by a boom of magnet schools in the 1990s and early 2000s. It currently sponsors nine public charter schools and two public-private partnership schools, in addition to multiple schools within the county sponsored by statewide authorizers. Today, “the school board is scheduled to vote on a proposal that would allow the takeover of 23 lower-performing schools in low-income and majority-Black neighborhoods by an ‘innovation management organization,’ which would be allowed under law to hire some of its teachers without a state teaching license.” Veteran education reporter Paul Bowers analyzes the pro-privatization networks spearheading the attempted takeover. “The nine-member school board voted in December to schedule the Jan. 10 meeting on the Reimagine Schools proposal—without holding any community input sessions.”
16) Texas: A North Texas charter school network has decided to leave the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). “Although the topic of charter schools and educational variety in general divides both parties in Texas, superintendents and trustees have faced particular pressure from Texas Republicans since November to leave TASB for a different reason. The federal government announced it would mobilize law enforcement to ‘address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel’ after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) claimed that school boards faced a threat akin to “domestic terrorism” from parents concerned about mask mandates and critical race theory. TASB is an affiliate of the NSBA.”
17) Texas: Concerned about public education? Vote, starting with the primaries, says Joe Straus in the Dallas Morning News. Straus was speaker of the Texas House from 2009 to 2019 and is chairman of the Texas Forever Forward Political Action Committee. “No school is perfect, and we should all hold our schools and educators to high standards,” writes Straus. “After all, our future is riding on their work. However, the conversation about education should take on a more collaborative, constructive tone in this new year. Let’s give schools some grace, thank educators for the work they are doing and recognize the challenges they have overcome. Then, let’s go out and make sure we have elected officials in Texas who recognize those challenges as well.”
18) National: Battle lines are being drawn over how infrastructure funds are going to be spent. The road lobby and its pro-privatization think tanks are squawking over the Biden administration’s attaching conditions to highway financing. “The Dec. 16 policy memo from Federal Highway Administration Deputy Administrator Stephanie Pollack to FHWA staff outlines goals and priorities for use of funds in the $1.1 trillion IIJA, also called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL. The memo says the guidance will be applied to the IIJA’s new discretionary programs, the formula programs that saw renewed funding, and even existing federal “legacy” programs outside of the IIJA. The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials declined to comment for this story. But the group plans to send a formal response to the FWHA, according to a December email from AASHTO President Shawn Wilson to AASHTO’s board and transportation policy forum that was obtained by the Bond Buyer.” [Sub required]
Sadek Wahba says “the scale of the funding available through the infrastructure bill and the rapid pace of deployment present challenges. My conversations with mayors, governors and state and local agencies suggest that few of them have a full grasp on where to request funds or the processes and procedures for assigning funds to projects. This initial confusion will certainly subside as Landrieu puts his team in place. But other pitfalls remain.”
19) Florida: The Jacksonville electric utility privatization scandal just can’t stay out of the newspapers. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports “another grassroots-seeming group linked to Matrix emerged in 2017, just as a push was beginning in Jacksonville to privatize the city’s publicly owned utility, JEA. The new group, ‘Fix JEA Now,’ began promoting the privatization campaign. According to three people, Fix JEA Now was started and led by Rev. DeVes Toon, a national field director with the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. And the records obtained by the Sentinel show entities controlled by the former Matrix employees paid Toon more than $180,000 in 2018—with some of the payments explicitly for work related to JEA. Toon did not respond to requests for comment.”
20) Florida: Democratic lawmakers in Orlando and Jacksonville “are seeking an audit of Florida Power & Light, following Orlando Sentinel reports revealing ties between the utility giant and the operatives who orchestrated the “ghost” candidate scandal in last year’s state Senate elections. Florida Power & Light execs worked closely with consultants behind ‘ghost’ candidate scheme, records reveal. Secret records show Florida Power & Light executives coordinated with the operatives behind the dark-money nonprofit Grow United.”
21) Maryland: The Kochtopus privatizers are now coming after the well run and efficient state-owned Baltimore Washington International/Thurgood Marshall Airport, one of the great little airports in America. Christopher Summer of the Maryland Public Policy Institute (funded by right wing foundations and a member of the conservative, Koch-backed State Policy Network), and Swaroop Bhagavatula of the Koch-backed, pro-privatization Reason Foundation, wrote an op-ed on Friday in the Washington Post using the tired old argument that pension funding shortfalls should be cured by privatization. Public pension funds are actually doing fine, but this doesn’t stop them from trying to soak public assets for private gain. Reason’s veteran privatization zealot Robert Poole just published a report pushing airport privatization nationally, an idea that has repeatedly failed to gain national or local support, most spectacularly in St. Louis where workers and public interest groups beat back a well-funded corporate drive to sell off that major public asset.
22) Mississippi: The daily operations of four parks in north Mississippi could be managed by a for-profit organization by the end of the year, the Daily Journal reports. “The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks on Wednesday published a request for proposals on its website asking outside vendors to manage the day-to-day operations of Hugh White State Park in Grenada, John Kyle State Park in Sardis, John P. Cossar State Park in Oakland and Wall Doxey State Park in Holly Springs.” [Read the RFP]
23) Montana: Debate is underway over whether MetraPark, a multi-facility event center, should be privately operated, the Billings Gazette reports. “The issue became contentious enough that it’s spurred an effort to recall Jones,” who has raised questions about the timing of the proposal. “County resident Martin Connell submitted a petition with the Yellowstone County elections office at the end of November to initiate an election to recall Jones. Connell has until the end of February to collect the 15,000 signatures needed to get it on a ballot.”
24) Texas: The state of Texas has filed a brief supporting landowners in an important high speed rail eminent domain case, Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure v. Miles. The developers are upset. Oral arguments in the case will be heard in the Texas Supreme Court tomorrow. [Materials]
Criminal Justice and Immigration
25) National: The disastrous handling of the COVID pandemic and a pattern of agency lawlessness in federal prisons has finally caught up with its leadership. The scandal has forced both BOP Director Michael Carvajal and his deputy, Gene Beasley, to depart. “In November 2021, the Associated Press reported widespread arrests and convictions among BOP staff, which the agency often did not investigate. The allegations included murder, coerced sex, bribery and smuggling illicit drugs and guns into BOP facilities. Carvajal spent three decades in the agency. He will remain director until a successor is in place, the timeline for which is unclear. Under Carvajal, the BOP has also faced Congressional investigation and lawsuits over COVID precautions. To date, BOP has reported 275 prisoners and seven staff members who have died from COVID. Nearly 42,000 prisoners and nearly 8,900 staff members have tested positive and recovered.” Currently, the Federal Correctional Institute in Danbury is facing a major outbreak due to “inadequate practices.” It took weeks for the feds, under Carvajal’s leadership, to report COVID cases in private, for-profit prisons.
26) National: Veteran immigration and criminal justice advocate Bob Libal and Project South’s Azadeh Shahshahani call on President Biden to phase out the detention of undocumented immigrants and private prisons. “In his first year, Biden has fallen far short of that campaign rhetoric about ending all private detention in federal systems. But it is not too late to change course. The order governing Justice Department prisons should be strictly enforced. The Biden administration should also join states like California that are banning for-profit incarceration,” they write. “Candidate Joe Biden seemed to recognize that it’s deeply wrong to profit from mass incarceration. President Biden should take action.”
27) National/Georgia: On Thursday the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security released a blockbuster exposé confirming whistleblower claims of wrongdoing at Irwin County Detention Center. “The findings validate disclosures made to the OIG and Congress in September 2020 by Government Accountability Project’s client, ICDC nurse Dawn Wooten, as well as ICE detainees, regarding failures to protect workers and immigrants from COVID-19 and inadequate medical care at the rural Georgia facility. While Ms. Wooten’s disclosures, and in part, the OIG’s report, reveal a toxic and dangerous culture within one ICE detention facility, the findings are symptomatic of an immigration detention system at large that has consistently proven unable to protect both workers and immigrants.” [Final Report]
There is a must-see film on Irwin. “The new documentary The Facility shows the inside of the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia as the coronavirus pandemic first hit the United States. Those detained at Irwin are given little information about what’s going on outside and are given little protection as the virus makes its way in to the facility. Retaliation to civil disobedience and the seemingly endless parole process illustrate the harsh conditions for those awaiting deportation proceedings in ICE custody. ProPublica reporter Seth Freed Wessler, who directed the film when he was a reporter at Type Investigations, talked to The Takeaway to discuss the reporting and filmmaking process. Nilson Barahona, who appears in the film when he was held in ICE detention during 2020, joins him describing his experience and the activist work it inspired.”
28) National/Louisiana: Jennifer Bartie, on behalf of her deceased son Javon Kennerson, has filed a federal lawsuit alleging “establishment of a system in which prisoners with serious mental health issues are denied access to appropriate medical care resulting in injury and death. The suit has been filed against Lasalle Corrections, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Secretary James M. LeBlanc, Catahoula Correctional Center and others.
29) National: GEO Group has released an 8-K reporting that it has been in discussions with some of its debtholders about “a potential refinancing, exchange, recapitalization, or other transaction or series of transactions to reduce the Company’s funded recourse debt and address its nearer term maturities.” Writing on Seeking Alpha, “Double S Capital” says “As expected, GEO is engaging with holders of every part of its debt structure aiming to come to a global solution for its maturity wall upcoming in 2023-2024.”
30) Arizona: CoreCivic has received a contract from the state of Arizona to house inmates to be moved from the state’s Florence prison complex to the company’s La Palma Correctional Center. “According to documents posted to the state procurement portal, the Department of Corrections considered bids on the contract from CoreCivic, and another private operator, The GEO Group. While the latter proposed a lower price to house the prisoners, the state said it awarded the contract to CoreCivic because it could hold the prisoners in-state, while The GEO Group proposed housing the prisoners at one of its facilities in Michigan. (…) The five-year contract took effect on December 29, 2021. The state will pay CoreCivic $85.12 per prisoner, per day for the contract, with the state guaranteeing a minimum 90% occupancy rate. But that cost could increase. According to the original request for proposals, the contractor “may be eligible to receive consideration for an annual cost adjustment . . . subject to approval of funding and authorization.” The total five-year contract is worth more than $420 million.”
31) National: Friday’s December jobs report contained more bad news for public sector employment. The Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Dean Baker reports “state and local government employment continues to fall. Jobs in state and local governments fell by another 10,000; although employment in education did rise by 3,200 in December. Employment in the state and local government sectors has been dropping since July. It now stands at 944,000, or 4.7 percent below its pre-pandemic level. The problem here is that these governments can not easily raise wages or offer hiring bonuses to compete with the private sector.”
32) National: “Privatized health care in action,” notes Jeffrey St, Clair. “Walmart and Kroger are raising prices for BinaxNOW rapid Covid-19 tests after the expiration of a deal with the White House to sell the kits for $14.” $14. Check out the current stratospheric prices for this by Googling “BinaxNOW.”
33) National: Steve Early and Suzanne Gordon are sounding the alarm over a new political offensive by the corporate privatizers to plunder veterans benefits and line their pockets. The offensive rests on an effort by the privatizers to portray veterans suffering from such things as PTSD as basically pampered and undeserving grifters. “Such criticism of his former comrades has multiple historical echoes from the last two centuries. As Richard Severo and Lewis Milford note in their book, The Wages of War (Simon & Schuster) hundreds of thousands of demobilized Union soldiers had great difficulty supporting themselves and their families after the Civil War. Only the severely disabled were eligible for care in a few newly created soldiers’ homes. Nevertheless, the Army and Navy Journal, a military publication, advised veterans to avoid becoming “dirty loafers” if they wanted to succeed in civilian life. Those who developed “new muscular habits,” rather than succumbing to personal despair and reliance on charity, would eventually find jobs and housing; those who sought any special help would end up fatally dependent on it.”
There’s more in their brilliant piece roasting this new trend victimizing veterans. Their conclusions: “Gade and Huang are the tip of the spear for a renewed right-wing assault on the VA, as one of the few models of public healthcare provision that we have. Their book is indicative of a new willingness by right-wing ideologues to go after a sacrosanct group in American society, veterans and their families. Not content with trying to gut welfare state programs that benefit millions of non-veterans, these conservatives are now targeting former soldiers, who are often poor or working class and similarly dependent on publicly funded services.”
34) National: See also Suzanne Gordon’s piece in the American Prospect on the rampant fraudulent billing in outsourced veterans’ health care. “In a new report entitled ‘VHA Risks Overpaying Community Care Providers for Evaluation and Management Services,’ the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which runs the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), confirms that privatization has made veterans’ care more costly, with fewer financial controls. According to the report, payments to thousands of contractors assembled in what’s called the Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) and its Community Care Network (CCN)—a network of thousands of private-sector providers who deliver everything from surgery and hospital care to mental-health care and physical therapy—have, between 2017 and 2020, jumped a whopping 500 percent. Between FY2017 and FY2020, the OIG estimated that payments just for non-VA evaluation and management services jumped by about 350 percent, from $67.5 million to $303.6 million.”
Gordon concludes that “to protect VA patients and U.S. taxpayers from MISSION-enabled fraud and abuse, the Biden administration must crack down on private-sector providers. Although the OIG naïvely notes that these providers are acting on “behalf of the VHA,” their own report makes it crystal clear that many are instead seeking their own financial gain.”
35) National: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) “led more than 50 lawmakers in urging the Biden Administration to protect Medicare by ending a Trump-era privatization effort that has taken Traditional Medicare away from millions of seniors without their knowledge or consent. (…) These models ultimately aim to privatize traditional Medicare by funneling beneficiaries, without their knowledge, into a DCE. Unfortunately for patients in these entities, DCEs are incentivized to funnel patients to providers within their networks to maximize profits which can limit patients’ care options. These models transform the care of a traditional Medicare beneficiary to care typically seen in a private Medicare Advantage (MA) plan despite the fact that the patient chose not to enroll in an MA plan.”
36) California: San Diego sanitation workers have voted “no” to ending their strike. “San Diego sanitation workers have been on strike for almost three weeks now against Republic Services, trying to negotiation their demands for better wages, safer working conditions, and new and improved trash trucks. Lead by Teamsters Local 542, more than 250 sanitation workers from Republic Services have been on strike.”
Fox5 San Diego quoted a worker as saying “‘We’re not gonna settle for less,’ union worker Ricardo Gonzalez said. ‘We gotta’ get what we want.’ Gonzalez, who is striking along with his fellow workers, said the effort is about more than his job. A husband and father, including to a 2-month-old infant, he said he’s ultimately fighting for a better way of life. ‘It’s overwhelming because I just had a newborn,’ he said. ‘She’s 2 months … but it’s a sacrifice—not just for me—but it’s a sacrifice for the people that want to be here. It’s not just for us now; it’s for the future.’” Republic is “using so-called Blue Crew relief drivers—essentially replacement workers.”
37) International: CBC reports that “an unofficial debate about health care in Canada is taking shape—between demands for more public funding on one side and calls for a ‘greater role for private health care delivery’ on the other.”
38) International: The British Labour Party has come under furious criticism for going back on a campaign promise to save then National Health Service from Conservative Party privatization but now turning around and saying it is going to use private contractors to supposedly reduce waiting times during the pandemic. “How can you call it ‘opposition’ when the Tories and Labour both support privatisation in the NHS? You can’t, to put it simply. Not unless by ‘effectively oppose the Tories’ Starmer actually meant ‘effectively oppose public opinion.’”
39) National: Multistate Associates has released its always useful and downloadable chart and list of state legislative session dates for the coming year.
40) International: The privatization of public resources contributed to the boiling over of economic discontent in Kazakhstan last week, reports the Wall Street Journal. “After Kazakhstan became an independent state in 1990, many businessmen close to the government amassed huge wealth through privatization and ownership of natural resources. Some of the country’s tycoons have been embroiled in international banking scandals and many of the richest are now living abroad in places such as London.” [Sub required]
40) Revolving Door News: Booz Allen gets its hand caught in the revolving door, reports Neil Gordon of the Project on Government Oversight. “Serco claims Navy officials gave Booz Allen non-public information about Serco that gave Booz Allen an unfair competitive advantage. Two of those officials were program managers who later left the Navy for jobs with companies partnering with Booz Allen. According to the GAO, those officials ‘played significant roles’ in the company’s proposal preparation efforts.”
Photo by Ted Eytan.