Saying there is no evidence that replacing the trained airport screeners of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with a private, for-profit corporate workforce would be safer or more efficient, the Sacramento (Calif.) County Board of Supervisors withdrew on Wednesday its request from last year to contract out its screener security operations.
While government in Washington, D.C., remains divided and marked by long-term gridlock, governments in the states are much less divided. Of the 50 states, 37 now feature state governments where the governor and majorities in both legislative houses are controlled by one party—24 of those are controlled by Republicans. Extreme, anti-working family Republicans have repeatedly assaulted the rights of people in recent years and, by all accounts, the trend looks to expand in 2013. Working families are mobilized and fought back in 2012 and will continue to fight in 2013. The response to the "right to work" for less push in Michigan was so strong, that governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have since declared that they won't push for right to work in their states.
We’ve traced the fingerprints of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to the growing voter suppression efforts in more than a dozen states under Republican control in recent election season blog posts. But don’t forget that the extremist, corporate-backed ALEC is attacking working families on many fronts. A new report from In the Public Interest tracks ALEC’s footprints down the path of privatization.
Happy 77th birthday, Social Security. As we celebrate Social Security's anniversary, let’s remember it has never missed a check. Despite Congressman (now vice presidential candidate) Paul Ryan's claim it’s “going broke,” Social Security has a $2.7 trillion surplus (going broke, really?) and is financially sound, despite the recession, high unemployment and stagnation of workers' income across the board. It has provided insurance against loss of wages for seniors and people with disabilities and pays out benefits in the form of survivor benefits to children who lose a working parent.
A recent report dismantles claims by private prison industry and its backers—including the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—that private prisons are a better deal than publicly run facilities. The report also explores the influence private prison companies exert over criminal justice policymaking and the industry’s overall lack of transparency. Two of ALEC’s major sponsors are Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut Security), the largest private prison firms in the country.
A scheme to privatize Florida’s prisons failed (19-21) in the state Senate yesterday after a huge public outcry led by Florida working families, community and civil rights groups. The plan was backed by extremist Gov. Rick Scott (R), private prison companies and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), one of the key players in the drive to privatize prisons throughout the nation.
Donald Cohen, founder and executive director of In the Public Interest, a national resource center on privatization and responsible contracting, sends us this.
It seems there’s no public service or piece of property that private companies are not eyeing as potential revenue streams. While funding anti-government think tanks like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), companies like Corrections Corporation of America, Waste Management, Maximus, Intuit, Laidlaw, Northrup Grumman, Koch Companies, Macquarie Capital Advisers, Pinnacle West, and UnitedHealthcare are hoping to use government as their candy store.
Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at DemocraticDiva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.
A slate of bills introduced in the Arizona Legislature this session would wipe out public-sector unions in our state. If Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signs them into law, which is likely, they would ban collective bargaining by public employees, end automatic payroll deductions for dues and prohibit compensation for performing union duties. These measures go even further than the union-stripping bills that enraged Wisconsinites last year and, unlike in Wisconsin, Arizona police and fire unions would not be exempted.
The right-wing Koch brothers-funded and corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) created the battle plans behind state level legislation in more than two dozen states to strip public employees of the right to bargain for a better life, cripple their unions and privatize public services, according to a new investigative report by Beau Hodai at In These Times.