Portal:Outsourcing America Exposed/Governors Outsource

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett

Pennsylvania’s Office of General Counsel “serves as the Governor’s in-house legal counsel,” providing the executive branch with “expert, responsive and cost-effective legal services … for the benefit of the public.” In addition to the 498 attorneys employed by the state, the handling of legal business is frequently outsourced to outside counsel. Last year, the total bill for private law firms – footed by the taxpayers – amounted to a whopping $32.7 million in 2013 and $100 million over three years, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Outside counsel, it has been pointed out, is an insider’s game. A comparison between the firms used as outside counsel last year and their contributions to Corbett’s gubernatorial campaign of 2010 makes for interesting reading.

Read the rest by Mary Bottari and Jonas Persson -- Corbett Outsources Legal Counsel to Campaign Contributors -- on PRWatch.

Ohio Governor John Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich

There’s a lot of money at stake in Ohio charter schools, which as a group will receive almost $900 million in 2014. Charters get about $7,200 per student in taxpayer funding, compared to about $3,500 per student in traditional public schools.

On paper, Ohio’s charter schools are operated by non-profit organizations whose governing boards hire management companies to operate the schools. The boards are supposed to have a strong oversight role and have the power to fire charter operators if they don’t measure up.

Read the rest by Jessica Mason and Mary Bottari -- White Hat’s Magic Trick: Transforming Public Schools into Private Assets -- on PRWatch.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback

When he was elected in 2010, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback began to slash core government services and privatize the rest. His austerity politics resulted in the state being downgraded by S&P in August 2014, and his privatization initiatives have also drawn criticism, causing one leading Republican to state, “I had hoped that it wouldn’t be as extreme as it’s been … what we didn’t know was that Sam would use this state as crash test dummies for his own fiscal experiments.”

Kids receiving child support payments from absent parents would be among Brownback’s first crash test dummies.

Read the rest by Mary Bottari and Jonas Persson -- Governor Brownback Outsourced Child Support Services to Donor -- on PRWatch.

Maine Governor Paul LePage

Maine Gov. Paul LePage

Around the world, private firms have been given “carte blanche rights to mine local groundwater supplies at the expense of local populations, say experts.” In 1997, Swiss food giant Nestlé signed a contract with the privately- owned water services provider in Fryeburg, Maine, to buy freshwater in bulk for its Poland Spring brand of bottled water. Fearing that large-scale commercial water exploitation would lead to groundwater depletion and the Saco River drying up, the town of Fryeburg enacted a Land Use Ordinance that required that any company pumping more than 10,000 gallons of water a day get approval from the planning board. With a constant stream of litigation and appeals, however, Fryeburg Water Co. was able to buy time while continuing its moneymaking sideline business without interruption.

Read the rest by Jonas Persson and Mary Bottari -- LePage Supports Pumping Public Water for Private Gain -- on PRWatch.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

Ideological slogans often trump facts when it comes to the outsourcing of public services. When independent studies are commissioned, the conclusions are often disregarded. In some cases, however, there seems to be solid research supporting the cost-efficiency of privatization. Such was the case in Michigan – at least at first glance.

Read the rest by Jonas Persson and Mary Bottari -- Governor Snyder Stands Behind Prison Privatization, Even After Maggots and Murder for Hire -- on PRWatch.

Florida Governor Rick Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott

Suffering from lung cancer? Here's a Tylenol and some warm compresses. Are your intestines escaping? Not to worry; here's some K-Y Jelly to shove them back in.

Between 2008 and 2013, Corizon Health -- the country's largest prison health care provider -- was sued 660 times for malpractice. But Governor Rick Scott's administration failed to take note of this history when it awarded Corizon a $1.2 billion contract in 2011.

Read the rest by Mary Bottari and Jonas Persson -- Inmates Dying After Governor Rick Scott Outsources Prison Health Care -- on Huffington Post.