Thursday, December 30, 2010

The corporatization of Arizona continuing apace...

...with a minor hiccup...

First, the hiccup.

From Mary K. Reinhart, writing for the Arizona Republic -
The commission charged with recommending ways to shrink state government is finding the task to be larger than expected.

Gov. Jan Brewer's Commission on Privatization and Efficiency was to have issued its final report this Friday. But a spokesman says it will be at least another month before it's finished.
So, Jan Brewer's organization created to identify the government functions that private corporations can profit from (OK - that they can use to siphon money from taxpayers into their own bank accounts) under the pretense of "efficiency" is in itself, inefficient? 


OK, not really.

Then, a legislative tie-in with the governor's move to "privatize" everything.

Sen. Linda Gray has prefiled a bill for the next legislative session, SB1018.  If passed, it would remove the requirement that the Arizona Department of Corrections administer a transition program for non-violent inmates.  The current law mandates both the creation and administration of a transition program by ADOC, with the actual services provided by private contractors.  Such a program would still exist, but its administration would be totally privatized, with reduced or no oversight of the services delivered.

Additionally, requirements that ADOC evaluate the inmates who are part of the transition program and that the contractors train and provide mentors as part of the transition program would be removed.

While I couldn't find direct ties between Sen. Gray and the private prison industry through her campaign finance reports - she runs as a Clean Elections-funded candidate.  However, most of her "seed" money contributions for at least the last couple of election cycles came from people employed by lobbying firms.

However, the biases of the members of the governor's commission to privatize everything are clearer -

Mark Brnovich, Brewer's commission chair, is a former talking head for the Goldwater Institute, an anti-society/pro-corporation "think tank" based in Arizona and a former lobbyist for a private prison company.

Welcome to Arizona where what's ours is for sale to the highest bidder.  The highest bribe-paying bidder, that is.

Look for more stuff in this vein as the legislative session unfolds.

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