Wednesday, May 22, 2013

First The Takeover, Then The Fire Sale

Circle the date: Wisconsin went up for sale today to insiders.

I posted a short item at Purple Wisconsin Tuesday with that headline:
Joint Finance foolishly gives Walker the right to sell state assets/our commonly-held resources without competitive, open bidding. 
No doubt this will lead to insider abuses, horse-trading and sweet deals, and prison reform as a future priority for the tempted.   
Earlier commentary posted at The Political Environment.
An excerpt from that commentary:
The plan is allegedly to reduce debt somewhere in state finances - - but is actually an end-run to mindless privatization around publicly-interested and honest budgeting. 
A prison could be sold off to a for-profit operator (union-free) with some proceeds helping pay a road-building project built on the come. 
A highway could be sold to a private company that wanted to turn it into a toll road and collect money from motorists who had paid for the road and its servicing with gas, income or property taxes. 
A power plant could be sold to a utility which could then raise the rates to the prison or university complex the power plant now serves. 
Talk about back-door policy-making, using public assets to make private, special interests even richer. 


Anonymous said...

I gotta tell ya, this is freaking me out.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this how Iran/Contra worked?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it time to march on the Capitol again? I'm sure this isn't what the majority wants.

Anonymous said...

To me the issue is not privatization per se -- that is not by definition bad, though its benefits are touted too much. To me the issue is how much power the sheep in the legislature are ceding to this power-mad ideologue governor. Which state properties to sell and for how much and to whom? He decides. Which regulations are acceptable? He decides, no matter what the science may say. Union rights? He decides. High-level state hires? He decides. Final budget? He decides via line-item veto. Rail transport? He decides. Why do we need a legislature when we have a benevolent (if you happen to be a right-wing loon yourself) dictator? So much easier to avoid the messiness of the democratic process when you can just let the all-knowing Scottie decide.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Correct. These Walker proposals are nothing more than power-grabs and the removal of oversight. Power-grabs that'll be in place well after Walker's blown out of power.

The rubber-stamp GOPs are derelict of their oversight duty to the Wisconsin taxpayers, and that alone should be reason enough to take them out of office in 18 months, gerrymander be damned.

Max B said...

Lawsuits seem to be the only way to stop the runaway train (or car, ha, ha) that Walker is riding. We need to stay vigilant and track each and every sale oe giveaway to a Walker friend, have it valued independently and show how it could have been sold for more. Then we must start filing lawsuits for the loss of these public assets that our tax dollars paid for: misuse of public funds.

Start building the record--today.