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New Report Exposes Governors Who Helped Powerful Lobbies & Campaign Donors Boost Profits at Taxpayer Expense

CMD report “Pay to Prey” reveals how governors in Florida, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin facilitated a corporate power grab of public services, shortchanging taxpayers and the public

MADISON, Wis. - A new report by the Center for Media and Democracy, “Pay to Prey: Governors Facilitate the Predatory Outsourcing of Public Services,” details a national trend of outsourcing experiments gone awry.

“Governors across the nation seem to be reading out of the ALEC playbook, attempting to shrink government by selling off the profitable services to private companies,” said Lisa Graves the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy. “While success stories are hard to find, fiascos are thick on the ground. In state after state, the result has been worse outcomes for the public, scandal, lawsuits, and scorching headlines.”

The report highlights the efforts of governors across the country to outsource important public services to private firms with high-powered lobbyists and related campaign contributions. The report includes examples from multiple states:

  • In Michigan, Gov. Snyder continues to stand by a prison food service contractor who served up maggots on the plate, sexual contact with inmates, smuggling of cocaine and heroin, and an alleged murder-for-hire plot.
  • In Pennsylvania, Gov. Corbett outsourced millions of dollars in state legal contracts to outside law firms (including one that later defended his unconstitutional voter ID bill) that are among his biggest campaign contributors. He is attempting to privatize liquor sales in a move that would benefit another group of deep-pocketed contributors.
  • In Kansas, Gov. Brownback outsourced child support collection to a campaign donor. He outsourced Medicaid administration to companies that donated hundreds of thousands to his campaign.
  • In Ohio, Gov. Kasich’s privatized economic development agency has failed to deliver promised jobs, but is receiving a huge stream of funds from Ohio liquor sales. Exempt from open records, JobsOhio has little oversight or accountability.
  • In Florida, Gov. Scott championed initiatives to drug test state employees and welfare recipients, benefiting his drug testing company. Now he is privatizing Medicaid services in Florida after his family’s 'blind trust,' run by an associate, loaded up on healthcare investments.
  • In Maine, Gov. LePage gave a $1 million contract to a consultant to assess the state’s Medicaid program and the possibilities of privatization. The contract was cancelled after the firm’s report touting the benefits of privatization was found to contain plagiarized passages and erroneous data, but already a half million in taxpayer dollars had gone out the door.
  • In Wisconsin, Gov. Walker is the chairman of the board of a new privatized economic development agency that is failing to report its true jobs number to the legislature and hands out awards to Walker donors and firms that offshore jobs.

 Read the full report at and follow the conversation on Twitter at #outsourcingamerica.shim.gif


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