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NEW REPORT - Pay to Prey: Governors Facilitate the Predatory Outsourcing of America’s Public Services

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Maggots, drug smuggling, sex with inmates. As if the news were not already bad enough, shocking new allegations of a murder-for-hire plot are emerging from Michigan as the media digs deeper into that state’s failed outsourcing of prison services. Michigan Governor Snyder continues to stand behind failed food contractor Aramark, who spent $570,000 lobbying in recent years.

The fiasco in Michigan is only one example of a national trend of outsourcing failures documented in new report by the Center for Media and Democracy. Pay to Prey: Governors Facilitate the Predatory Outsourcing of America’s Public Services, contains many other cases of outsourcing run amok generating worse outcomes for the public, often higher costs, lawsuits and scorching headlines.

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 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.

While large corporations are the winners, all too often taxpayers are the losers when transparency, accountability and the public interest are sold out to for-profit firms.

Read the full report here.