Selling the State Capitol

The Arizona Legislature has come with a great plan to fund their budget shortfall: Sell the State Capitol to private investors. Writes Ralph Nader:

Arizona lawmakers and Governor Jan Brewer are moving to fill a $3.4 billion budget shortfall by selling state-owned buildings. These include not only prisons, but also the House and Senate buildings. That’s the state legislature, fellow Americans! Metaphor becomes reality!

The proposed sale has bipartisan support and will require a leaseback by the buying corporation to the lawmakers with the right to repurchase the premises within twenty years.

The Arizona Republic reports that the deal, which includes 32 state properties, would bring in $735 million in upfront money and entail state lease payments totaling $60-70 million a year.

“We need the money,” State Minority Whip Linda Lopez, a Tuscon Democrat said, adding, “You’ve got to find it somewhere.” Well, why not rent out the backs of the state legislators to their favorite corporate funders? At least the public would get full disclosure of ownership.

Well, what can you say? As Ralph Nader rightly calls it this is the “corporatization of the peoples’ assets”.  He goes on to say:

After reading report after report about the vast, relentless waste, fraud, and abuse arising out of corporate contractors to the Pentagon in Iraq, why should readers be surprised at this domestic scene whereby taxpayers pay through the nose for corporations to govern them?

So, you’re not surprised. But are you indignant? Are you ready to make sure the politicians hear from you in no uncertain terms, hear from you to stop this recklessness and restore public control of the public infrastructure under accountable government?

If the state politicos try to pull a fast one, demand public hearings with thorough reviews of the proposed contracts or leasebacks. Better yet, in states like Arizona or Colorado, require any such proposals go through the open, state-wide referendum voting process.

Corporatizations such as the above just pass on to our children the burdens that our generation should have assumed itself to run government within its means funded by fair taxation.

No more privatization of public property and no more short-circuiting the legislative process. This is another outrage where ever more control is silently passed to private entities that are not elected by and not accountable to the people.
Shut the corporations down and revoke coporate personhood.