THE GOVERNMENT SECTOR IS NOT SOCIALISM----IT IS WHAT SERVES AND PROTECTS OUR RIGHTS AS CITIZENS AND OUR STATUS OF NATIONAL, STATE, AND LOCAL SOVEREIGNTY.
Wall Street and global corporations DELIBERATELY TASKED their pols with the mantra of downsizing government to break this sovereign structure down at all levels. The dismantling of government agencies was not about government efficiency and cost savings and the outsourcing of all those agencies at all levels was not about creating a small business economy. It was always about ending oversight and accountability and moving Wall Street and global corporations into position to fleece or government coffers of tens of trillions of dollars. The cost of operating government soared these few decades not because of social programs or government inefficiencies----IT WAS FROM EXCESSIVE CORPORATE FRAUD AND PROFITEERING.
Global corporate Clinton/Obama neo-liberals and Bush/Hopkins neo-cons replaced our Congressional, state, and local elected governance with pols elected by the people to write public policy and vote on policy issues with national 'THINK TANKS' that are simply global corporations writing the laws our Congressional pols simply install. Our state government is now filled with 'COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES' of appointed officials writing laws and passing rules that used to be handled by our state assembly elected officials. Our state and City of Baltimore have these few decades installed QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL CORPORATIONS placing institutions like Baltimore Development Corporation-------the Baltimore Housing Authority------University of Maryland Medical Center operating as corporations in control of every public policy issue AND TAKE ALL OUR PUBLIC VOICE AND POWER IN DECIDING PUBLIC POLICY----and they are now all controlled by global corporation and executives.
THIS IS A DISMANTLING OF OUR NATIONAL, STATE, AND LOCAL SOVEREIGNTY AND OUR STATUS AS WE THE PEOPLE AS LEGISLATORS AND CITIZENS WITH RIGHTS AND IT IS ALL ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL TO BREAK THOSE STRUCTURES.
Brooke Williams — Corporate Agendas, Think Tanks, and the Shaping of Public Policy
The November 28, 2012, Lab seminar was led by Edmond J. Safra Lab Fellow and investigative reporter Brooke Williams, who specializes in data-driven journalism and has focused on money and influence in politics. Throughout the course of her fellowship, Williams has spent her time investigating corporate-backed, American think tanks, exposing who is behind them, how they influence public policy, as well as exploring possible solutions. Williams opened the Lab seminar by discussing the extraordinary role think tanks play in the democratic process, and why as a journalist, she finds it necessary to dig deeper into how these entities are influenced by for-profit interests. Lab participants were eager to discuss the differences between advocacy groups, think tanks, and lobbying firms, as well as issues surrounding disclosure of corporate contributions.
As Williams outlined her project, she revealed her ultimate goal of creating a publicly available web application that will enable people to visualize and examine the connections between think tanks, corporate donors and lawmakers and see how private interests shape public policy behind the scenes. Since there isn't mandatory disclosure of corporate contributions to think tanks, she has had to rely on financial data gleaned from IRS Form 990s, corporate reports, lobbying disclosures, and congressional records to piece together a comprehensive picture of how corporate foundations exert political influence through think tanks. At this point in the discussion, several Lab participants recommended that Williams differentiate think tank scholarship from the work that registered lobbyists do. Think tanks bring together scholars who promulgate policy through focused studies, and because of this, think tank scholarship is generally regarded as a more invisible activity than direct lobbying. Williams pointed to the fact that some think tanks sell access and influence for a certain price—similar to lobbyists. On a related note, another participant suggested that Williams investigate prior policy work by think tank scholars to determine potential biases or conflicts of interest. This in turn started a discussion about revolving door practices between think tanks staffers, for-profit corporations, and government officials.
Continuing with her presentation, Williams cited specific examples in which think tank directors, such as Clark Kent Ervin from the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group, lobbied on behalf of clients that stood to benefit from legislation their think tank was promoting. In her research, Williams found that companies such as Lockheed Martin and IBM were major sponsors of Ervin's Homeland Security Group, and also stood to benefit from the group's legislative recommendations. This example gave way to a debated discussion on how one is to differentiate well-regarded think tanks, such as the Aspen Institute, from "faux tanks", or think tanks that are clearly not doing research and merely acting as conduits for corporate influence.
In summary, Williams discussed the methodology she has employed to research and uncover how for-profit interests compromise the independence and integrity of think tank scholarship. Further, Lab participants engaged in an in-depth discussion on the relationships and differences between think thanks, advocacy groups, and lobbying firms. And finally, Williams brought up the possibility that industry establish ethical policies and practices, while Lab participants discussed the possibilities of legislation requiring corporations to disclose their charitable contributions.
The use of think tanks started decades ago as public universities providing research and data and analysis that allowed our elected officials many different avenues of information in deciding how to write public policy. These were not ELITE ACADEMICS----they were people like me----average public university research academics----and this information came from all political points of view. This has occurred for centuries under democratic citizen Constitutional governance.
Clinton started the assault on our universities as places of academics by pushing hard the corporatization of our university systems and today----that is almost complete under Obama. They are now going after our public K-12. When this happened those university academics were replaced by corporate university executives and all of this think tank public policy information went MARKET-BASED AND PROFIT-MAKING and moved from public interest/social benefit. Under Bush and Obama these think tanks are now global corporations writing the policies Congress installs. This is how a sovereign Congress begins to work for a global corporate tribunal.
KEEP IN MIND THESE GLOBAL POLS ARE TELLING US WE NEED SPECIALISTS---WE NEED RESEARCH-DRIVEN POLICY----CORPORATIONS KNOW HOW TO MAKE ECONOMIES WORK---all the while our US economy fell into dysfunction taking our state and local economies tied to the same mess.
What Republicans called for decades ELITE ACADEMICS writing policy were simply people like me toiling away in public universities doing research all of us producing data from all kinds of political viewpoints. They replaced the citizen researcher with corporate executives in universities that filled these corporate think tanks.
How Think Tanks Work
Academic research can be full of jargon and often goes no further than academic journals with a very small readership. Politicians seldom read academic research and therefore “a lot of useful knowledge remains politically inert.” In contrast, think tanks “are geared toward political activism and propaganda, rather than towards scholarship.”
Conservative think tanks don’t usually carry out original research but adapt and apply existing research. Their ideas are not new but are promoted vigorously. David Ricci, in his book on the rise of think tanks in Washington, observes that “Conservatives enlarged the think-tank business while openly assuming that such institutes were not places where people developed new ideas but where they advanced a truth known already.” Many think tank employees have been able to bypass the academic route to expert status, avoid the peer-reviewed journals, and write and speak in a way that would be unacceptable in academic circles.
Think tanks put a great deal of effort and expense into ensuring the work of their ‘scholars’ is marketed and disseminated effectively. For example they produce "policy papers for state legislators, which in turn become the basis of legislation, floor statements, press releases, op-eds, and more". One In the US there is fierce competition between think tanks to attract corporate funding and to get ideas heard. Developing effective marketing techniques has become a major concern for many think tanks, who have adopted strategies used by interest groups to “promote their causes in the political arena.”
The ultimate goal is to push an idea, or repudiation of someone else's idea, so hard and for so long that it enters general public debate: down-shifting, political correctness, the out-of-touch elites, welfare to work, school vouchers. Most of us have heard of them. Few can remember exactly when they became part of our language. They are the bread and butter of think tanks. When the idea that has become a term becomes a word that enters the general vocabulary — used by talkback radio callers, taxi drivers and politicians — the think tank has done a little bit more to advance its agenda. Left-wing think tanks acknowledge that it has been the conservatives who have been most successful in framing public language.
To influence government and set the agenda in a variety of policy arenas think tanks insinuate themselves into the networks of people who are influential in particular areas of policy. They do this by organizing conferences, seminars and workshops and by publishing books, briefing papers, school kits, journals and media releases for policy-makers, journalists and people able to sway those policy makers. They liaise with bureaucrats, consultants, interest groups, lobbyists and others. They take advantage of informal social networks — clubs, business, family, school/university.
state think tanks are linked to each other, to conservative legal foundations and to national organizations such as the Heritage Foundation and the National Rifle Association both by the Madison Group network and by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
They seek to provide advice directly to the government officials in policy networks and to government agencies and committees, through consultancies or through testimony at hearings. Ultimately think tank employees become policy-makers themselves, having established their credentials as a vital part of the relevant issue network (see revolving door below).
What makes think tanks in the United States unique, besides their sheer number, is the extent to which many have become actively involved in the policy-making process. In short, what distinguishes American think tanks from their counterparts in other parts of the world is not how well-financed some institutions are. Rather, it is the ability of American think tanks to participate both directly and indirectly in policy-making and the willingness of policy-makers to turn to them for policy advice that leads some scholars to conclude that U.S. think tanks have the greatest impact on shaping public policy.
One survey published in 1982 found that most ‘officials in the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, and the Department of Defense’ were more influenced in the long-term by think tanks than by public opinion or special interest groups and many were more influenced by think tanks than by the media or interaction with members of Congress. A more recent survey of congressional staff and journalists covering government affairs found that over 90 percent of them believed think tanks were still influential in American politics.
In their efforts to influence and become part of the policy-making process think tanks have more in common with interest groups or pressure groups than academic institutions. Nevertheless employees of think tanks are treated by the media as independent experts and are often preferred to experts from universities or interest groups as a source of expert opinion because they are articulate and trained to perfect the TV sound bite and give quotable quotes for newspapers. When they appear as experts on television shows or are quoted in the newspapers they have more credibility than a company expert or a representative of a business association even though they may be pushing the same line. They regularly write newspaper opinion pieces and give newspaper interviews. Many write their own newspaper columns.
More important, however, than their ability to shape individual policies, has been in the ability of the conservative think tanks to move the whole policy agenda to the right.
First, they help to set the agenda of the political debate. They inject arguments (neatly packaged for a copy-hungry media) into the public arena before they are raised by politicians. This both softens up public opinion and pushes the consensus farther to the right.
An additional function that think tanks provide in the US, which is often done by the political party in other countries, is facilitation of ‘elite transfer.’ In countries like Britain and Australia, cabinet ministers are chosen from the elected members of government. In the United States this is not necessarily the case. Additionally the American system allows each new administration to appoint their own senior bureaucrats including the staff of government departments, heads of departments and advisory councils. These are often not selected from the public service as was once the case in other countries.
This means that when a new government is elected, top-level personnel in the administrative arm of government are changed for people whose ideology is more suited to the incoming government. Think tanks provide a source of such personnel. Whereas once administrations had been staffed with businessmen and party officials, presidents from Carter through to George W. have made wide use of think tank personnel to fill high level government positions. Reagan chose people from the think tanks and free-market policy networks to staff his administration along with the businessmen and party officials. Some 150 of his Administration came from the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), alone.
IF YOU DID NOT KNOW REAGAN NEO-LIBERALISM WAS REPUBLICAN ECONOMIC POLICY AND CLINTON SIMPLY INSTALLED IT AS DEMOCRATIC POLICY-----HERE ARE THE THINK TANKS SUPPLYING CLINTON/OBAMA NEO-LIBERALS.
According to Foreign Policy magazine: 'In Washington, it’s not for nothing that think tanks are called “governments in waiting.” '
Think tanks provide a fast track to a political career and a public profile in the policy arena. They also provide a place for discarded government officials to go when there is a change of government, where they can be employed until ‘their’ government is reelected while still having some influence over public policy while they are waiting. They form a sort of informal shadow government.
The circulation of personnel suits the think tanks well. Employing ex-government officials gives a think tank access to politicians and others in government and attracts the funds of corporations who want access. When a think tank’s employees are taken up by a new administration, the think tank has its best chance to have its ideas and agenda accepted by the government and to influence policy. Those employees are then able to recommend others in the think tank for government positions.
The same thing happened to our social public policy organizations-------health care, women's/civil rights, education non-profits that were created locally decades ago to protect the public interest/social justice and wrote public policy in that direction became these few decades controlled by corporate executives appointed at national levels-----and now we have AARP----YMCA/YWCA-----NOW----NAACP----all filled with corporate executives writing social policy that is controlled again by corporations installing social policies these corporations write. This is why we have national corporate non-profits filling our public sector taking all of the public's voice in how their communities, schools, health care, et al will work----
AND IT IS NOW ALL CONTROLLED BY GLOBAL CORPORATE EXECUTIVES-----THIS IS THE GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNAL CONTROL OF ALL OUR GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR POLICIES.
So, now the public policy coming from these national think tanks and national corporate non-profits are global policies----they are installing these same policies all over the developing nations----and trying to do so in developed nations in Japan, Canada, US, and Europe-----ONE WORLD MEANS ONE GIANT PUBLIC POLICY------controlling corporate and social public policy. This includes national defense, homeland security, infrastructure development.
THIS IS A NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT----IT ATTACKS OUR NATIONAL, STATE, AND LOCAL SOVEREIGNTY----AND ENDS OUR WE THE PEOPLE AS LEGISLATORS/CITIZENS WITH RIGHTS STATUS.
AARP-----NOW----NAACP----YMCA---have these few decades supported all this march to global policies silencing citizens' voices on these critical civil rights, women's rights, labor rights, rights of disabled, VETERAN's rights. This has taken our national labor union leaders and national Veteran's Associations as well.
The non-profits in our US cities are NGOs----non-governmental organizations that have been operating overseas for decades-----now taking over our public sector social agencies.
This is why all national organization leaders are backing Hillary when 99% of the citizens they are supposed to serve are backing Bernie Sanders and social Democrats.
This is a long article-----please just glance through and remember----all of these corporate non-profit outfits global corporations are donating to support used to be our public sector government.
Foundations & Think Tanks
Working for a nonprofit organization can bring a greater sense of purpose than many corporate careers - not to mention that a it can free you from responsibility to corporate shareholders. The process of landing a nonprofit job isn't all that different from that of looking for a corporate position; in fact, many of the same skills will apply. Still, nonprofit job resources tend to be found on sites dedicated to this sector, or at least on the nonprofit sections of job database websites. Read on to find out more about what resources are out there, and about how you can put them to use to help start - or boost - your own career in the nonprofit world.
General Resources & Directories
You may want to start your search by scanning through nonprofit agencies in your area of interest, or ones that employ people with your training. Some focus on news from the nonprofit sector, some provide searchable databases of job openings, and some offer libraries of articles with tips for getting started in the nonprofit sector. All of them can help you find out more about what various organizations are up to, who's growing and making an impact these days, and which roles need to be filled.
Guidestar.org is a great place to start - the site offers a searchable directory of information on more than 700,000 charitable organizations, and the search functions are very user-friendly. Idealist.org also provides an easy-to-use advanced search engine for jobs and internships in the nonprofit sector - along with lots of articles on nonprofit career development. Foundations.org, meanwhile, is an older site (which shows in its design) but it still contains loads of information on charities and other nonprofits. And NonprofitLeadershipAlliance.org provides links to the job boards of many of their member organizations.
Some of these sites focus on news from the nonprofit sector, while others provide job databases...
To catch up on news from the nonprofit sector, check out TheNonProfitTimes.com, which provides regular reports, along with an industry-wide Power and Influence Top 50 - a list of the sector's movers and shakers from the past year - and a searchable job board. CharityHappenings.org, on the other hand, can keep you updated on the latest nonprofit fundraisers and other events - as well as put you in touch with member organizations through its member contact list.
Salary / Compensation Guides
The Riley Guide's page of General Salary Guides offers links to salary databases and other salary survey sites for a variety of industries - but some salary sites focus specifically on the nonprofit sector. A few examples are below - and you may be able to find salary data specific to your field of interest within the nonprofit sector simply by Googling terms like "[name of your field] + nonprofit + salary data" or "[name of your field] + nonprofit + salary survey."
Some salary sites focus specifically on the nonprofit sector...
BWNPS.com, the official website of Bluewater Nonprofit Solutions, provides nonprofit compensation and benefits reports, along with other customized surveys for nonprofit groups. If you register for their free newsletter, you'll have the opportunity to download their free compensation report, "Nonprofit Jobs That Pay $50,000 or More." And Charity Navigator's Annual CEO Compensation Study offers a good overview of CEO pay in the nonprofit sector, and also offers advice to contributors on how to judge a nonprofit by how it treats its CEO.
Executive Search Firms
Although The Riley Guide's page on The Executive Job Search offers links to a wide range of executive search and recruitment firms, you may want to take a look at executive firms that focus exclusively on nonprofit work. One good reason for this is that there isn't always much overlap in clientele - firms that focus on the nonprofit sector tend to stick with nonprofit recruitment, while corporate executive recruitment firms have a tendency to stay in that sector. So here are some nonprofit executive firms worth checking out.
Firms in the nonprofit sector tend to stick with nonprofit recruitment exclusively...
Although The Riley Guide's page on The Executive Job Search offers links to a wide range of executive search and recruitment firms, you may want to take a look at executive firms that focus exclusively on nonprofit work. One good reason for this is that there isn't always much overlap in clientele - firms that focus on the nonprofit sector tend to stick with nonprofit recruitment, while corporate executive recruitment firms have a tendency to stay in that sector. So here are some nonprofit executive firms worth checking out.
TheAWPGroup.com can help you search for executive-level positions in as a higher-ed administrator, as online faculty, as a department chair, and as a director or executive for a non-profit organization with a social service mission. Bridgespan.org offers executive searches for nonprofit organizations, and you can review a list of their current searches and submit your credentials in response to any listing that interests you. BSBsearch.com offers retained executive search services based on wide-ranging experience in the not-for-profit sector, and highly qualified people are welcome to submit their qualifications for consideration in future searches.
Capability Company.com works with nonprofit organizations to help them hire the right talent for the job. They have some current searches listed on their site along with a long list of successful placements, and qualified candidates are welcome to submit a resume for consideration in future searches.
CGCareers.org offers affordable search services for nonprofits of all sizes and budgets. They work to source and place personnel at every level, from support staff through senior managers, and in every functional area (e.g. development, finance, management). You can review their current list of searches and submit an application for each listing that interests you.
DeweyKaye.com offers strategy development, planning, financial sustainability, facilitation, training and executive search services to the nonprofit industry. Qualified candidates interested in being considered as a candidate in their retained search engagements may submit a resume according to the instructions on the JobsWatch page. DRGNYC.com, the website of Development Resource Group, allows qualified candidates to review their list of current searches, and to submit a resume and cover letter for consideration. ExecSearches.com provides executive and senior management positions in nonprofit, public sector and socially conscious organizations.
HimmelfarbGroup.com has several current searches listed, and they'll welcome your resume in response to a specific search - as long as you're a highly qualified professional. Howe-Lewis.com serves a national client base that includes colleges and universities, academic and community medical centers, cultural arts institutions, and advocacy and community-based organizations. Their website allows you to review a short list of current search assignments, and to submit your resume for a specific listing.
KoyaPartners.com is a national retained search firm focused on the nonprofit sector, and their website enables you to review current searches and submit a resume for consideration, or just to contact the firm for more information. MOppenheim.com provides an impressive list of current searches, and they welcome resumes from qualified individuals. MoranCompany.com allows you to review a list of recently completed searches, as well as a few current searches. The NonprofitProfessionals.com website allows job seekers to examine the firm's portfolio of clients, to review a short list of current searches; and, if qualified, to submit a resume for consideration.
Some nonprofit executive search firms specialize in particular geographical areas...
Some executive search firms, on the other hand, specialize in nonprofit recruitment in particular geographical areas. NPPN.biz, the Michigan-based Non-Profit Personnel Network, specializes in working with nonprofit organizations and institutions across the U.S., helping them to fill mid- to executive-level positions with the right people. You can review some of their current searches online and submit a resume for consideration via their website. And SlesingerManagement.com is an executive search firm that helps nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area recruit talented people for senior management and leadership positions.
Job Listing Sources for Nonprofits
The Internet abounds with searchable job databases and job boards of all kinds - many of which are reviewed on The Riley Guide's page of Job Banks and Career Search Engines. But as with the executive search firms listed in the previous section, many job-search websites specialize in the nonprofit sector, and can enable you to focus solely on search results in this type of work. Here are some of the most useful sites in this category.
The Center for Association Leadership, (ASAE) which represents 10,000 nonprofit organizations, offers a Career Center that allows you to search their job database, post a resume, check on careers in associations, or request a critique of your resume for a fee. Job seekers will also want to check out the ASAE's great resources under Directories and Networking Opportunities to get a career started right. Another handy resource is jobs.COF.org, the career center page of the Council on Foundations, which lists numerous job openings with member and non-member foundations.
Many job-search websites specialize in the nonprofit sector...
CharityChannel.com offers a nice job lead bank for nonprofits in the U.S., which carries postings from executive recruiters as well as direct hires. NonprofitJobs.org also lists nonprofit jobs from all over the U.S. DeepSweep.com allows you to search and apply for a variety of positions in nonprofit organizations. Jobs are divided into 6 section covering everything from Support Services to Education to Fundraising, but you can also search "All sections" or use keywords to find what you want.
DotOrgJobs.com serves as a global resource for nonprofit, philanthropy and corporate social engagement professionals. The board lists numerous jobs in various nonprofit and philanthropic organizations across the U.S. IGC.org, the website of the Institute for Global Communications, provides links to 400 member non profit organizations, as well as for job/volunteer opportunities. NonprofitCareer.com is a good source of information on nonprofit organizations and job and volunteer opportunities in the nonprofit sector - and its job postings remain online until the employer notifies the site that the position has been filled.
NonProfitJobseeker.com provides an excellent database of jobs, which you can search, review and apply for right from the site. OpportunityKnocks.org is a leading source of nonprofit job listings for administrative, staff and professional positions. ProAssociationCareers.org allows you to browse jobs by state, or to search by a combination of keyword, location and distance from your current home. And for Canadian nonprofit work, WorkInNonProfits.ca allows you to search a database of job listings and create email job alerts.
Philanthropy / Fundraising / Grantmaking Of course, one of the biggest differences between nonprofit work and corporate work is that the former depends heavily on grants and fundraising. If you're looking to get involved with these aspects of nonprofit work - whether you'd like to fundraise for a nonprofit or work at for a grantmaking foundation - a variety of websites can help you get connected with the jobs you're interested in.
A variety of websites can help you get connected with fundraising and grantmaking jobs...
APRA, the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement - an international organization for fundraisers - offers a career center that includes a searchable job database. AFPNet.org, the website of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, also includes a job board - as well as information on their certification programs, resources to aid persons in this field, and networking opportunities.
GivingForum.org features a short list of jobs posted with the association, along with links to job boards maintained by some of the regional associations and links to additional resources - and the site also maintains a list of Regional Associations across the US, most of whom have websites. FoundationCenter.org also lists some philanthropic job openings. For more, take a look at Yahoo's list of links to grantmaking foundations.
It's also worthwhile to check out the websites of publications in the philanthropic sector. Chronicle of Philanthropy, a leading publication for philanthropy professionals, provides a jobs section with employment opportunities, compensation news and trends, and career information for those interested in fund raising. And PhilanthropyJournal.org also offers job listings, along with news, announcements and links to additional resources.
Public Policy (Think Tanks) Careers in nonprofit work can take many forms - and yet another of these is public policy work with a think tank. Though some of these organizations are highly exclusive, others are welcoming to new talent; and many of these provide information on career opportunities online. The following are some think tanks that may be open to your inquiry.
These think tanks may be open to your inquiry...
A great place to start your search is with the World Directory of Think Tanks provided by the National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA). The site provides a searchable database of think tanks around the world, as well as listings broken down by country. Since this is a Japanese organization, certain sections of the site are in Japanese - but the database is almost entirely in English.
Brookings.edu is the website of the Brookings Institute, one of America's oldest policy think tanks. AND IS THE GLOBAL WALL STREET NEO-LIBERAL THINK TANK.
At the same time global pols were creating other institutions moving control of public policy from our elected legislative branches---Congress, Maryland Assembly, Baltimore City Hall-------again moving control of public policy writing from citizens and elected officials and handing it to commissions, quasi-governmental organizations et al. Each time leaving our elected officials saying----WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THOSE RULES OR POLICIES.
When I shout at Baltimore City Council about the affordable housing issues or the lead paint/pipe public health crises they are quick to say----that is controlled by the BALTIMORE HOUSING AUTHORITY OR BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. When I shout that the University and Maryland Medical Center is not allowed to deny patient-access as a public hospital they say WE ARE A QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL CORPORATION----NOT A PUBLIC INSTITUTION. Now UMMS is going global in health tourism and telemedicine as city citizens are denied more and more and more access to ordinary health care.
THIS QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL STATUS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND ILLEGAL AND MUST BE CHALLENGED AND ENDED----THIS IS OUR VOICE AS CITIZENS TO WRITE LEGISLATION AND ATTAIN OUR RIGHTS AS CITIZENS.
Today, most of these quasi-governmental agencies are filled with global corporate executives.
'The General Laws do not provide a clear definition of what constitutes a quasi-public agency nor of the general powers or limitations of the powers of these entities'.
Nesi's Notes | WPRI.com Blogs
What makes something a quasi-public agency, anyway?
May 20, 2011 By Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
I got a call this morning from one of my smarter competitors, gently chastising us for describing the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and the other organizations in last night’s Hidden $100K investigation as “quasi-public agencies.” His argument was that these are plain old state agencies, and that the “quasi-public” moniker should apply to private nonprofits which receive tax dollars, such as the Providence Public Library.
It’s an interesting idea, and I think there’s a good philosophical point to be made here. After all, what’s so “quasi” about an agency created as a component of state government by the General Assembly? A layman would describe any arm of government as a public body, right?
On the semantics, though, we’re sticking with “quasi-public agencies” for a few reasons.
First, that’s what state government calls the 17 agencies we cited. That’s how Governor Chafee’s office described them in its statement on Wednesday. It’s also how the Senate Fiscal Office described them in a 51-page report [pdf] it released in January.
Second, these employees are not listed in the regular state government personnel system. Tim White obtains state payroll records annually, and the quasis’ workers are not in there – a clear sign of their separation from the rest of state government.
Third, Gary Sasse backs me up – at least partly.
While Sasse said he could see an argument that perhaps an organization like EDC – whose chief is also a member of the governor’s cabinet – is something other than a quasi-public agency, “I would definitely think RIPTA and the Airport Corporation are definitely quasi-public agencies.” He cited a few ways of making the distinction: whether the agency is subject to state purchasing standards, whether it can borrow money on its own, and whether its employees are in the state personnel system.
Part of the confusion probably stems from the fact that it’s hard to define a “quasi-public agency.” Here’s how the Senate Fiscal report put it (emphasis mine):
In general, a quasi-public agency is established under the Rhode Island General Laws, but has certain budgetary, governing, and policy-making independence from Executive and Legislative governance. The General Laws do not provide a clear definition of what constitutes a quasi-public agency nor of the general powers or limitations of the powers of these entities. Currently, Rhode Island has 21 quasi-public agencies with diverse structures, powers and responsibilities. Some of these corporations have the power to issue bonds, to exercise eminent domain, or to create subsidiaries. Some of these entities have the power to promulgate their own regulations, while others are bound by State purchasing statutes.
The Senate report classifies four entities as quasi-public agencies that the governor’s office and our investigation did not: the EDC’s Small Business Loan Fund, the Rhode Island Public Rail Corporation, the Rhode Island Refunding Bond Authority, and the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation. None of those have their own separate payrolls, to my knowledge.
The Senate report also pegs the 21 agencies’ combined budget for this year at $577 million, down 29% from $814 million in 2006-07. For comparison purposes, Rhode Island’s total state budget this year is estimated at $8.1 billion (or $8,111 million).
Update: Common Cause’s John Marion, another expert I trust, called me to add some more context. Lawyers who work with his organization said there is a specific statutory authority provided in the laws setting up these entities that makes them quasi-publics.
Here, for example, is the relevant language from the law that authorizes the EDC’s existence – I’m going to quote it at length, so indulge me (emphasis mine):
(a) There is authorized, created, and established a public corporation of the state having a distinct legal existence from the state and not constituting a department of state government, which is a governmental agency and public instrumentality of the state, to be known as the “Rhode Island economic development corporation”, and which may be referred to as the “economic development corporation”, with those powers that are set forth in this chapter ….
(b) The exercise by the corporation of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed and held to be the performance of an essential governmental function of the state for public purposes. It is the intent of the general assembly by the passage of this chapter to vest in the corporation all powers, authority, rights, privileges, and titles which may be necessary to enable it to accomplish the purposes herein set forth, and this chapter and the powers granted hereby shall be liberally construed in conformity with those purposes.
(c) The corporation and its corporate existence shall continue until terminated by law or until the corporation shall cease entirely and continuously to conduct or be involved in any business whatsoever in furtherance of its purposes; provided, that no termination shall take effect, so long as the corporation shall have bonds, notes, or other obligations outstanding, unless adequate provision shall have been made for the payment thereof pursuant to the documents securing the obligations or to the terminating law. Upon termination of the existence of the corporation, all of its rights and properties shall pass to and be vested in the state. At no time shall the assets or other property of the corporation inure to the benefit of any person or other corporation or entity.
That’s totally clear, right?
Marion also points to an example of similar language in the bill that would set up a new quasi-public agency: the Rhode Island Health Benefit Exchange, which would run the state’s health insurance market as part of President Obama’s health reform law. Here’s the language in that bill:
42-154-4. Establishment of exchange–Purpose. – (a) There is hereby authorized, created, and established a public corporation of the state having a distinct legal existence from the state and not constituting a department of state government to be known as “the Rhode Island health benefit exchange.” The corporation is constituted a public instrumentality exercising public and essential governmental functions, and the exercise by the corporation of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed and held to be the performance of an essential governmental function of the state.
Most state public service and public works agencies are now under control of MARYLAND PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AND MARYLAND PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION. These are appointed officials and have for too long been corporate-leaning executives that ALWAYS rule in favor of corporate----and now global corporate interest. The policies they allow degrade our national, state, and local infrastructure security and public interest and our elected officials simply tell us they have no voice in these ESSENTIAL decisions. That is not how the LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT was created and designed. Global corporations have taken all of our founding fathers' protections written into our US Constitution and our 3 branches of government and dismantled them.
WE MUST STOP THIS STATE AND LOCAL COMMISSION STRUCTURE BY REBUILDING ALL OF OUR PUBLIC AGENCIES CONTROLLED BY OUR CITY HALLS AND STATE ASSEMBLY POLS.
If a state attorney general were really fighting to stop corporate interest rulings by a state commission he/she would be enforcing the intent of public commissions to work in the public interest and not driven by corporate profit. FROSH POSING PROGRESSIVE AGAIN.
If citizens do not know these commissions are handing over our public infrastructure to global corporations----WAKE UP. Exelon looks like a national energy corporation but it outsources its operations more and more to global corporations and will be merged into these global corporations.
Public service commission approves Exelon-Pepco merger on 3-2 vote
LAUREL, MD -- Power lines near a BGE substation in southeastern Howard County. Staff photo/Doug Kapustin
(Doug Kapustin /)
Carrie WellsContact Reporter
The Baltimore Sun
State regulators approve Exelon-Pepco merger with more substantial conditions.Despite continuing opposition from critics that include Maryland's attorney general, state regulators approved a $6.9 billion merger between Baltimore Gas and Electric parent Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings in a split vote Friday.
In applying for the merger, Exelon argued the deal would bring a host of benefits to both Pepco and BGE customers, including a faster response to power outages during storms and smaller rate hikes than might occur otherwise. Critics worry, however, that consolidating the state's largest electric utilities under Exelon would lead to bigger rate hikes.
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, who strongly opposed the merger on behalf of the Maryland Energy Administration, said he was "exploring all options" to protect the state's consumers after the decision, not ruling out a lawsuit to block it.
"Today is a bad day for consumers, and a great day for monopolies," Frosh said in a statement. "This merger — which the PSC approved by the slimmest of margins — would create a company controlling service to 80 percent of Maryland's electric consumers, with the incentive and ability to stifle competition and suppress innovation. The harms to customers under this arrangement are obvious and substantial."
In approving the deal, the Maryland Public Service Commission imposed 46 conditions, including higher reliability standards and a $100 rate credit for Delmarva and Pepco residential customers — twice what the companies offered. It also ordered them to spend $43.2 million for energy-efficiency programs in Prince George's and Montgomery counties and in Delmarva's Maryland service area.
Exelon initially proposed a customer investment fund of $40 million for Maryland customers, then upped it to $94.4 million after opposition began to emerge. Under the PSC order, the company would spend about $127 million on Maryland customers.
Two of the five commissioners, Harold D. Williams and Anne E. Hoskins, voted against the deal.
The merger, which still needs approval by Washington, D.C., regulators, would make Exelon one of the nation's largest utility companies. A decision there isn't expected until this summer.
Exelon and Pepco officials issued a joint statement saying the companies were "pleased" with the decision but needed more time to study its conditions. They have until May 26 to accept or reject the PSC's conditions.
"Our proposal delivers significant economic benefits to Maryland customers, increases reliability, promotes energy efficiency and advances clean energy as part of a long-term commitment to improve service and modernize our grid," the statement said. "We will have more to say once we have time to study the order."
Chicago-based Exelon proposed the merger with Pepco Holdings last April; Pepco Holdings owns three electric and gas utilities — Pepco, Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power. Pepco serves customers in the District and its Maryland suburbs.
Under state law, the PSC was allowed to approve the merger only if it resulted in "no harm" to consumers and was in the public interest. Critics, including Frosh and the Maryland Energy Administration, said the merger met neither obligation and urged the PSC to reject it.
Even the PSC's staff recommended the merger be approved only if the company spent significantly more on bill credits and other benefits for its customers. A consulting firm hired by the PSC staff argued that Exelon's estimate of economic benefits to Maryland did not take into account job losses that could cost the state between $41 million and $309.4 million in economic impact.
A host of advocacy groups also loudly opposed the merger. They argued it would result in a loss of "across the fence" competition, in which utility companies are compelled to improve services when there is a better-performing neighbor nearby. They also worried about the implications of ownership by a massive, out-of-state company that was having profitability issues with some of its nuclear power plants.
Critics argued that Exelon would raise utility rates on Pepco customers, pointing to two hikes in recent years on BGE ratepayers since the company bought BGE parent Constellation in 2012. Exelon said the merger would result in smaller rate hikes for Pepco and BGE customers in the future because of cost savings associated with the merger.
Williams and Hoskins echoed the critics' concerns in their written dissent.
The merger, they wrote, "will undermine competition; it will increase rates, challenging affordability for many consumers; and it will eviscerate economic protections due to a weakened and compromised corporate governance structure."
They noted that $1 billion in proposed reliability upgrades will be borne mostly by customers in the form of rate hikes, and said they thought the merger would benefit Exelon and Pepco's shareholders more than ratepayers.
Some early critics of the deal said they were stunned by the PSC's decision, given the amount of opposition and what they saw as a lack of benefits.
Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, found the decision "shocking," "baffling" and "incomprehensible." His group argued Exelon was opposed to the expansion of renewable energy.
"This decision and the commissioners that voted for it will be long remembered in the sharpest negative light for a decision that will bring almost certain harm to ratepayers and the environment for years to come," he said.
Paula M. Carmody, head of the consumer advocate Maryland Office of People's Counsel, said she and her staff were "very disappointed" in the decision.
It is rare for a public service commission to reject such a merger. It has only happened twice in the past 30 years in about 70 utility mergers across the country, according to Scott Hempling, an expert witness for the Office of People's Counsel and the former director of the National Regulatory Research Institute. In a few cases, utilities seeking to merge have deemed conditions set by state commissions too stringent and walked away, including during a proposed merger of BGE and Pepco in 1997.
• $66 million for residential rate credits, a $100 bill credit per customer.
•$43.2 million for energy efficiency initiatives, 20 percent of that for limited-income programs
•$14.4 million in Green Sustainability Funds for Prince George's and Montgomery Counties
•$4 million for sustainable energy workforce development programs
•Exelon must provide for the construction of 20 megawatts of renewable energy generation, 10 megawatts each in the Delmarva and Pepco service territories
Source: Maryland Public Service Commission
'Is U.S. Sovereignty in Danger'?
Whether you are a left-leaning citizen or a right-leaning citizen-----there is plenty of journalism SHOUTING that all of this is a national sovereignty issue. There is plenty of documentation showing this is a state sovereignty issue. If courts rule against this these judges need to be impeached------if corporate pols will not impeach WE THE PEOPLE must get rid of global corporations from our local economies. It is easy peasy. Baltimore City MUST rebuild its local, domestic economy with small businesses and small manufacturing plants, and small business utility companies and install these as the base of our economic health and stability. That does not mean a global corporation cannot be engaged in our economy----
IT MEANS THIS CORPORATION DOES NOT CONTROL OUR LOCAL ECONOMY OR OUR PUBLIC POLICY OR OUR LOCAL POLITICIANS.
Is U.S. Sovereignty in Danger?
Lee F. McKenzie
PO Box 807, Riverton, UT 84065
The essential importance of U.S. sovereignty
Of critical importance to all patriotic Americans is the Constitution of the United States of America. The purpose of our government is to preserve and protect for each citizen the rights of life, liberty, and property. Threats to Constitutional rights due to forces outside America might be viewed in terms of a loss of Sovereignty.
Pacified into thinking there is no problem
For a great many years I had not given much thought that a loss of U.S. Sovereignty was much of a danger. On the surface I recognized the fact that America had in the past been involved in great wars. The threats from fascist and totalitarian governments were overcome as Americans patriotically rose to the defense of home, country, and freedom. Like most Americans, I had thought that the greatest danger to American Sovereignty would always come from this type of external hostility.
A subtle and hidden danger
In recent years I have become alert to a different, more subtle and sinister way in which Americans can lose their Sovereignty and Constitutional rights. If the United States enters into a treaty with another country, group of countries or international organizations, then the citizens of the United States are subject to the terms of such treaties. If the terms of international treaties are contrary in any way to the fundamental Constitutional Rights, America's Sovereignty is compromised. Americans are then in jeopardy of losing their most cherished freedoms.
The greatest external threats to U.S. sovereignty and constitutional rights
In the first of the "Federalist Papers" Alexander Hamilton said that:"...a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people" and "that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants."
It would seem that the heated emotional pleas for rights carry the greatest danger for America's loss of Soveriegnty. Today we are faced with a number of such emotional issues which involve attempts to get the United States to sign treaties. Some of these issues are as follows:
International treaties on the rights of children
International treaties on the rights of women
International free trade agreements
International treaties on the environment
Specific examples of loss of sovereignty
NAFTA, or the North American Free Trade Agreement, appeals to the altruistic feelings of fairness in many Americans. However, the terms of this agreement supersede federal, state, and local laws on health standards of produce and other food products. By the terms of NAFTA, the United States is compelled to accept substandard foods. This places the health of Americans at risk. In effect, Americans have lost in this matter their rights of self determination normally associated with sovereignty.
Canadians, like Americans, worked hard to remove lead from gasoline. In Canada, tetraethyl lead in gasoline was replaced a number of years ago by a manganese compound. The particular manganese compound used in Canadian gasoline is made in the US by a multi-national company called Ethyl Corporation. Accumulating evidence of health hazards associated with the use of the manganese compound recently prompted the Canadian Government to ban the use of the manganese compound in Canada. Under an 'obscure' clause of NAFTA (which the Canadian Government signed).
Ethyl Corporation sued the Canadian Government and forced them to reintroduce the manganese compound into Canadian gasoline. In addition the Ethyl Corporation is claiming 200 million in damages from the Canadian people due to their breech of obligations under NAFTA. Very clearly by signing NAFTA, the government of Canada lost a measure of sovereignty for Canadians. Whether the health threats of manganese additives in gasoline are real or imagined, the Canadian people ought to have the right of self determination to decide for themselves. Yet, sadly, that right was taken away in the stroke of a pen when Canada signed NAFTA.
In recent years the United Nations has assembled 'peace keeping forces' from among participating nations. The US has participated heavily in these activities. In a number of instances, US troops have been instructed to put on UN insignias and serve under the command of foreign commanders. In some cases, individual servicemen have refused to serve under foreign commanders and have been summarily subject to court martial and dishonorable discharge. The legal arguments of these soldiers have been that upon joining the US Military they made a commitment to defend the Constitution of the US and that service under foreign commanders in an international army was not part of the agreement.
Although the US Senate has refused to ratify the UN's Biodiversity Treaty, President Clinton has directed the US State Dept. to put terms of this treaty into effect. This involves an agreement to manage 'biosphere reserves' according to international dictates and objectives. The intention is to progressively limit and finally cut off human access to these areas. Starting with Yellowstone National Park in 1979, UNESCO has designated 47 biosphere reserves in the US covering 50 million acres. At Yellowstone, UN delegates who surveyed the area last year called for a 'buffer zone' around the park.
By placing US lands under the direction and control of foreign entities, the US has agreed to limit our sovereign power to manage our own lands. Americans who live in areas adjacent to biosphere reserves are being deprived of their rights of property. The Clinton administration's designation of Yellowstone Park as a World Heritage Site 'in danger' has already been used to shut down a gold mine near (not even in) Yellowstone. Currently the park service is choking off the local economy by refusing to maintain certain highways and by buying up any property available.
Of course, there will be plenty available as more and more owners are denied use of their own private property which causes businesses to shut down and the economy to slow. The UN/UNESCO representatives have made no secret of their goals. Their next step is their Wildlands Project, a plan to designate one half of the US as protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity. Inside Yellowstone, the Park Service is shutting down campgrounds as the park is being prepared to become the core of a huge biosphere reserve, as part of the UN's global plan. Once established, no human activity will be permitted in the area.
The real driving force behind international free trade agreements
I continue to marvel in light of European history how the many European countries are now coming together in a 'European Economic Community'. I ask how the many differences and traditions of mistrust have been disguised, obscured, or overcome in such a few short years.
About a year ago, I participated in a business and technical meeting involving international representatives of my own company as well as international officials of another very large, multi-national company which supplies our business with certain chemicals. An official of our trading partner spoke about the worldwide presence of his company's operations. He spoke of his company having corporate representatives or 'corporate ambassadors' whose mission is to 'break down barriers' by working with world governments. The barriers of which he speaks include: trade barriers, labor barriers, environmental barriers, etc. These are barriers which make it difficult for the multinational company to do business.
One particular labor barrier which he mentioned involved workers in the asia pacific area. In that region, it is difficult to find workers which are trained to do the work of this company. After making an investment of time and money to train workers, this multinational company often experienced the disappointment of the workers leaving the company for better offers. He then said that his company had found a way to keep workers with the company — hold the mortgage on their home.
Despite the fact that such workers might have the best living accommodations they had ever enjoyed, I had a cold feeling come over me regarding the method used to control peoples lives. It reminded me of the old 'company stores' which were a part of America's early history.
In reflecting upon my business experiences in light of current events, I have come to a number of conclusions. The large multi-national companies have little concern for culture, religious morals, or specific national ethics. Their primary objective is to get gain and do business without restriction. In doing so they attempt to break down barriers or obstacles to doing business between countries.
I believe that the primary driving forces behind establishment of the European Economic Community and other international trading agreements like NAFTA are the multi-national companies. The financial power behind these huge organizations is tremendous, both to influence government officials as well as to shape public opinion through the media.
Actions to be taken
1. America's elected officials must stop accepting political campaign contributions and PAC money from multinational companies so that they can act without bias in the interest of Americans and Constitutional Rights. Since election laws have traditionally been considered a state right, and since each state has a different set of election laws, it would be easy to approach the issue of campaign funds in state legislatures.
2. States should vigorously defend and maintain local control of wilderness areas and historical sites. No one loves Utah more than Utahn's. Putting Utah's public lands in control of external entities places such lands at risk to the whims of those who have private agendas.
3. Utah's legislators should be alert to issues containing emotional traps (like childrens rights, womens rights, environment etc) which can subtly erode genuine Constitutional Rights. The US does not need to sign treaties to do what is morally and Constitutionally right for its citizens.
4. The best and most noble role of the UN is to be a forum and catalyst for peace among nations, a place where disagreements can be resolved before war and hostilities erupt. The UN should not intrude upon the sovereign rights of peoples and governments to manage their own affairs. There is a danger in giving the UN a standing army. There is a danger in making nations subject and liable to mandated controls by the UN .