Saving Mountains of Money by Privatizing State Operations

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie is unveiling plans to save that fiscally troubled state $210 annually by privatizing such current state operations as motor vehicle inspections, state parks and turnpike toll booths.  We’re looking at closing state parks to save money.  Why not let an entrepreneur show what he/she can do to keep a park open, create some jobs and maybe turn a buck or two of profit?  Golf courses–same idea.  Garbage collection, street cleaning, servicing public vehicle fleets–if Jersey can do it with their morass of union connections and entrenched bureaucrats, a smaller state like New Mexico should at least be able to try some test privatization to see if it works better.

Bill Richardson’s Mansion Not for the Little People

On that Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart ceremony in the Governor’s Mansion:

Looks like state subsidies of the film industry include a free event center for movie stars to get married.  Also looks like the subsidies are breeding a new class structure in New Mexico.  The elite glitterati get preferential and free use of state facilities like the Governor’s Mansion.  The little people can just watch from the curb.  New Mexico Watchdog reports

Changing New Mexico’s Culture of Corruption

I have been in Chicago over the past several days for meetings and training provided by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.  Part of the training included lectures on detecting and fighting public corruption.  The speakers were a former IRS criminal investigator (think a CPA with a Glock) and a former high-level FBI agent.  I came away with several ideas and specific suggestions for tackling New Mexico’s corruption epidemic.  You can read the essay over at New Mexico Watchdog.

NM Venture Cap Program Continues Losses

This isn’t how anyone would invest funds for their child’s college tuition and expenses.  But New Mexico, under the Richardson/Denish administration, has invested state funds in a fish company, an electric libretto designer (appropriately named “Figaro”) and a company that uses crushed glass to produce toilet bowl scrubbers (what, you don’t have one of those in your home?).  Nearly $400 million has been committed to a program most known for its bad bets on Eclipse Aviation and Advent Solar (remember them?)

The latest report shows not much has changed in this bad bet for taxpayers.  Word is the new State Investment Council and State Investment Officer are giving this Richardson favorite a much-needed hard look.  Here’s the report from New Mexico Watchdog.