Gary Welsh has a good post commenting on Angela Mapes Turner’s Fort Wayne Journal Gazette investigation into Rep. Eric Turner’s (R-Marion) financial interest in the failed ACS/IBM welfare eligibility privatization debacle.
A state representative who fought hard for a controversial call center created in his district as a part of Indiana’s failed welfare privatization effort has a financial stake in the building that houses it.
Rep. P. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, says his investment in the building owned by his son is a non-issue. But critics say the link should have been disclosed during the many public debates about problems with the IBM-led welfare changes.
Just as an added bonus, Turner’s daughter is general counsel for the Family & Social Services Agency and is its legislative director.
As Gary says, “I’m not surprised by Turner’s obvious self-dealing, and I doubt many others who’ve watched him over at the State House over the years are either.” He also notes some other crony type aspects that tie the ACS deals to the Daniels administration. And that’s a huge problem with privatization schemes. So often they seem not to be any real working of the free market. Rather they tend to be a way of shifting money from lower level public employees to executives and shareholders of well-connected businesses while diminishing the potential for public oversight of the operation.