Progress Michigan http://www.progressmichigan.org No corporate money. Just uncompromised progressive politics for Michigan. Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:22:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Stop Violence Against Women http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/10/stop-violence-women/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/10/stop-violence-women/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:42:09 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37345 October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic abuse was put in the spotlight recently after a video surfaced of NFL football player Ray Rice beating his wife, Janay Palmer, in an elevator. Janay’s abuse sparked national outrage (as it rightly should have), but it also ignited a whole slew of victim blaming and unfortunately even […]

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic abuse was put in the spotlight recently after a video surfaced of NFL football player Ray Rice beating his wife, Janay Palmer, in an elevator. Janay’s abuse sparked national outrage (as it rightly should have), but it also ignited a whole slew of victim blaming and unfortunately even people I know participated in it, asking questions like “Why did she marry him?” and “Why didn’t she leave him?”

Like most women, I’ve been taught that if bad things like rape or assault or sexual harassment happen to me, it’s because I provoked it somehow. Whether it’s because of the clothes I’m wearing or how much alcohol I drink at a party – I’m probably just “asking for it” and if it doesn’t happen I’m “lucky.” I’ve been taught to live in a constant state of paranoia – “Never walk the streets alone at night (or do anything alone),” “You need to carry pepper spray with you wherever you go” – assuming that I could be attacked at any moment, because I’m a woman, and that I need to take all the necessary precautions to avoid it. In fact, I did buy pepper spray and took a self-defense class before I went to college, which was geared towards freshman students and comprised of only women.

I’ll be honest and tell you that even I’ve perpetuated victim blaming in the past, before I really understood the realities of violence against women. After all, it’s what I’ve been taught and is still taught in our society. It’s much easier to believe that a woman provoked an act of violence then it is to spend the time and resources holding perpetrators accountable, but it’s also wrong.

Teaching women that they are responsible for preventing (and often somehow the cause of) their own domestic violence, rape, harassment, and/or sexual assault is why those acts and victim blaming still happen, but thankfully, that’s starting to change.

After witnessing the victim blaming of Janay Palmer, one woman, Beverly Gooden, a victim of domestic violence herself, decided to change the conversation and draw awareness to the complexities of domestic abuse with the hashtag #WhyIStayed.

Many other courageous women have begun publicly fighting back against victim blaming and misconceptions about violence against women. The White House released an anti-sexual assault PSA that places responsibility for prevention on perpetrators, not victims.

It’s been 20 years since the Violence Against Women Act was passed, but thousands of women and men still experience physical abuse in their lifetime. Women are disproportionately affected – 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. One in five women are raped in their lifetime. Seven in 10 assaults against women are perpetrated by an intimate partner. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.

Those numbers are frightening, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If we’re ever going to stop domestic violence and all violence against women then we must change the way we think and speak about it – we must stop blaming victims. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

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Snyder Administration Cannot Be Trusted to Handle Aramark Situation http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/10/snyder-administration-trusted-handle-aramark-situation/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/10/snyder-administration-trusted-handle-aramark-situation/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:48:47 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37343 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan October 1, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Snyder Administration Cannot Be Trusted to Handle Aramark Situation LANSING — The claim made by Ed Buss, the Snyder-appointed overseer of the state’s Aramark contract, that the company is increasing pay as a way to remedy the numerous problems that have occurred […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

October 1, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Snyder Administration Cannot Be Trusted to Handle Aramark Situation

LANSING — The claim made by Ed Buss, the Snyder-appointed overseer of the state’s Aramark contract, that the company is increasing pay as a way to remedy the numerous problems that have occurred in Michigan’s prisons is not true, according to an Aramark spokesperson.

“With new hires in the UP (Upper Peninsula), where there is a limited applicant pool, starting wages were increased in an effort to attract qualified candidates,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press. “Aramark did add several management positions at our expense to ensure all facilities have adequate staffing at all times, to cover daily employee call outs (for being sick, not coming to work, etc.) or job transitions.”

Clearly, the pay increases were not part of a plan to fix Aramark, like the Snyder-appointee claimed.

“Aramark is saying they’re increasing pay in the U.P. to attract workers to address employment shortages, not as a way to fix the problems they’ve imported to Michigan. That sounds like a business tactic, not an accountability measure,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Gov. Snyder’s appointee is either lying to the media or clearly doesn’t have a handle on the situation.”

Several outlets reported that Buss said the company would be increasing pay for its workers by an average of $2 an hour, among other things, to improve the situation.

“It’s obvious that we cannot believe anything that comes from the Snyder administration regarding the Aramark contract,” Scott continued. “His administration lied to the media, the public and to lawmakers about a $98,000 fine earlier this year after his Chief of Staff had the fine pulled. Gov. Snyder needs to do what he should have done a long time ago and come clean about why he continues to allow an out-of-state corporation to endanger Michigan communities. How many administration officials does it take to solve this mess? It should only take one, the Governor. He should end the Aramark contract immediately.”

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Progress Michigan Announces New Digital Media Coordinator http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/progress-michigan-announces-new-digital-media-coordinator/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/progress-michigan-announces-new-digital-media-coordinator/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:22:02 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37341 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Progress Michigan Announces New Digital Media Coordinator Matt Kovac joins citizens’ watchdog organization  LANSING – On Monday, Matt Kovac joined Progress Michigan as the organization’s Digital Media Coordinator. Matt joins Progress Michigan after working in Chicago for The Chicago Reporter and the Chicago Innocence […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Progress Michigan Announces New Digital Media Coordinator

Matt Kovac joins citizens’ watchdog organization 

LANSING – On Monday, Matt Kovac joined Progress Michigan as the organization’s Digital Media Coordinator. Matt joins Progress Michigan after working in Chicago for The Chicago Reporter and the Chicago Innocence Project.

“We’re extremely pleased to welcome an incredible digital media professional like Matt who’ll be a great addition to the team at Progress Michigan,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director for Progress Michigan. “Matt brings sound writing, investigative skills and extensive digital media experience to the table and will help drive the progressive momentum we’re building here.”

At The Chicago Reporter, Kovac was a part of their digital team and also did investigative reporting.

“I’m excited to be joining the phenomenal team at Progress Michigan as they continue to be a prominent watchdog group, leading the fight for a better Michigan,” Kovac said. “Progress Michigan shares my drive for social justice and holding elected officials accountable. I couldn’t be happier to be part of this great organization.”

Kovac is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

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Time For Charter Accountability http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/time-charter-accountability/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/time-charter-accountability/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:18:41 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37337 Earlier this year, the Detroit Free Press published a special report on the state of charter schools in Michigan. The investigation found, among other findings, that Michigan’s charter schools lacked proper oversight, many charter operators were forced out for self-dealing, and that charters don’t fare any better than our community schools. Furthermore, the Free Press […]

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Earlier this year, the Detroit Free Press published a special report on the state of charter schools in Michigan. The investigation found, among other findings, that Michigan’s charter schools lacked proper oversight, many charter operators were forced out for self-dealing, and that charters don’t fare any better than our community schools. Furthermore, the Free Press reported that our state laws are not adequate to prevent insider dealing and self-enrichment by those that run charters.

Despite the findings of the report, Michigan’s conservative-led legislature has failed to act to protect taxpayers and students in charter schools. Because the legislature refuses to address this issue, a group of lawmakers have taken the step of introducing legislation that would place a temporary moratorium on new charter schools in Michigan (if it’s broke, stop building new ones.) In response, the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers has proposed their own plan to police themselves. It seems the charter authorizers that have, for decades, failed to provide proper oversight are now saying, “Trust us, we’re better, we promise.” (I imagine their fingers are crossed behind their backs.)

While Michigan is facing its share of charter school problems, the issue of charter school accountability is gaining attention across the nation. Last week, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform released a report with recommendations for holding charter schools accountable to the public. In light of the numerous issues with Michigan’s charter schools, this report should be required reading for all Michigan lawmakers.

For too long, charter schools have been able to operate without accountability. A short-term moratorium would give lawmakers time to make sure that new charters operate with accountability by implementing some of the recommendations in the Annenberg report.

For more information on Michigan’s failed charter experiment, check out our video (you’ll also learn a thing or two about the Aramark scandal in Michigan.)

 

 

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Snyder Snubs http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/snyder-snubs/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/snyder-snubs/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:22:04 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37327 Last night, Lonnie Scott, Progress Michigan’s executive director, and I discovered that the free tickets we applied for to attend Governor Snyder’s first town hall in Kalamazoo were cancelled. We took to the Tweetosphere to notify the public and demand answers as to why we, taxpaying residents of Michigan and Governor Snyder’s constituents, were denied […]

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Last night, Lonnie Scott, Progress Michigan’s executive director, and I discovered that the free tickets we applied for to attend Governor Snyder’s first town hall in Kalamazoo were cancelled.

We took to the Tweetosphere to notify the public and demand answers as to why we, taxpaying residents of Michigan and Governor Snyder’s constituents, were denied access to his public town hall.

Our questions were met with a response from Emily Benavides, a Snyder campaign spokesperson who tweeted:

FYI: A town hall is “…open to everybody in a town community and…attendees generally may voice their opinions and ask questions of the public figures, elected officials, or political candidates at the town hall.”

If the Snyder campaign is handpicking attendees then that’s a rally, not a town hall. Are they turning away registered Republicans, Gov. Snyder’s neighbors, and anyone registered with any other political party as well? Emily Benavides “said she wasn’t sure.”

Like Lonnie said, “If the Snyder campaign is only allowing in undecided voters, then I should be considered ‘undecided. I can’t decide whether Gov. Snyder is totally corrupt or completely incompetent.”

We might not agree with what the governor says (or more often doesn’t say) or does, but we still deserve a chance to get answers to questions we have about his decisions that affect us. Governor Snyder might think of himself as a “CEO” but at the end of the day, he is a public servant voted in to office by us. When he isn’t serving and doing what’s best for the public, we deserve to know why and he should be held accountable.

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Snyder Campaign: Town Halls Not Open to the Public http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/snyder-campaign-town-halls-open-public/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/snyder-campaign-town-halls-open-public/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:57:08 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37325 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan September 29, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Snyder Campaign: Town Halls Not Open to the Public MICHIGAN — According to the Snyder campaign, the widely publicized town halls the governor is holding, are not open to the public and only undecided voters are allowed to attend. According […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

September 29, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Snyder Campaign: Town Halls Not Open to the Public

MICHIGAN — According to the Snyder campaign, the widely publicized town halls the governor is holding, are not open to the public and only undecided voters are allowed to attend.

According to a tweet by Emily Benavides, a Snyder campaign spokesperson:

.@LonnieScott, these town halls are for undecided voters. Are you undecided? If so, @MarkSchauer‘s base problem is worse than we thought

“If the Snyder campaign is hand-picking attendees that’s a rally not a town hall. Are they turning away registered Republicans and Gov. Snyder’s neighbors as well?” asked Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Governor Rick Snyder has consistently ducked the public and accountability and this is just the latest example of his failure to answer to Michigan voters for his failed priorities.”

The tweet was in response to a series of tweets by Scott. On Sunday, Scott and one other Progress Michigan staffer had their tickets cancelled to the town hall scheduled for today in Kalamazoo.

“If the Snyder campaign is only allowing in undecided voters, then I should be considered ‘undecided,” Scott continued. “I can’t decide whether Gov. Snyder is totally corrupt or completely incompetent.”

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This Week in Progress http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/week-progress-23/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/week-progress-23/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:57:29 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37319 This Week in Progress Sex, Drugs, and Murder Plots: The Aramark Scandal. This Week in PM Blogging: Media Rundown: Aramark We know you’re busy, so we decided to give you a media rundown of some of the best hits our accountability work with Aramark and the Snyder administration has resulted in. Mich’ed up priorities For over […]

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This Week in Progress

Sex, Drugs, and Murder Plots: The Aramark Scandal.

This Week in PM Blogging:

Media Rundown: Aramark

We know you’re busy, so we decided to give you a media rundown of some of the best hits our accountability work with Aramark and the Snyder administration has resulted in.

Mich’ed up priorities

For over a decade, state legislators have been making budget cuts that are hurting Michiganders. As a resident of Michigan, you should be worried about this because it directly impacts you and your family.

Sex, Drugs, and Murder Plots: The Aramark Scandal Saga Continues

First it was drug smuggling, sex acts between workers and inmates, and maggots near the prison food. It can’t possibly get any worse than that, right?

TWIP Clips:

The Aramark scandal is fit for nighttime TV drama

Think the plots of Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, and Breaking Bad are scandalous? They’ve got nothing on Aramark.

It all started in March. The Michigan Department of Corrections fined Aramark for $98,000 for violations like food skimping, unauthorized food substitutions and improper contact with inmates. At this point, prisoners in Aramark facilities were no strangers to food shortages, it had been happening at Aramark-ran prisons in other states for years.

A few weeks later, an Aramark employee was arrested for attempting to smuggle marijuana into a prison in Jackson.

By now, we’re all just counting down the days until Governor Snyder announces he’s revoking Aramark’s 3-year, $145 million paid-for-with-taxpayer-dollars contract with the Michigan Department of Corrections, but time goes by and the contract remains in tact.

Then, in June, maggots are discovered near the food at a prison in Jackson.

Now, we’re all thinking that Governor Snyder can’t possibly let this one slide. His response to the discovery? “The most recent problems are not acceptable.”

That’s it. The contract remains in tact and we’re all wondering that if this is how Aramark runs its prisons, how can they be trusted with food services in our schools?

Fast forward to July. Four Aramark prison workers are caught on video engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with inmates and an employee in a Muskegon prison is caught pants-down with an inmate. The total number of Aramark employees who have been banned from working in Michigan prisons by the Michigan Department of Corrections climbs to over 80 people.

Come August and everyone and their brother is calling on Gov. Snyder to cancel the contract, but what does he do? Slaps Aramark on the wrist with a measly $200,000 fine, which amounts to 0.00137 percent of the company’s $145 million dollar contract with the state.

Six months have gone by, bringing us to September. An Aramark employee is arrested in St. Louis for attempting to smuggle heroin, marijuana, cocaine and tobacco into a prison. As usual, there are no repercussions.

Enter, Progress Michigan. In emails obtained under a Freedom of Information Act, we discover that the director of the Michigan Department of Corrections secretly canceled the $98,000 fine levied on Aramark in March. Several pages of emails in the bunch were redacted, some illegally, so now we’re suing the Michigan Department of Corrections to let us read them.

Then, yesterday, the Detroit Free Press reported that an Aramark food service worker at a prison in the Upper Peninsula is suspected of approaching an inmate there about arranging to have another inmate killed.

That’s not all.

We also released another email yesterday that we obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request showing Dennis Muchmore, Governor Snyder’s chief of staff, asking the Treasury Department to conduct a “quick analysis of the investment value” of Aramark.

Hmm…why is the governor’s Chief of Staff concerned with the investment value of Aramark?

I’ll leave you with that cliffhanger for now. But stay tuned. We’re holding the Governor accountable and demanding that the administration immediately release all documents about the Aramark contract with the Department of Corrections to the public.

Progressive Reads:

Whatever Happened to Gun Control?

Watch Emma Watson Deliver a Game-Changing Speech on Feminism for the U.N. (UPDATED)

Facebook to cut ties with conservative policy group

Look How Many People Came Out for the Climate March

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Sex, Drugs, and Murder Plots: The Aramark Scandal Saga Continues http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/sex-drugs-murder-plots-aramark-scandal-saga-continues/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/sex-drugs-murder-plots-aramark-scandal-saga-continues/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 20:13:04 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37314 First it was drug smuggling, sex acts between workers and inmates, and maggots near the prison food. Then, two weeks ago, we found out that Gov. Snyder’s office not only tried to silence the controversy surrounding Aramark’s blunders in March, but they pulled some strings and had the widely-publicized $98,000 fine quietly revoked. It can’t possibly […]

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First it was drug smuggling, sex acts between workers and inmates, and maggots near the prison food. Then, two weeks ago, we found out that Gov. Snyder’s office not only tried to silence the controversy surrounding Aramark’s blunders in March, but they pulled some strings and had the widely-publicized $98,000 fine quietly revoked.

It can’t possibly get any worse than that, right? Wrong.

Today, the Detroit Free Press reported that an Aramark food service worker at a prison in the Upper Peninsula is suspected of approaching an inmate there about arranging to have another inmate killed.

That’s not all.

We released an email today that we obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request showing the Dennis Muchmore, Governor Snyder’s chief of staff, asking the Treasury Department to conduct a “quick analysis of the investment value” of Aramark. The email shows that Muchmore requested the analysis because of concerns over “recent controversies” related to the Aramark contract.

We have numerous questions about the Snyder administration’s relationship with Aramark:

  • Why is the governor’s Chief of Staff concerned with the investment value of Aramark?
  • Does the governor or his top staffers such as Rich Baird and Dennis Muchmore have investments in Aramark?
  • Are personal investments or political donations driving the refusal to hold Aramark accountable by cancelling the contract?

We’re holding the Governor accountable and demanding that the administration immediately release all documents about the Aramark contract with the Department of Corrections to the public. If the Aramark contract was really based on what’s best for Michiganders, like the Snyder said, then he should have nothing to hide.

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Snyder Administration Ordered Treasury to Show ‘Investment Value’ of Aramark http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/snyder-administration-ordered-treasury-show-investment-value-aramark/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/snyder-administration-ordered-treasury-show-investment-value-aramark/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:55:38 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37309 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan September 25, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Snyder Administration Ordered Treasury to Show ‘Investment Value’ of Aramark Email obtained through a FOIA request raises questions about administration’s relationship with Aramark An email recently obtained by Progress Michigan through a Freedom of Information Act request shows that Dennis […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

September 25, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Snyder Administration Ordered Treasury to Show ‘Investment Value’ of Aramark
Email obtained through a FOIA request raises questions about administration’s relationship with Aramark

An email recently obtained by Progress Michigan through a Freedom of Information Act request shows that Dennis Muchmore, Gov. Rick Snyder’s chief of staff, asked the Treasury Department to conduct a, “quick analysis of the investment value” of Aramark. The email shows that Muchmore requested this analysis because of concerns over “recent controversies” related to the Aramark contract with the Department of Corrections. The response email was not released with the remainder of the FOIA.

The email raises numerous questions about the Snyder administration’s relationship with Aramark:

- Why is the governor’s Chief of Staff concerned with the investment value of Aramark?
- Why does Dennis Muchmore appear to be acting as an agent for Aramark?
- Is this related to the earlier fine issued to Aramark that Muchmore appears to have played a role in cancelling?
- Does the governor or his top staffers such as Rich Baird and Dennis Muchmore have investments in Aramark?
- Was Gov. Snyder made aware of Muchmore’s interest in the investment value of Aramark?
- Was Dennis Muchmore concerned about Aramark losing investment value due to scandals in Michigan prisons?
- Are personal investments or political donations driving the refusal to hold Aramark accountable by cancelling the contract?
- -The email refers to “John”. Who’s that? One of the people who received a big raise from Snyder? Where’s his analysis?
- Why was the request so urgent? What was going on July 17th?
- The email refers to doing an analysis for “us”. Who’s that?
- What did Clinton do in response to the email?
- Why did Muchmore call the request a “favor”?

The email released today follows an earlier email, obtained and released by Progress Michigan, that showed Dennis Muchmore was heavily involved in the cancellation of an earlier announced $98,000 fine issued to Aramark. The email chain does not include the response from Treasury to Muchmore.

“Governor Snyder has said that the Aramark contract was based on what’s best for Michigan taxpayers. This email shows that his administration is concerned with what’s best for the investment value of Aramark,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Governor Snyder needs to come clean and tell Michigan voters the full extent of his and/or his top administration officials relationship with Aramark and immediately release all documents in the executive branch pertaining to the Aramark contract with the Department of Corrections.”

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Will Lawmakers Support Resolution to End Aramark Contract? http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/will-lawmakers-support-resolution-end-aramark-contract/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/09/will-lawmakers-support-resolution-end-aramark-contract/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:07:27 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37306 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan September 25, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Will Lawmakers Support Resolution to End Aramark Contract? Sex acts, drugs and alleged murder plots plague privatized contract  MICHIGAN — In light of recent allegations that an Aramark employee approached an inmate at Michigan prison to solicit a murder for […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

September 25, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Will Lawmakers Support Resolution to End Aramark Contract?

Sex acts, drugs and alleged murder plots plague privatized contract 

MICHIGAN — In light of recent allegations that an Aramark employee approached an inmate at Michigan prison to solicit a murder for hire, Progress Michigan is calling on all state lawmakers with a prison in their district to disavow the privatization of food services in Michigan’s prisons and urge Gov. Rick Snyder to end the contract.

“Enough is enough,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Aramark employees have been caught in sex acts with prisoners, smuggling drugs into prisons and now one of them has allegedly engaged in a murder plot. It’s time state lawmakers with prisons in their districts stood up against Aramark before one of their constituents are hurt or worse. Elected officials must demand that Gov. Snyder cancel the state’s contract with Aramark immediately.”

Privatizing prison food services to the out-of-state corporation has been a disaster under Gov. Snyder’s watch: Maggots have been found in and near the food. There have been improper relations between Aramark employees and prisoners. Food shortages and unapproved menu changes have occurred. Drugs and tobacco have been smuggled into a prison. And the latest, an Aramark employee approached a prisoner about killing another prisoner.

More than 90 Aramark employees have been banned from working in state prisons because of violations on the job. That is nearly a third of the workforce the State of Michigan fired when Aramark was brought in to handle food service in Michigan prisons.

Recently, Progress Michigan released documents that were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that revealed the Snyder administration quietly pushed the head of the Michigan Department of Corrections to cancel a $98,000 fine against Aramark. The fine cancellation was never disclosed to the public, the media and even some lawmakers and was intended to correct Aramark for numerous contractual violations.

A resolution was introduced yesterday in the House that urges Gov. Snyder to cancel the contract. Progress Michigan is calling on lawmakers to put their support behind the resolution.

“Gov. Snyder needs to do what he should have done a long time ago and cancel the contract,” Scott continued. “And it’s time lawmakers do what they can to end this contract if the Governor won’t act.”

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