Weekend Voices 8/02/08

Executive Producer: Amy Browne

Producer: Marge May

Host: Ann Luther, Co-president, League of Women Voters of Maine

Topic:  Part of the on-going monthly “Democracy Forum” series.  Today: Corporations and Democracy

Private vs public:  what’s appropriate for the public sector, what’s appropriate for the private sector?
What would be the function of government if everything possible were privatized?   Why is it important to consider in a democracy?  What spheres have been privatized, considered or debated to be privatized?  Are there appropriate safeguards and oversight in place to protect against corruption?   What are the reform proposals?


Paul Verkuil is a litigator, counselor, businessman and scholar.  He is Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University, and Senior Counsel at the law firm of  Boies, Schiller & Flexner.   In addition to his current roles, he has served as Dean of the Cardozo and Tulane Law Schools and President of the College of William & Mary.  He has written numerous books and articles on public law issues, including his most recent book, Outsourcing Sovereignty: Why Privatization of Government Functions Threatens Democracy and What We Can Do about It.  You can read more about his background at the website for BSF LLP or at the website for Cordoza School of Law.

Si Kahn is a singer, songwriter and activist.  He is executive director of Grassroots Leadership, where their goal is to put an end to abuses of justice and the public trust by working to abolish for-profit private prisons.  Si is the author of the book, The Fox in the Henhouse: How Privatization Threatens Democracy.  You can read more about him and his work at www.sikahn.com.