Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Former House Speaker Tip O'Neill observed, "All politics is local," so as I read The Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service's report for Congress dated May 18, 2005, and entitled The Quasi Government: Hybrid Organizations with Both Government and Private Sector Legal Characteristics, I couldn't help but think of our local quasi-government organization, the Lake City Development Corporation.

The cited report, of course, refers only to the federal government. Still, the fundamental concerns of the researchers apply equally to local governments and their shadows. The report notes:

"The quasi government, not surprisingly, is a controversial subject. To supporters of this trend toward greater reliance upon hybrid organizations, the proper objective of governmental management is to maximize performance and results, however defined. In their view, the private and governmental sectors are alike in their essentials, and thus subject to the same economically derived behavioral norms. They tend to welcome this trend toward greater use of quasi governmental entities."

"Critics of the quasi government, on the other hand, tend to view hybrid organizations as contributing to a weakened capacity of government to perform its fundamental constitutional duties, and to an erosion in political accountability, a crucial element in democratic governance. They tend to consider the governmental and private sectors as being legally distinct, with relatively little overlap in behavioral norms."


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