Union Member Disputes 'Chronicle's Attempted Fair-Minded View

RECEIVED Tue., Aug. 8, 2006

    I appreciated your attempt to provide a fair-minded account of the Accenture contract review conducted by the House Government Reform Committee [“Public Benefits, Privatization Problems,” News, Aug. 4]. But in these mean times, context is everything.
    Sixty irate House members want to sever our ties to the Bermuda-based corporation called Accenture. These happy islanders have gotten huge rewards from other gullible states. In each instance, cost savings have melted as breath into the air.
    Accenture has perfected the glib, oily art to speak wonderfully and purpose not. More than 100 million Texas dollars have flown off to the Bermuda triangle and $700 million will levitate out of our wallets during the next five to six years. Theoretical savings are to come from whizbang technology and massive layoffs. Poorly trained, $8/hour phone operators replace competent state workers. In the mean time, the best eligibility determination system in the country is sinking to the bottom.
    Texas children who fall through the giant cracks in the contract are relegated to too-little-too-late emergency-room care. Who worries about a few missed meals when kids are improperly booted off food stamps? In the eyes of Deputy Commissioner Anne Heiligenstein, huge tax savings gleam at the end of the tunnel. A horrendous track record cannot dull the brightness in those eyes.
    Health and Human Services Commission political appointees are serving as enablers for these drunken bingers from Bermuda who get high on tax money while paying none themselves under the guise of smaller government. As a member of the Texas State Employees Union I urge you to just say no.
Steve Bradley
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