On GEO group, conservative politicians, lobbyist groups, and prisons

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, May 2nd, 2010 - 7 comments
Categories: accountability, corruption, election funding, International, law and "order", national/act government, prisons, The Standard, us politics, youtube - Tags: , , ,

Readers of this site will have noted that the authors here aren’t exactly supportive of privatizing prisons. There is far too much scope for kickbacks, backroom deals, and overt and covert funding of lobby groups aimed at increasing the prison ‘business’.

GEO Group is one of the major contenders to run private prisons here for Judith Collins, the Minister of Corrections. So look to Florida where the GEO group also runs prisons to see what can happen.

From Floridas Capitol News Service in a article last week..

The FBI is asking question about former House Speaker Ray Sansom’s involvement with a legislative deal to build a private prison. The news comes as the feds investigate Sansom, Marco Rubio, and former GOP Chairman Jim Greer for spending millions on Republican Party of Florida credit cards. As Whitney Ray tells us, the trouble for the GOP keeps growing.

A legislative plan to close as many as five state prisons and ship inmates to a private prison run by GEO Group was scaled back last month by public out cry.

Former House Speaker Ray Sansom originated the deal with an amendment in the 2008 state budget.

And

According to our source the feds may be searching to see if Sansom received any kickbacks from the company. GEO Group, formally known as Wackenhut, gave Sansom’s campaign 500 hundred dollars for his 2007 campaign.

The company gave 145-thousand dollars to the Republican Party of Florida in 2008, and another 130-thousand in 2009. Neither Sansom’s lawyer nor the FBI returned our requests for interviews.

Incidentally, the reason why he is a former House Speaker and also stepped down from his seat is because of controversy about using state funds to build a hanger for a big contributor to the state Republican party.

In local terms, this story makes me very suspicious about who exactly were the big contributors to the anonymous trusts supporting political parties. Like the Waitemata Trust that fed much of the money into the National party over much of this decade.

There are some policies that the National party and Act party are pursuing that make very little political sense. But those same policy shifts could greatly assist private companies moving into the commercial opportunities that the NACT government is creating. Similarly the rush to increase prison sentences and cut rehabilitation efforts advocated by the likes of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, and implemented across several governments makes little sense. It increases prison populations, but really doesn’t appear to have much effect on the rates of offending, the safety of the population from crime, or the rates of recidivism. Improving the rate of employment, something that this government is failing at, does have an effect.

As far as I can see, the capability for anonymous trusts to feed ‘anonymous’ business money to political parties and to lobby groups like the Sensible Sentencing Trust has not been constrained by either the Electoral Finance Act, or its very similar replacement by the NACT government. It is time to ensure that political parties and political lobbyist groups must operate financially transparently, and account for the financial influences on them to the voting public.

BTW: To forestall the inevitable reactions of the government spinster mouthpieces (like Hooten and Farrar) attacking the source of questions on such issues rather than debating the issue. I’d say that I’d be happy to account for the origin of the few thousand dollars that it has taken to run this site over the last two and a half years. Apart from a few small ($25-$100) donations, it has come from my bank account. Could they do the same? For instance I’d be quite interested in where the money came from for the ‘dictator’ billboard campaigns in 2007/8 or the ‘iwi/kiwi’ billboard campaigns in 2005 well before the official election campaigns.

7 comments on “On GEO group, conservative politicians, lobbyist groups, and prisons”

  1. freedom 1

    The company Wackenhut, also known as Blackwater is now called Xe.

    this occured about six months ago and is still being kept as quiet as possible, especially in NZ where Xe has been sniffing around to see what’s in our troughs, not only in the prisons.

    rememember that nice company which is going to handle the logistics of purchase and supply for our armed services for the next ten years, Lockheed Martin, well guess who they are also partners with. Yes Xe.

    that other group who have security contracts throughout the Middle East which many still call Halliburton, no, they are Xe. The Police, the Prisons, The manufacture and supply of weapons, the buildings the buses the remote drones to watch over it all are now being contracted to Xe.

    just thought you might like to know who slinKey is getting us in bed with

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      That wouldn’t surprise me. Seems to be policy of the psychopathic is that once one name starts looking a little tarnished then all you really need to do is get a new name. Brand recognition is everything – who’s behind the brand is nothing. In fact, I’d say that hiding who’s behind the brand is the whole reason for the brand.

  2. ianmac 2

    Aren’t Halliburtons the ones who currently messed up the Oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, – not for the first time? Working for BP I think.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Wheels within wheels within wheels.

      BP leased the rig from another company and contracted Haliburton to do some maintenance. Haliburton are saying it wasn’t their fault, BP are saying that it wasn’t theirs and that they’ve done everything that can be expected of them and the rig owners aren’t admitting fault either.

      Typical of the capitalist class – take all the money and then blame someone else when something goes wrong.

  3. Tigger 3

    LP, I want to sincerely thank you and others for keeping the private prisons issue under discussion here. While this matter might not compel tens of thousands to march down Queen St, I find the prospect of farming out our prisoners for profit to be both morally and philosophically repugnant. Rest assured, NACT, there are many of us who will do all we can to ensure that any private prison you build while you cling to power is eventually pulled back under public control. They’re our prisoners, they’re our responsibility.

  4. Ron 4

    The best thing is not to talk too much about Xe and GEO. Let Crusher et al sign the papers THEN release the dirty details. More damage that way.

  5. Rharn 5

    On private prisons. There is some thing inherently wrong when a company/shareholers can make a profit out of the misfortune of others.

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