First an excerpt from a post I made when I first started AZ Prison Watch. The clip is from an email alert sent out in July by the Tucson office of the American Friends Service Committee. Note that they didn't have more recent campaign contribution information - what I'd be even more interested in, though, is where these guys have their money invested. Are our legislators invested in a future of perpetual victimization and crime? Mass incarceration?
They sure aren't prone to invest our resources where they would prevent crime...
...None of the corporations in the running for these contracts is based in the state of Arizona, so all the dollars spent on administrative costs would flow out of the state into the pockets of out-of-state corporate CEO’s.
4. Arizona legislators, including several members of the Republican leadership that brokered this deal, are in the pocket of the private prison industry.
All the major private prison corporations have numerous, highly paid lobbyists working day and night to influence our elected officials.
These lobbyists and other private prison interests gave $77,267 to Arizona candidates during the 2002 and 2004 election cycles. Republicans received nearly 90% of industry contributions.
Is it any wonder that some of the biggest beneficiaries of these contributions are now the ones leading the charge to privatize Arizona’s prisons?:
RECIPIENT 2002 2004
Sen. Russell Pearce (R-18) $880 $2,400
Sen. Robert Burns (R-9) $1,735 $736
Sen. Robert Waring (R-7) $650 $1,595
Sen. Thayer Verschoor (R-22) $0 $1,130
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-22) $0 $675
Sen. Jack Harper (R-4) $0 $625
Keep in mind, Arizona’s contribution limits are among the lowest in the country, at $270 per legislative candidate per election in 2002 and $280 in 2004. Unfortunately, no comparable statistics were available for the 2006 or 2008 elections.
Source: The Institute on Money in State Politics, “Policy Lock-Down: Prison Interests Court Political Players.” April, 2006. http://www.privateci.org/private_pics/follow.pdf...