Monday, June 14, 2010

Dubious Contributions

In a very well-researched (and kind of long) article, E.A. Barrerra of East County Magazine discovered that the interim Sheriff of San Diego, a county which houses a few private jails, received campaign contributions from, and was lobbied by, two people working for the GEO Group that weren't registered as lobbyists with the county. One thought that just because he was an attorney he didn't need to register (he did), and the other listed himself as "retired" on campaign contribution forms, even though he was still receiving a paycheck from the GEO Group. The GEO Group is one of the major players in the private prison market, and they contribute tons of money to the campaigns of "tough-on-crime" politicians, both through the company formally and in the form of individual donations from employees. And as this article demonstrates, they also find clever ways to work around restrictions on who can lobby or contribute to campaigns.

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