Thursday, October 28, 2010

I've Been Saying This for Months

I couldn't possibly NOT post the article linked to in the title today.  As I have been ranting about on here for months and months, CCA had a direct and heavy influence on the drafting and passing of SB1070, Arizona's "Breathing While Brown" law.  NPR did a bang-up job on exposing the true nature behind the negotiations and donations that led up to the bill's passage, and this story has been picked up by many varied media outlets.

So you're probably asking yourself, "OK Mike, just exactly how much influence did CCA have on the bill, and how was that influence exerted?"  It turns out that:

1) State senator Russell Pearce, in a highly secretive meeting, made a presentation before ALEC (with CCA reps present) on how immigration needed to be addressed.  The meeting, like many of ALEC's, was filled with corporate reps who spent literally tens of thousands of dollars to have direct access to lawmakers

2) from this presentation, the idea for the bill was hatched.  The bill was then drafted by a task force that included CCA employees

3) after the bill was introduced, an unexpectedly high number of cosponsors signed on almost immediately.  more than 2/3 of those cosponsors are either ALEC members or attended the meeting.

4) 5/6 of those cosponsors received campaign donations from private prison industry interests over the next six months

5) Jan Brewer hired a former CCA employee, and their current lobbyist, to work as advisers while the bill was finalized and eventually passed.

To put it simply, this stinks.  It's terrible that a corporation, representing a very small constituency, can have such tremendous influence over the drafting and passing of legislation.  It's not often we get a glimpse into the workings of how legislation is drafted, introduced, and eventually passed to anywhere near this degree.  CCA corrupts the democratic processes of our government, usurps power from individual constituents, and manipulates legislators all in the name of ever-expanding profits, at the direct expense of American taxpayers and the poor souls who are forced into their prisons.  If they aren't the face of evil, I don't know what is.


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