O’Malley for president? For-profit prison money for Congress?
I discussed for-profit prisons with the newest presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, after he didn’t address Hector’s question about what he will do to stop for-profit prisons from spending millions of dollars lobbying for public policy to profit from detaining more immigrants in detention centers.
Although he is opposed to for-profit prisons and responded that we need to act on the symbol of our country, the Statue of Liberty and not a barbed wire fence, I informed Gov. O’Malley to make the for-profit prison industry a priority considering the immigration reform he spoke hopeful of:
“in order for any of that to happen, I mean, these for-profit prisons spend millions on campaign donations and millions of dollars lobbying so they can profit from detaining more people, whether those are prisoners or immigrants. And that’s a huge concern, I mean, especially in Iowa, where you know we’ve got immigrants and refugees from all over the world and that’s something that we’re really concerned about.”
After asking me if “they [private prisons] give big money to Congress people?”, Gov. O’Malley was surprised when I told him the top 3 for-profit prisons spent $45 million lobbying lawmakers from 2002-2012, along with campaign contributions.
“Man, I wonder if I’ve met those guys,” Gov. O’Malley wondered. “They’ve probably given to the DGA [Democratic Governors Association] too.”
The second largest for-profit prison GEO Group invested in over 400 candidates running for office on both sides of the aisle across the country.
Iowa may not have any for-profit prisons, but we do have a voice and opportunity to educate presidential candidates about #whoprofits from political influence and policies nobody knows about.