Prison Lobbyists Working For Arizona Gov. Set To Profit From Immigration Law

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hermit, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. This Thursday, SB-1070, Arizona’s radical new immigration law, will go into effect. Despite an incoming lawsuit from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) has maintained that her state “will prevail,” claiming that she is simply defending the border integrity and safety of her state.

    Yet a new investigation by local Arizona TV news station CBS 5 finds that the Brewer administration may have ulterior motives for its strong support of the new law. The station has found that “two of Brewer’s top advisers have connections” to private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

    Paul Senseman, Brewer’s deputy chief of staff, is a former lobbyist for CCA. His wife continues to lobby for the company. Meanwhile Chuck Coughlin, who leads her re-election campaign, chaired her transition into the governorship, and is one of the governor’s policy advisors, is president of HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, which lobbies for CCA.

    This is important because CCA currently “holds the federal contract to house detainees in Arizona.” CBS 5 notes that the company currently bills $11 billion a month to the state of Arizona and that, if SB-1070 is successfully implemented, its profits would be significantly padded as it would take responsibility for imprisoning immigrants arrested by Arizona police.

    The company maintains that it “unequivocally, did not at any time lobby — nor did we have any outside consultants lobby — anyone in Arizona on the immigration law,” but direct lobbying would not be necessary with allies like Senseman and Coughlin working directly for Brewer.

    Coughlin, in particular, has a history of boasting about the influence he has had on the state government on behalf of private business. In an interview earlier this month, he bragged about privatizing the commercial garbage business in Mesa, Arizona, by coordinating with industry lobbyists. He told the interviewer, “I can make [expletive] happen.”

    Perhaps even more alarmingly, he explained his influence over Brewer to the interviewer. Coughlin explained that when he worked for Gov. Fife Symington (R-AZ) as his chief lobbyist, he locked horns with Brewer, who was at the time the Senate majority whip. He explained that his lobbying was so effective that she now says, “I was scared of you guys” — and that he has run her campaigns ever since:

    Q: You got to the Capitol not long after Jan Brewer. Have you known her since then?

    COUGHLIN: We both have discussed that. We tried to remember when we first really met. We think we met — I’m fairly confident — when I worked for Grant and she was in the House. I was Grant’s lobbyist, because I left Bob’s (Bob Robb) firm and I went to work for Grant as his director of public affairs in ’91, after his election.

    Where we really got to know each other well was years later when she was Senate majority whip and I was Fife’s chief lobbyist in ’95. She was the chief vote-counter in the Senate, and it was our job to get the governor’s agenda through, so I got to know her pretty well. Fife’s team had a fairly aggressive, robust reputation. She’ll say to this day, “I was scared of you guys,” that we’d come in and threaten her or something like that. I don’t recall that.

    She called me after I left Fife’s employ in ‘96 and started a firm called Coughlin Communications. We changed that to HighGround about four months later when Wes (Gullett) joined me. She came to me after that session and told me she wanted to run for county supervisor. We’ve run all her campaigns ever since.

    CBS 5 filed a video report on CCA’s ties to the Brewer administration.

    <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
  2. Hello


    its too bad that people are arguing overwhelmingly against you huh....

    60 to 40 are in favourof the law, you are climbing an uphill battle.....
  3. Ricter


    Bandwagon argument. A majority also voted in Obama.
  4. Astonishing. I remember watching a couple of legal dramas on TV a while back where, in one show, a judge was in cahoots with a privately-owned juvenile dentention center and was getting kickbacks for sending "business" to that facility. What started the ball rolling against him was that his pattern of sentencing changed at one point from reasonable to more severe. The other show was similar but dealt with an adult prison facility. In each case, I thought it made for interesting TV but wondered if anyone could really get away with such stuff. These shows pale in comparison to the appearance of conflict of interest evident in this unfolding saga in Arizona. Simply amazing.
  5. Ricter


    Whose stupid idea was privatizing prison's, anyway? How did they think these "businesses" were going to grow, or at least make a profit?
  6. The people who are impressed by this also think Dick Cheney started the Iraq war to benefit Halliburton.
  7. $11 billion a month, $132 billion a year; those are amazing number. How much of a cut do Paul Senseman and Chuck Coughlin get?
  8. Did not realize she is the unelected governor of Arizona, but she is doing a mighty fine job of scaring away tourists.

    These two are a suave looking pair.
  9. jem


    I am a conservative as they come... but I see no evidence that you could point to that says Cheney did not.

    If not Haliburton than Bush oil buddies and carlyle group.

    Did you ever investigate the time of the strategic reserve purchases?

    The bush boys looted the country and now the friends of the socialists think its their turn.

    I would bet less than 20% of the things politicians do are for the good of the people.
  10. There are very few issues on which the left and right agree. The consensus is clear that America is far, far too much of a prison colony. 1% of your population in jail is excesive. The things which people are locked up for, and the amounts of time they are detained, and the amount of the budget that goes to support all of this, are all just fucking absurd. Particularly for a place which prides itself on being the "land of the free". It doesn't take an intuitive giant to understand that big corporate and lobbyist cash with an interest in keeping as many americans in prison as possible is a horrific idea. If we can have for proffit prisons, why not for proffit courts?? They already have for proffit probation offices too. Why stop now?

    Funny that our "progressive" and "humanitarian" administration aren't making this a priority, or even doing anything about it at all...
    #10     Jul 27, 2010