AZ Governor Funneling Money to Private Prison Corporation Through SB 1070

Chuck Coughlin, one of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s policy advisers and the head of her re-election campaign, has a history of bragging about his ability to “make some [expletive] happen” on behalf of private industry. And just who might he be making shit happen for these days, with Gov. Brewer relying on him for another term in office and his oh-so-important policy advice? Try the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the people who profit from immigration injustice.

CBS 5, a local Arizona news channel, decided to poke around and see what kind of ulterior motives Brewer might have had for signing a racist, unconstitutional, wasteful anti-immigrant bill like SB 1070 law. Coughlin is the president of HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, which just happens to lobby for CCA. And CCA just happens to have a tight grip on the contract for running immigration detention centers. (It’s like playing Connect-the-Dots.)

In fact, CCA already rakes in a good $11 million [corrected] every month, courtesy of the state of Arizona, and once (if) the new harsh anti-immigrant law SB 1070 goes into effect and the number of immigrant detainees rises, that corporation is poised see its profits spike.

Think Progress reports that Coughlin also chuckles to himself over how “scared” Brewer was over his lobbying abilities when he was playing against her for another team, from which we can infer without too much trouble that he probably holds a lot of sway over her today as her adviser. But Coughlin isn’t the only key member of Brewer’s staff to have ties to the corporation set to make the most money off of SB 1070: CBS 5 also found that Paul Senseman, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, is a former CCA lobbyist whose wife is a current CCA lobbyist.

It’s too bad the tourism industry doesn’t have its lobbyists in such prominent positions on Gov. Brewer’s staff. With all her wild talk of crime and beheadings, Arizona’s governor is scaring away a significant amount of the tourist revenue the state relies on, and it’ll just be paying out more to enforce SB 1070. But while Arizona taxpayers might end up hurting, CCA, at least, will be sitting pretty. And isn’t that what’s really important?

Photo credit: yomanimus

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