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View Diary: How frickin' typical. Rotten right-wing idea—prisons for profit—costs more (177 comments)

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  •  And one more thing (51+ / 0-)

    whereas government run prisons are subject to state and/or federal records requests (which those still actually working as journalists and public interest groups and others use to monitor what is actually occurring therein), private prisons have successfully argued for nearly two decades now (beginning in Florida) that they are NOT subject to such public scrutiny.  

    Shame on all of this.  Shame.

    PROUD to be a Democrat.

    by noweasels on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:24:07 PM PDT

    •  Really? (15+ / 0-)

      An private agency acting on behalf of the State is not subject to the same State and Federal regs?

      That's actually shocking!

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:26:53 PM PDT

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      •  All efforts have not been successful (23+ / 0-)

        But the trend if not good.  Here is a good overview by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

        I will add that all strides made in making/keeping what should be public records open have generally been made by trad media organizations -- most of which are now facing huge financial challenges  and are much less likely to (be able to) spend the thousands and thousands of dollars it costs to litigate matters like this.

        (Disclaimer: I was in private practice for many years and represented many of them.)

        The private prison companies -- like CCA -- of course, now enjoy buckets of taxpayer money and have no qualms about spending it to keep the pesky pubic out of their business.

        PROUD to be a Democrat.

        by noweasels on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:49:00 PM PDT

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      •  That crosses to other private businesses, too (6+ / 0-)

        Right now in Minnesota there is an ongoing effort to look into the $2.5 Billion that four HMOs have in reserve that is not being spent to help Medicaid recipients.  [Yes, that is Billion with a B.]

        Medical Pros Ask Feds to Kick HMOs Out of MN Health Programs

        Video and short print story at the link.  FL and CT have been successful at getting HMOs kicked out of their states.

        It doesn't matter if one is talking about private prisons, mercenary armies (Xe/Blackwater), or outrageous medical corporations trying to profit from our tax dollars without having to be held accountable to anyone, they all operate the same: they receive our tax dollars and never want to be held responsible for how those funds are spent or how much they make in profits.

        In MN the other high-profile private corporation that has been demanding tax dollars is the pro-football team.  MN state tax dollars already paid for two new stadiums in the same tax bill, one at the U of M, the second one for the pro-baseball team.  (I haven't heard who paid for the statues out front nor have I heard how many there actually are; there are two for sure, one of a fellow who was a spouse-&-girlfriend abuser who was lionized for a whole damned week when he died, and the last one I saw is of the guy who just died that local newscasters won't stop talking about.  Hopefully, our tax dollars did not pay for those statues!)

        The day the bridge over I-35 collapsed, Timmy Pawlenty [Repuke then-governor, now putting himself out there for prez], he was due to meet with the football team owners to discuss a new stadium, and one of the architect plans had/has a retractable roof.  The big "selling point" some 20-25 years ago for the Metrodome is that sports teams could play in any kind of weather because it had a dome.  The plastic roof collapsed under too much snow this past winter and it's being repaired.  It could easily be renovated....  But the team wants a new stadium entirely and they want taxpayers to fund it.  They had one building location picked out, and within the last week the big surprise was now they have a different location picked out..., but for any fans to get there, the state would have to build a new highway system for them to get there, so that would be an additional couple of million.  [You know there would be cost over-runs; the first estimate was more than the current reduced cost, but that's probably all a red herring.  If they renovated the current Metrodome, the infrastructure is already there, high-speed rail goes right past it so there aren't that many parking problems any longer.  Pleading 'it would provide jobs' as a selling point doesn't cut it when the money doesn't need to be spent in the first damned place.]

        The TV stations are reporting on this "stadium issue" like they are the great Chamber of Commerce in the sky, promoting the whole idea like the team members & owners poop rainbows, and like there must be a grove of money trees growing somewhere in the state..., in spite of the fact that the legislature is pushing for cuts in education and medicaid..., and the new Repuke legislature still won't approve tax dollars for a third new stadium (I'll give them credit for that, at least, but I'm sure they'll cave when push comes to shove and team owners and other sports promoters put money in their campaign coffers).

        Most disturbing of all, new Gov Dayton, a Dem who used to be our senator in DC and with a new set of state legislators that now put the Repukes in charge for the first time in over a quarter of a century, is all in favor of this stadium crap on the basis that "it will provide jobs" to a few Minnesotans.  Never mind the fact that no one is mentioning that the jobs would only last as long as it would take to actually build the stadium (and/or build the highway to this new proposed location if that is approved).  These would not be permanent jobs.  To his credit, Dayton won't sign off on tax increases to build this sandbox for the undeserving millionaire jocks and their owners.  (All of the Gov candidates, Dem, Repuke, and Indie, were in favor of this new stadium bull$h!te before election day.  Aaaaarrrgh!)

        If the mantra is going to stay "no new taxes, cuts in necessary spending" for the next few years, the #1 thing that federal and state legislatures are going to have to come up with is how to stop corporate welfare for those who most assuredly do not need public tax dollars to maintain their profits while they demand not to have their books audited to see how they're spending those tax dollars.  At a bare minimum, these tax funds need to come with a mandatory public auditing of their books.

        So, whether it's private prisons funded with tax dollars, HMOs funded with state or federal tax dollars, or f***ing sports stadiums that benefit NO ONE except corporate team owners, there must be transparent bookkeeping records and open audits to monitor how they are spending our tax dollars as they profit handsomely from corporate welfare.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:09:32 PM PDT

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