Tag Archives: kickback

Cloudy transparency on RFP & bidding —Barbara Stratton

Received today on Transparency by a County Commission. -jsq
I don’t know how you found this example, but good work & thanks for the research. This is a real genuine effort to produce government transparency. Anything short of this is faux transparancy. Can you find out how the citizens were able to get this good faith transparancy enacted?

I am expecially concerned with the cloudy transparancy on RFP & bidding procedures within our county. Having spent 12 years in government construction contracting I know the detailed safeguards that have been enacted to protect the taxpayers from contracting fraud & crony capitalist back door agreements. It is my observation that these safeguards are being bypassed by end around tactics & the current popularity of public/private partnerships has a plethora of possiblities for good old boy system abuses.

Recently a local contractor started work on an unfunded, unawarded government project that was exposed by the local newspaper. The city’s answer to the illegal contracting procedures was to issue a contract change order for $143,807 with a 10% contingency. It has been my experience that anytime a contractor starts work on an unfunded project said contractor eats the cost of any work completed & all contractors are aware of this rule.

In addition it is a dis-service to taxpayers for that amount of money to be

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Private prison profits buying more laws to lock people up

Another report about money and private prisons (in addition to the ACLU’s Banking on Bondage), this one Public Campaign and PICO National Network, Unholy Alliance: How the Private Prison Industry is Corrupting Our Democracy and Promoting Mass Incarceration. It establishes that the “kids for cash” scandal, in which two judges accepted kickbacks in exchange for locking up juveniles, was just the tip of the iceberg.
Yet the reality is that private prison lobbyists regularly buy influence with state and federal officials, not only to win lucrative contracts, but also to change or preserve policies that increase the number of people behind bars. Private companies have made huge profits off the mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, and are now turning their attention to increasing the detention of Latino immigrants—the newest profit center for the prison industrial complex. Ultimately there is no way to reverse the costly trend toward mass incarceration without reducing the influence of these companies and their money in our democracy.
Here’s another example David Donnelly wrote for Huffpo 17 Nov 2011, Private Prisons Industry: Increasing Incarcerations, Maximizing Profits and Corrupting Our Democracy,
Earlier this year in Louisiana, a plan by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) to privatize prisons narrowly failed in a legislative committee by a vote of 13 to 12. The 12 members of the House Appropriations Committee who voted to approve the prison privatization plan have received more than three times more money from private prison donors than the 13 members who voted against the plan, according to an analysis of data from the Louisiana Ethics Administration and the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Gov. Jindal himself has taken nearly $30,000 from the private prison industry.
And of course in Georgia there’s HB 87, which isn’t really about excluding immigrants; Continue reading