Tag Archives: P3

No Gates for ALEC: who’s next to jump off the crony capitalism ship?

Apparently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave more money to ALEC than Pepsi, Coke, Kraft, and Intuit combined, but no more. Who’s next?

Jessica Pieklo wrote yesterday for care2, Bill And Melinda Gates Dump ALEC,

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became the latest high profile backer of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to withdraw financial support after pressure from groups opposed to ALEC’s support of “stand your ground” laws and Voter ID.

And private prisons, such as the one CCA wanted to build in Lowndes County, and “anti-immigrant” bills that creat many new crimes to fill those private prisons. And charter schools, such as the referendum for charter school tax credits on the ballot in Georgia in November. Some of our local “white fathers” pushed school consolidation a few months ago and charter schools are yet another attack on public education, backed by ALEC.

Roll Call reports that a foundation spokesperson said it does not plan to make any future grants to the organization. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed more than $375,000 to ALEC in the past two years.

Meanwhile, according to ALEC Watch:

ALEC’s more than three hundred corporate sponsors pay annual membership dues ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to advance their agendas, plus additional fees of $1,500 to $5,000 a year to participate in ALEC’s various task forces, where, according to an ALEC publication, “legislators welcome their private-sector counterparts to the table as equals.”

That’s the very model of a bad public-private partnership and crony capitalism. (More detail by ALEC Exposed.)

So what excuse does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have? Jessica Pieklo’s article says:

Continue reading

Industrial Authority got wetlands easement from Lowndes County for private prison site

Before selling it off to a private landowner who who two years later got a contract with private prison company CCA to resell it for almost 100% profit, the Industrial Authority acquired a road easement through county-owned wetlands from Lowndes County:
Further, Grantor hereby conveys a Non-Exclusive Ingress and Egress Easement in that certain 0.685 acre tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being in Land Lot 153 of th 11th Land District of Lowndes County, Georgia. Said 0.685 acre tract being designated as “0.685 acres — Ingress/Egress Easement reserved for future right-of-way extension” as depicted on that certain map or survey “Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority” dated September 8, 2004 and recorded September 9, 2004 in Plat Cabinet A, Page 2659, Lowndes County records, to which map and survey is hereby referred in further aid of description.
An easement that a private landowner might have more difficulty getting from the county. Isn’t that convenient?

This is the wetland that has not yet been approved for that purpose by the Army Corps of Engineers, according to Ashley Paulk.

By the way, that wetland easement in 2004 was before Brad Lofton was hired in 2006 to be executive director of VLCIA, so the very peculiar history of this bit of land can’t all be blamed on him. The appointed Industrial Authority board and the elected Lowndes County Commission and Valdosta City Council are all also involved.


Valdosta Mayor and Council are implicated in the private prison —John S. Quarterman @ VCC 2012 02 23

Valdosta City Council and Mayor, who may not have been following the private prison issue, now know about it and are aware that they are all implicated in the private prison decision, due to events at the Industrial Authority board meeting and the Valdosta City Council meeting, both Thursday 23 February 2012.

After remarking that I’d rather be talking about the additional solar panels recently installed on my farm workshop up here in the north end of the county, I recapped the case against a private prison and referred the Valdosta City Council to my LTE in the VDT of that morning (Thursday 23 February 2012). I remarked that I was disappointed the Industrial Authority hadn’t done anything to stop the prison at its meeting earlier that same day. Since they might be wondering what all this had to do with them, I pointed out that, if I could use the word, they were all implicated as mayor and council in the private prison decision because Jay Hollis, CCA’s Manager of Site Acquisition, in his Valdosta-Lowndes County, GA / CCA Partnership: Prepared Remarks of August 2010, lavishly praised the Lowndes County Commission and Chairman and the Valdosta City Council and mayor. Although the mayor was different now, and maybe some of the council, nonetheless it was the same offices of council and mayor, still implicated. I asked for their opinions on that subject. Per their custom, they did not offer any at that time. So, maybe we’ll hear from them later. Or maybe the Industrial Authority board will hear from them….

Here’s the video:

Valdosta Mayor and Council are implicated in the private prison —John S. Quarterman @ VCC 2012 02 23
VSEB, employment,
Regular Session, Valdosta City Council (VCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 23 February 2012.
Videos by George Boston Rhynes for K.V.C.I., the bostongbr on YouTube.


Crickets, or what the Industrial Authority didn’t say about the private prison

Silence speaks volumes. Your tax-supported Industrial Authority wants a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia.

After Tuesday’s conversation with VLCIA Executive Director Andrea Schruijer, I went to Thursday’s Industrial Authority board meeting expecting to hear something from the board about the private prison. What I heard:


The only thing a board member said about it was Chairman Roy Copeland reminding me that the board didn’t answer questions in Citizens Wishing to be Heard.

Earlier, Col. Rickets did say that the current contract with CCA for the private prison expires March 13th, and that meanwhile CCA can either request a third extension or CCA could send a Notice to Proceed (NTP) to VLCIA before March 13th. Remember, CCA has, according to the contract, CCA has

“absolute discretion”
for issuing that NTP.

Col. Ricketts added that in staff’s discussions with CCA, CCA had indicated they were mulling it over internally, and VLCIA should “stand by” for CCA’s next move.

That’s right, your local Industrial Authority, whose staff and land purchases are funded by your tax dollars, should stand by waiting for a private prison company to tell them what to do.

And the Industrial Authority board’s silence is an answer: they said nothing different from their previous vote for the contract to bring in this private prison; nothing different from their previous acceptance of the first and second option extensions; and nothing in objection to what Col. Ricketts said.

So your tax-supported Industrial Authority wants a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia.

Do you want that? Do you want a private prison with fewer guards per prisoner Continue reading

What kind of local government body gives a private company “absolute discretion”?

Continuing my response to Barbara Stratton’s post: if public-private partnerships are the aspect of private prisons that you oppose, by all means oppose them for that. Did you catch this part in VLCIA’s recent response?
CCA has absolute discretion in issuing or withholding the NTP.
What kind of local government body gives a private company “absolute discretion” on whether to proceed with a project? What happened to those appointed officials’ own discretion as to the appropriateness of a project for the community? What if their due diligence turns up something unacceptable? For example, that CCA told Decatur County that both Lowndes and Decatur are getting a private prison (one state and one federal), so the guff CCA told VLCIA about Lowndes being the primary site was disingenuous at best. How about if CCA has already breached the contract by not supplying a required document? How about if VLCIA receives convincing arguments from the community that a private prison is a bad business deal?

Indeed, disaster capitalism or the shock doctrine is nothing like the capitalism Adam Smith recommended. The main point of the petition against CCA’s private prison in Lowndes County is that it’s a bad business deal: it wouldn’t save money; it wouldn’t increase employment; and it would be likely to close, leaving us all owing money.

Did the Valdosta City and Lowndes County elected governments appoint these people to abdicate their authority to a private company? Maybe they did, since those elected officials are in cahoots on this deal. CCA lauded them all for their support after VLCIA signed the contract with that “absolute discretion” language in it. Does that seem right to you?

Florida has just demonstrated that people of all parties can join together successfully to oppose prison privatization. Let’s do that right here in Lowndes County and stop the private prison!


The good old boy system, legalized, subsidized, & on steroids —Barbara Stratton

Received yesterday on CCA offers to buy prisons from 48 states. -jsq
As always, LAKE is doing a fantastic job of uncovering the shadows. However, please note there is a difference in capatalism & crony capitalism. Liberals have their fair share of the crony variety also AKA Soros & Monsanto, GM,etc. Free enterprise & capitalism is why our borders are being crossed legally & illegally, but crony capitalism will destroy us. If the government chooses to privatize there should be clear total delineation between them & the private business, not fascist public/private partnerships like CCA is courting. We need to resist P3s totally, but they are being welcomed with multi grant incentives & blessings of the Dept of Community Development & its Chamber of Commerce conduits. We are on the same team always for transparency in government & we can be on the same team against CCA if we focus on fighting the 3P concept.

Just a reminder, I used to work for CCA & I still love to see bad men in shackles (emphasis on bad). I don’t share most of what I call simplistic liberal views on prison reform, but I am certainly with you against crony capitalism especially the public/private partnership variety. As I’ve said before they are just the good old boy system, legalized, subsidized, & on steroids.

-Barbara Stratton


Thanks for the compliments, and we’re going to get you carrying a camera yet…. See next post for the rest of my response.