corruption

Private prisons not saving us money – so why do we still have them?

So how much money are we saving by having private companies run state and federal prisons?

None. In fact, recent investigations by the Arizona Republic, the Associated Press and prison watchdog groups, the American Friends Service Committee and The Sentencing Project, have shown private prisons are actually costing taxpayers more money than if the government ran the prisons.

And the government knows it. According to the Associated Press’s report earlier this month about federal incarceration of illegal immigrants, federal agencies, namely Homeland Security, have admitted private prisons cost more to operate and no longer use cost savings as the primary factor in awarding prison contracts.

And this year the Arizona Legislature, in the appropriation for a new prison, specifically exempted companies bidding on the contract from having to comply with a state law requiring a private operator demonstrate cost savings.

So if private prisons aren’t saving taxpayers any money why do we have them? What’s the point?

There is a lot more than this in the article from the Tuscon Citizen.com  Please click here to link to the article.

Third IRS Whistleblower Complaint Brought Against American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

BREAKING NEWS FROM VLTP –

Earlier this year two complaints were filed against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by Common Cause and Clergy Voice, alleging major violations of IRS Code lobbying prohibitions committed by ALEC, a “charity” which enjoys a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status with the IRS.

ALEC claims their activities are all related to educating lawmakers and that none are related to lobbying for or against legislation or a particular candidate.  Nearly all of their activities, however, appear to be directly related to creating thousands of pieces of model legislation and lobbying for passage of each one in most U.S. states.  ALEC openly boasts a success rate of 17% of “their” model legislation becoming law.

The first two complaints address issues of lobbying and soliciting contributions from corporations, businesses and other organizations.  The contributions are then used to reimburse ALEC state legislative members for their travel, lodging and incidental expenses related to attending any of ALEC’s three annual events (Summits or Meetings).  The money is requested by ALEC’s state chairmen and when received they forward the funds to ALEC to “hold” until an event is concluded.  Then state legislators submit requests for reimbursement for the costs of their attending, and ALEC disburses the held funds.

A third issue involves state lawmakers strategizing with corporate lobbyists or representatives at these annual meetings to develop proposed legislation in one or more of nine (9) ALEC task forces.  Once adopted by ALEC these model bills are sent back to states with ALEC members who are required by ALEC’s by-laws to ensure introduction of any legislation adopted by ALEC.

The Voters Legislative Transparency Project (VLTP), Inc. filed a third complaint and in it reports that it concurs with and supports the allegations put forth in both of the now pending complaints.

Obamacare Decision: Supreme Court Upholds Individual Mandate, Major Victory for Obama and America

From Policymic by Chris Miles

“In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the individual mandate and declare Obamacare legal.

“The decision is complicated and we are reading it now, but the bottom line is the entire ACA was upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds was narrowly read. Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberal majority and declared the individual mandate constitutional as a tax.”

This decision by the SCOTUS is an important one for all Americans, but especially for those of us who have been exposing ALEC.  The featured photo accompanying this article is of the cover page of the ALEC SCOTUS “Amicus Brief” filed with the court supporting the GOP pursuit of overturning the Affordable Patient Care Act (ACA).  An aspect of this case that many are unaware of is that when Candidate Obama announced his platform as President would be to pass universal healthcare, ALEC immediately went to work crafting legislation to prevent it.  They openly lobbied against it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmcfocz9ld4&feature=player_detailpage back in October 2007.  They have spent tons of money, time and effort into opposing and pushing for the ACA to be overturned.  When it was obvious it would pass in Congress ALEC worked to get the best deal for their insurance and pharma members.

In an upcoming segment on ALEC, VLTP will be exposing dozens of such briefs filed by ALEC and their Koch funded cabal in key cases over the past decade.

Read the full article at PolicyMic here