Wednesday, October 28, 2015

BREAKING: Controversial Private Prison Bid-Winner Contributed To Multiple Groups Campaigning For Governor Ducey, Including $200,000 To RGA

The Arizona Republic's Craig Harris has a thorough article about Governor Doug Ducey awarding the new private prison contract for the state prison in Kingman to The GEO Group. Among the sexual harassment claims against it, Harris details the company's support to Ducey's 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

However, in addition to the $2,000 given directly to Ducey's campaign and $50,000 to the non-dark money Conservative Leadership for Arizona supporting Ducey, The GEO Group also has contributed $200,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which ended up spending $5.2 Million on the Ducey election.

More than half of that $200,000 - $125,000 - was given to the RGA's 527 committee on March 11 of this year.  That is two months before the inmate riots at the prison in Kingman.  The other $75,000 was given in September ($50,000) and earlier in 2014.

While not all of the contributions to the RGA necessarily went to Arizona's election, as the money is fungible and moved around, the RGA did end up receiving many Arizona-based contributions during the campaign (including $50,000 from APS).  The RGA 527 spotted the RGA Arizona PAC with $500,000.

The GEO Group is also a member of the RGA's secretive Republican Governors Public Policy Committee, which came out accidentally during last year's campaign.

For reference purposes, The GEO Group DID contribute to the Democratic Governors Association.  During the same period it gave $200,000.00 to the RGA, it gave $350.00 to the DGA.

The Republic article also brings to light the question of how much money The GEO Group may have spent supporting the Ducey campaign through dark money channels. Some $15 Million from dark money sources was spent in Arizona during the 2014 campaign, a good chunk of it in the Governor's race.

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