Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame – every Wednesday we’ll be highlighting the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.
Rarely do we have the opportunity to induct a husband and wife team into the Hump Day Hall of Shame. Paul Senseman, formerly Governor Jan Brewer’s Chief of staff and his wife Kathryn (Kathy), a lobbyist for the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), offer us such an opportunity.
Private prisons are thriving in Arizona - The Senseman lobbying is paying off for CCA in Arizona. A 2010 report in the Phoenix New Times News reports that CCA gets $11 million a month for inmates in the company's Arizona facilities. CCA’s profits are boosted by SB1070, drafted by ALEC (and private prison corporations). SB1070 positively affects CCA’s bottom line – more arrests, more detention beds, more profit for the private prison and detention industry.
Attorney General Terry Goddard accused Governor Brewer of increasing the potential for more prison escapes by favoring for-profit prisons over state-run prisons. He called for a moratorium on putting violent criminals in private facilities after the infamous Kingman escape, Brewer’s spokesperson Paul Senseman said: “His criticisms are little more than an irresponsible stunt attempting to score political points off of a terrible tragedy.”
The terrible tragedy he refers to was the murder of Linda and Gary Haas, high school sweethearts married for forty years, who were kidnapped, murdered and burned by two escapees from the privately operated Kingman prison in Arizona. For the record, Arizona pays the Kingman facility, Management and Training Corporation (MTC) $62.16 per inmate per day or, between $64 million and $79 million a year depending on capacity.
Together, the Senseman’s are a formidable team with connections and relationships within Arizona’s highest levels of political power. Their record, in government and in influence-peddling, is extraordinary. Lets keep our eye on this power couple.