Welcome to the Humpday Hall of Shame – every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.
With the political world buzzing with Iowa caucus results, we thought we'd explore which Republican presidential candidates had received campaign contributions from private prison corporations. See what we found after the jump, via data obtained at TransparancyData.com.
Mitt Romney: The winner of the Iowa caucus received $5,000 in donations from GEO Group in 2011. In 2007, Romney received $5,600 in the course of two months from CCA executives including Gus Puryear and Tom Beasley.
Rick Santorum: Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Iowa's second place finisher, has not reported any private prison contributions in this campaign thus far. However, Santorum received a $1,000 contribution in 1999 from Norman Cox, at the time a CCA employee who had previously founded Cornell Corrections and who later went on to work at GEO Group, and a $500 donation from Cornell executive Harry Phillips in 2006. Santorum also received a $500 donation from MTC in 2006.
Rick Perry: The Texas governor hasn't reported any private prison contributions this election cycle, but has received at least $40,000 from private prison corporations in previous elections. He received total of $10,000 from GEO Group in 2009 and 2010 for his gubernatorial campaign, and $4,000 in 2002 from the company (then called Wackenhut Corrections) back in 2002. Perry received a total of $25,000 from CCA and its executives between 2001 and 2006. He also received $2,000 from Management and Training Corporation back in 1998.
Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Michelle Bachman did not report any contributions from private prison corporations. However, it should be noted that Super PACs supporting the candidates haven't reported recent contributions, so that could very well change.