Welcome to The Hump Day 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.
For today's Humpday Hall of Shame, we go back to New Hampshire to look at who is being paid to push private prisons in the "Live Free or Die State." They include the current mayor of Concord and several well-connected lobbyists.
According the New Hampshire Business Review, the current Request for Proposals to privatize the state's entire prison system would reach historic proportions:
"Will New Hampshire become the first state in the nation to hand over its entire prison population to a corporation based out of state? And is it in the middle of doing so right now? The New Hampshire Department of Corrections has put out a request for proposal that would essentially hand over the keys to a future penitentiary to an outside contractor for 20 years. Though the RFP still has to clear several hurdles, four companies have responded with plans to build, and probably run, a new prison for all of New Hampshire's male (and perhaps female) inmates." ("Proposal under review would put all New Hampshire prisoners in private, for-profit facilities -- the first state to do so," April 6)
The four companies include industry heavy-hitters Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group, and Management and Training Corporation (MTC) along with industry newcomer Hunt Justice Group. We decided to look at the lobbyists for these companies in New Hampshire.
According to the New Hampshire Secretary of State, GEO Group has enlisted the services of Michael Dennehy and Jim Bouley of the well-connected political firm Dennehy and Bouley . Jim Bouley is the current mayor of Concord, N.H.'s capital. Dennehy is the former Executive Director of the N.H. Republican Party and has worked with former N.H. governors Stephen Merrill and Craig Benson.
Corrections Corporation of America has four lobbyists in its employ - Glenn A. Wallace, Gina R. Rotondi, David G. Collins, and Brendan S. Perry - from the Rath, Young, and Pignatelli. The firm brags about its government connections, with members including a former N.H. Attorney General, former Legislative Counsel to a N.H. Governor, and an elected member of the N.H. House.
Management & Training Corporation has hired Bruce Berke, Erle Pierce, and Elizabeth Murphy of the Sheehan Phinney Capitol Group.
We'll keep you posted as the fight over prison privatization in New Hampshire heats up.