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CCA releases their 2010 first quarter federal lobbying expenditures

Corrections Corporation federal lobbying figures were recently released for the first quarter of 2010, and CCA was reported to have spent a quarter of a million dollars this quarter alone. According to Forbes (Associated Press, "Corrections Corp. spent $250,000 on 1Q lobbying," May 13, 2010):

The company reported lobbying officials on provisions in a Homeland Security funding bill dealing with immigration detentions. It also lobbied on Justice Department funding related to private prisons.

Corrections Corp. also lobbied on a bill by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, to require private prison operators to comply with open-records laws.  And it lobbied on a bill by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, to let states request the jamming of wireless signals in prisons. Federal law lets federal agencies jam phone signals, but doesn't extend that power to state or local agencies. Hutchison's bill passed the Senate last year but is stalled in the House...

...Corrections Corp. lobbied Congress, the Homeland Security Department and the Bureau of Prisons.

Source: OpenSecrets.orgAt this current rate of $250,000 in a quarter, CCA would continue their trend of spending around $1 million each year on Federal-level lobbying efforts. As this graphic from Open Secrets illustrates, CCA had a significant drop in lobbying expenditures around the time of the economic recession's start, and if the other three 2010 quarters play out like the first one, we can expect to see a similar number for this year. 

Another consistent factor withing the lobbying sphere is H.R. 1889. CCA has been lobbying against the Private Prison Information Act since 2007. This act, if passed, would subject private prisons to the same laws as public prisons with regards to the retrieval of federal information. This resolution is the same one mentioned in the Associated Press article, written just a few days ago.

I was interested to see if CCA's trend of the steady funding of Federal lobbying was also true on the Texas State level. What I found was a smaller effort to lobby Texas officials (the maximum value of contracts column refers to the total maximum payments given to the lobbyists via their contracts, and the lobbyist contracts column refers to the number of registered lobbyists in the State of Texas).

CompanyMax. Value of
Contracts in 2005
Lobbyist
Contracts
in 2005
Max. Value of
Contracts in 2007
Lobbyist
Contracts
in 2007
Max. Value of
Contracts in 2009
Lobbyist
Contracts
in 2009
CCA$180,0005$235,0006$49,0002

CCA went from six registered lobbyists in 2007 to two in 2009. However, as of the end of Q1 this year, CCA has three registered lobbyists -- whether this means we can expect 2010 to have higher lobby expenditures than the previous two years is purely speculative. I will keep an eye on it. What we can see, however, is that the focus of CCA is by and large on the Federal level contracts over the Texas State contracts. This makes sense, given the growing trend of immigrant detention and rising number of illegal immigrant detainees. Their biggest competitor, The GEO Group, has spoken directly about their intentions to move the majority of their focus into this realm, and it is likely CCA will do the same. 

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