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Federal Elections Commission sued for Trump profiting from GEO Group

Law and Crime reported on January 10 that the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a lawsuit against the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for delaying enforcement of federal law in favor of private prison companies. The lawsuit alleges that the FEC has allowed private prison company GEO Group to contribute to the pro-Trump Super PAC against “the 75-year-old prohibition on government contractors making political contributions.”

During the 2016 general election, GEO Group contributed $225,000 in funding to the Super PAC. Following the election, the Trump administration then reversed the Obama administration’s decision to phase out private prisons. In April 2017, the administration granted its first contract to GEO Group in the amount of $110 million to build and administer a new detention center in Conroe, Texas.

The article quoted Brendan Fischer from the Campaign Legal Center: “If the FEC doesn’t enforce the 75-year-old contractor contribution ban against companies like GEO Group, then taxpayer-funded contracts become an obvious way for politicians to reward their deep-pocketed campaign supporters. As the FEC continues to delay taking action, GEO continues buying influence with illegal contributions. With the 2018 elections quickly approaching, the FEC must make clear that private prison companies and other contractors cannot expect to violate the law and get away with it.”

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Bloomberg News reported back in February 2017 that GEO Group donated to the Trump campaign following the Obama administration’s announcement that it would phase out private prisons. “GEO’s stock plunged 40 percent on that news,” Bloomberg stated. “The stock shot back up after the election of Trump, who made campaign statements supporting private prisons.”

CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA) also donated $250,000 to Trump’s campaign. Private prison companies have also been known to hire well-paid lobbyists to influence Texas legislation and donate to state campaigns.

 

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