(Warning: source link contains gross pop-up ads. You may prefer the Instapaper-formatted version.)
Quoting from the above:
On a recent Friday afternoon, with budget negotiations winding down, Arizona state representative John Kavanagh was racing against the clock. His position as House Appropriations Chairman afforded him the opportunity to stuff whatever minor extra provisions he wanted into the budget before it went to a vote the following Monday, and he only had a few hours left to do it.
What was Kavanagh frantically trying to accomplish for his constituents at the last minute? Extra funding for education, since Arizona spends less on educating its children than all but three states? No, Rep. John Kavanagh was trying to secure an extra $900,000 gift for the GEO Group, the billion-dollar private prison corporation whose state lobbyists came to him at the last second begging with upturned hats. The $45 million already earmarked for the maintenance of low- and medium-security facilities wasn’t enough, they said.
The Arizona Department of Corrections didn’t ask for the extra money, nor did anybody push for the prison funds to be included in the Senate budget.
“This came out of nowhere — I mean that,” Arizona House Minority Leader Chad Campbell told the Arizona Republic. “No one said a word about it. It wasn’t in the Senate budget, it didn’t come as a request from DOC. There’s something really shady here.”
For Kavanagh, there was nothing shady about sweetening the deal with nearly a million extra dollars. On the contrary, he says, it was a moral imperative.
“If somebody cuts you a smoking deal and helps you when you’re down, and you get more money back, I think you morally have a responsibility to increase the payments,” Kavanagh told the Arizona Republic in a taped interview the following Monday.
A moral responsibility to help a private company which was already being paid $45 million.
It actually gets worse:
Arizona is one of four states (along with Virginia, Oklahoma and Louisiana) in which state governments are bound to contracts guaranteeing a 95%-100% occupancy in facilities leased by private prisons.
Think. About. That. They are obligated to keep the prisons full.
Matthew 25:31-46 (New Revised Standard Version)
(31) “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. (32) All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, (33) and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. (34) Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; (35) for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, (36) I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ (37) Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? (38) And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? (39) And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ (40) And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,) you did it to me.’ (41) Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; (42) for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, (43) I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ (44) Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ (45) Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ (46) And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
TL;DR: “Dear Arizona state representative John Kavanagh and everyone else who allows this to happen: Jesus says He hopes that you enjoy the eternal fire of hell.”
The rest of the article is well worth your time. I couldn’t bear to quote any more of it.