Marco Rubio Is Being Funded by Private For-Profit Prisons

May 7, 2015   |   S.m. Gibson

SM Gibson
May 7, 2015

(ANTIMEDIAEveryone’s favorite water-guzzling Republican, Marco Rubio, wants to be the next President of the United States. And as all campaigns typically go, politicians need money to get noticed.

Big Pharma, oil corporations, bankers and the gun lobby are notorious for wielding their checkbooks to buy influence in Washington. The script is no conspiracy at this point. Wealthy companies target a Brooks Brother’s suit-wearing panhandler attempting to claw their way to the top of the political food chain. Cash is exchanged, and alliances are made.

One rising player in the game of buying and selling politicians is surprisingly going unnoticed: the private, for-profit prison industry. While one can only assume that it is not by accident that these companies and their contributions are flying under the general public’s radar, we as a people need to place a media tracking device on the activities of these professional jailers.

GEO and Corrections Corporation of America are the two largest for-profit prison companies in the United States. These companies, along with their peers, have dished out more than $10 million to political campaigns since 1989 and almost $25 million has been spent on lobbying efforts. What has this expense bought the prison industry? Apparently, it has purchased quite a bit. These private businesses generate $3.3 billion in annual revenue, and their market share has skyrocketed.

Private prisons make money by keeping people locked up behind their concrete walls. Politicians assist in passing laws. The more laws that are on the books, the more criminals that are created. The more criminals that exist, the more money a private prison can accumulate. The more money a lobbyist has at his disposal, the more money a politician can receive. As anyone can piece together, this process describes the vicious cycle of corruption that currently plagues Washington. While this unscrupulous financial merry go round benefits the parties involved, it is the innocent person on the street who suffers.

The private federal prison population more than doubled between 2000 and 2010. Nearly half of the immigrants in prison are currently housed in the cells of private companies. That number was roughly 25% a decade ago. There are approximately 130 private prisons currently operating in the United States.

Marco Rubio, the US Senator from the state of Florida and current presidential candidate, is a direct beneficiary of the racket that is the private prison system in the United States. In fact, Rubio is the US Senate’s top career recipient of contributions from previously mentioned GEO, the country’s second-largest for-profit prison company. GEO has put nearly $40,000 in Rubio’s campaign fund and given another $2 million to the Republican Party of Florida, Rubio’s home state. The prison company and current Senator have been in bed together going all the way back to when Rubio served as the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. While leading the House, GEO was awarded a state government contract for a $110 million facility. It was not long after that when Rubio hired an economic consultant who just so happened to be a former trustee of a GEO real estate trust. It should also be noted that GEO Group’s co-founder and chief executive, George Zoley, has personally donated $6,480 to Rubio since 2009.

After Rubio was elected to the US Senate in 2010, he appointed Cesar Conda as his chief of staff. Conda, who is a professional lobbyist by trade, is the co-founder of a company called Navigators Global. By what could be no coincidence, it just so happens that Navigators Global is GEO’s principle lobbying firm. Even after Conda joined Rubio’s staff in 2011, the lobbyist still accepted payments of $150,000 from his former employer. In 2014, the chief of staff took a leadership position in Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC as a senior adviser. Unsurprisingly, GEO became a top-10 financial donor to the PAC, contributing $16,000 in 2014.

No matter how many Fox News pundits or even Rubio himself stays silent on the subject, the facts dictate that the junior Senator from Florida is a stooge for the private prison industry.

And this isn’t the first time that for-profit prisons have been caught buying government officials. In 2011, a Pennsylvania judge was sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiring with private prison executives to jail teens with maximum sentences in exchange for accepting $1 million in bribes.

Do you believe that Rubio was elected by his constituents to serve the people of Florida, or a corporation that profits by imprisoning those same voters?

Floridians may have been duped into voting for this swarthy charlatan, but an entire nation cannot afford to be seduced by such a two-faced frontman for oppression.

It’s ok though. Rubio says that he stands for the American people.

Nothing to see here, keep moving along.


This article (Marco Rubio Is Being Funded by Private For-Profit Prisons) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune in! The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos: edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: S.m. Gibson

SM Gibson joined Anti-Media in December of 2012. He currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was born and raised.

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48 Comments

  1. Those who listen altern rock music remember "Sysem of a Down",there's a sonf speaking about that,if anyone sees red in this must be because they have conjunctivitis,when one isn't able to see how the establishment falls down to pieces;the general loss of Morals and Ethics;family has become a concept frok jurasic age,no do not think red but rather black,totally….

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  2. Terrible journalism, if you can even call it that. While I don't like private prison companies or support them, I don't see the point of this article. Except to be a completely biased smear piece against Mr. Rubio, which by the way, has done nothing illegal nor unethical. And the last time that I checked Private Prison companies were legal tax paying corporations just like GM, EXXON or any local grocery chain. Publishing this was a very poor decision and the writer is of such low caliber that he should be considered a hack. I expected better quality and objectiveness from this site.

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  3. You don't have a problem with companies making profit from caging folks. Fuck Off! You are the problem!

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  4. its not terrible journalism. Rubio will be beholden to a system which profits from more people being in jail

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  5. Anna Senter Welcome to the real world. All Politiciansn of both parties are beholden to someone. If that is news to you, then you are in for a lot of disappointment in your life.

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  6. Mathew Rakocija I don't think anyone is questioning how private prisons make their money. That seems to be pretty obvious. But do you know what it also is? LEGAL. So my point stands. What has Mr. Rubio done that is illegal or unethical. And the answer is…NOT a thing. So I stand by my original statement that this article is an extremely poorly written smear piece. No one with more than two brain cells would be enlightened or would change their opinion after reading this journalistic schlok. I have pooped stuff that is better to look at than this article.

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  7. By Simon McCormackPosted: 01/06/2014
    We are living in boom times for the private prison industry. The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation's largest owner of private prisons, has seen its revenue climb by more than 500 percent in the last two decades. And CCA wants to get much, much bigger: Last year, the company made an offer to 48 governors to buy and operate their state-funded prisons. But what made CCA's pitch to those governors so audacious and shocking was that it included a so-called occupancy requirement, a clause demanding the state keep those newly privatized prisons at least 90 percent full at all times, regardless of whether crime was rising or falling

    NO prisons should be "For-Profit" Corporate institutions. Don't care what the arguments are, about how "Privatizing is Better", blah blah woof woof – it is a wide-open doorway to EVIL – to corruption, abuse, and morally bankrupt treatment of human beings, IN THE NAME OF PROFIT.

    The State (or Feds) that convicts people of crimes, and incarcerates them, bears the responsibility for the well-being and proper handling of those inmates. If they are truly violent, unmanageable people, the State has to restrain them sufficiently, to protect society. For NON-violent offenders, such as drug possession & use, Rehabilitation of prisoners should be a priority. Prisons should not be taking in flawed, troubled people, then making them worse, then releasing them upon the public. IT IS THE STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY, to see to it that this is done correctly.

    Privatization of PRISON this is WRONG. It guarantees that Profit will be the sole motivation, it guarantees that prisons, judges, shareholders, and officers of the law ENSURE that the prisons remain full to Capacity (or more) at all times. Totally wrong!!! Turn away from this, America. Demand an end to it, immediately. This is nothing more than a form of slavery ment to make money off ones misery

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  8. You my friend get the internet troll of the day award because you CAN NOT be serious right now…You seriously don't see anything wrong with a politician who makes LAWS that directly or indirectly put people in prison, taking money from albeit LEGAL companies that just happen to be prisons…Yeah, he's pulling our chain guys, relax…He's trolling us..lol It may be 'legal' but it surely is unethical…

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  9. Well, let's see now. First, prison industries make their money by getting contracts from the government. Your local grocery store probably doesn't. Your comparison with EXXON was probably more accurate, since Big Oil gets a huge windfall tax break from the same folks they fund into office. Now, has he done anything "illegal?" Quite possibly not. Unethical? Technically perhaps not, but the idea that you accept donations from companies that then benefit from laws and contracts that you oversee and create looks pretty unethical to anyone with any real sense of ethics. Now, of course, you may not see any problems with that at all. Sadly there are too many of your ilk.

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  10. Dear Stephen, I'm glad you think you're such a great writer, hopefully you will have lots of success writing fiction in the future. However, this article is about ETHICS, as long as you don't understand that of course it will appear to be a piece of garbage and I'm sure you have shat out your own ethics before.

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  11. Yessss!!! Unfortunately many die hard republicans will simply disregard this as bs but if it helps 1 person open their eyes to all the corruption, it's worth it

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  12. You may believe that the business itself is morally reprehensible and that is fine because morals are a subjective set of values that are different with each person and in every society. However, in THIS country the private prison industry is a legal business that is provides goods and services to the government and to communities by housing, feeding and detaining inmates at a cheaper and more effiecient cost than the government can do it themselves. I mean, let's just admit the truth. The govt runs everything poorly. Look at the people who work for the govt. Puh-lease! Govt employment is for people who can't work in the real world, because no one will hire them, because they aren't exactly the cream of the crop, are they?
    Personally, I don't like the concept of private prisons, BUT they have the same right as any other company or group of people to give to whatever candidate that they so choose. And Mr Rubio surely isn't doing anything illegal or unethical by taking a campaign contribution from them. And while you are all on your ETHICAL HIGH HORSES you might want to look at a politician that is accepting her donations from a lot of sources that are far worse, ie. foreign govts, terrorist organizations, human rights abusers and yes, even from the private prison industry.
    And her donations aren't even legal or ethical. But I guess that is how you raise 2 1/2 BILLION dollars to run a coranation campaign.

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  13. Mathew Rakocija Duh!! Our tax dollars! Now doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy. They also use the inmates for work for large corporations and probably get a kickback on that. Plus states have to sign a contract saying they will keep at least 90% full beds. Then the mandatory long sentences come into play. Maybe judges and prosecutors are getting kickbacks. See the circle of corruption here?

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  14. Sorry, Darlene, but it is glaringly obvious that you and all of the others who have posted here today have never been in prison and have no idea what you are talking about. It is apparent that you are just parroting what someone else has told you. I spent 5 years in prison in Huntsville, so I know for which I speak. Anyone who has ever been incarcerated would do anything to be transferred to a privately run prison. They were cleaner. They fed better. They treated you more humanely. And they did it for LESS tax dollars than the govt. did. All of the arguments that you and other sited are true. BUT they are true about the govt run prisons. They are rife with MASSIVE corruption from top to bottom. All of the rules and regulations that they require of the private prisons are completely ignored in state run prisons. And the food that isn't stolen by the guards is horrible. The clothes are literal rags and the facilities are freezers in the winter and ovens in the summer. Guards don't do anything. That is when they decide to come to work. And money for the prison is stolen or misappropriated daily. State parole boards are run by the Dept. of Prisons, not the judicial branch, so they keep prisons filled artificially high just so that they can maintain and support the government employees that "work" for the prison system. In 1990 the prison population in Texas was 40,000. In 2010, it was 170,000. Do you think that Texas had a 400% increase in crime? No, what they had was a massive prison building program. Texas has 112 prisons, of which only 2-3 are privately run. California, a state with twice the population has only 33. Texas Dept of Crimanal Justice employees 26,400 employees. And the abuse of prisoners is unbelievable. The guards beat and kill inmates on a regular basis. I personally witnessed more than a dozen murders at the hands of guards. And not a single guard was ever prosecuted or even disciplined for any of them. So all of you might want to think about what is really unethical and find out some facts before you spout off like little dilitants. Because all of your so called help only get real people hurt and killed. Start finding out the real problems are put your efforts there, because there isn't an inmate any where that wouldn't give anything to go to a private prison over a government one.

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  15. The two parties are quite different, and Democrats don't support locking up as many people as possible for the corporations profit – only the Republicans do that. In fact everything the Republican politicians do is for the benefit of the corporations, meaning the CEOs and top 1%. Vote Democratic if you want to see the middle class survive and thrive. We can no longer suffer as a nation at the cruel hands of the corporations.

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  16. I think the term "swarthy" is a reference to his pirate ways and is a perfectly apt description.

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  17. There is no difference at all between the two parties. They are exactly the same. They are both controlled and run by the same billionaires. They only put on this kibuki show every four years in order to give the illusion of diversity. But the truth is they all support the same companies and the same interests. Because if people didn't have a fictitious villian to keep them occupied then they would see the truth. All of the billionairs and bankers, politicians, etc…all own and have financial interest in all of the same corporations. Because you don't amass, retain or accumulate more money if you don't invest and diversify into all things. And if they were truly different then they would get things done and make real changes, but it isn't in their interest to do so. They keep people divided and fighting each other as they continue to let you voluntarily make them richer.

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  18. In developed countries worldwide, between 100 and 175 people per 100,000 population are in prison. In the US, by contrast, 6-700 are imprisoned. This tells me that America is putting 3-4 times as many people in prison as necessary. Whether in for profit prisons or not, that means the taxpayer is paying four times more than need be. That a big chunk of this goes to private players, who have no motivation to rehabilitate their cash-cow prisoners, is simply adding insult to injury.

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  19. Just another asshat that has no clue. They already tried this and it doesn't work.

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  20. stephen phillips, private prisons are no better than state run prisons, I have never lived in prison, but I have visited, the food is disgusting, the guards are private citizens, with maybe one or two state C.O's, depending on the size of the population, therefore, creating, a safety factor, the private gaurds can only call the c.o.'s if violence breaks out . They lack training. Any person or corporation that profits by incarcerating people should not be leaders of this country, just my opinion.

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  21. Good to know Stephen. Thanks for the info. I think my main concern is obstruction of justice to keep prisons occupied and maintaining humane treatment.

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  22. If your idea of keeping a man locked up for 33 years, as many and most likely claim innocence this man was actually innocent! DNA cleared him of all charges! And he had neverveven got a triffic ticket!! This is just ONE PERSON! Private prisons don't want to know this! Prison is a business it should not be it should be a place of punishment and reform. Disney is a business great for them and their stock holders BUT NOT FOR PRISONS!

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  23. it is about the ETHICAL and MORAL responsibility that Rubio is totally lacking in his willingness to saddle up the the proponents of the New American Slave Trade

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  24. This is pure bull sh__t at it's best. Only a dumb ass would believe in this crap. Get a grip demo's.

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  25. How much you want to bet that the private prison companies are run better than prisons run by the government, and they do it by making a profit.

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  26. And I suppose tomorrow we'll be seeing your scathing coverage of the contributions, bribes, and buy offs received by the Clintons and their foundation while Hillary was SOS…. at least pretend to try and be real reporter!

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  27. And so what is your response to Marco? Hillary? Probably one of the most corrupt politicians outthere with more scandals then you can count, but let's forget that and pick on Marco, liberals are so hypocritical I can even imagine how you look in the mirror, always calling out the conservatives but forever hiding the skeletons of your own. The thing that I like is the liberal insist they are the moral ones, they are the ones always doing the name calling, racist, bigot, white privilege, the list of monikers they spew never ends but then you start picking apart their lies and the people that they back and you find a deeper corruption and deception then anyone can imagine, "Oh I thought I would only use one device", "Really at this point what does it matter". "Oh I deleted the emails, they were all personal", and lets's not forget Chinagate in the 90's, the Travelgate Scandal, Vince Foster who's death in connection with Travelgate is a mystery, Whitewater, Cattle Futures, Lootergate, Donations from the Drug Cartel leader Jorge Cabrera, Benghazi, and the current Clinton Foundation questions but yes let's look at little Marco, you guys are pitiful, mean angry spiteful liberals, where the end always justifies the means.

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  28. Except if you look up corporations like Exxon, GE, Boeing, we the tax payers actually pay them. They pay no federal tax's. We subsidize them.

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  29. No response from Fox News, I can't believe it, fair & balance ,O' Reilly why don't you send your boy Jesse Watters to investigate

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  30. Kody MacDermott Out of the abundance of your heart, speaks your tongue. Who doesn't accept questionable contributions. Make me a list please. Trump? Who else has accepted from this mess? Names please. You?

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  31. I would take that bet. They are run better. They do make a profit. BUT they cost LESS! So, let's recap. I have seen many sincere people respond that just because a company make a profit we should close them down so that we can continue with poorly run govt prison that are much more expensive, rife with extreme abuses and massive corruption in facilities that are barbaric and shitty for the prisoners just because it would make some dilettantes feel better when they are standing around the plight of the underclass as they sip champagne. Okay, got it.

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  32. lol they already did a article on her
    http://theantimedia.org/crony-hillary-clinton/
    Liberals don't like Hilary either lol. She's not even really considered a Democrat, more like a moderate Republican. the entire GOP are heavily influenced by corporate lobbyist. just the Wilks brother gave $15million to Ted Cruz alone. Trump even called out the entire GOP on having corporate lobbyist represent them. Honestly Trump is the only candidate not taking money big corporations. also the leading on GOP. He's pretty straight forward and funny guy. But that's not the qualification of being POTUS lol. He has no idea what he's doing. Has no experience in politics. He doesn't understand any domestic or foreign policy. He even said it himself, he said he would learn some of the policies along the way. And he even went 180 on a bunch of issues already. So Trump is a gamble.
    You want to end all of this corruption through Corporate lobbying, private prisons, TPP. someone who knows what he's doing and is consistant. Bernie Sanders is the man.

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  33. just wanted to add some things since you mentioned them.
    for Private Prison industires. Ever heard of Kids For Cash scandal involving them bribing a judge with kickbacks to jail kids? So I wonder what good they could possibly be up to lobbying for Hillary and Rubio.
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/23/pennsylvania.corrupt.judges/

    and GM. recently had a case with 124 and counting deaths because of knowingly producing cars with faulty ignition switches. they paid a $900million dollar settlement and avoided any jail time. also not long before this we bailed them out with $10.6 billion taxpayer money.

    Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who has been consistent on his words from the beginning and only candidate who has proposed to end privatized prisons, citizens united and tpp. which are the major players into all this corporate corruption.

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  34. Sam Than Back when I wrote that which was in May here approval was over 60% of democrats and she is still getting like 40% so even now with even more scandal since I wrote that, they still haven't completely deserted her, 40% is still a sizable chunk

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