August 14, 2010

Rachel Maddow followed up with KPHO's Morgan Loew on Arizona's private prison industry and on the sponsor of SB1070, Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce, who's lobbying ties run even deeper than those of their Governor Jan Brewer. An article by In These Times summed up why as Rachel noted these Arizona pols are pushing the anti-immigrant hysteria even though it is not a very smart political strategy in the long term for the Republican Party. It's a Corporate Con Game:

Yet the fact is, some backers of S.B. 1070 are wrapping themselves in the flag all the way to the bank.

An In These Times investigation shows that the bill’s promoters are as equally dedicated to border politics as they are to promoting the fortunes of private prison companies, like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Geo Group, which stand to reap substantial profits as more undocumented residents end up in jail.

As Loew reported back in May, here are Pearce's plans for legislation he wants to try to push through next year.

'Anchor Babies' Could Be Ariz.'s Next Target:

E-mails to and from Ariz.state Sen. Russell Pearce reveal the immigration enforcement debate may not stop with SB 1070, the controversial immigration law.

Pearce, R-Mesa, the author of Arizona’s immigration law, has been writing to some of his constituents about what he plans to accomplish next.

In e-mails obtained by CBS 5 News, Pearce said he intends to push for a bill that would enable Arizona to no longer grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants born on U.S. soil.

Pearce wrote in one e-mail: "I also intend to push for an Arizona bill that would refuse to accept or issue a birth certificate that recognizes citizenship to those born to illegal aliens, unless one parent is a citizen."

CBS 5 Investigates looked through hundreds of e-mails Pearce had sent to constituents and some of their replies. The e-mails varied from praise to criticism and outlined Pearce’s future plans. Most were about SB 1070, his immigration law.

E-mails from the law’s supporters outnumbered those from critics by seven to one.

One supporter wrote, "I think it is about time we take our state and country back from the Mexicans."

One opponent wrote, "Mr. Pearce, you are a sick, racist bigot..."

Pearce replied to some opponents: "Do you not care about the deaths…maimings…billions in cost to America..."

One of the more remarkable e-mails sent to a list of supporters detailed his next steps. The e-mail, several pages long, includes articles critical of the 14th Amendment, which gives babies born on U.S. soil automatic citizenship.

One of the e-mails written by someone else but forwarded by Pearce reads: "If we are going to have an effect on the anchor baby racket, we need to target the mother. Call it sexist, but that's the way nature made it. Men don't drop anchor babies, illegal alien mothers do."

Lovely. What a guy. You can read the rest of the emails here. As the article said Pearce didn't seem to understand why anyone might be offended by that language. But then that's about what I'd expect from someone who's been palling around with Neo-Nazis. In These Times has a really great article with more on his lobbyist ties here.

Ties That Bind: Arizona Politicians and the Private Prison Industry

Go read the whole thing but I wanted to share this chart from that article here. The picture pretty much says it all. It's all about money and lining their pockets, but then what else is new? Fear mongering always seems to pay well for the ones monopolizing off of the fear whether it be wars or the prison industrial complex.


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