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The GEO Group, Inc. Message Board

  • indian_cycle_buyer indian_cycle_buyer Jul 28, 2005 3:30 PM Flag

    'splain this, GEO fans!

    Privatizers should be better than privateers
    By HOWARD TROXLER, St. Petersburg Times Columnist 7/28/05
    I would be right curious to know how many crooks are doing time in Florida's prisons for cases that involve almost $13-million of somebody else's money.
    Such statistics are not kept. But I am bettin' there aren't too many $13-million cases sitting in the joint. Dope heads, stickup artists, burglars, a dime a dozen, sure. Guys who jacked a convenience store.
    On the other hand, the two private companies that run five of Florida's prisons were wrongfully paid an extra $13-million of taxpayer money to which they were not entitled, according to a new audit.
    Compared to your typical convenience-store job, this is a much bigger haul:
    � The state paid $4.5-million in salaries for vacant positions.
    � The state paid for $2.85-million worth of maintenance that wasn't done.
    � The state paid salary adjustments that didn't get to employees. No, wait, that one gets better. The state also paid $1.57-million in extra overhead to cover the "burden" of accepting such payments!
    Now, I keep using the words "the state," which is true, since this was done in your and my name by the Legislature. But the specific outfit was a five-member state board called the Correctional Privatization Commission. This board was created in 1993. It comes across in the audit looking like a bunch of clowns.
    Gooood audit. It is strong, clear, specific. On the other hand, it is easy to fire the cannon now, because after all, we are dancing on a dead man's grave. The Legislature has since abolished the privatization board, and reassigned its duties.
    None of the old guys stuck around to take the blame. The new state folks handling private prisons are smart enough not to kick this skunk. They began their reply to each of the audit's 15 recommendations with the same words: "We concur."
    Although it would be nice if Corrections Corp. of America and the GEO Group gave back part or all of these overpayments, it is not their job to be the state's accountants. Contract enforcement is a give-and-take art, not a science; it takes two to do the dance.
    So assuming a lack of fraudulent intent on the companies' part (for I am a sweet and generous fellow), let us also cheerfully assume they turned in the bills and cashed the checks to which they believed in good faith they were entitled. If they didn't, well then, cue Attorney General Charlie Crist and a grand jury. Otherwise the principal fault is the state's. The audit describes a culture within the privatization commission that was skewed toward the interest of the companies, not the taxpayers. The audit says the commission "consistently made questionable contract concessions to the vendors." Let's go even further. The fault, once again, lies with the state's philosophy. Our Legislature time and again over the past decade chose to rush public business into private hands, and declined to attach enough strings to the money.
    The Legislature's attitude toward even the most basic cash controls has been, in essence: "If it is a Republican idea involving privatization, then we don't need no stinking auditors." But in the private prison game, where a few big vendors ply politicians with campaign cash and lobbyists, the need was all the greater.
    I grew up under Democratic governments with Democratic scandals that often involved some bogus program that benefited their buddies. The one thing I expect from my Republican friends is for them to do better with my money, not just to take their turn at bat.

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    • I am suggesting this stock BECAUSE of the nature of the republicans, and money, and corruption.

      it WILL happen, yestyerday, today, AND tomorrow.

      republicans = money, power, corruption.
      remember, their agenda is the opposite of the state's! they want MORE prisoners, more services, more make MORE MONEY!

      wait until they lobby for more laws, and longer sentences! and bogus services, fake-rehab programs!
      they WILL bribe, this is america! corruption capitol of the world!
      this is how business is done! bribe politicians, over and over.
      you should BUY more stock on temporary corrections.
      turning over the penal system to a corp LOL what did you THINK would happen?
      look for good ole boy hirings, "services" contracts to the local rich guys, etc.
      once you seed your garden with these guys, they'll be impossible to get rid of!
      ben franklin said to be a peesimist, and be pleasantly surprised. I DOUBT ben was often surprised by mankind!
      the message here is, even the honest/good people of the world can make money from the overwhelming corruption of business. then ,if you want, give your profits to charity.
      But, don't spit into the wind.
      invest in this company, and you will make money, lots and lots of money.

      • 1 Reply to jh123457
      • johncsd Jul 30, 2005 7:11 PM Flag

        First of all scandals are not limited to either republicans or democrats. Money and poor use of state funds is a practice as old as goverments themselves.
        It is easy to have a audit and claim there is malfeasence when your state funds are dwindling. GEO is headquarted in FLA with the required amount of politicians. My guess is that state budgets is short and now time to blame someone else.
        I am curious as to how this going to work out.
        But for the weak minded conspiracy types this will give you something to complain about for the week anyway

    • I don't think too many people read or care what Howard writes about. I guess the investors today took it as a bullish sign.

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