The Augusta Chronicle
newspaper has always supported Georgia Corrections
Commissioner Wayne Garner's no-nonsense policies with regard
prison inmates. There's a big perception, though,
that Garner has run
amok with regard to the new
private prison program.
Jenkins County will be
the home of Georgia's sixth private prison. Yet
this prison and two others under construction are not
being built through
would the Nashville-based Corrections Corp. of America
on such a seemingly risky, costly move?
Well, the CCA claims it has an "understanding" with
"the state" (through
Garner?) to fill their three
prisons and recoup their $135 million
guess who is Garner's longtime best friend? Oily
lobbyist Jim Hammock.
Yet Garner claims
he's had no talks with any CCA employee about the
three prisons. (If any discussion has taken place, the
law has been
broken.) State law also requires
that any contract with a private prison
be awarded through a competitive public bidding
Garner is leaving office, so what better time to
ask him and the CCA
what "understanding" there is
to circumvent legal open bidding? Gov. Roy
Barnes says he knows of no such "understanding."
The CCA already holds state contracts for two
prisons, and Hammock
boasts of having powerful friends
in the Democrat-controlled General
does the nation's largest prison-building company
can just get its legislative cronies to
get competitors shoved aside so it can
from running three more prisons?
Garner provide Hammock with secret inmate statistics
indicating a new governor would quickly need three more
prisons in order
to handle an unanticipated inmate
influx due to tightened parole board
An Atlanta newspaper reports Garner called
Hammock 48 times on his
state car phone in the 63
days after the Request for Proposal was issued
the first two prisons CCA built.
before CCA got the contract -- and was a direct
the RFP language. So what other funny
business has a telephone- happy
Garner been up to?
Will he later end up working for CCA?
governor should intervene in what could be the first
scandal on his
watch. If Hammock is successful in
lobbying key lawmakers to
rubberstamp and fund the
three new prisons without competitive bidding
violation of state law, it will make a mockery of Barnes'
When it comes to managing prisons, Garner has
been controversial due to his belief that prisons
should be as they were intended -- houses of punishment.
He got rid of the law libraries, the workout/weight
facilities, the the TV's, etc. This, coupled with former Gov.
Zell Miller's "3 strikes and you are locked up for
life" sentencing reform, habitual felons are getting
put away in Georga (don't wet the bed, Hampton).
Garner and Gov. Barnes are on different pages
politcally. The Augusta Chronicle, a left-leaning daily, has
been used as the attack machine (contrary to their
statement, I haven't seen anything in print showing their
support for Garner). In Southern politics, you just don't
replace your adversaries. You kick them out, conjure up
some dark clouds, and sling some mud. I'll follow this
story and keep the thread updated as it develops. GA
does need those new facilities. G
Why is there so much talk about CCA and prison
guards on this board? I thought PZN was going to become
a REIT and most of their income was going to be
derived from building prisons and other correctional
facilities and leasing them back to whatever governmental
agency they are doing business with. I thought PZN would
not have anything to do with the management part of
If the above is true, why
should CCA's problems reflect negatively on PZN. For
instance, Franchise Finance of America builds and leases
restaurants. If somebody gets food poisoning at a Wendy's, or
Hardees, or a Chili's that was built by FFA, don't blame
FFA. They just built the physical plant. They didn't
cook the burgers. Please enlighten me.
Atlanta Journal Constitution - 4/20/99
The New Corrections Commissioner - Jim
The 61-year-old grandfather of eight said he probably
will order an audit of the agency to "see what I'm
inheriting," but he already knows he will have to turn his
immediate attention to space issues.
Corrections is full," Wetherington said.
sentenced felons are backed up in county jails waiting for
a space in the state system, which already is
growing by about 1,700 a month. D.O.C. already has moved
inmates into tents in prison recreation yards and into
bunks in common areas in cellblocks. The state also is
renting space in three private prisons.
Wetherington has served as a police officer in Columbus, Ga,
since 1959, including 14 years as Chief of
Due to the ole supply and demand principles, PZN most
likely will prevail in GA, IMO. G
Life 95...I can easily understand your harsh
reaction to the inaccurate information (or accurate
disinformation) Cleo pushed out regarding insider selling when
there had been no selling and, instead, there had been
insider buying up to and including this month. Try to
remember that his or her misunderstanding of just about
everything that's happened with PZN for the last year is
really intended to provide a bit of comic relief for
those who do understand. The last thing I and perhaps
some others would want to see would be a reduction in
the number of his or her amusingly inaccurate
postings. And no, Cleo, I am Charlie and not MK.
<Picture: Yahooins - disclaimer
April 20, 9:36 pm Eastern Time
REIT shares climb
higher on Buffett investments
NEW YORK, April 20
(Reuters) - The shares of real estate investment trusts are
running on high, boosted not only by expectations of
strong first quarter growth, but on recent news about
billionaire Warren Buffett's investments.
as good a reason as any for the recent rally in real
estate stocks, say some industry analysts watching the
shares of larger companies push toward their 52-week
``I think it helps,'' Steve Bloom, an analyst with
Morgan Stanley, said about Buffett's REIT
``He's now invested in his second REIT. Sometimes I'm
surprised by his choice of REITs, but to the degree that a
well-regarded, valued investor is going into these stocks that
certainly has given the group a good swift kick in its
Buffett, chief executive of investment conglomerate
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKa - news), recently bought 5
percent stakes in two REITs -- Tanger Factory Outlet
Centers Inc. (SKT - news) and Town and Country Trust (TCT
- news), according to filings with the Securities
and Exchange Commission.
Tanger shares soared
to $26.125 from $20.50 when Buffett bought about
417,000 shares on April 9. The share closed at $25.375 on
Tuesday. Likewise, shares of Town and Country are now
trading around $17, up from $15.50 last week when Buffett
bought about 797,200 shares.
Wall Street firm BT
Alex. Brown said REIT share prices as a group soared
7.3 percent on its index last week compared with a
2.3 percent fall in the Standard & Poor's 500
Buffett, known as the ``Sage of Omaha,'' also recently
received heightened attention for saying that virtually
all U.S. stocks are too expensive.
the other hand, are widely considered grossly
undervalued. And after hovering below analysts' price targets,
shares last week began to rise.
AvalonBay Communities Inc. (AVB - news), for example,
jumped to $34.25 on Tuesday from around $31 last week.
Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP - news) shares
closed at $27.06, near a year high of
Buffett was traveling and his spokesman declined comment
on his investments.
Most of the larger REITs,
including Duke Realty Investments Inc. (DRE - news) and
retail REIT Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI - news) are
expected to meet expectations as they report first quarter
results in the next few weeks.
Investment and Management Co. (AIV - news), or AIMCO, on
Monday posted first quarter funds from operations of
$66.2 million, or 96 cents per share, up from the net
FFO reported a year earlier of $39.1 million, or 80
``I think this all seems to have crystallized in last
couple of weeks,'' said Steve Wechsler, chief executive
of the National Association of Real Estate
Investment Trusts, or NAREIT. ``A lot of the industry was
trading below net asset value. That won't last forever in
a functioning marketplace.''
Analysts at BT
Alex. Brown said in a report that they think the rally
can last. The firm has strong buy or buy ratings on
15 companies, including AIMCO, Duke, AvalonBay and
CCA-managed, PZN-owned contracts/facilities
provide the best margins and are the most sought after
situations. Management only contracts are fine if the numbers
are right, but recent experiences in Texas show that
competition is driving margins down and reducing the number
of opportunities meeting CCA's criteria (also, in
the future that income won't be going to PZN -
although it will allow CCA to pay high rents on PZN owned
facilities). The new opportunity is PZN-owned,
government-managed facilities - something that wasn't available in
the past. That may be where the big money is in the
Doc and others bought more in March. PZN has been
tadeing in a box for a while. This stock should start to
move up the letter. Now might be the time to get in. I
have been holding for the end of the rainbow.
Yahoo Insider shows HUGE sales by the management
Doc sold 456,000 shares, Doc Jr. sold
150,000 shares and Devlin sold 150,000 shares( the last
two seem to have sold their bonuses for "inventing"
REIT!!). I do not recall much about it being
Yes, PZN was formed as a captive REIT for CCA.
However, upon the merger completion, CCA became PZN. So,
the captive becomes the captor. OPCO is the captive
of PZN. Some would argue that the market value of
the stock has suffered because the market perceives
PZN to be the captive of the privately held OPCO.
Such a perception is wrong, IMO. OPCO is totally
dependent on PZN. PZN can make OPCO disappear at any time,
simply by merging with it.
Old CCA (and new PZN)
always pursued a bricks and mortar strategy (WHC is
still trying to catch up). As you of all people should
be most aware (by your postings), the management
side is frought with problems. What is unchanging is
the acute shortage of beds for prisoners. If OPCO
loses a mgmt contract in a PZN owned facility, where do
you think the prisoners will go? Chances are they
will stay in the PZN faility and be managed by either
another private entity or by the government. I suspect
the government would not balk at a lease value based
on $75,000 per bed.
Remember, CCA got to
where it was for a reason: there was a shortage of
prison beds. There still is. That doesn't change
wheteher or not you like CCA or PZN or REITs or Doc or
Doc is telling us that as the "market" for beds
evolves, the capital intensive strategy is the way to go.
I believe he can read this better than his
competitors, and that he can continue providing a
product/service that appeals to governments.
Saying PZN is
dependent on OPCO to make lease payments is too
superficial. PZN is dependent on governments needing beds.
OPCO is a conduit, and will be less important as such
in the future as PZN leases directly to the
government. OPCO's just there to meet REIT requirements.
Same old Cleo..same old Cleo - finding fault with
everyone else. I'm responsible for her failure to clearly
communicate; Clinton's responsible for all of America's ills
and Doc's responsible for the popularity of anal sex.
(Well. perhaps their's a germ of truth in the
Thanks for putting me in the same analytical
company as LT and Anderson. Actually my talents lie in
other areas but I appreciate
the compliment. I'm
just another shareholder, like you, with a big loss in
PZN. No claim to genius and omniscience like
You take good care Cleo, ya hear