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Sunday’s article, “Floyd County seeks boost to state inmate fee - Georgia’s rate of $20 per inmate serving time is less than half that paid to private prisons,” is once again a good example of “Follow the Money!”

Let me start by quoting the Center for Responsive Politics, “In the 2016 election cycle, private prisons gave a record $1.6 million to candidates, parties and outside spending groups. That was nearly triple what they gave in 2014 and more than double their contributions in the 2012 presidential cycle. The private prison industry gave $300,000 to Super PACS backing various Republican presidential candidates, including one backing now President Donald Trump.”

Approximately 14 percent went to Democratic candidates while 86 percent went to Republican candidates. Of the top 20 recipients in the House of Representatives, 17 are Republicans and 3 are Democrats. It is interesting to note that two of our Georgia Congressman, Tom Graves and Buddy Carter, are among the top 20 beneficiaries of the private prison industry’s political contribution largesse!

Our federal and state governments used to help fund many local government projects, but for some reason our electorate believes the private sector can do things more efficiently at a lesser cost. Truth is that the private sector is more expensive and the reason is that they use much of their money to pay for elections.

Or, you can just go along with the reasoning that was reported to the Rome News-Tribune by State Representatives Eddie Lumsden and Mitchell Scoggins, “ … we will try to generate some movement on the issue, however, since most Georgian counties represent counties without prisons, this funding would not affect the whole state, and thus it would be like banging our heads against the wall.”

Like I’ve said in past letters, if we want to get our government back, we must first take the private sector money out of our elections. My advice to county and city elected officials would be to stop spinning your wheels on this issue because nothing is going to change unless we change how we fund our elections.

According to Better Georgia, Georgia contracts with two private prison companies that own four facilities that house 7,974 offenders at a cost of $16,720 per offender per year. That is over $133 million a year.

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