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Prison Contractor, Idaho GOP Cozy

Idaho leaders decided fourteen years ago they could save money by hiring out management of the Idaho Correctional Center near Boise to Corrections Corporation of America. For the politicians, this has been a good deal. Privatize prisons and you inevitably weaken unions within the corrections industry. It's no coincidence that the bulk of CCA's contracts occur within right-to-work states. So instead of correctional officers funneling their union dues to Democratic candidates, for-profit corrections corporations send their dollars to GOP leaders. CCA provided Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter $10,000 for his 2006 campaign; for his re-election effort, CCA gave Otter $9,000. Former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne got $7,500 between 2002 and 2006, and the Idaho Republican Party collected $5,000 in 2005-06/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Does the cozy relationship between Idaho GOP leaders and Corrections Corporation of America compromise the safety of inmates in the state's privately run prison?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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