Gov. Rick Scott’s new U.S. Senate campaign report shows generous support from a Florida-based company with a controversial track record, the Boca-Raton based corrections giant the GEO Group.
GEO operates immigrant detention facilities in Florida and Texas that are at the center of a raging national debate over President Donald Trump’s “no tolerance” immigration policies.
Geo Group, the Florida private prison company, runs six facilities here in Florida. Stock in their company has skyrocketed thanks to Trump. Geo stated that are poised to get multiple new contracts for new ICE detention centers due to Trump’s reversal of a rule to reduce the number of private prisons. The defunct rule was originally put in place due to the “safety concerns” and “high cost” of private prisons.
Geo Group gave generously to Trump. They donated a quarter million to his super PAC—which was of very questionable legality—and another quarter mil for his inauguration. And they love Trump’s friends—especially Rick Scott, who’s a friend of Geo Group’s CEO George Foley.
Geo has paid it forward with their Trump windfall with donations to our right-wing state legislature. Of course, GOP lawmakers turned right around and returned the favor by giving them a three million dollar no-bid contract.
Getting back to Rick Scott, his campaign isn’t very proud of their association with Geo Group—especially given the fact that Rick Scott is pandering like mad with Florida’s Hispanic population.
Rick Scott’s campaign was like, what Geo money?
A spokeswoman for Scott said Friday the campaign never received the donations appearing in GEO’s FEC filing.
At a time when other candidates are distancing themselves from GEO by returning the company's money, Scott reports $10,800 from GEO's chief executive, George Zoley, and his wife Donna, in his second quarter report filed with the Federal Elections Commission.
Scott's Super PAC reported $125,000 from a GEO Group subsidiary, GEO Acquisition II, and the governor's Victory Fund listed $78,600 from the Zoleys. The donations total $214,000.
Geo Group has a reputation for being the worst of the worst regarding ICE detention facilities. They have the distinction of running the “deadliest ICE facility” in the nation; the ACLU has accused them of torturing immigrants when they speak out; and they have been sued MULTIPLE TIMES for forcing detainees to WORK FOR FOOD.
When you hear the screams of migrant children, Rick Scott is the face that should come to mind. He is the man profiting off their pain and misery.
It’s not right.
If we don’t lock up someone after they committed the largest Medicare fraud in US history, we don’t have the right to lock up families for seeking asylum. And Rick Scott should at least have the decency to return the money.