UA students & activists ask DeConcini: ‘Why did you sell your soul to CCA?’ (video)


No ccaby Pamela Powers Hannley

Today, the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) is meeting on the University of Arizona campus. One of ABOR's most infamous members is former Senator Dennis DeConcini.

Why is DeConcini being villified through social media and the blogs? Because he's also a stockholder and member of the Board of Directors of the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which builds, owns, and manages private prisons across the country.

Arizona has multiple CCA prisons— thanks to close ties between CCA and Governor Jan Brewer, former State Senate President Russell Pearce, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) boosters in the Arizona Legislature, and DeConcini. More background and a video shot on the UA campus, after the jump.

Anti-CCA activists have been turning up the heat on DeConcini to pressure him to resign from the CCA board.  Here's some background from Fuerza, the group that organized two protests around today's ABOR meeting…

CCA is the nation’s largest private prison company and leading jailer of immigrant detainees. With a recent contract for 1,000 new Arizona state prison beds and six existing facilities in Arizona, the company profits from continued mass incarceration and immigrant detention. Lifetime Tucson resident and three-term Democrat Senator Dennis DeConcini is a CCA shareholder and Board member and profits directly from the incarceration of Tucson families.

DeConcini's direct involvement with CCA is a real problem not only for him but for Democrats because he's rich enough to donate to many political campaigns. Normally, having a former Senator on your side would be seen as a good thing, but DeConcini's touch is toxic these days. I hope other Democrats are realizing this.