“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” - Henry David Thoreau
We have an amigo here in Arizona who has been doing significant investigative reporting with regard to the private prison industry, and his name is Beau Hodai. Beau operates D.B.A. Press which conducts extensive research on the private prisons as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). I learned of Beau when he wrote about the Corporate Con Game - In These Times. Beau wrote another story where the DBA Press releases records obtained from the office of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer pertaining to private prison operators, private prison lobbyists.
In his recent story, I was dismayed and without words in learning Jaime Molera of Molera Alvarez LLC has been lobbying on behalf of CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA here in Arizona according to public records with the Secretary of State, see here. Jamie Molera at one point was an influential Latino Republican here in Arizona and it is uncertain if he still a registered Republican. It is no wonder the SB1070 darkened the door steps of our Arizona Capitol. I can reassure you that when you have a Latino Republican lobbying for CCA — this will no doubt affect GOP outreach towards the burgeoning Latino voters they claim to want to gain. The Molera Alvarez LLC also lobbies for Coca Cola, which if you remember … back in May of 2011, we asked told Coca-Cola to stop contributing to isolationist and restrictionist politicians. We have discovered that Coca-Cola has contributed over $60,000.00 to Georgia Republican affiliates, and over $40,000.00 more to individual Republican politicians who voted and supported the 2011 Georgia isolationist anti-immigrant law. WE ASKED COKE TO STOP GIVING CONTRIBUTION$ TO ISOLATIONIST POLITICIANS for the sake of our suffering and hurting of Latin and other immigrant communities. During that time I was asked to quiet my whistle-blowing on Coca-Cola.
Upon the news regarding Jaime Molera, I reached out to Carlos Galindo a now nationally syndicated radio political talk show left of center host who conducts his political talk show in both Spanish and in English. Galindo is the only one who does Spanish and English code-switching, and here is what he has to say:
“Molera follows the footsteps of many other prominent Latino politicians and leaders. Jaime Molera is yet another one of those high profile successful Latinos that is presented to us in the Latino and Immigrant community as an example of leadership, and the success one can achieve in this country as a Latinos or as an Immigrant. What they don’t tell you is that the Jaime Molera’s are shining examples of those who are willing to throw their community under the bus for political, economic or social gain.”
On December 1, 2013, DBA Press releases records obtained from the office of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer pertaining to private prison operators, private prison lobbyists.
According to D.B.A. Press’ investigative reporting:
Above: Jaime Molera with Governor Jan Brewer at 2012 Republican National Convention. Source: Molera Alvarez (http://ma-firm.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/rnc.jpg)
Key pieces of information contained in this records set include:
– ADC Director claimed knowledge of CCA’s role in driving prison privatization plan:
On July 14, 2009 Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) Director Charles Ryan wrote a letter to then-Brewer Chief of Staff Eileen Klein, stating that capitol staff, as well as Geo Group and Management and Training Company (MTC) lobbyists, had informed him that a massive private prison concession agreement for the operation of many of the state’s correctional facilities had been advanced by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and their chief lobbyist, Jaime Molera. The letter also details a heated exchange that had taken place between Ryan and CCA Vice President of State Partnership Relations Brad Regens when Ryan raised this issue with Regens.
Download (PDF, 388KB)
Records also contain a number of other Ryan communications pertaining to the prison privatization plan wherein Ryan voices various concerns and objections.
This initial concession agreement eventually resulted in the August 31, 2012 award of an Arizona state contract with CCA for inmates to be housed at the corporation’s Red Rock Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona.
– CCA lobbyists work with the Governor’s Office and Legislature to shape the state budget, award contract:
Records show that both CCA lobbyists Jaime Molera and Kathryn Senseman (wife of former Brewer Communications Director and CCA lobbyist Paul Senseman) were engaged with the Governor’s office and the Arizona Legislature in drafting budgetary language that resulted in the 2012 CCA contract award.
Records obtained by DBA Press when he sent an open records request to Governor Brewer’s office, and in the above letter, Jaime Molera recommends Catherine Woods for Pima County Superior Court.
Continue reading →
It’s no wonder I received a call from Ruben Alvarez in May of 2011 when he told me not to rebuke CocaCola. My letter below spells out why I believed it was necessary to confront Coca Cola:
16 May 2011
Subject: Please stop giving political contributions to isolationist politicians in Georgia.
We were disappointed in hearing about the Governor of Georgia signing an anti-immigrant law recently. Our main office is based in Arizona and our grassroots independent organization grew nationally out of a crisis situation. Our Arizona Governor signed the harsh anti-immigrant law SB 1070 last year, and it damaged our economy due to mass exodus of the immigrant community that left behind empty houses, increased home foreclosures, dried up businesses and empty fields where at least 40% of the crops were not picked because there were not enough workers willing to work in the fields.
The SB 1070 law was appealed and later the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals maintained immigration laws were in essence the responsibility of the federal government under the Supremacy Clause. In a letter to Governor Nathan Deal we wrote: “Please do not sign HB 87, an Arizona-style immigration enforcement bill. The bill is clearly unconstitutional…Our constitution is part of the ‘rule of law’ so if you believe in the ‘rule of law’ then don’t sign HB 87.”
We have stood in solidarity with pro immigrant groups out of Georgia. One of the grassroots community campaigns against HB-87, SOMOS GEORGIA has been advocating, rallying, writing letters, calling and begging for the Governor to veto this anti-immigrant bill to no avail. Shortly after the anti-immigrant law was signed, SOMOS GEORGIA issued a press release where they wrote:
“We are calling on all businesses, conventions, and conferences to cancel your trips to the State of Georgia and pledge to not spend one dollar here until this law is repealed,” said Paulina Hernandez, Co-Director of Southerners on New Ground and part of the Somos Georgia Campaign. “We are also putting the nation on alert that there may be soon a Georgia Products boycott as well – so stay alert and be prepared to stay away from businesses such as … Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and AFLAC Insurance.”
We have been informed families are leaving the state of Georgia which is why we have come to the point we are now at. As more states pass anti-immigrant laws, we have no choice but to get more assertive with corporations who help isolationist politicians via politicalcontributions. The Arizona Governor and now the Georgia Governor have signed harsh anti-immigrant laws where more families are going to be forced apart. We know who are behind these laws and it does not help when corporations such as Coca-Cola contribute to isolationist and restrictionist politicians. We have discovered that Coca-Cola has contributed over $60,000.00 to Georgia Republican affiliates, and over $40,000.00 more to individual Republican politicians who voted and supported the recent isolationist anti-immigrant law. WE ARE ASKING COKE TO STOP GIVING CONTRIBUTION$ TO ISOLATIONIST POLITICIANS for the sake of our suffering and hurting of Latin and other immigrant communities. We know you have the money and the power to help stop politicians from passing laws that hurt us. You can start by making a declaration to not give any more political contributions to politicians who support bigotry. We believe this is a reasonable request since Latinos purchase millions of dollars in Fanta, Minute Maid, Cherry Coke, and other Coke products.
Many of us are Coca-Cola shareholders who are concerned about the reputation of Coke as a company that is based in the State of Georgia that now has a reputation for hostility towards immigrants, Latinos and Asian communities. We plan to introduce a shareholder resolution for the next annual meeting to move Coke HQ out of Georgia. There was one shareholder proposal in Coca Cola’s last annual proxy statement, which required a vote by all shareholders. Every shareholder worldwide received this proposal and was asked to vote by proxy or attend the annual meeting and vote. We believe there should be a resolution calling on Coke to move out of Georgia, too.
We will have a follow up meeting with SOMOS GEORGIA about boycotts they might support. SOMOS REPUBLICANS as an organization is not yet supporting a boycott of Coke products. Individual members of our organization choose to avoid buying Coke products until we find out whether or not Coke will decide to stop giving political contributions to isolationist politicians.
We will not single Coke out. We are in the process of researching the political contributions other corporations have made such as AFLAC, DELTA and etc. We hope to see reduced corporate political contributions that are given to restrictionist politicians across the United States before more anti-immigrant laws are passed in other states. We now have 2 states that have passed anti-immigrant laws, and we simply are trying to find ways to prevent other states from following suit. We are desperate because these laws have led to racial profiling, hurting and unjust deportations. We see children cry every day here in Arizona when their mother or father get deported. The current administration has already deported almost 1 million undocumented immigrants and the pain and suffering we see is profound. We hope you become an ally in that struggle.
DeeDee Garcia Blase