It’s always the season of giving

Faulconer’s jail bucks

The mayor’s campaign fund got some of that prison industry money on election day.
  • The mayor’s campaign fund got some of that prison industry money on election day.

Carlsbad’s Eric Noonan, a warden with the private prison business known as GEO Group, was one of San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s most uniquely employed contributors, kicking in $1050 on election day, June 7.

Other GEO donors to the Republican’s campaign fund on the same date were James Hill of Canoga Park, director of business management, with $200, as well as Charles Dennis and James Taylor, two lieutenants from the firm’s Western Regional Detention Facility downtown, who each came up with $100. Rosalie Smith, an executive secretary at the facility, also gave $100. GEO operations director Frank Strada of San Tan Valley, Arizona, was down for $200.

More common occupations on the roster of mayoral givers included architecture, with 30. The same number of donors admitted they were real estate developers.

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Employees of the privatized prison industry, architects and developers seem to understand something about Mayor Faulconer's City Hall that the rest of us schleppers have missed. We just hear the feel-good language of his Porter-Novelli Christmas greeting and think everything is fine, which it is not.

Someone should do an article comparing the problems within the private prison system vs the government operated prisons. My sources tell me that a lot of police/investigative resources are dedicated to the issues that arise within the private for profit system. The only way a private prison system makes money is to cut corners on staffing and services and have lower standards of training and weak background checks. Most of the profit comes from lower wages and minimal benefits. Private prison guards are of the same ilk as private security.

And? We wouldn't need private prisons to cut costs if the government-run ones weren't rife with waste and fraud and inefficiency. Nobody can ever be fired, everybody is entitled to a lifetime gold-plated pension and Cadillac health care (of course exempted from the penalties that any private-sector employer would be forced to pay for offering such a package), all we can do is spend more and more and more, and if we don't get results the only possible answer is to spend more.

We used to have a system where government employment gave the job security and a secure, modest pension in return for a lower salary than you'd get doing something else. Public employee unions ruined that. Government employees are simply too expensive now. Until that's fixed, privatization of as much as possible is the only answer, and if corners get cut for felons, well, too bad. I pay too much in taxes and receive too little for what I pay, while government action whittles down my retirement through taxes and inflation. I really don't give a fig if burglars and rapists and thieves get moldy green balogna served by a $12 per hour flunky.

Don't blame the unions. Their job is to represent their member and get the best deal possible. The fault lies in the employer (government) negotiators. Their job is to get the best deal they can for their employer (the taxpayer). Blame the incompetent employer negotiators. The employer in any negotiation with a union always has the upper hand. Good negotiations result in both sides not getting everything they want. My experience with government negotiators is that on their best day they are incompetent.

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