...well, in between coughs and sneezes and sniffles, anyway. :)
This is definitely one of those times when I wish I had better sources at the Capitol.
First, there was the scheduled (and then cancelled) meeting of the lege's Joint Committee on Capital Review that was supposed to take place on Tuesday. One of the main items on that agenda was an executive session on a request for information on a "prison concession agreement."
Then, on Tuesday there were a number of hits on this blog (>5) from at least two computers in the office of the Texas Legislative Council (IP address 126.96.36.199) . The same Texas where private prisons are a huge business. The kept visiting the weekly schedule post that mentioned the above meeting.
Finally, Tuesday evening while checking out new committee formations on the AZSOS' website, I came across this one -
Committee Name: Prison Health Services, Inc. Political Action Committee
Filer ID: 201000299
Committee Type: Segregated Fund
Registration Date: 11/9/2009
Last Amended Date: 11/9/2009
Mailing Address: 105 Westpark Dr Ste 200, Brentwood TN 37027
Phone: (615) 376-0693
Committee Address:105 Westpark Drive, Suite 200, Brentwood TN 37027
Chairman: Walker, Jonathan
Treasurer: Sprouse, James
PHS has some contracts in Mohave County right now, but they are certain to be looking to scavenge some revenue (via a "concession agreement"?) from the lege's push to privatize everything.
Now, let's be clear - I have absolutely nothing beyond by own cynicism to tie these together (especially the Texas Legislative Council stuff), but I learned a long time ago that in politics, coincidence is a rare commodity.
Rarer even than bipartisanship in the Arizona legislature.
The funnest part of this?
Check out the email address of the PAC, PACOut.com.
That's the domain name for PAC Outsourcing LLC, a firm for handling outsourced PAC functions.
In other words, the AZ lege is outsourcing government functions, and seems to be doing so to a corporation that has outsourced its governmental relation functions.
There's a definite kind of symmetrical poetry there...