by Daniel J. Cohen
Deportation and Abuse Caucus Proves Bipartisanship Isn’t Always a Bonus
It’s rare to see Democratic incumbents raise money for Republican politicians and vice versa in any election cycle, but it’s particularly rare to see in 2018, a year when the House and Senate are up for grabs and there are heated elections all over the United States. Yet that’s just what we’re seeing here in one congressional race in Texas.
A Politico explains:
WITH CONTROL OF THE HOUSE IN PLAY … DEMOCRATIC TEXAS REP. HENRY CUELLAR invited supporters to a breakfast fundraiser for REPUBLICAN TEXAS REP. JOHN CARTER this morning in San Antonio at Mi Tierra Cafe. The invite sent from a Cuellar political staffer links to a “John Carter Conservative for Congress” contribution page with donor levels up to $2,700.
Cuellar’s decision to raise money for Carter stands out at face value because he is raising money for the opposition. But the peculiarities don’t end there. Carter’s opponent, MJ Hegar, is a strong candidate running a powerful effort and has the endorsement of the Blue Dog Coalition… a group backed by non other than Cuellar himself.
So what gives? Private Prison lobbyists, apparently. Cuellar and Carter are the #2 and #3 congressional recipients of private prison industrial complex cash (the #1 recipient, John Culberson, is also in the Texas House delegation). Geo Group, the largest player in the $3 billion private prison industry, is the largest provider of immigrant detention.
As Dallas Morning News reported:
“GEO has come under scrutiny by immigrant rights organizations for alleged mismanagement and abuse in detention facilities. GEO faced class-action lawsuits in which detainees alleged that they were forced to work. In a GEO facility in California, three detainees died in custody. The American Civil Liberties Union accused GEO of denying detainees food, water and bathroom access.”
Cuellar’s dedication to private prisons and manufacturing immigration problems in league with Republicans to benefit his own campaign coffers is a recurring theme in his congressional career. Earlier this year, he was utilized as a stooge representative by the office of Senator John Cornyn to resurface an old immigration lie in order to present a straw man argument on family separation, all while incentivizing the separation of families. That lie began long ago, in 2014, when Cornyn and Cuellar initially touched base on the issue.
Cuellar claimed in the aftermath of the fundraiser that he was merely attending the event, but the fact that his staff sent out the email betrays his motivation to assist Carter directly. Equally hollow is Cuellar’s claim that “friendship is more important than partisanship”; the only thing worse than bitter divisive partisan infighting getting in the way of policy progress and justice is when a Republican and Democrat work together to hurt people and uphold a crooked industry that shouldn’t exist.
Call your congressional representative and tell them to say NO to private prisons.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN
SEN. TED CRUZ
TX-2 REP.TED POE
TX-7 REP. JOHN CULBERSON
TX-8 REP. KEVIN BRADY
TX-9 REP ALGREEN
TX-10 REP MICHAEL MCCAUL
TX-14 REP RANDY WEBER
TX-18 REP SHEILA JACKSON LEE
TX-22 REP PETE OLSON
TX-29 REP GENE GREEN
TX-36 REP BRIAN BABIN