Rudy’s firm locks up biz of jail lobby
AS RUDY GIULIANI rails against Black Lives Matter, his law firm reaps tens of thousands of dollars lobbying Congress for the biggest operator of private prisons in America.
In January, the former lawand-order mayor left his longtime firm, Giuliani & Bracewell, and jumped to Greenberg Traurig, a major lobbyist law firm with dozens of deep pocket clients. One client is a subsidiary of the Corrections Corporation of America, a Nashville-based forprofit firm that runs or manages 77 prisons housing 88,500 inmates across the U.S.
Giuliani’s law firm is currently fighting a law that would bar the government from hiring private contractors like CCA to run prisons.
The company has been repeatedly criticized for putting profit ahead of rehabilitation by cutting costs and hiding information on how it operates. It took in $1.8 billion in revenue last year.
Disclosure forms show CCA has spent more than $11 million on lobbyists over the last decade to press Congress and the executive branch on a variety of pet issues. From 2013 through March, a subsidiary, CCA of Tennessee LLC, has paid Greenberg Traurig $350,000 to “monitor issues pertaining to the construction and management of privately operated prisons and detention facilities.”
Giuliani joined the firm Jan. 19 as a senior adviser to the executive chairman and as chairman of the firm’s cybersecurity, privacy and crisis management practice.
In the first quarter, CCA paid the former mayor’s firm $20,000. Records for the second quarter have yet to be filed.
The firm is now involved in trying to kill a bill called the Justice Is Not for Sale Act, said CCA spokesman Jonathan Burns.
The bill, introduced last fall in the Senate by Bernie Sanders, would, among other things ban city, state and federal governments from hiring private contractors to run prisons. Its House equivalent has 30 co-sponsors.
Burns said Greenberg Traurig is working “to help educate officials on the meaningful solutions we provide to the federal government, as well as the potential impact that the bill would have on the government’s ability to safely and effectively house inmates.”
CCA, he added, “has a strict, longstanding, zero-tolerance policy not to lobby for or against — or take any position on — policies or legislation that would determine the basis for or duration of an individual's incarceration or detention.”
A Greenberg Traurig spokesman referred questions about its lobbying efforts to its client.