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Dream Defenders Confront Moody, Candidate for State Attorney General

Dream Defenders | Prison Money Protest | Politics

They demanded she stop taking campaign contributions from the GEO Group, a for-profit prison facilities and services.

PINELLAS PARK – Organizers with the Dream Defenders confronted a candidate for Florida attorney general on Sunday (July 8) to  to demand she stop taking contributions from for-profit prison corporation GEO Group.

Ashley Moody, who was in Pinellas Park for a Republican straw poll picnic campaign stop, has been endorsed by Attorney General Pam Bondi and at least 40 Florida Sheriffs. Moody has also taken $3,000 in campaign contributions from the Boca Raton-based prison company. Brian Ballard, a lobbyist whose client list includes GEO, is on Moody’s finance team.

Protesters gathered outside the picnic with signs that read, “ASHLEY MOODY STOP TAKING MONEY FROM GEO GROUP.”

“GEO Group’s bread and butter is making sure people get put in their prisons and detention centers,” said Annie Filkowski, who confronted Moody. “It inspires little confidence that the potential attorney general for the state of Florida, who will be oversee whether people are sent to prison or not, is taking money from the for-profit imprisonment industry.”

GEO’s U.S. Corrections and Detention division oversees the operation and management of approximately 75,500 beds in 71 correctional and detention facilities, according to the company website. GEO’s U.S. Corrections & Detention division provides services on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as nine state correctional clients and various county and city jurisdictions.

The company reportedly receives more money from ICE than any other company.

Dream Defenders | Prison Money Protest | Politics

Sunday’s confrontation came one week after the Dream Defenders pushed the Florida Democratic Party to pass a binding resolution not to take money from private prisons, their political action committees, or lobbyists. In June, Florida’s four major Democratic gubernatorial candidates signed onto the Dream Defenders’ Freedom Pledge, which asks that candidates and elected officials stop taking money from private prisons.

Eyes have been on the GEO Group and the for-profit prison industry of late because of family separations at the border. GEO Group became ICE’s biggest contractor after giving a large contribution to the campaign of President Donald Trump. Moody has said she supports Trump.

“Ashley Moody has taken money from a corporation that has a hand in ripping apart families to line their pockets,” said Char Singleton, with the Dream Defenders. “No one should be profiting from that kind of pain.”

The activists say they will continue to confront politicians and candidates that have taken money from the GEO Group.

The Dream Defenders is a human rights organization dedicated to ending police and state brutality towards people of color. It was founded in 2012 after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The group has chapters in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, St. Petersburg and Gainesville.

Moody is one of two Republicans running for state attorney general. The other is Frank White. Also in the race are Democrats Sean Shaw and Ryan Torrens as well as Jeffrey Marc Siskind, who has no party affiliation.

The primary is Aug. 28. The general election is Nov. 6. Voters have until July 30 to register to vote – or change their party preference – for the primary.

Photos are screen grabs from a Dream Defenders video of Sunday’s event.

 

Dream Defenders | GEO Group | Ashley Moody | Prisons | Politics | Elections | Tampabay News

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Dream Defenders Confront Moody, Candidate for State Attorney General
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Dream Defenders Confront Moody, Candidate for State Attorney General
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They demanded she stop taking campaign contributions from the GEO Group, a for-profit prison facilities and services.
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TB Reporter
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