1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

Prison company bets big on Ashley Moody in Florida Attorney General race

GEO Group and its employees have given Moody nearly $50,000 in her bid to become Florida's top law enforcement official.

On the same day that Sean Shaw blasted her in a debate for taking contributions from for-profit prison company GEO Group, Republican candidate for attorney general Ashley Moody reported receiving another $20,000 from the company, bringing her total from GEO and its employees to nearly $50,000.

The company has given $3,000 to Moody's campaign and $45,000 to her independent political committee, Friends of Ashley Moody, which doesn't have contribution limits. Employees of the company have contributed another $1,500.

Democrats say private for-profit prison companies create an incentive for potentially excessive incarceration. Some news reports have said GEO argued for laws allowing their detention centers to be licensed as child care facilities for young detainees.

GEO has contributed more than $1.2 million to Florida political candidates and causes, nearly all Republican, during the 2018 campaign.

Asked in a televised candidate Tuesday night whether it's a good idea for a candidate for a law enforcement post to accept the contributions, Moody didn't directly address the nature of the industry.

"The question insinuates that I would ever make a decision based on support for my campaign," she instead responded.

"I have been supported from all kinds of different industries, all kinds of citizens from Democrats to Republicans. … I will make decisions based on what the law says and protecting Floridians without regard for political bias and person interest."

Shaw previously held a news conference on the subject saying accepting private prison contributions was "not just wrong, it's disqualifying."

In the debate, he responded, "Some money isn't worth it and private prisons is some of that money that's not worth it."