Some people (and companies) just keep shooting themselves in the foot. On Sept. 19, the Weekly reported on the potential takeover of a Kerrville state mental hospital by GEO Care, a subsidiary of GEO Group, the private prison outfit with such a terrible record that a federal judge called one GEO facility a “cesspool of … inhuman acts.” That same month, the GEO-run immigration detention center at Laredo also made news — and not in a good way. Six employees of the prison pleaded guilty to buying semi-automatic weapons destined for drug cartels in Mexico, with all the gun purchases made in Texas. Looks like those employees may spend some time on the other side of the bars.
Don’t Let Facts Get in the Way
Then there was the e-mail that arrived recently claiming that President Barack Obama’s administration was hiring Chinese workers and companies for bridge and highway projects, including a 13-mile toll road on I-635 in Dallas that will connect I-35 to I-45. The letter pleaded: “What about jobs for Americans?” and linked to a Diane Sawyer story on ABC.
The problem, which took about five minutes to unravel, was that the e-mail was complete hogwash. The Sawyer story, which ran last year, dealt with states that had refused stimulus funds for rebuilding infrastructure. The money came with a requirement that the projects be built by Americans. California took the stimulus money but later decided to build the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge without federal bucks, allowing much of the job, including steel purchases, to be subcontracted to a firm owned by the Chinese government.
Oh, and the new I-635 toll road? That’s actually being built primarily by Cintra, the Spanish firm at the center of the old Trans-Texas Corridor firestorm. The company has a 52-year lease on the road, thanks not to Obama but to good ol’ Gov. Rick Perry and his pals.
Static is happy to report that Betty Brink, longtime Weekly writer and a top-notch investigative reporter, is recovering from a serious stroke that laid her low a few weeks ago.
Brink was traveling with family when the stroke hit. She spent some time in a Memphis hospital but is back in Fort Worth now at a local rehab facility.
She’s working hard on all kinds of therapy — and hoping to be back on the job soon. All you folks who were hoping to escape her further scrutiny — put the cork back in the champagne bottle.