- Josh Marcus-Blank
Under ‘Right to Know’ Law NHDP Seeks Information on Sununu's Private Prison Conflicts of Interest
Concord, N.H. - Today, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is invoking the state’s ‘Right to Know’ Law to gain public release of correspondence and contacts of Governor Chris Sununu, his staff and state agencies with CoreCivic, the Sununu-connected private prison company that the Union Leader exposed. As the Union Leader reported, CoreCivic is one of three potential bidders for the $26 million contract to construct the secure psychiatric hospital that Sununu has pushed in his budget. CoreCivic is also one of Sununu's top corporate donors and their lobbyist, Marc Brown, is connected to Governor Sununu's lobbyist brother, Michael Sununu, and Governor Sununu's campaign advisor, Jamie Burnett, who also lobbied for CoreCivic through April 2018. Release of this information would disclose to the public any conflict of interest regarding Sununu proposals benefiting his campaign contributors.
Part One, Article Eight of the New Hampshire Constitution mandates that state government "should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive," and New Hampshire's Right to Know law requires that all officers of state government release their correspondence per the public’s right to “access to governmental proceedings."
To that end, the NHDP is seeking any and all correspondence between Governor Sununu and his staff, as well as his Departments of Corrections, Health and Human Services, and Administrative Services concerning or with:
CoreCivic (formerly known as Corrections Corporations of America), the private prison company that had been named in a number of lawsuits alleging unsafe conditions that led to multiple deaths.
Marc Brown, CoreCivic's lobbyist.
Michael Sununu, Governor Sununu's brother who co-founded Profile Strategy Group, a lobbying firm with which Marc Brown is associated.
James "Jamie" Burnett, Governor Sununu's campaign advisor and CoreCivic's lobbyist through April 2018, who is also a former principal of Michael Sununu's Profile Strategy Group and the former President of Advantage Government Affairs, a lobbying firm where his partners included Marc Brown.
Any and all employees of Advantage Government Affairs and Profile Strategy Group.
NHDP Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement: "Sununu has pushed the psychiatric hospital for weeks without disclosing his deep connections to the private prison company that could profit from his charade to the tune of $26 million. Since Sununu hid his connection to the prison company, we are investigating the matter ourselves. Any and all of Sununu's conflicts of interest should be available to the public before New Hampshire hands this prison company $26 million in taxpayer dollars."