Bilked Alaska

From the Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON — The indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on corruption charges Tuesday throws into question his grip on a Senate seat he has held for decades and offers Democrats a chance to strengthen their hold on Congress.

Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate and a towering figure in Alaska’s political history, was indicted by a federal grand jury here on charges that he concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from one of the state’s most powerful employers. The indictment accuses Stevens, 84, of accepting more than $250,000 in improvements to his Alaska home, as well as other gifts such as a gas grill and a new Land Rover, from VECO Corp., an oil field services company.


Original DVD cover.

[…]Senate GOP rules […] require members indicted on felony charges to give up leadership posts.

Stevens has served in the Senate since 1968 and has held some of its most powerful positions, including chairmanships of the Appropriations and Commerce committees. He is legendary for bringing home federal dollars to Alaska […]

…snip…

The indictment casts a shadow over Stevens’ future. He is up for reelection this year, and news reports questioning his ethics have already damaged his standing. Alaska has not elected a Democratic senator for a generation. But even before Stevens was indicted, polls showed him trailing his Democratic opponent, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

…snip…

Stevens is charged with seven counts of making false statements on his financial disclosure forms for calendar years 2001 to 2006. The post-Watergate Ethics in Government Act requires lawmakers to disclose gifts over a specific monetary amount as well as liabilities in excess of $10,000.

The indictment alleges that, over a six-year period, Stevens failed to report gifts from VECO, in exchange for which he “received and accepted solicitations for multiple official actions,” including helping VECO obtain lucrative federal contracts and providing “assistance” with company ventures in Pakistan and Russia.

The indictment does not accuse him of the more serious crime of bribery.

…snip…

The charges culminate a multiyear influence-peddling investigation that has led to the convictions of several Alaska state officials and the chief executive of VECO, Bill J. Allen, who last year admitted that he made more than $400,000 in payments to government officials. Stevens’ son, Ben, a former president of the Alaska state Senate, remains under federal investigation, as does Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska.

The indictment focuses on improvements to Stevens’ home in Girdwood, Alaska […] The remodeling more than doubled the home’s size, starting in the summer of 2000, when Stevens and Allen first discussed the project, according to the indictment.

Over the ensuing six years, “Stevens accepted from Allen and VECO more than $250,000 in free labor, materials and other things of value” in connection with the home improvements, according to the indictment. “Stevens never paid Allen or VECO anything for these expenses, and Stevens never listed his receipt of these things of value on any of his yearly financial disclosure forms,” the indictment says.

…snip…

Several other past and present Republican members of Congress are under investigation by Justice Department anti-corruption lawyers. Some political observers believe bringing charges in an election year could sway some voters.

At a news conference where the indictment of Stevens was announced, Matthew Friedrich, acting chief of the department’s criminal division, said the election would not affect the timing or decision to bring any additional charges.

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9 Comments

Filed under 2008 election, Alaska, Ben Stevens, Congress, Corruption, Democrats, Don Young, humor, Justice Department, movies, Pakistan, parody, politics, Republicans, Russia, Scandals, Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate Commerce Committee, snark, Ted Stevens, VECO, Wordpress Political Blogs

9 responses to “Bilked Alaska

  1. nightowl724

    …chairmanships of the Appropriations and Commerce committees

    Aw, come on, nonnie. He was just a-practicin’ his appropriatin’ and a-commercin’ skills. Use ’em or lose ’em, ya know!

    Love the title and the symbolism of “being in bed with VECO.” The little stuffed Rethuglican elephant is too cute! Does he have those little x’s for eyes?

  2. nope, no x’s this time, but i think he is pooping on the bed! πŸ˜‰

  3. nightowl724

    Pooping would be apropos!

  4. jlms qkw - jenn

    nonnie, you need a collection of dvd covers with beds for those repubs, i think.

    i wish someone would increase the size of my house. 50% would be nice.

  5. jenn!
    it is my fondest wish for a bigger place. getting it for free would be just too fabulous!
    by the way, did you see the story about extreme makeover, home edition? they rebuilt a house into a mansion, gave the people $100K, and it took them less than 4 years to piss it all away. if they rebuilt this place, i promise to be a lot more responsible.
    p.s. i hate that show!

  6. jeb

    Nonnie, the cover is appropo but still, I feel like I need a shower (or multiple showers) after seeing it and reading the report.

    I’d love nothing more than to see ol’ Ted flushed down the tubes. Unless of course they followed on with a Don Young chaser. Oh man, I’d pay to see that.

  7. SC

    Incredible wiretap evidence against Ted Stevens!

  8. jeb,
    i don’t know what is going on in alaska. i read last night that the popular governor, sarah palin, is under investigation for trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from his job as a state trooper. then there’s state senator john cowdery who was just indicted for bribery and conspiracy in a corruption case. on top of the stevenses, young, and the veco gang, we cannot forget these little jailbirds:

    thomas anderson–alaska house of reps–extortion, conspiracy, bribery, money laundering

    peter kott–former speaker of alaska house–extortion, bribery, conspiracy

    victor kohring–alaska house–attempted extortion, bribery, conspiracy

    maybe there is something in the eskimo pies.

  9. hi sc!
    welcome to the raisin πŸ˜€ , and thank you for that link! very, very funny!

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