Alaska

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Multi-Tasking

Alaskans are a multi-talented bunch -- not only can an oil services company renovate houses, but a construction supervisor can work high-dollar political fundraisers. Or so the latest testimony in the VECO bribery case would seem to indicate.

See No Ethics, Hear No Ethics

With the recent testimony of VECO CEO Bill Allen about the free work his company did on Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) home, questions about the Senator's alleged favor-trading with the company are once again in the headlines. On today's installment of TPM TV, Josh Marshall asks this: why is it that Stevens is getting the kid-glove treatment from his colleagues while Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) was booted so quickly he practically left fingernail marks on his desk?

Bottom of the Heap

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released its list of the 22 most corrupt members of Congress. The third annual iteration of this report, called "Beyond DeLay" includes scandal summaries for each of the 22 members cited (and two more to watch out for). California leads the tally with five members listed but Alaska enjoys the distinction of having its entire congressional delegation on the list. Perhaps they'll get jackets made.

At least he's honest

And the long saga of the Alaskan corruption probe continues. We've reported extensively on the goings on up there.

 

Follow the Voters

Alaska State Rep. Berta Gardner takes exception to allegations that the proposed Clean Elections program for state has a bias towards the left side of the aisle, making the point in this Anchorage Daily News editorial that concern over the excessive influence of money in politics transcends party boundaries among voters.

If you want to talk about the cost of public financing, writes Gardner, let's first talk about what the current system with all its boondoggles costs voters:

Face Time and Fundraisers

Congress is in recess for August and members have headed home. While that may mean fewer Martinis & Moneyclips fundraisers at DC watering holes, it's now time for a slate of in-district fundraising events. And Alaskan legislators -- tainted as they may be by allegations that money swayed their votes and priorities -- aren't going to miss out on the fun. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) are out there catching fish, burning pigs, and offering time for money.

Alaska Ballot Initiative for Clean Elections

Here's a bit of good news for Alaskans, whose lawmakers can't seem to stay out of the way of the long arm of the law lately: a Clean Elections ballot initiative to create a public financing option for state campaigns has been certified by the Lieutenant Governor. Supporters can now gather signatures to place the initiative on the ballot next year.

Scandal's Northern Exposure

That's it, I want the FBI to raid MY home. All the cool kids are having the contents of their desks carried out in evidence bags, and I want in on the fun. Sen. Ted Stevens' Girdwood, Alaska home was picked over by federal investigators yesterday for documents related to the Senator's dealing with Veco, the oil services company tied to a scheme to bribe Alaskan legislators.

AaacK! More Corruption?

Another Alaska lawmaker in hot water: Rep. Don Young (Sen. Ted Stevens has had some of his dealings with the Veco corporation investigated and several state congressmen have been implicated in a corruption scandal). Young is in trouble on a number of fronts. He has ties to Abramoff, and his earmarking practices suggest he's rewarding big donors for filling his campaign coffers.

The Family Stevens

The Stevens family has a lawmaker legacy in Alaska; Senator Ted Stevens (R) is the longest serving Republican in the U.S. Senate and his son Ben served as the president of the Alaska State Senate. Their legacy may be in for a bit of tarnishing however, as a wide-ranging corruption investigation touches them both.