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Pack Mentality

Remember that story a couple of weeks back about a memo instructing staffers in Rep. Don Young's (R-AK) office to give unrestricted access to certain "A-Team" lobbyists? Well, some of those same names are showing up again on the list of people who've donated to Young after his chief of staff reminded them in an email that if Young loses his re-election bid amid accusations of corruption, "you and your clients will be impacted."

Minimum Security Resort and Spa

Monty Python told us to always look on the bright side of life, but former Alaska state Rep. Vic Kohring took it a bit far on his last day before beginning a three and half year prison sentence for taking bribes from Veco Corp. to advocate for a pipeline project. TPM Muckraker has the highlights from Vic's last day on the outside, his bizarre roadside thank you to the people of Alaska, and his ambitions for life behind bars.

All of a Crook Family

Sibling rivalry rears it's ugly head. Perhaps jealous of all the attention his indicted brother Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) was getting, Mose Jefferson has gone and gotten himself charged with bribing a school official into purchasing millions in equipment from a company Jefferson worked for. Interesting to note, as USA Today does, the millions in earmarks to the company that made the stuff Mr. Jefferson sold. What a small, small world.

Subcommittee Of His Peers

On the heels of Rep. Rick Renzi's (R-AZ) indictment on 35 counts of conspiracy, fraud, money-laundering and much else the House has formed an ethics subcommittee to conduct its own investigation of the Congressman's dealings.

Renzi Indictment Frenzy

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) has just been indicted on 35 counts, including money laundering, wire fraud, and extortion stemming from a land deal wherein Renzi used his official capacity to get people to buy land from a partner, who then filtered some of the money back to Renzi -- there are also separate charges related to Renzi possibly embezzling money from a side business to fund his congressional campaigns.

Institute Change

Ray Metcalfe writes at the Alaska Report that the state is the victim of "institutionalized corruption" on the part of its legislators that has put money in the pockets of a few, at the expense of honest public servants. The Goodfellas poster mock-up is pretty funny.

Dear John

Dear John,

It's over between us.


Finding a New Audience

Professors Susan Andrews and John Creed pen this op-ed for the Juneau Empire about the rash of corruption stories in Alaska and why they point the ways towards approving the Clean Elections ballot initiative for which signatures are currently being gathered.

Force for Change

Will public outrage over the bribery of public officials in Alaska result in an overhaul in oil and gas industry policy in the state? The Christian Science Monitor suggests that the relationship between the state and its dominant industry may get strained in the course of addressing the corruption inquiries that have already sent several Alaska lawmakers to jail.

Off Limits

An appellate court decision on the constitutionality of a search of Rep. William Jefferson's office in connection with a bribery investigation may significantly hamper investigations into other members of Congress. The court's ruling may prevent the future use of wiretapping, staff interviews, and office searches.

In question is the "speech or debate" clause: