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Career Down the (Series of) Tubes?

We've been following the many shady-sounding escapades of Alaska's long-serving Senator Ted Stevens (R) for some time now, right up to yesterday's 7-count indictment against Stevens for failing to properly disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from oil services company Veco, the central corporation in the wide-ranging Alaska bribery investigation that has landed several state legislators in jail.

Stevens Indicted

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), long the subject of a federal investigation into his ties to the oil services company VECO has been indicted on seven counts of making false statements on his Senate financial disclosure forms. The wide-ranging VECO bribery scandal has already landed several Alaska legislators in in jail, and a handful more are awaiting trial.

Raise Your Hand If You Haven't Been Bribed

Let's hope for Alaska State Sen. John Cowdery's (R) sake that former Rep. Vic Kohring was right about prison being a long vacation because Crowdery is the latest Alaska lawmaker to be indicted in the extensive VECO Corp. bribery scandal. Crowdery was indicted for conspiracy and bribery following revelations by Rick Smith, the CEO of VECO that he had bribed state lawmakers in exchange for legislation that would benefit the company.

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.

A Vote for Me, A Dollar for You

The trial of VECO Corp. CEO Bill Allen in Alaska is pretty much a case-study on the corrupting influence of money in politics. Admitting he used campaign cash to advance the careers of sympathetic legislators -- and rewarded them for a job well done -- Allen is all the evidence we need for a Clean Elections alternative.


Here, from the AP's Matt Apuzzo, are the grim details of VECO's (likely very illegal) incentive program for lawmakers: