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.
The latest on Sen. Ted Stevens twisting an earmark around to bail out an ex-aide only fuels the fire lit by the VECO bribery scandal that has put several lawmakers behind bars, and now threatens the careers of Sen. Stevens and his son, Rep. Don Young, and many other legislators besides. Metcalfe alleges that corruption is so rampant that when a city manager refused to go along with Stevens' earmark plan, he was fired.
Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin (R) ran on an anti-corruption platform and seems dedicated to cleaning up the state's government. It's going to take a lot of work to get Alaskans to trust their legislators when new scandals crop up daily in the news. However, an initiative to create a Clean Elections public financing system the elections in the state will almost certainly be on the ballot in August. Cutting the cord between big campaign contributions from special interests and candidates for public office could go a long way towards undoing the damage the bribery scandals have done.