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Doolittle Done?

Is scandal-plagued Congressman John Doolittle (R-CA) on his way out? Speculation is rampant that he's soon to announce his retirement and hand the reigns over to former state Sen. Rico Oller. Doolitte, who barely survived re-election in 2006 amid allegations about his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is facing money and polling woes going into his 2008 rematch against Democrat Charlie Brown.

You're on Crooked Camera

The Alaska bribery scandal makes the front page of the Washington Post today in a story that includes several colorful excerpts from the secret taping of VECO Chairman Bill Allen's conversations with Alaska legislators -- like this, uh, candid admission from convicted Rep. Pete Kott about working against a bill opposed by oil interests: "I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie. [...] Exxon's happy. BP's happy.

Kohring Convicted

The testimony of the man who bribed him has led to former Alaska Rep. Vic Kohring's conviction on three bribery charges. Bill Allen, the former CEO of VECO Corp. claims he bribed Kohring to ensure his support for a piece of legislation that would have brought millions of dollars in business to VECO.

Jefferson Heads to Court

Hey, let's check in with Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) shall we? The embattled legislator has a trial coming up on conspiracy and bribery charges stemming from a scheme that sounds like it was copied all or in part from the text of Nigerian email scams. And the courtroom drama!

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:


Kott Convicted

Former Alaska State Rep. Pete Kott (R) was convicted yesterday on bribery charges stemming from the wide-ranging investigation of VECO Corp., an oil services company whose CEO has confessed to using money and other favors to influence the actions of legislators on an crucial crude oil tax that meant millions in profits for VECO.

Hang Up When You Hear the Click

Sources say the FBI recorded phone calls between VECO CEO Bil Allen and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) as part of the ongoing bribery investigation which has implicated several Alaskan lawmakers. Allen provided consent for the taping as part of his cooperation with investigators. Conversations were also taped between Allen and former Alaska House Speaker Peter Kott and between Allen and another VECO executive.

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.


Corruption Arrests in New Jersey

Eleven New Jersey officials were arrested today in connection with a sprawling bribery investigation of roofing and insurance contracts. Several councilmen, mayors, Assemblymembers, and school board members are implicated in the the investigation.

Here, courtesy of is a list of those officials charged with accepting bribes in exchange for exerting influence over public contracts, and how much each is alleged to have received: