Ted Stevens

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Sen. Stevens Continues to Endear Himself

More bad news for Senator Ted Stevens. The Anchorage Daily News is reporting that he set up an earmark to finance a real estate bailout for a longtime aid. The $1.6 million earmark to the SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska was used to buy half a million in property from a former aide, Trevor McCabe.

Give and Bear It

You think you have trouble getting Congress to pay attention to your problems? Try being a polar bear. Yeah, polar bears are cute and if a bear has the good fortune to be born in a Berlin zoo lots of teenage girls will line up to take his picture and purchase t-shirts bearing his likeness but for the average bear hunting seals in Alaska, the outlook is grim. And his congressional representation isn’t helping.

Pork on Parade

Taxpayers for Common Sense just came out with tallies for the members of Congress who've collected the most earmarks and right near the top of the list are both Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), both of whom are in the middle of corruption investigations.

A Crab in Every Coffer

I am shocked -- shocked! -- to discover that concerns have been raised that an obscure earmark Alaska Rep. Don Young (R) inserted into a fishery regulation bill was designed to benefit three of his campaign contributors. Three fishing companies, Yardarm Knot, Blue Dutch, and Trident Seafoods may turn a handy profit off the earmark that gives them new crabbing rights in the Bering Sea.

Earmark if You Believe in Ferries

A "bridge to nowhere" won't pass muster anymore, but a boat to nowhere? Hey, that's worth trying. Sen.

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.

Gone Fishin'

Are legislators trying to buy influence with one another? TPMmuckraker picks up an NPR Marketplace story about a group of legislators traveling up to Alaska for fishing trips on the dime of lobbyist-backed non-profits with ties to embattled Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Bill Allen, the CEO of VECO whose admitted to trying to buy influence with legislators.

Next Norman?

NPR's Marketplace picked up the story of Bill Allen, the VECO Inc. CEO who admitted using campaign contributions to win influence with Congress, and $200 million in contracts. The report notes Allen's plan for VECO and its employess to direct donations to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in particular Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK). Most of the money hasn't been returned.

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.