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Guest Post: Following Stevens PAC Money

Ethics has been the topic du jour on Capitol Hill today, with the House passing its lobbying reform measure by a landslide 411-8 vote. And the fallout continues after yesterday's FBI raid of Sen. Ted Steven's (R-Alaska) Anchorage home. Stevens and other Alaska politicians are being investigated in connection with a corruption probe. Washington Post reporter John Solomon offers us this item on Stevens's political action committee:

Lawmakers have long used political action committees to sow good will among fellow candidates. So how is Sen. Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican whose house was raided yesterday in a federal corruption probe, using his Northern Lights PAC?

Well, he doled out $95,000 to colleagues in the first half of the year, including $5,000 to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who is up for re-election and just happens to sit on the Senate Ethics Committee. That's the panel that could be called into review Stevens conduct at a later date in the controversy over his Alaska home renovations and relationship with an oil services company called VECO.

[Roberts declined to answer questions about the matter, as did the committee's top Democrat, Barbara Boxer of California, and top Republican, John Cornyn of Texas.]

Stevens also gave $5,000 to Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), another lawmaker whose ties to VECO have also attracted public scrutiny. Other recipients of the Northern Lights PAC's largesse include Republican Sens. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, John Sununu of New Hampshire, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Norm Coleman of Minnesota. And the National Republican Senatorial Committee got a cool $15,000 as well.

Stevens apparently didn't skimp on treating his donors well, either. His fund-raising expenses listed in his latest report to the Federal Election Commission included more than $200 to an Island Smoke Shop in Key Largo, Fla., $550 in tips to the waiters, front desk and bartenders at Madrona Manor in California, more than $250 to Poker Bargains in Beverly Hills and more than $2,500 to the Pure Luxury Bus company.

To view Stevens' latest PAC report, justclick here:

-- John Solomon

By Paul Kane  |  July 31, 2007; 4:15 PM ET
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Stevens Raid May Boost Ethics Reform
Next: New Ethics Panel 'Not Even Close'

Comments

The devil is in the small print, whether its a legislative bill, a contract or a bill of sale.

Watch out for that... as we all should.

stella

Posted by: stella watkins | July 31, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Corruption is OUR FAULT. People who serve more than two terms are targets for big money donors to exploit. WE need to stop sending the same people back to office over and over. PUBLIC SERVICE IS NOT A CAREER, IT IS A SERVICE. Get rid of career politicians!

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Posted by: Brad Lord-Leutwyler | July 31, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Yup! Oh sure, Dem's get raided by the FBI too BUT, they don't ever claim to be God's chosen Party, They don't claim to hold a momopoly on Morality, They don't claim that the simple answer to all ills is no taxes on The Rich. Throw the cranky b'tard in the cooler with Abramoff and the rest of the corrupt slime balls.

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 31, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Fascism---I am not really amazed at how these lockstep rubber stamping brown shirt's support "Miserable Failure" and each other. Hitler's Third Reich was the same way.

Posted by: ghostcommander | July 31, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Stevens is yet another argument for finding some way to strictly limit the time politicians spend in office...

The three laws of career politicians:

1) The perfect political solution is one you can point at proudly when talking to voters but that accomplishes almost nothing; as long as you don't solve a problem you can revisit it regularly and throw more money to your friends...

2) anything that concentrates wealth is good; rich people have both the money and the vested interest to contribute to keeping me in office...

3) The federal budget is my wall safe; keeping the offices primary purpose...

Posted by: Lee in Downey | July 31, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse


Senator Stevens is just the beginning of the Fall of the Leader of the Forth Reich, the reincarnite of Hitler, aka George W. Bush and Vice Furhrer, Cheney, aka the second coming of Martin Borman. The final coup de grace, is their AG, Alberto Gonzalez, aka Joseph Goebbels. Save the US Constitution NOW, before the 2008 elections and W stages something else, to achieve total power. Just like 1933 and the burning of the Reichstag.

Posted by: Alan Large | July 31, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Senator Stevens home is in Girdwood, not Anchorage. You must have confused his home with Ted Stevens International Airport.

Posted by: Salinasak | July 31, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Stevens is an utter disgrace. The facts of his "bridge to nowhere" never were fully divulged nor has the fact that he is one of the most profligate spenders in congress.

I hope this man dies in prision, where he belongs.

Posted by: Wayne Penner | July 31, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

While the U.S. government and media keep focusing on defense policies, campaign advertisement and the war in Iraq, 1.2 billion people in the world continue surviving on less than $1 dollar a day. I would like to see our current "president" and the political leaders like Senator Stevens support more international problems that affect our place in this world, such as global poverty. We should not forget the commitment made towards the U.N. Millennium Goals (a pact of ending extreme world hunger by the year 2025) in 2000. While the U.S. government and media keep focusing on defense policies and the war in Iraq, 1.2 billion people in the world continue surviving on less than $1 dollar a day. According to The Borgen Project, an annual $19 billion dollars is needed to eliminate half of the extreme poverty affecting the world by the year 2015. To my sense, it is almost unacceptable to have spent so far more than $340 billion in Iraq only, when we have more than war immunities to change the world and eliminate poverty

Posted by: aileench | July 31, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I am not surprised in the least that Senator Stevens is now under investigation by the FBI. For the past three years I have been writing to various newspapers in both Washington DC and Alaska to let the voting public know how this man is wasting tax money. He pays a salary to his Director of Scheduling, Martha DeLynn Henry, that is way out of proportion to her education and job description. For the tax year 2000 her total income from Senator Steven's payroll was just over $66,000/year; by February 2004, just over 3 years later, her salary was $120,000/year. Ms. Henry has no formal post secondary education and is basically a Secretary who maintains Senator Steven's schedule as well as coordination of travel arrangements for his wife Catherine and daughter Lilly.
I suppose a Senator can pay his staff whatever he feels is a fair and equitable salary but I'm sure the people of Alaska can think of much better usage for that money than to double his Secretary's salary in just 3 years (a whopping 100% salary increase in three years, where else in America can this be possible?). The last documented salary for Ms. Henry was in February of 2004 in a custody hearing in the court in Alexandria Virginia, where there is a letter from Senator Stevens validating that her annual salary was, at that time, $120,000. One can only wonder what it is now, 3 1/2 years later.
Makes one wonder what his other employees earn...those with degrees, his legal staff etc. It also makes one wonder where the money for these salaries comes from...taxpayers money or "undisclosed sources".

Posted by: concernedinva | August 1, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Attacking the salaries of individuals is foolish. The Senator, no matter what his party affiliation, has shown us once again that earmarks reforms must happen. Not just reforms that provide loopholes such as what is currently proposed, but real reforms. Perhaps, earmarks days in the sun should be over completely.
Let projects be submitted and survive on their merits within a state system funded by the feds, but end fed direct appropriations.
As for Bush, let it go folks, his term is just about over. The hatred & viciousness is simply obsessive and unnecessary.

Posted by: Rubicon | August 2, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

When do we get to the investigation of the fish stink surrounding the Alaska delegations of Ted Stevens, Don Young, former Senator Frank Murkowski, former Alaska legislator Ben Stevens? The Alaska fisheries politics are rotten to the core and have been for a number of years. Key pieces of management issues have been enacted that benefit immensely fish processors, who coincidentally also hold golf tournaments for fund-raising for Don Young, as well as contribute money to Ben Stevens. Follow the money and you will see who has benefited over the years; it's not the little guy fishermen with shallow pockets...Check out the roster of fisheries aides to Stevens, see where they've gone since, check out the political appointments to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council-Bob Penney, Ed Rasmusson-their connections to our delegations, check out the private, federally funded fisheries marketing board, one of those members is now on the North Pacific Council, so much over so many years. Please shine the light, and watch the rats scurry for cover. "Fish Stink", Wesley Loy, where is it?

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