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The Fallout from the Stevens Indictment

POSTED: 09:23 AM ET, 07/31/2008 by Derek Kravitz

The fallout from the federal corruption indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens, the once-powerful Alaska Republican who helped the state snag millions in pork-barrel projects, is being felt from Anchorage to Washington.

A third of Alaska's jobs can be traced to federal spending, according to the latest study by the University of Alaska's Institute of Social and Economic Research, and many spring from military expenditures that Stevens encouraged during decades of service on the appropriations subcommittee that oversees defense spending, The Post's Karl Vick reports today.

The 84-year-old Stevens, dubbed "Uncle Ted" by the friends and constituents who have reaped the benefits of his nearly 40 years in the Senate, secured or played a significant role in 891 earmarks worth $3.2 billion to Alaska between 2004 and 2008, the watchdog group, Taxpayers for Common Sense said yesterday.

The group documented Stevens' "reach in this vast and lucrative realm" in a database and analysis of his Defense spending projects, also released yesterday.

Michael Barone of U.S. News & World Report called Stevens' indictment the most "recent state-shattering tremor in an earthquake of change in Alaska politics."

Politico reported that Senate Republicans greeted their colleague yesterday with hugs and smiles, even as they dumped campaign contributions the Alaska senator had given them.

The mixed message: We love you, Ted, but we won't let you bring us down.

The outlook for Stevens was bad even before the charges: He trailed his Democratic challenger, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, in November's election by nine points, according to a Rasmussen poll released last week.

Despite the idea of innocence until proved guilty, his allies in the Senate were quick to distance themselves from him as their re-election bids move full speed ahead, CNN reported.

"Two years ago was a horrible election for Republicans in a horrible environment. The environment is now worse for Republicans than it was two years ago, and that means the election results could be as bad or even worse," Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report told CNN.

(Update: Stevens pleaded not guilty in federal court today.)

By Derek Kravitz |  July 31, 2008; 9:23 AM ET Stevens Trial
Previous: Israeli PM To Resign Amid Corruption Probe | Next: Executive Privilege and the Fired Attorneys

Comments

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He is a prime example of why lobbyist's should be eliminated, add ons to bills for pork projects should be eliminated and term limits should be in effect.

Posted by: overtaxed | July 31, 2008 11:21 AM

This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Just imagine what we have not found out
about ALL the others.
To be safe, KICK THEM ALL OUT.
THEN THE NEXT ROUND KICK THAT BUNCH OUT BECAUSE THEY WILL BE TAINTED BY THEN.
ABOUT 4 TIMES SHOULD DO IT.
START RIGHT HERE IN TEXAS, OUR GREAT STATE HAS PRODUCED MORE CROOKED POLITICIANS THAN ANY OTHER STATE. BUT I WAS BORN IN TEXAS 82 YEARS AGO +
AND I WILL STAY IN THIS SORDID MESS AND HELP STRAIGHTEN IT OUT. GOD HELP MY GRANDCHILDREN

Posted by: westexacan | July 31, 2008 11:31 AM

We've grown quiet comfortable to Uncle Ted's largesse. We owe our entire existence and infrastructure to this wonderful man.
He knows most of us remote arctic villagers and river rats on a personal basis and we believe that everything he did, he did for us Alaskans.
What you lesser 48'ers call pork we call roads, hospitals and schools. Brilliant man and a prince of an advocate. Replacing his ilk is a non-starter. I'll vote for him this fall: again.
Passing of the guard: step aside, let the man go through.
Us Barrow uppity folk hold this angel in high regard.

Posted by: North of 70 lat | July 31, 2008 11:37 AM

It seems so obvious today that our government can not be staffed or run by "honest" men. As a result we continue to get bent over and pay the consequences of our "dedicated politicians" operating in "their best interest" rather than the poor working slobs who believed in them and put them in office. Sad state of affairs-shame on us!

Posted by: Roger H. | July 31, 2008 11:38 AM

Overtaxed is right on!!! I agree 100%!!! This great country needs its government to remember the people's interests and that won't happen until lobbying is outlawed and congressman have term limits!! It's hard to imagine that the Founding Fathers envisioned politics as a "full time job for the rest of your life."
Lobbying is the epitome of corruption, pure and simple. The buying of America...

Posted by: Indiana Bob | July 31, 2008 11:40 AM

I guess he's been there all these years because it's OK to lie, cheat and steal as long as you spread a lot of that around.

Posted by: J Dingle | July 31, 2008 11:45 AM

Bring back term limits. Our founding fathers never intended being a congressman as a lifetime at the public trough.
Completely outlaw all lobbiests , except those for no profit organizations.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 11:52 AM

Of course people from Alaska like the guy. Pablo Noriega was loved in Colombia because all the good things he did on the place he lived. The problem for me is that it looks like he is buying his seat in the Senate, so he can keep up with the gifts. The money invested in Alaska is tax payers money. Is not Stevens money. He is looking for his own pocket. If Alaska votes Republican for President, then the Republicans can do their dirty business with Corporations and more lobbyists, or even start wars. The pork money is just kickbacks.

Posted by: Fernando F. | July 31, 2008 11:52 AM

wake up America. McShame is more years of U.S combat deaths in in Iraq. Vote for change.

Posted by: Rob in Florida | July 31, 2008 11:56 AM

Readers in every state should follow my "I" rule. If a candidate has an "I" after his/her name meaning incumbent, DO NOT VOTE FOR THAT PERSON UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Posted by: Ralph | July 31, 2008 11:57 AM

"What you lesser 48'ers call pork we call roads, hospitals and schools."

While there is no denying that many of Senator Stevens' projects benefitted Alaska's infrastructure. This is the same man that wanted to spend our tax dollars on the now infamous "bridges to nowhere" instead of relief for victims of Katrina. Also, one cannot overlook the possibility that term limits should be in place. If Stevens was not allowed to be a senator for decades, his small state (in terms of population) seniority would not be a factor and funds would hopefully be distributed correctly.

Posted by: Maize | July 31, 2008 11:58 AM

What a sad and disillusioning time for all of us in Alaska. After a lifetime in the north now to see a man who has done so much and made it possible for so many of us to live in this truly wonderful place, to have succumbed to petty temptations. All of his life, and many of ours, may fall, all for the sake of a new barbecue grill and some kitchen renovations.

Yes, we live on the federal dollar; just like Long Beach, Bremerton, and Washington itself. His career has not been bad, just his ending.

Posted by: dgrauman | July 31, 2008 11:58 AM

"Pork" is a very nebulous term. One mans port is another mans lifeblood. Having said that, I do believe that some amount of Pork is inevitable. What we need to do is limit it to $10M per Senator per year and $5M per Congressman/woman per year. This money can be spent as they see fit, no questions asked (bridge to no where; museum to study flatulence, etc). All other spending should be vetted properly. I believe this would limit the amout of wasteful spending that goes on.
About term limits - good idea only if ALL the states do it. Alternatively, let's make it easier for a challenger to run in the elections. e.g. May a non-incumbent gets more public funding?

Posted by: New Englanders Perspective | July 31, 2008 12:02 PM

As a Republican, I hope Stevens spends the rest of his days locked in a cell in a Federal penitentiary with a burly fat guy twice his size. What a disgrace this guy is to America!

Posted by: Hoq | July 31, 2008 12:02 PM

As far as Alaska is concerned, the Senator is a great politician and has brought in what was greatly needed by the state. The problem that I have with it, is that the money to help Alaska came out my pocket as a taxpayer and instead of going into my area to support my schools, hospitals, and social services, it goes many thousands of miles away where I may never even see the benefit of it. The tax money that came out my pocket could have gone back into my hometown's school district, which is now $ 60 million dollars in debt, or into the public university system to keep my tuition down, valid concerns in the state of California. Your tax money should benefit desperate social programs in your area, not places thousands of miles away. Otherwise, why am I paying taxes in the first place?

Posted by: Chris | July 31, 2008 12:06 PM

re: Sen. Stevens sent 3.2 billion to Alaska in 4 years. Just to remind those in the lower 48, most of Alaska is owned by "you". Point One Percent or .1% of the land is privately owned and 80% of that is owned by the Native Corporations. The rest is protected, designated wilderness, national forest, oil reserve, park land, military, and state. Of course the feds have to support it, you own it. Now if "you" ever want to turn it over to the state or the private sector that would be nice. I'm not saying Uncle Ted should have gone this route for retirement and he would not have survived this election cycle anyway, but just know how much of Alaska isn't owned by Alaskans.

Posted by: MidaH | July 31, 2008 12:06 PM

Our problem seems to be our lack of interest in the governance of our lives.
We are quite happy to have somone else take care of that and only become enraged when it is brought to the forefront by a scandle such as the Stevens mess.That by the way is over two years old and for the reason that I have expressed has only just come to life. The last real Republiccan was Richard Nixon.He had the guts to take on big business and labor and really did believe in small government.Since him it is just lip service and the pols are only interested in getting your vote and will pander to you untill they are elected and then go about their currupt practices untill the next election.I dont think that Obama will be elected so we can look forward to a McCain presidency with a large democratic majority in congress to hold him in check.God help us Philip of Anaheim

Posted by: Philip of anaheim | July 31, 2008 12:09 PM

Looks like another one of the Senile Old Fool's partners will be going to prison.
He must be getting lonely on the campaign trail.

Posted by: DWayne | July 31, 2008 12:13 PM

hey fernando, did you pablo escobar??? or maybe you meant manuel noriega, even though the colombians have no reason to have an opinion of a panamanian dictator...

clarity is often important.

Posted by: thorny | July 31, 2008 12:13 PM

I personally have little pity for a state that receives oil subsidy checks every year, even if milk costs far more than I pay in Washington State. If you can't afford to live in the outback, move to somewhere with lower prices.
By thy way, the Interet is not made of pipes Mr. Stevens...

Posted by: jswanson | July 31, 2008 12:13 PM

North of 70 lat: "What you lesser 48'ers call pork we call roads, hospitals and schools." Most believe that those things are needed, but Senator Stevens problems are bigger than that. westexcan: Not having lived in texas all my life I noticed a difference in the political landscape when I'd lived here for a few years. This last spring my son took 'Texas Government' in college in his college course they reviewed the state political history & that history is rooted in many beliefs but the one I found prepostorous was that political parties here believe that elected officials should be able to prosper for elected office. It shows in much of the state politics. So throwing the bums out is only the first step. Maybe the discussion should be: What is the job of Government? BUT FIRST LOOK @ who is defining 'pork'

Posted by: texasresident | July 31, 2008 12:19 PM

If you believe that lobbying and pork barrel spending will stop or be reduced by electing all democrats,you are not very smart or you do not understand politics(American style).

Posted by: Don | July 31, 2008 12:21 PM

For those of us in Alaska it is not a big suprise,this is a small state. Companies like VECO are household names here. VECO is not in the business of doing home repair, average citizens wouldn't even think to call them. The old boys network continued to live on, and Stevens haden't recognised that era is over.

Posted by: Walt H | July 31, 2008 12:23 PM

Quote: "START RIGHT HERE IN TEXAS, OUR GREAT STATE HAS PRODUCED MORE CROOKED POLITICIANS THAN ANY OTHER STATE."

Oh, come on! You need to look next door to neighboring Louisiana or to New Jersey or Illinois or almost any NE state. They put Texas to shame in the crooked politician game. And I've live here for 74 years.
With Money Magazine's pick of one of our cities (Plano) as the best place to live in the western United States, and 4 of the 10 largest cities in the nation, and the 15th largest economy in the world, I wouldn't live anywhere else.

BTW, term limits is the way to go, but it will never happen, since the representatives will have to vote themselves out.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 12:24 PM

In Response to "NORTH'S"; "What you lesser 48'ers call pork we call roads, hospitals and schools. Brilliant man and a prince of an advocate. Replacing his ilk is a non-starter. I'll vote for him this fall: again."

I bet you WILL vote for Stevens again, won' t you, you greedy filthy disgusting pig. Roads, hospitals and schools are a fine thing but it's a shame you feel no guilt utilizing your "BENEFITS" that SOMEONE ELSE(namely me!) paid for.

Ever heard of the song "Hunger Strike" by Pearl Jam? The story is about slavery, with a universal meaning of the shame of propering unfairly at the expense of others;
"Blood is on the table, the mouths are choking".
I wonder if Alaskans have the deciency to "Choke" on the "Pork" that Senator Ted Stevens brought. I can see that (1) Alaskan who goes by "North" isn't choking at all!

Posted by: Chuck Glisson | July 31, 2008 12:24 PM

Sounds like this guy did a lot of good deeds for the residents of Alaska; it is, indeed,unfortunate he evidently decided to go off course and engage in illegal practices. Still,he is innocent until proven guilty. I agree that these people need to be replaced, people like Ted Stevens and John McCain who have been holding the reins of our government; I am in full agreement term limits for these politicians are in order. I am absolutely certain Ted Stevens is not the "lone star" o corruption in Washington. How about John McCain and the Dineh Navajo genocide all in the name of the vast reserves of coal in Black Mesa, their reservation! McCain is responsible for the displacement of these gentle people to an area contaminated with uranium sludge. Over 2,000 Dineh have died from this contamination. In the meantime, McCain and his cohorts continue to line their pockets at the expense of the Dineh Navajo Tribe!! Folks, not only is this a true from of genocide, it is corruption in full bloom, yet no one wants to talk about it!! What McCain has done is much, much worse then that which Ted Steven is being charged. McCain's corruption invovles the deaths of over 2,000 innocent people!!

Posted by: NinaK | July 31, 2008 12:25 PM

Quote: "For those of us in Alaska it is not a big suprise,this is a small state."

Say what? Alaska is the largest state in the union! Maybe in population, economy, population density, etc. But small??

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 12:28 PM

Things are looking very good for Obama!! General Patreas has announced some withdrawals of our forces from Iraq!! Also, he announced the scheduled deployment of more troops to Iraq have been cancelled!!! This is really great news for the families of our servicemena nd servicewomen and for our troops!! Thank God that reasonable minds prevail!!

Posted by: NinaK | July 31, 2008 12:29 PM

We need an American Politician Idol.
Every week we vote their backsides out.
Lets start by eliminating Nancy "Botox" Polosi and Harry "vote no" Reed out from the start.
Then take Stevens "Alaska Man" and Jefferson "90Grand Freezer Man" and shot them on stage.
Great first show.

Posted by: clearvoice | July 31, 2008 12:32 PM

to North of 70 Lat: I can understand how people can like this guy, but the Bridge to Nowhere truly went off the edge. Alaska should have enough income from oil (a $5B surplus without state income tax!) to where they don't need self serving egotists to grab more Federal money when it's needed elsewhere - the BtN showed the state has enough.

Posted by: Chris | July 31, 2008 12:37 PM

Quote: "This last spring my son took 'Texas Government' in college in his college course they reviewed the state political history & that history is rooted in many beliefs but the one I found prepostorous was that political parties here believe that elected officials should be able to prosper for elected office. It shows in much of the state politics."

LOL. You need to send your son to another school. The political parties believe no such thing and it does not show in the state politics. Texas has one of the weakest if not the weakest governorship in the nation. That is to say, the governor has NO power whatsoever except to issue a few pardons and try to lead. The leagislature only meets for 90 days every two years. We want the government out of our business and our state is one of the best in the nation. If you don't like it, move back to the rust belt or where ever you came from.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 12:40 PM

Whatever party is in power -- whether Republican or Democrat -- will ultimately abuse their power. Our founding fathers knew this and that's why our government has such extensive checks and balances.

Unfortunately the checks and balances in place are no longer strong enough to keep our politicians under control. Politicians themselves are NOT going to vote in such measures unless they are pressured strongly enough by their constituents.

But the American voters, by and large, are mostly distracted by financial pressures, family obligations, video games and television. That's EXACTLY where our politicians want us - a nation of unempowered people who lack time and concentration to focus on what our politicians are up to.

Posted by: Ron Sargent | July 31, 2008 12:41 PM

Our "leaders" in Washington are only interested in power and the money to finance their campaigns so they can stay in power. Democrat, Republican, it doesn't matter. The lobbyists and Washington insiders have totally corrupted our system. When will we reach the critical mass of enough voters saying "ENOUGH"... We need term limits across all elected positions, a firm plan to reduce federal spending and start paying down the deficit, and throw the lobbyists the hell out. The price of gas in this country isn't just a reflection of supply and demand. It's largely due to our currency being so devalued by our government's inability to control spending. Think Obama is going to be a savior in that department?!? Him and McCain are arguably the worst presidential choices we've ever been given. Ugh!

Posted by: Disgusted in FL | July 31, 2008 12:42 PM

Our biggest public contribution to congressional corruption is that we vote incumbents back into office.

Do NOT fool yourselves that you know which of your representatives are 'on the take'.

Do NOT think that 'it's only the other political party that's corrupt'.

Do NOT promote corruption by voting incumbents (with their massive lobbyist-funded campaign coffers) back into office!

Posted by: KICK THEM ALL OUT | July 31, 2008 12:44 PM

With 77 lobbyist per representative with 3.2 million to spend each(lobbyist), is it any wonder these people get corrupted?

Posted by: Greg Myrick | July 31, 2008 12:47 PM

To NinaK: "Things are looking good for Obama"?? Of course Petreas is starting to send troops home -- we are at pre-SURGE levels now BECAUSE OF THE SURGE! Obama was for immediate withdraw which means SURRENDER. But without the SURGE, that Obama still doesn't admits worked, we couldn't have had either the military victory or the political gains that we saw. If we had gone with Obama's "plan" of immediate withdraw/surrender (which of course he's flipped on), Iraq would have suffered immense chaos and we wouldn't be in our current position of victory that allows us to bring folks home. You have certainly drunk the Koolaid.

Posted by: Bobbi | July 31, 2008 12:51 PM

Apparently most of you don't remember Senators Kerr of Oklahoma and McClellan of Arkansas who had built the waterway of 445 miles with 18 locks at a Federal cost of 1.2 billion dollars. It goes from the Mississippi River through Arkansas into Tulsa, Oklahoma?? Finished in 1968. Talk about PORK. Makes the senator from Alaska look like an angel.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 12:52 PM

As far as all this bickering about Texas(which is off topic to this thread), and ESPECIALLY to the NON SIGNED poster above who is telling us to leave Texas if we don't like it, I have (1) comment; George W. Bush

Care to defend the honor of Texas NOW?

Texas DOES have (1) thing in common with Alaska, it is morally, intellectually, and legally corrupt,

That being said, can we get BACK on the topic please?

Posted by: Liberty Hops | July 31, 2008 12:52 PM

I live in Alaska and I support Ted Stevens and you can call names and throw crap all day long but you are so far off base... Here is an idea let Alaska develop its own resources like all the other states in America do and we will not need any federal help. You think we are your park and you never have been here you think ANWR is pristine HA you have no idea what you are talking about...

leave Ted Stevens alone... he has given 40 years of his life to helping ALaska survive..without him we would not have running water, you have no idea what you are talking about SHAME ON YOU... and by the way please do not visit here stay in your state where you get more perks and pork than Alaska does... you make me sick with your ignorant rants....

Posted by: DKL | July 31, 2008 12:57 PM

The reports say he's the first sitting senator to be indicted since 1993. That's not news; that's a miracle!

Posted by: doc_doc | July 31, 2008 12:58 PM

Liberty Hops, I wasn't the one who mentioned Texas at first. And I will defend any state that is maligned with false info. Whether you like it or not.

BTW, George Bush is not from Texas. Neither is his father. Try Connecticut.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 12:58 PM

The Katrina moment can't be overlooked.

Given the choice between helping an American city and region that was underwater and literally drowning, Senator Stevens instead threw a tantrum on the floor of the United States Senate and refused to surrender billions in feel-good pork projects.

The Republican-led Senate should have censured Stevens at that moment, and worked for his removal from office. It didn't, but hopefully the courts will put Stevens away in a prison, where he deserves to be.

This isn't about "my pork is better than your pork." This is about an elected leader abdicating his sworn duty in the face of a great national tragedy, only for the give-and-take of legal and illegal bribes.

Posted by: Billo321 | July 31, 2008 1:00 PM

George W. Bush "NOT" from Texas? Oh I'm sorry, I guess me, the public at large, the media, and all the documents in every public library is WRONG, and ONLY YOU are right.

I have a question for you, have you ever noticed the theme from the twilight zone playing even when there in no TV around? It always seems to happen when YOU enter the room!

Posted by: Liberty Hops | July 31, 2008 1:04 PM

Quote: "Texas DOES have (1) thing in common with Alaska, it is morally, intellectually, and legally corrupt,"

And I'm going to ask for written proof with links on your stupid statement. Because some illiterate says it, doesn't make it true.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 1:08 PM

Bobbi - You comment that Obama was against a war-winning surge. He was actually against the war, period. McCain was for the war, and against withdrawing. In the scheme of things, Obama was right about not going to war in Iraq in the first place, McCain was right about the surge, and Obama is right about withdrawing now. Seems that Obama gets the main point, while McCain doesn't: There is no such thing as a 'surrender' when we shouldn't have gone in the first place, or leave when they ask. You, sir, have drank the Bush koolaid. And that's some pretty nasty stuff.

Posted by: David | July 31, 2008 1:10 PM

Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing their idiot.

I guess the bumper sticker is wrong too?

Posted by: Liberty Hops | July 31, 2008 1:11 PM

Those of you who are being partisan with your comments aren't getting the point. The point is that any and all of our politicians are prone to becoming corrupt and it's getting more common because we've stopped watching over them so closely.

Stop this silly arguing about this or that person, or this or that political party, because you're making our corrupt leaders laugh with glee that you aren't seeing the big picture.

Please develop maturity and perspective.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 1:15 PM

For Liberty Hops:

Born in New Haven, Connecticut on July 6, 1946, Bush was the first child of George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush (born Pierce). Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a U.S. Senator from Connecticut, and his father served as U.S. President from 1989 to 1993.

Bush attended the all-boys school Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he played baseball and during his senior year was the head cheerleader.[20] Following in his father's footsteps, Bush attended Yale University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in history in 1968.

Now, learned one. To be a Texan, you have to be born and raised a Texan.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 1:17 PM

Quote: "Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing their idiot."

Oh, another under-educated, old, working-class, blue haired, Hillary fan per her own words.
Well that explains it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 1:20 PM

I'M GETTING SICK OF THE IRRELEVANT DISCUSSION ABOUT WHERE GEORGE BUSH WAS BORN. STAY ON TOPIC OR EXPECT TO BE AXED.

Posted by: XXX | July 31, 2008 1:31 PM

Axe Away!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 1:38 PM

If ever a thread stays on topic on the Post, it will be the first time.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 1:40 PM

I don't care about corruption & care even less about ted stevens. It has nothing to do with my every day life. Get it?

Posted by: Don | July 31, 2008 1:54 PM

Please tell us the outcome of the crime
attributed to:
SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA
(Who had $90,000 in refrigerator
(Who used U.S. troops to get it
(who used U.S. vehicles during
a time of great need by LA.)

Posted by: tess | July 31, 2008 2:22 PM

When our Constitution was originaly conceived some very intelligent gentlemen inserted the following: "A government of the people, by the people and for the people."

That no longer is true and has not been so for a great number of years now, as best illustrated by the long tenure of Senator Stevens on the Rep. side and Senator Robert Byrd on the Dem. side. Politics has now become a career aspiration instead of a public service function in which you served 10-12 years and then turned it over to "new blood." No one is a better example of the "new politician" than Bill Clinton who has been at the public trough since early in his twenties. He will remain so until the day he dies and will have never functioned in the real world as an employee of a private enterprise.

What is most disturbing is the flagrant crassness and hypocrisy of the current crop of politicians. They literally steal from the very people that they are supposed to represent and they do it on an ongoing basis without any compunction whatsoever. If any CEO of a public company acted in the same manner they would be in jail, ie.Enron, etc.

Sadly what we have evolved into as a nation is: "A government of the politician, by the politician and for the politician."

And we, the voting public, should be ashamed because we continue to return these mental midgets back to Washington year after year. OUR DUMB!!!

Posted by: dharper | July 31, 2008 2:37 PM

Apparently most of you don't remember Senators Kerr and McClellan who had built the waterway of 445 miles with 18 locks at a Federal cost of 1.2 billion dollars. It goes from the Mississippi River through Arkansas into Tulsa, Oklahoma?? Finished in 1968. Talk about PORK. Makes the senator from Alaska look like an angel"

The canal was finished in 1971.The Corp of Engineers says the canal is now 99 percent paid for by fees alone, and it will be there for a long, long time.

Indirect payroll from related jobs is over $1 billion per year for tens of thousands pf taxpaying workers.

Over 12 million tons passed through the canal each year, primarily wheat and fertilizer to and from the Port of New Orleans, Arkansas, Oklahoma and several states north and west of Oklahoma.

The annual tonnage can either fill 8598 canal barges, 128,970 railroad cars, or 515,880 trucks.


According to the Corp, "Number of miles one ton can be carried per gallon of fuel:

Canal: barge 514 miles per gallon
rail: 202 miles per gallon
truck: 59 miles per gallon


One barge carries the same amount of freight as 15 rail cars or 60 tractor-trailer truckloads.

Despite 40 years of GOP whining, basically repeating the same complaints aired before digging began, the canal has proven itself to be very successful, an asset to the nation.

And Senator Stevens' Bridge to Nowhere? How long would it have taken to prove itself successful, considering local authorities had stated that the existing ferry adequately served the needs of the airport?

Posted by: Bill | July 31, 2008 3:02 PM

Teddy is a crook. Plain and simple. it amazes me that some of these comments from Alaskans indicate they feel they deserved what he was able to steal. Teddy, you better clean out your "series of tubes" and get ready for prison.

Posted by: Jeff | July 31, 2008 3:04 PM

WHO INVOKED WILLIAM JERFFERSON'S NAME?

That crook should go to jail, in a double sleeper shared with a guy named Stevens.

Why do you ask?

Posted by: Billo | July 31, 2008 3:04 PM

"Don"

You had better care about corruption
Don -

BECAUSE it does have something to do with your everyday life.

Your government representatives are stealing from you personally, a little bit at a time, and your children and grandchildren are going to have to eventually pay for the continuing transgressions that we presently are allowing to occur.

I don't know where you are employed but if your company had just a small portion of the corruption now occuring in the government your company would be bankrupt within a year.

Theft, at any level, is morally and ethically wrong. Our problem in society today is that we have become an "excuse making" society and attempt to justify any and all crime as being the result of what someone else did or caused "me" to do.

We have removed integrity and personal responsibility from our thought process and function under the "hippie" premise of "if it makes me feel good then do it" regardless of the effect it may have on others.

This comes from the observations of a man who has witnessed nearly 80 years of continuing declining conduct in almost every aspect of our society.

If you young people don't get your heads screwed on straight, and quickly, you are not going to like the nation you now live in in another 25 years.

Posted by: dharper | July 31, 2008 3:08 PM

I don't care where George W. Bush was born, that is a non-issue. I lived most of my life in Germany, Hawaii, and California, but I was born in and lived my 1st year of life in New England. Does that make me a New Englander? No it does not!

George W. Bush is a moron, he lived MOST of his adult life in Texas, served as YOUR governor, and STILL resides there. Whether you claim him as a local or not, does not matter, he's STILL a moron, TEXANS are still morons, and he is STILL YOUR moron. I'm sorry man, facts are facts. Just deal with it and move on.

Posted by: Liberty Hops | August 1, 2008 4:58 AM

How in George Washington's name can the GOP get on the Air and straight face jump all over anyone when they have the king of pork as their longest serving member in senate?And still claim they are conservative?3.2 billion bucks,and a third of jobs traced back to we taxpayers?And he claims he knows nothing?Unreal.

Posted by: pinkydink53 | August 1, 2008 6:04 AM

It's pretty simple.Politicians like Law Enforcement are all corrupt and not to be trusted.

Posted by: Emmett54 | August 1, 2008 6:57 AM

Uncle Ted beside bing good for Alaska, as a conservative republican for his bona fide of personal greed, conservative republican perversity, rights only of his kind at age 84 is a fat arrogant pig. Then again it is the US Senate, the most dysfunction, inefficient and unrepresentative body overloaded with aging old geezers who are led by the nose by the Lobbyists. It is high time to hang one SOB and retire the rest SObs or if they do not bury them alive. This country has had with these SOBs, their self interests and their self righteousness.

Posted by: winemaster2 | August 1, 2008 9:16 AM

All I hear you all saying is we need term limits. What is this, the stop me before I vote for him again act. We already have term limits, it's called stop voting them back into office.

Now, to say that you want to vote every incumbent out of office is the lazy way out, the correct way is to research the people you're voting for, because there are some great incumbents in office right now that do their job correctly and honestly, such as RON PAUL.

As far as Stephens goes, MidaH is correct a lot of Alaska is government owned, AKA we the people.

Posted by: gilligan | August 1, 2008 1:10 PM

As far as Ron Paul, isn't his approach; "remove ALL restrictions from corporations"?

The GOP is exercising this to a SLIGHTLY lesser extreme, and the results have been a COMPLETE disaster.

So please explain to me how Ron Paul's "Go even further down the SAME road than even the GOP did" is supposed to result in anything less, and certainly MORE, (meaning worser), of the same crap we have ALREADY received from Hurricane BUSH & earthquake CHENNEY?

Any takers? Please, and I want some details, don't give me a whitewash.

Posted by: Chuck Glisson | August 1, 2008 6:51 PM

My name does not have INC or LLC at the end of it, so I guess Ron Paul does not represent my interests either.

(Unless by "interest" I meant Millions or Billions in some sort of Assets, mostly hidden in Switzerland, or just far enough off the coast of america to fit into one of those fat ole loopholes)

Posted by: Liberty Hops | August 1, 2008 6:56 PM

Surely hope all these Shrub Buzzards will be prosecuted AFTER he leaves office so he can't 'excuse' them from all wrongdoing. That includes the King Buzzard himself. Please wait a few more months.

Posted by: jimbeaux | August 2, 2008 9:28 AM

If a third of Alaska's jobs can be traced to federal spending as reported here, how can Alaska be called anything but a welfare state?

"Conservative"? I think not.

Posted by: JJ | August 2, 2008 11:10 AM

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