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Old 07-29-2008, 04:53 PM   #1
Nimrod's Son
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Default Sen Ted Stevens Indicted

Wow, the guy who builds bridges to nowhere with federal funds and thinks the internet is made of tubes is a crook? No way.

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Sen. Ted Stevens Indicted in Alaska Corruption Probe
By Carrie Johnson and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, July 29, 2008; 2:58 PM

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R) was charged with seven counts of making false statements on his financial disclosure forms in an indictment unsealed in federal court in the District this afternoon.
The indictment accuses Stevens, former chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, of concealing payments of more than $250,000 in goods and services he allegedly received from an oil company. The items ******* home improvements, autos and household items.
The Alaska oil firm, Veco, and its one-time leader Bill Allen, asked for help in return. Allen and another former Veco official pleaded guilty in May 2007 in connection with their role in the bribery of Alaskan public officials. Prosecutors said that in some but not all instances Stevens or his aides allegedly provided the help requested by Allen and Veco.
The indictment charges Stevens with violating the Ethics in Government Act between 2001 and 2006 by hiding payments from Allen, Veco and two other people. The law requires elected officials to disclose gifts and debts that exceed $10,000 during any point in the year.
Brendan V. Sullivan Jr., a defense attorney for Stevens, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
Stevens, a senator since 1968, "knowingly and willfully engaged in a scheme to conceal a material fact" according to the 28-page indictment.
Items Stevens received ******* the creation of a new first floor, garage, and a wraparound deck on a Girdwood, Alaska, property the lawmaker dubbed "the chalet," according to the court papers. He also received a professional Viking gas grill and a tool cabinet, prosecutors said.
In return, Allen and his company sought funding and help with international projects in Pakistan and Russia, as well as federal grant and contract requests, according to the charges. Veco officials also sought assistance to construct a natural gas pipeline on Alaska's north slope.
The news shook the Senate as members of the two parties were convening their weekly policy lunches. Republicans were at their political headquarters, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and most Democrats declined to comment.
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), Stevens' closest friend in the Senate, said he was "not surprised" by the indictment because the investigation has been going on so long, but said he still supports Stevens.
The Stevens case is part of a broad Justice Department investigation into corruption in Alaska that already has netted the two guilty pleas from Veco executives and two more from lobbyists in the state. Three former state representatives have been found guilty of corruption connected to Veco's efforts to win tax legislation in Juneau for its plan to build a natural gas pipeline in Alaska.
A state senator and a former representative are awaiting trial.
Stevens, 84, is a larger than life political figure in Alaska. The longest serving Republican in the history of the Senate--he's served nearly four decades-- Stevens has used his perch as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee to funnel billions of dollars to his home state. He is locked in a tight re-election battle with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D), who in recent polls had edged slightly ahead of Stevens.
Stevens is now the ranking Republican of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, with oversight of the telecommunications, fishing, airline and other industries.
Stevens and his son, former state senator Ben Stevens (R), have been figures in the Veco case since it became public on Aug. 31, 2006, when the FBI raided the offices of several Alaska legislators, including the younger Stevens. Last July, agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service raided Ted Stevens' home.
The home remodeling, which took place in 2000, involved putting the senator's one-story, A-frame house on stilts and building a new ground floor, making it two stories.
Allen testified in court last year that his employees worked on an expansive reconstruction of Stevens' home. He said he personally oversaw the rebuilding of Stevens's house near Anchorage, visiting the residence about once a month, and gave the senator furniture.
"I gave Ted some old furniture," Allen testified. "I don't think there was a lot of material. There was some labor."
Contractors previously told a federal grand jury that Veco executives supervised renovations at Stevens's house and that bills for the work went to Veco for Allen's approval. Allen had earlier pleaded guilty to bribing state lawmakers in Anchorage.
In a letter to a friend who is a former federal prosecutor, Stevens has said he paid more than $130,000 for the renovations, according to the Seattle Times, which reported on the document.
Stevens is among more than a dozen current and former members of Congress who have come under federal investigation in recent years because of their ties to lobbyists and corporate interests.
The Alaska investigation has centered on Allen's efforts to bribe lawmakers by handing out wads of hundred-dollar bills in an effort to win favorable tax legislation in Alaska for a natural gas pipeline long sought by the energy industry and leaders of both political parties there.
Veco has benefited from actions by the federal government. It has received more than $30 million in federal contracts since 2000, according to a search of the database of FedSpending.org, which tracks contracts given to private companies. The largest contracts were for logistical services provided to the National Science Foundation for work in Alaska.
In June 2007, Ted Stevens first publicly acknowledged he was the focus of the investigation, telling The Washington Post that federal investigators had given him a document-preservation request as part of the Veco probe. He added that "my son is also under investigation."
The inquiry has been run by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, overseeing a team of FBI agents and two assistant U.S. attorneys in Anchorage.

 
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:38 PM   #2
Thaniel Buckner
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i'll admit my first exposure to this asshole was the series of tubes thing but i'm glad that some of the wheels in our federal government are turning the right way still.

 
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:26 PM   #3
homechicago
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meh, indicted doesn't really mean anything. he'll be just fine.

 
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