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Republican Corruption Continues, Unabated...

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Republican Corruption Continues, Unabated... The corruption charges leveled by Democrats at Republicans throughout the period leading to the 2006 Congressional election, continue and here is an analysis of events, which led to indictments and more investigations the last few months. More Charges Coming? Last year about this time the Democrats were looking forward to sweeping changes in the make-up of the congress following their campaign alleging the corruption of the Republican elected officials. Now, with a new election only about 13 months away the uncovering of corruption continues unabated. The recent arrest of Republican Senator Larry Craig, Idaho, who though vacillating, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after an undercover sting in an airport men's room, added to, Senator David Vitter, R-La., (not up for reelection, however) who confirmed that a Washington company, which was a beard for prostitution, had his phone number appearing in their records, and also the Senate Ethics Committee is investigating accusations that Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., attempted to influence a federal prosecutor in the election probe of some Democrats, continues to lend credence that Republican congressmen along with the President, feel that they are above the law. It may be old news, but for Democrats it will be good news. It isn't just that Senator (Alaska) Ted Stevens and Former House Speaker of Alaska, Pete Kott, were alleged to have taken huge bribes from at least one oil services company, it also appears that Senator Ted Stevens's son has also been accused of sharing in the Goodies Gathering. Through the apparent benevolence of William "Bill" Allen, former CEO of the oil services company VECO, Senator Stevens the most Senior Republican Senator, (since 1968) was among those who enriched by more than $400,000 in gratuities from VECO. How generous of VECO to be looking after the welfare of wealthy politicians. (Gee, I wonder why they never bribe the Homeless, Busboys, waitresses or parking lot attendants.) Rick Smith, the former VECO government affairs vice president, in May also pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy and one of bribery. Smith testified that his bribery charge was to the account of Mr. Kott, Ben Stevens and former Republican Representatives, Vic Kohring of Wasilla, Bruce Weyhrauch of Juneau and present state Senator, John Cowdery, although Mr. Cowdery, yet, has not been charged. Ben Stevens is under Federal investigation, but also has not yet been charged. Mr. Kohring goes to trial next month. Apparently, Mr. Allen cut a deal with the FBI, that if he cooperated they would not indict his three adult offspring. Kott, was offered a job by VECO if he did as instructed, and he sent a $7,993 invoice to VECO for working on some flooring at Allen's own house, which is allegedly laundered money to hire his son as his re-election campaign manager. In addition, the former speaker Kott, was accused of accepting a check of $1,000 as reimbursement for a campaign donation in the same amount to former Gov. Frank Murkowski, and for accepting a political poll paid for by VECO, in that re-election bid, as well as with, extortion, bribery, wire fraud, and conspiracy, involving improper conduct in communicating legislative business by telephone soliciting and seeking of financial benefits during his service as a legislator. James Wendt, Knott's Defense attorney claimed that Kott was unaware of the poll/flooring check confusion and it was, to the best of his knowledge, a deposit for work to have been completed late 2006 if the federal investigation had not occurred. Wendt said, in working along with businessmen and lobbyists toward the goal of most Alaskans, passing legislation that would lead to construction of a natural gas pipeline; Kott was involved in no criminal matter. We disagree; the oil companies own the Republicans and are cheating all Americans. VECO's usual business is supplying engineering and construction services to oil companies, but not this time. The project on Senator Stevens home was to raise the ranch style home and construct, inserting beneath it, a new first floor consisting of, two more bedrooms (it The original had four bedrooms) a game room, a sauna, and a porch that completely encircled the structure, thus at least doubling it's size, and then perching/setting the original first floor above as a second story. Senator Steven's project ran into trouble and he needed to spend another $85,000 to fix some structural problems. In the case of the humble Senator Stevens, in his meek defense it must be said that he did not take cash! That would be crass. No, instead, allegedly, he accepted work on his four bedroom Swiss Chalet vacation Home in the ski town of Girdwood. Mr. Allen said he had commissioned two contractors; a plumber and a carpenter to construct additions on Senator Sevens vacation home. Stevens however, softened the damage by stating that, "I don't think there was a lot of materials, but there was some labor." Although Mr. Allen, was an old pal of Senator Steven's, he nonetheless, pleaded guilty to extortion, conspiracy and bribery of legislators. Allen first stated that he thought the contractors and his own employees, which he paid, only worked for a few months, he later said they might have worked on Stevens home for about six months. Mr. Allen claimed, "Most of the time I was gone with VECO business," so, he only inspected the construction project on Steven's home every month or so, but he did give the Senator some used furniture to flesh out the interior. In addition, Allen hired Stevens' son as a "consultant," right out of college in 1995 and the son, Ben, "consulted," there even after being appointed to the Alaska State senate, in 2002, paying him, "... about $4,000 a month." (If the consulting fee were at the $4,0000 mark for the entire eight years, it would have totaled about $348,000.) Aaron Saunders Steven's spokesman, referred news people to an aging statement by the Senator, "I continue to believe this investigation should proceed to its conclusion without any appearance that I have attempted to influence its outcome," and "I will continue my policy of not commenting on this investigation until it has concluded." "I will tell you we paid every bill that was given to us with our own money." Two months ago Stevens claimed that he and his wife paid for the whole thing, "She works and I work. That was our own money."

Well, maybe he did, but his actions were imprudent, and a man in his position should have known better, because even if innocent, he put himself in the position of questionable behavior and circumstances in which only hubruis, ignorance, or foolhardiiness, could account for such thoughtlessness and shortsighted actions. That being said, we wonder what possessed the voters, to elect men of such carelessness and unprofessional, predispositions?

 

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Professor Bagnolo has majored in: Cultural Anthropology, Architectural design, painting, creative writing. As a child prodigy, abed with polio for almost two years, he was offered an opportunity to skip three grades at age 8.
Later He was a (more...)
 

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