Monday, February 18, 2008

Oil Company Bribery of Alaska's Public Officials 1981 to 2008 - Chapter One


ConocoPhillips President Jim Bowles just can't seem to get Palin's attention. He said she just doesn't understand the economics of it all. Maybe he should just try the same old fashioned economics his predecessors at ARCO used with former Governor Tony Knowles. Just write her a big check. Click here (PDF) to see what I mean.

Corruption in Alaska involves more than just a few bad apples. It's as institutionalized as Jim Crow laws of the 1940's.

Did you look? If you did, ask yourself three questions. Do you remember any time in state history when it was legal to contribute more than $1000 to an elected official or a committee formed for his election or other benefit? Do you remember a time at all when it was legal to write a check to an elected official even though all of his former campaign debts were paid and he or she wasn't running for office? Better yet, do you remember a time when it was legal for corporations to write $15,000, $20,000 and $30,000 in checks to an elected official for any reason?

On second thought, I suspect that if Jim Bowles tried with Palin what worked so well with Knowles, she would soon take steps to provide him with a matched set of metal bracelets.

Read the complete article here...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Alaska Suffers From Institutionalized Corruption

Corruption in Alaska involves more than just a few bad apples. It’s as institutionalized as Jim Crow laws of the 1940’s.

The Daily News described crooked land deals in Seward. What the Sealife story didn’t say was that the city manager who refused to spend Senator Stevens’ earmarks as directed was fired for his integrity.

Seward’s city manager’s refusal forced Ted Stevens, Trevor McCabe, and Brad Gilman to re-route their scheme through the Sealife Center where they found willing partners in a majority of the board.

That’s what I mean by more than just a few bad apples. Seward’s City Council fired their manager for having the integrity to say no, while the Sealife Center went along to get along, even though members of both knew that Gilman, McCabe, Ben and Ted Stevens all have a history of close ties.

The Seward scenario provides a snapshot of how the “Good Old Boy System” works. An image of favoritism and bribery that dominates Alaska’s politics.

Oil industry bribery has cost Alaskans a couple billions dollars every single year since we began pumping oil from Prudhoe Bay.

Cleaning up corruption in Alaska will require leaders willing to risk retribution and play chicken with some mighty scary people. Fear of a visit from the political equivalent of the KKK causes even the honorable to fear stepping forward.