Saturday, May 30, 2009

To those who care about ending corruption in Alaska

The application to the Director of the Alaska Division of Elections requesting certification of an initiative to outlaw one’s personal use of one’s public office to enrich one’s self has been approved by the Division of Elections and the Lieutenant Governor.

The proposal reads:

  • "Anyone found using their public office to enrich themselves, their relatives, close friends, business associates; past, present, or anticipated employers or contributors, is guilty of a class A felony. Anyone found securing enrichment by inducing public officials to violate this statute is guilty of bribery, a class A felony.”

Believe it or not, what you just read is totally legal. It is only on rare occasions in which an agreement for a kickback can found that such actions are prosecuted. Even if the kickback is obvious, it is generally not prosecutable unless the prosecutor has possession of proof that the perpetrators agreed that the kickback was only to be delivered if the appropriations were made.

Unfortunately, such agreements are usually limited to nebulous winks and nods that have no admissibility in a court room. Alaska has seen eleven political corruption convictions over the past two years. One thing I have learned from my involvement in the investigations of those convicted is that for every kickback that could be proved there were ten crooks that successfully covered their tracks.

This would change that by making the delivery of appropriations to family and contributors a serious crime regardless of whether a kickback is demonstrated.

We now need to organize volunteers and raise about $50,000 to gather signatures if this proposition is to become law. Download a detailed explanation of the proposal and why it works.

Ray Metcalfe


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