16 May 2007

One "Scandal" or Two?

One phrase in the media coverage of today's plea by Bill Bobrick caught my eye:

Bobrick becomes the seventh person to be charged in a corruption investigation that burst into public view last summer with the searches of state lawmakers' offices. Anderson, state Rep. Vic Kohring, former Reps. Pete Kott and Bruce Weyhrauch and Veco Corp. executives Bill Allen and Rick Smith have been hit with charges. Allen and Smith have pleaded guilty.
Is their one investigation going on here or two? As I see it, Kott, Weyhrauch, and Kohring are a separate and unrelated in investigation dealing with VECO, an oil tax, and a natural gas pipeline. Anderson/Bobrick deals with the state legislature but is more about a prison. Yet another question for the feds to answer.

I understand that both these cases can be made a part of a larger "culture of corruption" that apparently permeates Juneau but I don't find it helpful to conflate the two cases into one, as the media appears intent on doing.

Also... how big a scumbag are these lobbyists? Not only do they buy off the lawmakers for peanuts (or the promise of peanuts in Weyhrauch's case) but when the feds get on their case, they turn around and reach a plea agreement. At least they could have stood by their corrupt lawmaker stooges and pleaded not guilty. Now Kott, Weyhrauch, Kohring, and Anderson are left to twist in the wind.

Not a bad place for them, come to think of it.


Anonymous said...

My guess is that Bobrick is the least scumbagish of all, so far. First, he had the brains to plead guilty (as did Allen and Smith). And second, he did express remorse. Obviously, he's cooperating with the investigation, and that could be seen as making some kind of amends. Of course it lightens his punishment, but he knows that by making this guilty plea, he has ended his career forever and will likely spend some time in jail, and he has apparently made some peace with that.
Why are Anderson, Kohring, Kott and Weyhrauch not pleading guilty? Don't know, but the first three, at least, are pretty dumb, in my view.

First Alaskan Man said...

Scumbagish is the coolest word I have heard in a long time! Thank you.
Methinks that besides having no brains, they have nothing to lose by carrying on the fight. Even a rat will fight when backed into a corner. These are in the corner. With Bobrick, Allen and Smith having assets to be seized, the best thing they could do is roll over in hopes of walking off with parts of their respective asses(ts) still intact.
With the elected scum, I think the Feds are not interested in a deal when they have them by the short and curlies. Taking the long view; there is too much at stake in future parlays with the oil companies. The best way is to make public example of these species and hope the following groups take heed. I think that the big busts on the “slope” in the early 80s were forgotten and it was time to take the thieves back to church. Regretfully, I point out the crooks in the 80s cost a lot more then the ones we have in office now. It just seems wrong that inflation doesn’t apply to our elected oral representatives.
Looking at the Ben Stevens one: this is gonna be hard one to prove in court as he listed what he was getting for being a consultant. Kind of like a hooker being a masseuse and everyone sticking to the same story. It was hearting to hear the BS lawyers’ first words were that he was hoping Allen and Smith didn’t start lying about legislators. Oh well, we’ll save it for another day because we know that day is coming…

Anonymous said...

Say what you might about Allen, Smith and Bobrick, but they are light years ahead of the four legislators when it comes to brainspower. You know, Kohring is so stupid he might actually believe he's innocent!