07 May 2007

Questions, questions, questions

I have a lot more questions right now than I do answers. If you have any thoughts on what's below, let me know:

  • Who is State Senator A in the Allen indictment? If he/she started in the senate in 2000, that means it could be either John Cowdery or Don Olson, both of whom had their offices raided last summer. (It could also be Bettye Davis.)
  • Did State Senator A get a bum deal? This person is not mentioned in most of the charges that involve State Representatives A, B, and C or State Senator B or "an elected official." In fact, the only thing State Senator A is accused of doing is proposing a plan to buy off "an elected official" and participating in a meeting between the "elected official" and Allen.
  • Who is that "elected official" mentioned in the Allen indictment? And why aren't they referred to as a State Senator or a State Representative? Could it be because they don't fall into one of those two categories? If so, I think that means it is either Don Young, Lisa Murkowski, Ted Stevens, Frank Murkowski, or Loren Leman. Or could it be a non-statewide elected official?
  • When is Ben Stevens going to get indicted? It is obvious he is State Senator B in the Allen indictment and likely State Senator A in the Kott/Weyhrauch indictment. Is he negotiating a plea agreement right now with prosecutors?
  • How did Bill Allen avoid the perp walk? Kott, Weyhrauch, and Kohring had the "indignity" of having to be photographed in handcuffs. How did Allen get in and out of court before anyone knew about it?
  • How big a scumbag is Bill Allen? Not only did he apparently mock the lawmakers he was buying off, but when it actually came time for him to face the music and get indicted, he pleaded guilty, making all those not guilty pleas on Friday ring a little hollow. So much for presenting a united front.
  • Is there any enthusiasm for re-considering PPT? And if so, is there any enthusiasm for re-considering it in a special session? If AGIA passes this session, there might be a contract to consider in next year's regular (90-day) session. If re-considering PPT is so important, perhaps it make sense to devote 30 days to it this summer.
  • Are Alaska's lawmakers really as cheap as Friday's news makes it seem? I actually do have an answer to this question in that I think the Allen indictment makes clear that there was a lot more than a few $100-bills changing hands or polls being paid for. "Consulting" and lobbying jobs could provide a comfortable existence, I am sure, not to mention the campaign contributions.
  • What did Pete Kott's constituents know that Vic Kohring's did not? How come Kott got booted in the primary and Kohring got re-elected?
  • In last fall's election, did the governor vote for Kohring, the representative of her district?
  • Is Bruce Weyhrauch the most incompetent of the bunch? At least with Kott and Kohring, they got money before actually prostituting themselves. The picture of Weyhrauch in his indictment is of a slightly more pathetic lawmaker who doesn't quite know what he's doing but is looking for some extra money. So he gets strung along on the promise of future work (still illegal but at least he'd be working for the money he'd be getting), changes his votes, and doesn't get anything but an indictment out of the deal.
  • Have Kott, Kohring, and Weyhrauch already spent more in legal fees than they ever managed to get out of Allen?
Your thoughts?

UPDATE: KTUU is identifying Senator A (of the Allen indictment) as Cowdery.


Coldfoot said...

Had I known legislators could be had so cheaply, I might have given one to my daughter for her birthday.

Anonymous said...

Special session on PPT, Legislative reform and AGIA is in the air. It will be interesting to see the politics during this SP as some who might have aligned with VECO/BP et al will now distance themselves. For the first time we will have a sitting legislative body that recognizes the oil companies for the profit driven machines that they are. It should make the system work as the legislators recognize this is a good thing and we can’t kill the golden goose. However, the oil companies are going to run like hell to hopefully wait out this firestorm and come sneaking back in later. Watch Harris try and stall and buy time for big oil to get cleaned up.
Knowing what we do now; it makes sense John Browne resigned and BP was so quick to take him up on it. Here I was thinking he was just being silly. However, this does dot the i nicely doesn’t it?

Anonymous said...

Per your comments on "cheap legislators" it seems like there is something sad and pathetic about Vic Kohring. He sleeps in his office during the session and had $17,000 in credit card bills he couldn't pay off. On the radio the other night there was an interview with a political science professor in Virginia who specializes in state government corruuption, and he said it isn't surprising these guys sold out for cheap. What sickens me the most is the utter arrogance (Allen's comment "I own your ass" sends chills up my spine). This has been a shameful week for all Alaskans.

Anonymous said...

A Fairbanks Newsminer story also said Ralph Seekins had no idea lawmakers were being bought last year. I can't get behind that. He, and every legislator down there knew something screwy was going on. Cell phone calls in the middle of votes? How stupid are we?

Anonymous said...

About Kohring: I agree with the previous comment. What a train wreck that guy is. I'm feeling a surprising amount of sympathy for him -- kinda weird, considering all the bad and STOOOOPID things he did. He does seem really pathetic, especially when I think about him crying on the House floor. And one of the sad things is, he was going to vote Veco's way anyway! But still, he goes up there begging for some, basically, spare change. He could have made the same amount of money in a legitimate part-time job somewhere.
And Weyhrauch, that's another pathetic case. Apparently, he was always complaining about how little money he made as a legislator. But if that's the way he felt, why didn't he just quit the legislature and take other employment? It's not like you're forced to serve.

Anchorage Activist said...

Interesting series of questions. Here's one of my own: How does one keep the players straight when Senator B in one indictment becomes Senator A in another? Leave it to the Feds to complicate everything, just like they did with No Child Left Behind.

Now, for some of your questions. Allen avoided the perp walk not only because he pleaded guilty, but it could be a sign he might actually roll on the others, just like Keith Cotter rolled on his buddies in the recent Shaun Walker Trial in Salt Lake.

Kott got booted in the primary because he had a smarter, more popular, and, yes, a better-looking opponent than Vic Kohring drew in his race. In addition, after his last election, Kott remarked that he was getting tired of public office. Apparently, Eagle River voters remembered that.

Based on her politics, I suggest Sarah Palin was more likely to have voted for Vic Kohring than Katie Hurley.

And finally, if Bruce Weyhrauch isn't the most incompetent politicial of the bunch, he's certainly the most incompetent sailor of the bunch. If it wasn't for bad luck, Weyhrauch would have no luck at all. :-(

Anonymous said...

Weyhrauch is some kind of pathetic case, indeed. He got nothing out of this deal, and was assured of nothing, and anyway, how does a lawyer expect to convince people to hire him as a lawyer when he goes around breaking the law to solicit that work? If Bill Allen needs a lawyer (and he sure does), he's going to choose someone who knows what he's doing (like Bob Bundy). It's not too likely he'll choose somebody who a. he absolutely knows has solicted a bribe, and b. is stupid enough or so ignorant of the law that he uses the U.S. Postal Service to solicit that bribe.
I'm thinking that, all things considered, Weyhrauch may be a little touched in the head. That may explain many of his actions, and also may be part of his defense.