02 July 2007

How did it happen?

Very good article in the Juneau Empire asking just how the feds managed to pick up on corruption in Alaska before any state agency did.

Two of my favorite parts:

Berkowitz has another entity to blame for corruption problems in the state. He thinks the media bears a share of the responsibility as well.

"The media failed to engage for too long," Berkowitz said.

Alaska's media didn't do enough to tell the public about what was happening in the state's government, he said. It is like when drivers slow down when they see a state trooper. Legislators would not have attempted some things they did if they knew the public was going to find out about them.

"The media was not peering into the workings of government," he said.

Readers of this blog will not be surprised to hear me say a big "Amen!" to that. (How come the ADN didn't write this article?)

Equal numbers of Democratic and Republican legislators on the committee ensure balance. The Republican members last year included Stevens, who is under investigation, and former Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, R-Juneau, who has been indicted on corruption charges and is awaiting trial.
Sounds like a classic case of foxes guarding the hen house.

Anyone in Juneau willing to push for the necessary institutional change? I thought not.

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