1. ab initio says:

    Now if VECO is worth billions as Allen says to the judge – should not some of that be due as â€reparations†as probably some of that value was created through the use of bribery and conspiracy to break the law.

  2. Ed*ard Teller says:

    Ben Stevens is Senator B. He’s not in the Alaska senate any longer. Please see http://www.adn.com/static/incl….._facts.pdf , page seven. Only one Alaska senator completely fits the description. He hasn’t been indicted yet because Alice Fisher chooses to hold Ben’s dad and Lisa Murkowski hostages to her scheme to take over Gonzo’s job.

  3. Ed*ard Teller says:

    Oh, I almost forgot. Ben was elected in 2002, but had been appointed to the Alaska Senate in 2001.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Right you are, Edward, thanks. Though as I said, I think it’ll be hard to have gotten plea deals from these guys, based on their cooperation, and not actually get their cooperation to get someone else. And that someone else is almost certainly Stevens.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Another Alaskan chiming in… we are all sure Stevens is Senator B. We suspect Cowdry is Senator A… what we want to know is who the â€unnamed elected official†is for whom Senator A was soliciting funds and who with Senator A met with Allen on June 25, 2006 in an Anchorage restaurant to discuss these misappropriations…

    Some are even hinting at the former Gov… I know he was in Iraq the week prior and was expected back in his office Monday, June 26th. But if he connected through Anchorage, he could have been there on Sunday the 25th. Rumors, rumors… It would make sense then that he didn’t follow up on the election money (as stated in the indictment) since he lost the primary (unexpected, on his part). More grist for the rumor mill!

  6. Anonymous says:

    So I will keep asking this, you Alaskans, until you invite me up for salmon (and I’m hoping it’ll be soon, if you know what I mean–today was the first day of $35/pound salmon at my fishmonger, which I can’t afford).

    Is it your sense this is real? Stevens, and possibly others? With the VECO pleas, is this going to happen for real? Or are you voting with Edward Teller (and against my salmon dinner) that this is currently an open threat?

    BC I have reason to suspect they misjudged Cohen, or Buchanan isn’t as corrupt as she’s been made out to be, and that he will chase public corruption as diligently as anyone.

    And if we’re talking the former governor AND Stevens’ son, I guess we’d have an easy explanation for why a sane WH would ignore both the Senators’ suggestions.

  7. Ed*ard Teller says:


    I’ll make you a similar deal to the one I made Howie Klein and egregious: You get yourself as far as Anchorage, and I’ll spring for the salmon fishing trip. In the old days, before the long-legged 747s, it was routine to put down in Anchorage to refuel on the way from Chicago to the Orient. Not so much anymore, but next time you have to do business in Asia, see about alternative routes. I’ll even try to arrange for you to meet Diane Benson and some of the southcentral Alaskan progressives who love your work so much.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm. I’ve got a whole bunch of miles to dump. Is mr. emptywheel invited too? He’s never been.

    I was in Anchorage in 1994 doing business with big oil (gulp, yup, even talked to Alyeska). And in Denali in 1991 on a â€business trip†with Sierra Club. But I missed salmon season both times.

    And yes, I’ve never gotten the stop in Alaska. Straight to Tokyo from Detroit, unless there’s a typhoon in Tokyo.

  9. njr says:

    looks like outsourcing, to me… but since i love Ed*ard almost as much as Marcy, I guess I’ll share

    of course this is only because I trust you both to SHARE with TNH.

    no, not the salmon, eat hearty… but all the cynicism and speculation that requires no refrigeration

  10. freepatriot says:

    so all of this really is about fishing ???

    you’re one hell of a fisherwoman EW

    be careful though. In Alaska, humans are in the middle of the food chain at times

  11. Anonymous says:

    I can’t offer any fishing trips or connections to Alaskan progressives of note but I will pick you and Mr. EW up at the airport and drive you wherever you need to go.

    How about a nice hike on the coastal trail and some salmon on the grill? There are some decent Alaskan beers to try too.

    Bill Allen may be older but he has a nefarious and uncooperative history. The feds must have a big stick to get his cooperation. Allen is saving his company.

  12. Anonymous says:


    Just so long as I don’t have to hike on tundra again. That’s not very much fun, even if the views are terrific.

  13. Ed*ard Teller says:


    Mr. EW too! Ms. ET, ETette, ET, Jr. and Strider will all welcome your family. niklake at mtaonline dot net.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Of course the allure of free fishing trips in Alaska has brought many a politician and DC bureaucrat on fact finding missions in the summer. And they always seem to find some time in their normally busy schedules to do a little fishing. I guess bloggers aren’t immune to such temptations either. Alaskans tend to have a lot more respect for those folks who do their work up here in January and February. And, yes, you can still fly from NY through Anchorage to Taipei on China Airlines. Korean Airlines does NY-Anchorage-Seoul in the summers. It’s a long trip, so a couple of days in Anchorage is a good break.

    Anyway, yes, Ben seems to be Senator B. And I’ve also heard, like Patrick, that John Cowdery is likely Senator A.

    If anyone’s interested in more background, the ADN did a good article on Ben Stevens and the fish deal almost two years ago. Here’s the opening couple of paragraphs and the url is at the end.

    Ben Stevens’ secret fish deal
    State senator helped steer Adak pollock to a company he had financial stake in
    Anchorage Daily News
    Published: September 18, 2005
    Last Modified: September 18, 2005 at 07:37 AM
    State Sen. Ben Stevens held a secret option to buy into an Alaska seafood company at the same time his powerful father, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, was creating a special Aleutian Islands fishery that would supply the company with pollock worth millions of dollars a year.

    The pollock allocation alone was projected to provide the company with $1.5 million in profits this year and $3.7 million in 2006, the company’s founder said in an affidavit in March, before problems involving the company and the availability of fish cast doubt on those numbers. Under his deal, Ben Stevens would have been entitled to one-fourth of the profits of the company, Adak Fisheries.

    During the time he held the option, the company grew in value from about $2 million to at least $8.5 million, according to an owner and court documents.
    The rest is at: http://www.adn.com/front/story/6984518p-6885437c.html

    But while we’re focused on the villians here, I’d like to point out some good guys who have stood up to these guys. Rich Mauer, who wrote this original Ben and Fish article and has had his finger in most of the recent articles, is a great reporter for the ADN.

    Also, former Republican state legislator, and founder of the Moderate Republican Party, Ray Metcalf, has been a relentless thorn in Ben Stevens side. He’s the one who brought the complaint against Stevens before the Alaska Public Offices Commission, claiming that Stevens had gotten all this money from Veco for consulting, but didn’t say what he did for that money. Precisely the issues on the front page today. He was a lone voice in the wilderness for a long time. One of his complaint letters to the APOC is at:

    Another legislator who spoke truth to the corrupt was Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz. On this audio clip you first hear Weyhrauch, one of this week’s indictees.
    Before this audio clip (originally from Gavel to Gavel, the state live coverage of the legislature, this clip was posted on the ADN site Saturday, May 5, 2007), Weyhrauch had introduced an amendment that passed. The Veco lobbyists were ticked off. There was a short recess. The tape begins with Weyhrauch apologizing, he’d made a mistake and would like to rescind the amendment. Then Berkowitz, working hard to keep his voice calm, reminds W. that the oil belongs to the people of the state of Alaska, not the companies. That legislators are not supposed to be jumping from the House floor to do the lobbyists’ bidding, etc. Weyhrauch takes great offense. Berkowitz goes on. Just in case the clip doesn’t work above, you can go to this url:

    There are lots of other heroes in this story. Those who didn’t give up just because the Republicans and the oil companies seemed insurmountable, who just kept on doing their jobs well. Perhaps the other Alaskans on here can point them out, and the rest of you can identify the good guy Feds.

    [I tried to post this a couple of times with some links, but it got blocked as suspected span. I’ve taken the html out and am trying it again.]

  15. hauksdottir says:


    Make sure that is wild salmon that you are paying $35/pound for!

    Farm-raised salmon should cost no more than chicken due to the way it is raised. (Look at the wholesale price.) This is one of the biggest rip-offs in the restaurant biz because diners assume that someone went hand-to-hand with a grizzly to get that salmon and they’ll pay a premium.

    OTOH, nothing is better than fish you’ve caught yourself, even if it is a fairly tame and ordinary trout. :)=

  16. Anonymous says:

    Apparently Bill Allen is no longer the owner of Veco. He was titled ’owner’ as of Monday morning but by last night a special BOD was at the helm. (As a friend said, â€He’ll be getting paid under the table rather than doing the paying at that table!â€)

    No tundra walks – check. Actually the coastal trail is the local, paved ’Tony Knowles Coastal Trail’ easily enjoyed. You never know who you might see on a sunny day – – it is a small town.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Man, I’m going to screw up Alaska news more often–it does wonders for my vacations schedule!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Regarding the response to my last comment which asked if Alaskans believe this is â€real†as in, will these people really be prosecuted. Short answer, definitive â€YESâ€. The question remains is who will be charged? Two have pled (I detest the word â€pleadedâ€â€“we don’t use â€leaded†so why â€pleadedâ€?) guilty, three more have been indicted and at least five more are implicated (two senators, one â€elected official†and two more VECO folks). I think they have been Stevens dead to rights and are probably working on him to roll (my bet is they want him to roll on the â€elected officialâ€). I am hoping that both Senator A and Senator B-en Stevens are plea bargaining to roll on this third party, because that would mean that the as yet unnamed â€elected official†is someone of even greater import… that would be one of only four people in this State (a US Senator–we have two–our Representative, or, as many suspect, our former Governor). It is a lot of speculation at this point, but it seems with the information already released that the two senators are pan-fried. Face it, it appears that the DOJ has recordings of these conversations (why else would there be such phrases as â€unintelligible†included in the transcripts? So the only explanation is that there is some negotiation going on in the background to nail an as yet unnamed participant.

    I think it is going to be exciting here. Even if it only reaches as high as the two senators, we have a real scandal. If it goes higher, I think we will have some serious national headlines…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and just to round out the Alaskan offers… I live in Southeast Alaska (Juneau) with my wife and two young boys and we would not only meet you at the plane, but would even offer you a room (for two, bring Mr. Emptywheel along!). We have great salmon fishing (as does most of Alaska) but we also have world-renowned whale watching (not to mention a â€walk up†glacier).

    I can’t promise you’ll meet with the afore-mentioned â€progressives†(questionable), but you’ll meet plenty of locals and we all have political opinions to share.

    Hiking, salmon-fishing, whale watching, mountain tram, glacier viewing (and touching!)… what could be better? And free lodging to boot!

    Serious. If you’re up this way, my family would be happy to welcome you to our home. Wanna see what we enjoy on a daily basis, just check out the photo database on my website (http://www.didjuneau.com/images.php) and check out the various categories in the left column.

    So, add another invitation to the list!