Ted Stevens, Shady Or Just Confused?
Is Ted Stevens the dirtiest member of Congress now that Duke Cunningham is in prison? That’s a dubious distinction and one that is not easy to qualify for considering the current crop of corrupt GOP Congressmen slithering around Washington DC today. Ted Stevens has not been busted for anything (yet), but he does seem to be exhibiting some strange behavior and those close to him are finding themselves in the hot seat.
Alaska’s Republican Senate President, Ben Stevens, son of Ted Stevens, had his office raided by the FBI last Thursday and Friday as the FBI searched for evidence of ties between Veco Corp. and Alaska lawmakers. Ben Stevens has received almost a quarter of a million dollars from Veco for “consulting” work over the last six years. We’ll see whether or not Ben has good documentation on the “services” he provided to Veco that don’t include passing favorable legislation or inappropriately awarding contracts. But whatever Ben Stevens has or hasn’t done wrong, it’s important to remember that Senator Ted Stevens is not responsible for his son’s behavior. After all, he just raised the kid, taught him right from wrong and guided the development of his son’s morality, character and behavior.
But Ted Stevens has some problems of his own, starting with his recent blocking of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act by placing a “secret hold” on the bill. The bill was sponsored by Barack Obama and Tom Coburn and would have created an online database detailing federal spending. This bill had bipartisan support and was considered by most sane people to be a good way to increase transparency and accountability for the way federal dollars are spent. It’s curious that Senator Stevens would fear such a database. It certainly gives the impression that he has something to hide.
Could it be that Senator Stevens doesn’t want anyone to know that he is willing to push legislation that benefits industries for which his son does lobbying work, or even attach riders to bills that will funnel money directly to companies his son holds financial interest in? Or could it be simply that Senator Stevens is old school and believes that backroom deals are the grease that allows money to flow from the federal government to private industry (the way “free market” capitalists intend) or that he simply doesn’t understand how the internet works (beyond being a series of tubes)? I guess it comes down to the question of whether or not Ted Stevens is corrupt or just a little too dense for this modern world. It’s something we’ve been wondering about our President for a long time as well. Perhaps it’s a little (or a lot) of both.