'Tard of the Week - Ted Stevens

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
You have to love it when the Republicans' "Family Values" become "Family Values."

It appears Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted on seven counts of failing to disclose thousands of dollars in services he received from a company that helped renovate and maintain his home.

I guess being a founding father of Alaska and being the longest currently serving Republican Senator wasn't a sufficient legacy.

'Tard.

8 comments:

Tania said...

Oh, the time I could spend on this one...
Uncle Ted has two or three redeeming values, but he's become pretty pompous over the years.

Idiot.

Janiece Murphy said...

Tania, I was hoping you and Jim would chime in. I'm not as familiar with Uncle Ted as I am with my own Senators and Representatives, so I'm interested in your perspectives.

Carol Elaine said...

I can't say that I'm surprised at all by this. Stevens always struck me as being a 'tard of tremendous proportions and this merely adds to his 'tardness. Does he not remember Duke Cunningham?

However, not being a resident of Alaska, I humbly bow to Tania's and Jim's perception of Stevens. Especially as I was unaware of him possessing as much as two redeeming values. I'll allow one - he seems to be good at getting money for his state in pet projects, which I can't really fault him for, as that is part of his job. Even if it does mean refusing to relinquish funds for the "Bridge to Nowhere" to help with Hurricane Katrina relief.

Yeah, what Janiece said: 'Tard.

Jim Wright said...

Ted Stevens was, at one time, a hell of a guy. He was a highly decorated WWII vet and a hell of an old school Republican.

Unfortunately (and you've all heard me say this many times) power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Somewhere along the line, Uncle Ted started believing his own press releases. In the early days of statehood, he had to fight tooth and nail just to get the table scraps for Alaska, you'd have to live here to understand fully what that means. And, again unfortunately, there has always been a certain degree of frontier mentality when it comes to Alaskan politics - nepotism, good ole boy favoritism, and etc. Then, thirty years ago - oil, BIG money. Couple that to corrupt Alaska politics and you start to understand why Ted thought he was entitled to a little free money.

Most of us suspect that our politicians are corrupt - in Alaska, well, we don't suspect, we know. It's the norm, it's expected. Frankly I knew Stevens was corrupt from the gitgo, and when he put his name on the Anchorage Airport, well that just clinched it for me.

Recently though there's been a real change of rudder. The new governor, Sarah Palin, has made anti-corruption a major agenda item and a rather large number of state politicians have gone to jail. Unfortunately for her, she's facing a backlash from those who are used to doing business the old fashioned way - she's facing accusations of abuse of power in a firing scandal at the moment. It's bullshit, but it's typical of Alaskan politics.

Ultimately, Ted Stevens has done a tremendous amount for the people Alaska, but he's made his own bed and now he's going to have to sleep in it.

Tania said...

Okey Dokey.

The good side:
He's been an architect of statehood, served admirably in WWII, and has passionately advocated on behalf of Alaska. He is a Republican that is pro-choice and supports public broadcasting. He doesn't throw his religion around and usually doesn't wrap himself in the flag (sometimes he does, but not egregiously).

The bad side:
Unca Ted has been a government man since he got out of law school. And like Shawn says, they have a short shelf life. During my life he has become more arrogant than I would have expected, having met the man a few times. He has developed an attitude of entitlement that is wrong. As an attorney and a veteran I can't believe the way he has voted on various Bush administration plans over the last 8 years. He gets earmarks that people up here don't want, but we have to take them, because you don't want to piss him off. He sends money for programs up here, but doesn't want to pay for people like me to oversee them. Probably because we'd keep bullshit like, oh, I dunno, getting a house remodel, from happening.

It's been a love/hate relationship. He is very passionate about trying to get what he can for Alaska. He's also been blatantly "helping" out his friends, associates, former staffers (Trevor McCabe and the ASLC?!) with contracts, deals, and other goodies for years. The thing is, we have a small enough population, most people know each other. Ted's son Ben has been identified in a signed confession from VECO's CEO as receiving bribes, but has yet to be formally charged. Other people from the same bust are currently serving time, but not Ben. Not yet.

Almost final note - at least Ted has a few good things. Don Young is an embarassment to humanity. Everyone thought he'd be the one to go first. Seriously.

Final not about the "Bridge to Nowhere". Yeah. Not that I think we need it, there are other more pressing infrastructure needs, but have you people looked at Hwy 1, the one through/to the Florida Keys? When that was built - BRIDGE TO NOWHERE.

Jeri said...

I'm going to play devil's advocate here.

Ted is probably all that everyone's said here. You probably can't play in the muck for decades without getting pretty dirty.

BUT...

The FBI investigations had a hint of witch hunt about them. If you look long enough and hard enough, you can find evidence of impropriety about *anyone*.

Shoot, I'm not a perfect project manager, I make mistakes and miss stuff - audit my projects closely enough, using the right criteria, you can make a case for impropriety. (And I take my job, ethical and fiduciary responsibilities very seriously.)

I'd imagine all politicians are, to some degree, corrupt. If investigators look closely enough, long enough, hard enough, I'd think they'd find something indictable on almost anyone.

I'm not saying Ted has done no wrong - I am saying he was, perhaps, targeted from the get go, and they spent a lot of time and energy getting to this point.

Also, at 84 years old, my cynical self says prosecuting a lengthy court case is not a great return on your prosecuting dollar - he's not likely to live to see a possible conviction or sentence.

Tania said...

Jim, it's kind of fun to watch Sarah on the "transparent goverment" issue now saying that commissioners serve at the pleasure of the governer, and ti was tiem for him to step down. Heh.

I don't disagree about the nature of appointed positions. Parents of my friends have been commissioners, and we've chatted about job security - they have less than most, and they know it. It's part of the risk - in this case, the Sarah giveth and the Sarah can taketh away.

But, I dont' want to hijack the thread, we were talking about Uncle Ted.

Oh, though, let's not forget to mention that Sarah's lieutenant governer is running against Don Young in the Republican primary. Because EVERYONE knows what a sleazebag Don Young is.

I like Sarah's attitude about some things, I don't agree with all her positions.

Tania said...

Jeri, I'm really conflicted about Uncle Ted. I think that may be obvious. He started to lose some of my love about 10 years ago when he told us we had to take on a project that we didn't want and hadn't asked for, one that would cost about $100,000 to run. It was blatantly pass-through corporate welfare for the fishing industry.

I don't feel like it's a witch hunt, as much as I feel like it's a case of the buying and selling of influence and favors became so blatant that the Feds couldn't turn a blind eye anymore.

Rick (who you work with) and I were in student government with people what were staffers for legislators that are now in the pokey. I've heard some interesting stories.