Good Morning Readers! In what could only be bad news to those of us who care about ethics in government, the Obama Administration's Justice Department today asked a federal judge to drop all charges against former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. As usual, politicians who break the rules go free. I find it so depressing.
A jury convicted Stevens last fall of seven counts of lying on his Senate disclosure form in order to conceal $250,000 in gifts from an oil industry executive and other friends. That is a VERY BIG DEAL whether you want to try to belittle it or not. I worked in the Senate, and lying about major gifts is a major no-no. It effects everything, especially the integrity of your votes.
I also met him. He is a very nasty piece of work. Stevens is a creepy little man who is directly responsible for tearing the Alaskan wilderness to pieces. The man never saw a piece of wilderness he wasn't willing to lease to a mining, oil or logging company. He spent his entire career trying to turn government protected land, owned by all Americans, into Alaskan corporate fodder.
He always claimed it was about jobs. Funny thing, like most Republicans, he never fought hard to use the billions in federal dollars - or oil/mining/logging dollars - for education or the creation of new industries. He was mediocre when it came to fighting for quality higher education. He never fought for anything much except those depressing blue collar jobs.
What does that tell you? It tells me that he promoted blue collar values and passions for one reason, so that he [and his political career] could benefit from the industries that need such workers. It was nothing more, nothing less.
Btw, I looked into it. Except for being a major supporter of natural resource industries, he paid little attention to Alaska's potential for other industries. Overall, Stevens did very little to promote a better future. Feel free to let me know if I'm wrong, but I can't find anything - and he had a LONG career. Explain to me what he did to help Alaskans move beyond just a few, crude, environmentally destructive industries?
The way I see it, he was a bought-and-paid-for, one trick pony. Interesting, how many other Republicans would fall into that same category? I'll bet more than a few. I think it's time we learn from the Ted Stevens of this world, and outgrow them.
His environmental legacy, comprised mostly of golf course and vacation home vista preservation, will go down as one of the worst in American history. Despite his personal love of hunting and fishing, his loyalty and passion for logging, mines and oil will anger preservationists for years to come.
Like the Long family of Louisiana, who helped destroy the wetlands and most of the "Sportsman's Paradise" in favor of the oil and gas industry, Steven's will be remembered for low wage jobs, dirty industries, carcinogenic waste, and poor overall economic development. He delivered millions each year to Alaska, but the state has very little to show for it. Where did that money go? You tell me.
Oh well, one more corrupt politician will be allowed to live his golden years out in peace and quiet, enjoying his spoils. When will this nation learn that unless we do a better job of prosecuting those who break our laws, we will continue to be victims of the treachery and manipulations of very bad people? I only hope Attorney General Eric Holder, and President Barack Obama, know what they're doing when they let people like Stevens go without a good fight.
Enjoy your retirement Ted, because if the universe does ask for payback, then you have a lot to account for after it's all over. Your nastiness alone should be enough to score you a hot seat. Who knows, maybe you'll be forced to mine or log for the rest of eternity - without gloves! At least you lost the election, and you're very old, so hopefully your bile - and ability to destroy - will grow less toxic very soon.
Wednesday's Political Rant - Michael
Special Note: For those curious about his actual vote legacy, feel free to visit On The Issues and get the facts - always remember, there's only one set of facts! Enjoy!