Monday, December 22, 2008

Quick, unconvict Ted Stevens and re-elect him

Most of us here at These Bastards rejoiced, mocked, piled on, and laughed our asses off over the fact that Ted Stevens got his ass convicted and voted out of office. But we forgot about all the people who that would hurt, those who would be unduly affected by Tubes absence from the Senate. Of course by that I mean crooked lobbyists.
Until recently, there were few better ways to start a lobbying career than by leaving the office of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska.

With 40 years of seniority on important Senate committees, Mr. Stevens, a Republican, wielded unrivaled power over industries like fishing, forestry, communications, aviation and the military, steering billions each year to pet Alaskan projects like Eskimo whaling, missile defense and even salmon-based dog treats called Yummy Chummies.

His power made his good will a valuable commodity on K Street, where many lobbying firms are located. During the past five years, just nine lobbyists and firms known primarily for their ties to Mr. Stevens reported over $60 million in lobbyist fees, not including other income for less direct “consulting.” The most recent person to leave his staff to become a lobbyist reported fees of more than $800,000 in just the last 18 months.

So when Alaskan voters narrowly rejected Mr. Stevens’s bid for re-election last month, just days after a jury convicted him of federal ethics violations, it was in some ways like the closing of the plant in a company town.
Ahh yes, the old bullshit factory got closed down. Whither the crooked lobbyists and their bagman Senator? Listening to all these lobbyists piss and moan that they'll no longer have a Senate seat bought and paid for and have a crooked vessel to pass their legislation makes it hard to believe that it took this long to get Ted Stevens convicted. Read it and marvel at the way he strong armed groups into hiring staffers fro high paid high ranking positions, how he'd practically vote for anything as long as there was some kickback to Alaska, and how his former staffers would rake in 6 to 7 figure fees solely for lobbying their old boss. It really is a marvel.

Now it's all up and gone, vanished like dust in the wind. Even if Begich is a total crook it'll take him years to get up to the level of Uncle Ted. According to lobbyists, Alaska will rue the day they voted out Teddy, because now they aren't going to benefit from all the bridges, land deals, and salmon dog treat companies he bequeathed upon them. That'll teach them to have a modicum of a conscience about massive public corruption.

No comments: