firedoglake had hoped to wrap up the TedFest! poetry contest here today because it is the first anniversary of the FBI raid on his Girdwood chalet. The raid was the first in the history of the United States upon the home state dwelling of a sitting member of the U.S. Senate.
But a sort of serendipity mucked up our plans. I don’t think "anybody could have predicted" that between the beginning of TedFest! and its wrap-up, Ted would be busted. To answer once and for all the question I’ve dealt with dozens of times since yesterday morning – no – I didn’t know in advance. And I’m not sure Ted did.
Award-winning reporter and photographer Robert Dillon interviewed Sen. Stevens on Monday, less than a day before his indictment. Here’s a bit of my transcription of Dillon’s recording of Stevens:
Robert Dillon: Are you concerned about [the ongoing FBI investigation's] impact on the election?
Sen. Stevens: I’ve, I’m, uh, I’m really not found, eh, et, uh, when I’m person-to-person that it has anything, anything to do with our conversation on, on my re-electability. I think it comes about through the NEWS MEDIA CONSTANTLY REFERRING to both me and my son, whenever ANYONE ELSE is charged — The two of us involved. Uh, uh, uh, it’s not, uh, you don’t, uh, include the, the person who, who was, uh, best man, er, who, uh, was, uh, er… you don’t include anything about any of the Democrats who were involved, and, any of, uh, it was sort of a, a whole string of things, people involved.
Just THE REPUBLICANS, and just Ben and me, were mentioned EVERY SINGLE STORY that’s been written. And EVERY TIME YOU OR ANYONE ELSE says anything about it, eh, eh – uh -ANYONE ELSE – eh, you also say "and the two Stevens been included."
So, thank you very much! You’re the ones who got us more visibility than anyone else in the state. There isn’t anybody doesn’t know my name.
So, deluded, clueless, and somewhat addled, St. Ted plodded off to his last few appointments before Federal intervention.
Most Alaskans are in shock – PTSD (Post Ted Stress Disorder). The Alaska Public Radio Network did a good set of quick takes on people on the street hearing the news around the state, yesterday afternoon.
And, as you can see, from the YouTube header, firedoglake, with the help of The Alaska Report’s Dennis Zaki, has passed the TedFest! Poems – the Complete Collection on to the staff at Ted’s Anchorage campaign office. That place was suffering some totally awesome PTedSD!
Here are the winners:
Ted Stevens glows at midnight.
Son already sunk.
Glaciers calving justice
— Prairie Sunshine
Of all the congressional critters
Ted sure knows his Toobz and transmitters
His scandals are breakin
His booze, getting taken
And now there’s no wine-ing and bitters.
Short Verse and Ephemera:
Veni, vidi, Veco.
— Valley Girl
There are odd things done in the midnight sun
By the men whom Oil has sold
Their fishy tales meet with hearty gales
from wise heads when they are told
The FBI’s knights have recited some rights
but the queerest they ever had read
was that night by the mouse of a Girdwood house
that belonged to Senator Ted.
Overall Winner: – Darkblack!
Veni, Vidi, Veco – — indeed. VECO, the now-defunct
corrupt cutout front for bribes from big oil oilfield service company, is still in the news. Like Sen. Stevens, all the other members of the aptly self-named "Corrupt Bastards Club" were indicted for their illegal ties to the firm.
Although most of the benefactors of Veco’s largesse were from the GOP, two prominent Democrats also received large donations from Veco, ex-Governor Tony Knowles, and current AK-at-large U.S. House candidate Ethan Berkowitz. After Veco’s corruption surfaced, but before the company was sold, Berkowitz, when asked by the Associated Press about his campaign donations, flatly refused to consider returning or donating the tainted money.
In the current AK-AL House race Democratic Primary, Berkowitz is running against progressive Diane Benson. Berkowitz has been endorsed by the DCCC, Rahm Emanuel’s PAC, and other anti-progressive forces. His list of contributors includes several Fox Corporation executives, Bill O’Reilly’s producer, Henry Kissinger’s company, mortgage bank partners involved in the sub-prime meltdown, a lot of lobbyists, and the top executives of the war profiteering Carlyle Group.
Diane Benson, whose only son lost both legs on his second tour in Iraq, as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, and gave Rep. Don Young his closest race in 16 years in 2006, has been endorsed by the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Political Caucus, 21st Century Democrats, former Senator Max Cleland, many veteran’s organizations, and is getting material help from Emily’s List.
In 2006, Ethan Berkowitz, while unsuccessfully running with Tony Knowles in the gubernatorial race, refused to endorse Benson against the corrupt Don Young!
Today, Katrina vanden Heuvel came out with the first national story on this race, in a profile of Benson, which seems to leave her challenger wanting.
Senator Stevens has vowed to fight on.
That is a thrilling notion for Alaska Democrats. Stevens is sure to win his primary against a really strange dude. We’re hoping – at least our rapidly growing progressive wing is hoping – that more attention to our primary and general races comes our way as a result of the Stevens indictment. Ted’s son, Ben, who accepted about a third of a million in Veco bribes, is sure to be on the FBI short list.
The Alaska Report’s Dennis Zaki did the YouTube at the top, between CNN photo assignments yesterday.