Is it a prerequisite to becoming a Republican politician that you have to promise to use whichever office you hold for personal gain?
Seriously, folks; even the technically "not crooked" Republicans are all about funneling your tax money to rich people who don’t need it. Yes, I know… members of both parties become highly paid lobbyists when they leave office. But the sheer volume of Republicans who seem to think the Treasury is their own personal piggy bank is remarkable, isn’t it? The list of confirmed (alleged) crooks is long, and getting longer; Gingrich, Cunningham, Ney, DeLay, Frist, and now Ted Stevens. And those are just the money freaks; I haven’t even gotten to the sex freaks, like Foley, Vitter, et al.
Whatever is in the water over there, I think it’s time we started cleansing, electorally speaking…
Agents from the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service raided the Alaska home of Sen. Ted Stevens (R) yesterday as part of a broad federal investigation of political corruption in the state that has also swept up his son and one of his closest financial backers, officials said.
Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, is under scrutiny from the Justice Department for his ties to an Alaska energy services company, Veco, whose chief executive pleaded guilty in early May to a bribery scheme involving state lawmakers.
Contractors have told a federal grand jury that in 2000, Veco executives oversaw a lavish remodeling of Stevens’s house in Girdwood, an exclusive ski resort area 40 miles from Anchorage, according to statements by the contractors.
Stevens said in a statement that his attorneys were advised of the impending search yesterday morning. He said he would not comment on details of the inquiry to avoid "any appearance that I have attempted to influence its outcome."
Stevens, 83, who joined the Senate in 1968, has been considered one of the most powerful members of Congress for more than a decade, including six years in which he held wide sway over nearly $1 trillion in federal spending as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He is now the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, which has oversight of fisheries and other industries critical to his home state.
"I urge Alaskans not to form conclusions based upon incomplete and sometimes incorrect reports in the media," Stevens said. "The legal process should be allowed to proceed so that all the facts can be established and the truth determined." Brendan Sullivan, a prominent white-collar defense attorney representing Stevens, declined to comment.