I said it a few weeks ago: Republicans can’t tell the Dems to clean their House, if they won’t come clean about the GOP’s own dirtbags. Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is one of the biggest and dirtiest. Now, the feds have raided one of his homes. Via the Anchorage Daily News:
Federal law enforcement agents raided U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens’ Alaska home in Girdwood on Monday, hauling off undisclosed items from inside and taking extensive pictures and video. Officials wouldn’t say what they were looking for or what they found.
“All I can say is that agents from the FBI and IRS are currently conducting a search at that residence,” Dave Heller, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Anchorage office, said Monday.
Neighbors said agents showed up between 11 a.m. and noon, and a commercial locksmith was called to open the front door. The agents were still there at 8:30 p.m. Stevens, 83, has long been the most powerful political figure in Alaska, and a major force in Congress. A swarm of federal agents serving a search warrant at his home is unprecedented in Alaska politics, and represents the latest chapter in the corruption investigation that burst into view last August when agents raided the offices of state legislators, the oil field services company Veco and others.
The FBI and IRS are apparently trying to determine whether Stevens has received a hidden benefit stemming from his position in Congress:
If Stevens received renovation work for which he did not pay, it could be deemed unreported income by the IRS. Receipt of unreported renovation work also could amount to an illegal gratuity. Or if it were performed in return for political favors, it could be considered a bribe. Two weeks ago, Stevens told reporters that money for the remodeling came out of his own pocket.
The wider probe has netted four former state lawmakers charged with bribery, along with a prison-industry lobbyist. According to the ADN, one of them, former Anchorage Rep. Tom Anderson, was convicted earlier this summer of bribery and other crimes for taking money from a lobbyist for a private prison company. The others are awaiting trial.
And it’s a family matter, too:
Last August, federal agents served more than 20 search warrants across the state, including at the offices of six state legislators, including Ted Stevens’ son, Ben Stevens, who at the time was president of the state Senate. Ben Stevens has not been charged, but Allen’s guilty plea in May described Veco paying him some $243,000 in phony “consulting” fees while he was in office.
After all this time, Ted Stevens’ infamous Bridge to Nowhere might finally lead somewhere–perhaps a jail cell next to fellow GOP corruptocrat Duke Cunningham.
Related On the ethics reform front, N.Z. Bear analyzes the watered-down bill from the Dems.
Same old, same old. Hey, at least we have “bipartisanship:” s bipartisan culture of corruption. Yippee.