Letter Of The Day
August 05, 2008
Ted Stevens might be a pariah in Washington, but he got a hero's reception returning to Alaska yesterday: Bush praised him by name, a group of thirty veterans riding Harleys tenderly welcomed him to his campaign office in Anchorage, and he got to wake up this morning to this letter of support in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, lovingly titled "Thinking of Ted": Last night, I drove out to the dike behind the airport to watch the Tanana River. The river was raging and was about two-thirds of the way up the banks of the dike. Reportedly it was the highest it has been since the 1967 flood.
Alaska Politics: It's Just Like "deadwood"
August 04, 2008
A great little sub-story in the Ted Stevens corruption saga is the battle between his oil-services-company patron, VECO Corp. CEO Bill Allen, and Allen's nephew, Dan Anderson. Anderson worked with Allen on renovations to Ted Stevens's house. But then he helped blow the Stevens story into a media frenzy when, Allen claims, he tried to blackmail Allen about it.
Hope Of The Gop: "george Bush Is The Worst President"
July 30, 2008
Senator Ted Stevens's inevitable indictment yesterday made one Alaska Republican deliriously happy: lawyer and economic historian Vic Vickers, who's mounting a very-generously-self-funded primary campaign against Stevens. Not so happy: national GOPers. Or they won't be when they get a load of exactly what kind of Republican their electoral savior is. The best hope the GOP has in Alaska is for a fresh face to knock off Stevens in the August 26 primary, allowing Republicans to approach the general election from higher ground. Well -- Vickers is nothing if not fresh.
An Ode To Ted Stevens
July 29, 2008
Ted Stevens predates the State of Alaska. In 1953, he drove to Alaska Territory in a Buick, and--like a modern Al Swearingen--he built himself into a local luminary, successfully lobbied Congress to make Alaska a state, and then used his position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to transform himself into a patronage-distributing warlord. As one local journalist put it: "In Alaska, the presence of so-called Stevens money is as prevalent as the winter snow. Everywhere you look, Stevens has left his mark. ...
Ted Stevens Indicted Today
July 29, 2008
On corruption charges. More updates as they become available. This might be good news for his very-late-out-of-the-gate challenger in the Republican primary, Vic Vickers, whose website -- which just recently went live -- is practically indistinguishable from a DCCC anti-Stevens, anti-corruption screed. Vickers seems a little, er, eccentric: The site features a "review" of him as a "social reformer of the first order, an anachronism, a man of reason in an age of insanity." On the other hand, he's pumping some serious cash into his run.
Ted Stevens Indicted
July 29, 2008
Reuters is reporting that Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens was indicted on seven counts "related to his holding of public office." What's more: The U.S. Justice Department has scheduled a news conference for 1:20 p.m. to make an announcement "regarding a significant criminal matter." Stevens is in a close--and closely watched--Senate race with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.
October 10, 2007
What made Ted Stevens such a famously bitter and vindictive man? Some people will tell you that the defining moment in the life of the powerful Alaska Republican senator, currently the target of a federal bribery investigation that threatens to end his storied career in disgrace, occurred at the end of an airport runway in 1978. In early December, Stevens was flying in a friend's small private plane from Juneau to Anchorage. The descending plane was just a few feet above the runway when it was caught by a sudden gust of wind that slammed it into the ground.
An Empty, Ugly Place
August 06, 2007
In light of the growing evidence that indicates Gravina Island may soon be losing its proudest champion, we at TNR would like to present, in addition to these fine selections already gathered by Radar, a few quotes by which to remember Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska: "I don't kid people. If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state...I will resign from this body." The Washington Post, October 2005. "It's an empty, ugly place. It's almost treasonous that environmentalists are sacrificing our national security for such a place," on the Alaskan National Wild Reserve.
The Realignment Within
January 08, 2007
The November election and January power switch suddenly changed the value of a lot of people's stocks in Washington: Democratic lobbyists up, Dick Wadhams down. But a more amusing phenomenon -- and equally influential in terms of the life or death of legislation in a small-majority Congress -- is the change of value of various commodities on the little stock market constantly running inside Washingtonians' own souls.
The 9/10 President
March 10, 2003
It disappeared so quickly that it is easy to forget the bipartisan patriotism and common purpose that existed in Washington immediately after September 11, 2001. Perhaps the most memorable event from that period was the gathering of members of Congress from both parties on the steps of the Capitol to sing "God Bless America." Another such episode--little-noticed, but actually more remarkable--occurred the following month.