Stevens Trial Steams On…and a New Blogger is There.

6 10 2008

A new man has pinched his nose and jumped into the shark-infested waters of Alaska political blogging. I’d like to welcome Cliff Groh to the pool. Groh is in Washington D.C. now, blogging about the Ted Stevens trial. His history with Stevens is long, and his knowledge of Alaskan politics is extensive. He is working on a book about the current political corruption scandal uncovered by federal investigation. He understands the dynamics of corruption. He’s a straight shooter.

The name of his blog? Alaska Political Corruption. It’s not catchy or clever, but it gets the point across, and Groh is good at getting the point across. I’m adding it to my blogroll, and will be checking it throughout the trial. Here’s his assessment of the two legal teams.

Not counting the defendant himself, there were 12 people sitting at the defense table or at the bench behind at a hearing last week.

The prosecution also had approximately a dozen people at that hearing.

This massive investment on behalf of Ted Stevens is a far cry from what we saw in the three trials of Alaska state legislators occurring in Anchorage last year. In each of those public corruption cases tried in Alaska, the defendant was outgunned so badly it was embarrassing. It was like a freight train was roaring down the tracks on one man.

This case sets up very differently. With all of the resources expended on Stevens’ defense, this trial is more like two freight trains colliding—and it’s not clear which train will ultimately get the worse of it.

All this fine legal work for Ted Stevens doesn’t come cheap. It’s entirely possible that this defense is costing $175,000 per week during the trial, and that estimate could be substantially low.

$175,000 a week? You could buy a lot of sled dogs, fish sculptures, massage chairs, barbeque grills, generators and home renovations for that chunk of change!


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42 responses

6 10 2008
Bec in Illinois

Greetings AKM. Thanks for the update.

6 10 2008
tspey

$175k/week buys a lot of friends. Bill Allen is no longer one of them. The ‘Republicans for Begich’ sign is still up at Bill’s house (3 days and counting)…

http://tspey.wordpress.com/

6 10 2008
Jason

I have a question: how corrupt is politics in Alaska compared to the rest of the states? I don’t want to assume it is so just because I dislike Palin. What are the facts? Does anybody know? Any urls to look at, data, metrics?

6 10 2008
AnneinWA

McCain’s getting ready to speak (spew?) – covered on MCNBC

6 10 2008
Bec in Illinois

I don’t have any data for you Jason, but being in Illinois – well – we send enough governors to prison (the latest one might make it next) that I can tell you Alaska isn’t alone. We are famous for the Daley Machine. I have to say that some of that is getting broken up – cleaned up, but it still exists. I think the current Mayor Daley is a “good guy,” but even he has lots of things that can be investigated. I’m sure large cities all over the country are working that way.

Obama won’t be able to wave a magic wand and clean up this country (like Palin claims they’ll do), but hopefully we’ll keep moving toward a new, cleaner way of doing business. (taking off my rose-colored glasses now)

6 10 2008
Merry Prankster

Not a scientific measurement but… anytime you have one party in power for an extended period of time, it leads to corruption. In Alaska, you had the Republicans in charge for an extended period of time. In Detriot, you had the Dems in charge. Either case, the politicians had no one looking over their shoulders and the voters never had a good choice.

6 10 2008
Bec in Illinois

A carry-over from the previous thread…

Note to Mother Earth: I apologize for the extremely long and hot shower I just took to try and cleanse off the McCain-Palin-Tucker dirt. I really try to respect you. You know what an avid recycler I am. You know I’ve involved in a lot of environmental work. And I barely drive anywhere anymore now that I’m glued to Mudflats and political Websites. Does this give me points back?

The good news is – with Obama as president — you are going to get so much more respect and care. I hope that will make up for all the long, hot showers we are having to take right now.

Sincerely your friend — Bec

6 10 2008
CoyoteMarti

My personal rally cry until Oct 10 and Nov 4 (tip to several DailyKOS participants):

You can have your “Under God” back when I get my “Liberty and Justice For All” back.

6 10 2008
NoCalGal

Let me second this post- I too heard the show. It is very informative and very scary!

Everyone needs to hear this information.

@Lotus Flower in CO (00:08:51) previous thread

“Hi everyone,

I know this is a little off-topic for this blog, but thought you might find it interesting. “This American Life” (National Public Radio show for those of you not in the US) did a segment this weekend explaining the financial crisis and the bailout. Really excellent info! You can listen here:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=365

Click on the “Full Episode” link below the small photo to listen. (Or you can download the podcast.)”

6 10 2008
NoCalGal

Let me second this post- I too heard the show. It is very informative and very scary!

Everyone needs to hear this information.

@Lotus Flower in CO (00:08:51) :

“Hi everyone,

I know this is a little off-topic for this blog, but thought you might find it interesting. “This American Life” (National Public Radio show for those of you not in the US) did a segment this weekend explaining the financial crisis and the bailout. Really excellent info! You can listen here:

“http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=365″

Click on the “Full Episode” link below the small photo to listen. (Or you can download the podcast.)”

6 10 2008
shilo

AKM,

I wonder if this is good or bad, what do you think?
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/05/palin.probe/index.html

6 10 2008
shilo

Can’t post link to CNN about troopergate,I’m going to try again.

6 10 2008
Jason

Some early homework in. But it would be good to get something more recent, and more variety of sources. I just did a quick search and found this report from 2004:
PUBLIC CORRUPTION IN THE UNITED STATES, A REPORT RELEASED BY CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER, JANUARY 16, 2004, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, WASHINGTON, D.C.

Top 5 corrupt states:

1. Mississippi (7.48)
2. North Dakota (7.09)
3. Louisiana (7.05)
4. ALASKA (6.06)
5. Illinois (5.26)

6 10 2008
Shove Maggot Palin aka the problem child

Merry Prankster (11:32:51) :
As a rule, I agree. It doesn’t take a third world dictatorship to breed corruption, just enough people doing lots of mutual backscratching. Eventually, everyone gets so used to having their itches scratched, they come to expect it. And if they don’t get it the clean way, they will abuse whatever power they have to get it the dirty way.

6 10 2008
shilo

AKM,
Does it still look like the report will come out on Friday?

Here’s the link
http://www.cnn.com/2008/Politics/10/05/palin.probe/index.html

6 10 2008
Bec in Illinois

Thanks Jason – Whew – we are only #5!

6 10 2008
Proud Community OrganizerWA

AnneinWA Happy Birthday!

Now someone talk me down. I just watched the video from the View on Huffpo and I just want to slap someone! Would they just Fire EH before she gets them sued!

6 10 2008
Proud Community OrganizerWA

Does anyone know how Stevens is paying that $175,000.00 per week?

6 10 2008
Riverside

Slightly off topic- Latest Virginia poll-Obama up by double digits!

“In Virginia, SurveyUSA has Obama up 53%-43%, up from a 51%-45% Obama lead two weeks ago. The key internal number: McCain now has only a 52%-43% lead among white voters, while Obama is up 86%-13% among blacks. Also, the new Suffolk poll puts Obama ahead 51%-39%.”

I want new bumper sticker:

“GOOD ‘OL VIRGINIA COMMUNIST FOR OBAMA, YOU BETCHA”

6 10 2008
Halcrow

Does anyone know how Stevens is paying that $175,000.00 per week?

I think that I recall reading somewhere that Stevens’s re-election fund has paid about $1million in legal fees, but I can’t say what the fees were billed for.

Reuters is running with the trial:

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE4957E420081006

Sen. Stevens on tape: “might serve time in jail”

By Randall Mikkelsen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sen. Ted Stevens told an oil-executive friend, in recordings played on Monday at the Alaska Republican’s corruption trial, they both risked going to jail — but he didn’t think it would come to that…

6 10 2008
MissSue MI

@ Proud Community OrganizerWA :
Not possible to talk you down on this one. EH is spewing the crap because that is all that her party has been talking about for months. I’ve attempted to talk to several repubs that I know, and when ever I ask them to tell me what JM/SP are going to do for us, they instantly start telling me what is wrong with BO/JB. No matter how much I press to hear McCains stand on the issues, his followers don’t seem to know. They only know the negative things about Obama. It’s a shame really. I’ve heard it called thinly veiled racism, and I’ve agreed, but now I’m more inclined to believe there is nothing veiled about it.

6 10 2008
rpahk

You can bet Stevens isn’t paying the legal bill out of his pocket.

6 10 2008
katiebegood

Riverside (12:19:43) :
Slightly off topic- Latest Virginia poll-Obama up by double digits!

That’s the good news from Virginia. The bad news is the first blatantly racist rant against Obama by Bobby May, the McCain campaign chair in Buchanan County, Virginia

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/6/121316/310/814/621608

Be forewarned, its really ugly.

6 10 2008
shoeho

Aw. geez, Louisanna is down to THIRD! I was going to grad school there during the infamous “Vote for the crook (Eddie Edwards) , it’s important!” election. Yes, they really had bumper stickers that said that.

The other guy (David Duke) was a past kleegul or fleagul or whatever the heck in the Klan. Now, in the 90’s, that was considered scandalous. In previous times, not so much in LA.

Dang, it was a fun place!

6 10 2008
Lurker

I thought scarah got rid of all the corrupt republicans in AK? /snark
Really how many has she actually “removed”? She recently said something
like “you don’t see the democrats going after corruption in their own party”
which I wish someone would reply: “Gee if you could point some out to us
please by all means let us know”

6 10 2008
ocliberal

re: ‘thinly veiled’ racism.

I had a ‘friend’ tell me the other day that the reason she couldn’t support Obama was because if he got elected all the blacks in America would demand they get paid reparations and that Obama would support that.

She made it sound like it was just an economical decision on her part.

I was dumbfounded. She isn’t a good friend, but someone I worked together a lot with on community project and who I liked a lot and had a lot of respect for. We had never discussed politics before although I knew she was a Republican.

Now I seriously don’t know if I even want to talk to her again.

6 10 2008
shoeho

What a disgusting racist fool. One would think that after George Allen VA repubs would have learned that doesn’t play in the majority of their fair state any longer.

LOL, remember, back in oh, say 2005, George Allen was going to be the great conservative hope on the R ticket for President this year? How times change. Come November 5, TWO Dem senators from VA.

6 10 2008
Andrea

Thanks NoCalGal for posting the link to This American Life’s show last weekend. I am now able to pass it on.

6 10 2008
Proud Community OrganizerWA

Thanks for the answer Halcrow.

MissSue I agree the racisim is becoming more apparent by the day. The veil has lifted and it is getting pretty scary.

OCliberal: Have a friend who at the beginning of this election was talking to a close friend. She asked who she was going to vote for? The answer, she was voting McCain as she was a christian and could neither vote for a woman or a blackman.

Talk about a WTF moment. My friend called her out and made her realize what she had said.

The upside she is now voting Obama the turning point was Healthcare and how rude John McCain was during the first debate.

6 10 2008
asiangrrlMN

The problem with racism is that it’s usually couched in what the person sees as ‘reasonable’ terms. I’ve been followed in stores; my friends and I (all Asian, about ten years ago) were stopped by the police because the car we were in was supposedly reported as stolen (my friend’s car); I have people say things like, “I’m not racist, but…” I’ve been complimented on my English (my first and only language); I’ve been asked where I come from, no, really, where do you come from; I have been asked to show ID in stores when others haven’t. I use to do diversity training, and someone said, “Well, maybe the person at the store was having a bad day.” Sure. The problem is, when you are a POC (person o’color), there is always the underlying question of what is really going on. Also, as a POC, I just KNOW when there is something racial going on. It’s there, even if I can’t quantify it.

By the way, in racially diverse San Francisco, I was told I should speak another language because I was Asian, and someone told me he hadn’t known there were Asian people in MN when I told him I was from MN. Granted, he was hitting on me, but still.

I know many people are frustrated with Obama for not getting angry or pushing, but he simply can’t. The one thing that will shoot him in the foot more than anything is if he loses his cool and becomes the scary black man. He has played it just right by being cool, but passionate. Leave angry rhetoric to Biden who carries it off with panache.

6 10 2008
lemonfair

AKM – any update, scuttlebutt about the likelihood of the Report being made public?

6 10 2008
Bec in Illinois

I agree with you AsiangrrlMN about how Obama is handling things. He has such a gift for rising above the fray and challenging everyone to look at the real issues in this campaign.

I’d have to say that probably all of us (Caucasians) who have either been taught from birth (my case) to abhor racism, or those who have done a complete reversal from the racism they learn from family — are still guilty of saying stupid stuff and sometimes having thoughts in certain situations that shame us. We are all ‘impure’ at times. And racism comes in all shades.

The beauty of this Mudflats place we’ve gotten to love, is that we are able to discuss things and feel in a truly communal “safe place” where we don’t have to fear the next person will pounce with racial ugliness. That surely isn’t a daily reality for most of us. At school, work and play, you are always shocked to hear something nasty out of someone you otherwise liked. Or might be related to.

Thanks for the safe haven, Mudflats! I hope with an Obama presidency, elected by a fully greater majority, there will be an increase in tolerance and respect in our land. (rose colored glasses coming off again)

6 10 2008
Let'sGetReal aka Falter Locust Palin

I am so sick of people saying they are “Christians”. Jesus was a man of love, peace, comfort. Helping others when they can’t help themselves.

God didn’t sacrifice His only Begotten Son for just one race….He did it for all! He loves all races!!! This lady said she couldn’t vote for a woman or a black man…is not a Christian.

I can’t remember what news station I watched the other day, but someone used this analogy…..If a man is drowning in a lake, and a black man, white man,orange man comes along with a rope. Will this man want to drown because he is not the same race as he is, or does he want this man to pull him in to safety? I don’t think anyone would rather drown, than to have the help of someone of another race not save them.

It’s ridiculous, and pure stupidity!!!!

6 10 2008
strangelet (Speck Backfire Palin)

asiangrrlMN (12:52:59) :

“and someone told me he hadn’t known there were Asian people in MN when I told him I was from MN. Granted, he was hitting on me, but still. ”
—————————————————

LOL.

BTW, you were there, so I’m not challenging your feel for the situation, but sometimes stereotypes are just stereotypes, e.g., “I didn’t know there were progressives in Alaska”.

6 10 2008
Gina

I sure could buy a lot of tanning beds with that money!

6 10 2008
Proud Community OrganizerWA

Strangelet:

BTW, you were there, so I’m not challenging your feel for the situation, but sometimes stereotypes are just stereotypes, e.g., “I didn’t know there were progressives in Alaska”.

LMAO Thank you!

6 10 2008
asiangrrlMN

@strangelet, yeah, I know, but to me, that’s a part of narrowmindedness if not bigotry. I’ve been told to go back to where I come from, too. When I was younger, someone spray-painted gook on our car window. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to correct people who think Taiwan is Thailand.

The NY Times’ Nicholas Kristoff has an excellent article about racism without racists which is a must-read.

I can handle being called a chink or a jap. It’s the more insidious stuff that really tires me out. It’s the point I was trying to make–it’s hard to always have to sift through three or four reasons why someone said what he did before settling on the one or two that feels right.

On another topic, a friend of mine is the director for an alternative high school. Many of the students are African American, and they are thrilled that Obama is running. However, many of them also believe that he will be assassinated before he takes office. I am afraid that there will be attempts on his life as well. Racism is that strong and irrational.

6 10 2008
Dr. Patois

Wow! Have you caused the Alaska Political Corruption site to disappear by calling attention to it?! Just wondering…

6 10 2008
Dr. Patois

Okay, if you click on Alaska Political Corruption from within your posting, you get a warning about possible violations of terms of service but you can still access the site. If however you click on Alaska Political Corruption in the side bar under Local Alaska Blogs, it says it no longer exists. What was the alternate plan for mudflats? Where do we meet? Because I admit, I am addicted.

6 10 2008
SC Strike Chipper Palin

Let’s Get Real
I hate to say it, but I do know of a person who would rather die than (in this case) receive CPR from a black person. She’s an OLD woman and, when challenged, said she couldn’t explain why, it was just the way she was raised and she didn’t think she could change. Hard to believe, but this was said totally without malice–and I can give her a pass. She was just being honest. (She has the beginnings of dementia and is not going to change.) On the other hand, she does absolutely nothing to attempt to spread this attitude or to try to deliberately hurt others–something I can’t say for the current Republican ticket.

6 10 2008
caplatt

So let me get this straight. Palin supports terrorism as long as Alaska can make money? So she knowingly funded terrorism? She has no shame. How can you guys not start an impeachment movement?

7 10 2008
tspey

Day 4 and counting. The Begich sign is still up at Bill Allen’s house!

http://tspey.wordpress.com/2008/10/05/alaskans-rally-for-obama-biden/allen-home-sign/




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