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!