You Want Fries With That Invoice? More from the Stevens Trial.

15 10 2008

Senator Ted Stevens’ legal team continues with the “He paid all the bills that were given to him” defense. Stevens himself has been saying this since months before the trial began. It’s like their little piece of driftwood in Alaska’s boiling sea of political corruption. If there was no bill for the illegal gift, then there must be no crime, or so the thinking goes.

The defense today called Augie Paone, a contractor who says that Bill Allen asked him to “eat” an invoice for more than $13,000 worth of work he did on the Stevens residence at Allen’s behest. Allen is the former CEO of oil services company VECO, who pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska lawmakers and supervised and paid for massive renovations to the Stevens’ “chalet” in Girdwood, Alaska. Stevens stands accused of not reporting over $250,000 in gifts and home renovations that he did not report on his Senate financial disclosure forms.

After Paone “ate” the invoice, he was hired to work on the Allen residence and was over-compensated by $13,000 for the work there, to make up for the “eating” of the other bill. So why was Paone called as a defense witness? Presumably to illustrate how Stevens was unaware of all this work that was being magically accomplished while he was away in Washington D.C.

(Why, look dear! While we were away, the elves came and raised up the house, inserted another story beneath it, remodeled the bathrooms, tiled the fireplace, and left us this cool Viking barbecue grill! If only we knew how to compensate them for their magical elf labor…)

The bottom line is, of course, that if Stevens took any gifts or services worth over $250, without reporting it, he broke the law. So no matter how they try to chip away at the bill (or the Bill), it doesn’t change the fact that it’s looking like Stevens crossed the threshhold in a big way.

After Augie Paone is cross-examined, the defense will call additional witnesses including his wife Catherine, and perhaps Stevens himself. If Stevens does take the stand, sounds like he’ll be there for a while. He will testify about more than 200 exhibits, 104 from the defense and 101 from the prosecution.

UPDATE:  Stevens WILL testify.


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62 responses

15 10 2008
Lulu

Eating so much paper…doesn’t sound good for their digestion.

I have a feeling that eletronic paper trails are going to become very important in future Alaskan politics.

Seriously, AKM, thank you for your excellent and diligent reporting.

15 10 2008
disenchanted tore

Shucks, can I supersize those fries?

15 10 2008
Sparky

I’m sorry AKM, Mudpuppies, a quick OT, then back to the Soap Opera Ted Stevens (reading Mudflats has become much more interesting by far than the book I have been trying to read, but what fun!)😉

http://www.npr.org/watchingwashington/2008/10/why_is_mccain_campaigning_like.html

Why Is McCain Campaigning Like This?

A good article commentary from NPR. At least trying to explain McCain’s campaign behavior, but I really must refuse to give him a pass for his disgusting choices and words thus far.

15 10 2008
Lock Pepper Palin

Sarah learned well from her mentor–top ten the first time?

15 10 2008
aka Wrangler Tractor That One Hussein Palin

Ya know, I was wonderin’ what sort of somethin’ is in the water up there in that there Alaska. Some of those politicians jest have a way of re-interpretin’ the truth through that there lookin’ glass. You betcha!

15 10 2008
lynn hussein hussein

I don’t know if anyone mentioned this earlier, but I was listening to my local public radio station at about 2:40 this afternoon (ET), and a caller mentioned mudflats! It was very exciting, and a testament to the value and quality of this outstanding political blog.

The caller was a professor at SUNY New Paltz in central New York state. Go AKM!!!

15 10 2008
Misfit

I wonder how many fries $250,000.oo would actually get ya….

15 10 2008
Steak Leather

The 3rd and final Presidential debate is tonight. The topic of course is the economy, but we all know that no matter the topic both candidates will make this into their own stump speech. I have been very unimpressed by the 3 “debates” that have so far occurred. The questioners do not hold the candidates accountable for answering the question. I suppose if the questioner insisted on an answer, we would never get past the first question. Which McCain will we see tonight? I think it will be the desperation McCain…repeating refuted charges ad nauseum, and never addressing the issues.

Ron

15 10 2008
A Nana from Alaska

Alaska has a pretty good alternative this time. Mayor Nick Begich of Anchorage. Smarter and more diverse energy policy. Economically responsible. Much younger than 84. Time to move into the 21st century.

Mayor Mark Begich. Nick was his dad Congressman Nick Begich…and his brother. I’ve done that before too! :0) AKM

15 10 2008
rachete

dishonest gain = bad karma

15 10 2008
disenchanted tore

McCain says he’s pulling out all the stops tonight. (yeah I know, yawn rinse repeat) He’s gonna pop some mega mean pills and call Barack out, he’s gonna ask him to his face… I hope he does. And then I hope Barack in his usual cool calm manner puts the twerp in his place. ‘Nuff already.

15 10 2008
bPoint

I wonder if this “We paid the bills that were given to us.” defense will be the one the Palins use for Housegate?

15 10 2008
disenchanted tore

I wanted to mention one thing- before heading into chat tonight, PLEASE go over to WordPress and show some love for Mudflats. Only two days left before the contest closes!

(what am I gonna do with my new email addys? lol)

15 10 2008
Sparky

wow, I wonder what the chances of Stevens (isn’t he like 91?) continuing as Senator of the Great State of Alaska, even if he is found “not guilty.” Oh dear.

You’ve heard it before, calling all Mudpuppies to vote Mudflats for Best Political Blog, Bloggers Choice Awards. Last day to vote is 10/16/08! This site, in my humble opinion, is not only a superior political blog (accurate, funny, stimulating), but has brought together a wide range of Mudpuppies from around the world, and gave us a safe and sane and intellectual haven.

just saying…

15 10 2008
disenchanted tore

I have a question that probably wasn’t asked of Paone- was that *over-compensation* in the form of reportable (and taxable) income (or was it just slipped into his pocket)?

15 10 2008
TJ

Out of curiosity, what sort of punishment would Stevens be looking at if found guilty of the whole $250,000 kit and kaboodle?

Technically, each of the seven felony counts can have as much as a five year jail sentence. Or fines. Or both. AKM

15 10 2008
Newfoundland Dogs Rule

Dear Misfit

“I wonder how many fries $250,000.oo would actually get ya….”

Okay, that’s 250,000 small fries off the dollar menu at MickyD’s. About 25 fries in each serving . . . (doing math, hold on) that’s 6,250,000.

That’s a lot of fries.

15 10 2008
Proud Community OrganzierWA

Oh for goodness sake! If at first you don’t suceed lie lie again. I am sorry but between Ted Steven and Sarah Palin, I swear this is their mantra!

I am going to my bank next week and tell them all of those charges on my account don’t exist because I have no receipts. I know crazy huh? It will be worth a try if Ted gets away with it!

This stuff is driving me crazy.

15 10 2008
Crust Scramble - SouthGA

Way off topic – sorry.

Just wandered over to Shannyn Moore’s blog and watched the Wasilla Project video.
If y’all haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.

http://shannynmoore.wordpress.com/

15 10 2008
Goalie Sanka Palin in NM

Tatoo large “L’s” on their foreheads…

Liars and Losers!

Say, maybe someone “ate” the invoices for the Palin’s home too!!

15 10 2008
Susie in Jersey

Colberg dispute Branchflower findings:

http://community.adn.com/adn/node/132803

15 10 2008
Annette

Hhhhmmmmm…………

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/15/private-palin-emails-must_n_134965.html

Judge confirms Palins private e mails to be preserved!

15 10 2008
Lulu

OFF TOPIC – Truly, For Swing Voters, “Takin’ it Back with Barack, Jack!”

15 10 2008
NY Dem

Bush-Supporter Dennis Hopper Switches His Vote: “I Pray” Obama Wins

———————

One of Hollywood’s few Republicans has switched his vote. Dennis Hopper, 72, told reporters in France that he’s praying for an Obama victory, despite decades as a Bush supporter.

“I voted for Bush, father and son, but this time I’ll vote for Obama,” he told journalists at the opening of a show on his life and work.

“I was the first person in my family to have been Republican,” he added. “For most of my life I wasn’t on the left.”

“I pray God, Barack Obama is elected,” he said, calling the current administration’s many “lies.”

Hopper stars in “An American Carol,” a conservative comedy that spoofed Michael Moore and last donated money, in 2004, the RNC.

French Culture minister Christine Albanel also named Dennis Hopper as Commander of the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ medal on Monday night.

15 10 2008
Augie

Oh, please, Ted, please, testify!
Can’t you just see it now. The man oozes arrogance, so just imagine the anger and indignation he will spew when being questioned on his ‘integrity’.
Watch out, Ted, your true colors are showing.

15 10 2008
Deuce2 aka: AXE DIESEL HUSSEIN

Crust Scramble – SouthGA (13:21:55)
==========================================
E-mailed said video to Rachel Maddow. Great video!
Love fries, but they get under my dentures. Should have
never carved them out of wood. Maybe I used the wrong
type of wood???? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

15 10 2008
Susan, WA

Some of us Mudpuppies down in the lower 48 are now sending $$ to
Begich’s campaign.

15 10 2008
Deuce2 aka: AXE DIESEL HUSSEIN

Lulu (13:45:14) :

OFF TOPIC – Truly, For Swing Voters, “Takin’ it Back with Barack, Jack!”
======================================
Thanks so much. Added another to my increasing number of
Obama videos.

15 10 2008
SMR

When oh when will we get rid of Colberg? I want that guy disbarred and hounded out of Alaska. What a worthless tool! As if anyone would believe anything said by the hired mouthpiece legal buddy of the liar Bible Spice!

15 10 2008
sauerkraut aka Palin Pity Party

I only have fried… for youuuu. …

The only reason for a defendant to testify is if the case is going really badly against him. …

Are his wife’s emails available online anywhere? Nothing I like better than to stick my nose into other people’s beeswax… especially the beeswax of a purportedly crooked politicians who thinks he’s invincible.

btw – have I mentioned lately that I believe Colberg is an idiot? A real idiot?

15 10 2008
GJ in Idaho

I plan on sending Begich what I was going to send my ID canditate next week when my check comes. Reason: The ID canadate refuses to put a link to Obama on his website, though he has been asked to do so by many, many Idahoians since day one. I want to do whatever I can to help a red state (ID or AK) turn blue, and this way I can also repay all the hardworking AK Mudflaters are doing, as I plan on donating to AKM again, too.

As my 65th birthday is next Tuesday, I have asked all my family and friends not to send me presents or money, but to send a donation to Obama in my name.

15 10 2008
T

How sad is it that Stevens and Begich are even?

Ted Steven’s own brother in law (Bill B.) does not even have a Ted Steven’s yard sign up.

15 10 2008
Melangell aka Missile Blunt Palin

Hmmmm… Just watched the Wasilla Project vid. So many reasons to vote for Obama/Biden….

Sheesh! I’m just really sorry that AKM and all of you wonderful Alaskan Mudpuppies will have to take her back in a few weeks. Isn’t there another island, preferably uninhabited, maybe in sight of Russia, to which she and the First Dud can be banished? Although, I’d hate to inflict these two on the good folks of Little Di-whatsitsname, so I guess the view is optional.

15 10 2008
Let'sGetReal for "That One"

is the site down?

15 10 2008
InJuneau aka Wrangler Tractor That One Hussein

@Melangell aka Missile Blunt Palin (14:22:36) :

Little Diomede.

15 10 2008
GJ in Idaho

down where?

15 10 2008
JT

Oh my….perhaps I should change my name??

15 10 2008
Augie

Let’sGetReal-
Say, didn’t you say you’re from Arkansas? Where about?

15 10 2008
JT

I see a TJ…with a lighter blue quilt square!

15 10 2008
rpa

Just wondering where the IRS would fit into the unreported $250,000. If Steven’s did not report these gifts to the Senate, he surely did not report this as taxable income on his 1040.

15 10 2008
bullwinklecringing

I wish those little builder elves would come to my house. Needs a lot of work and my arthritis is killing me.

when I read that story it reminded me of that old game lemmings :>

15 10 2008
Crust Scramble - SouthGA

Off topic again –

Looks like First Dude wouldn’t be able to get a security clearance.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-naif/todd-palins-alaska-indepe_b_134793.html

Does that mean he couldn’t hang out in the VP’s office if the Repubs steal this election?

15 10 2008
bullwinklecringing

I wish those little builder elves would come to my house. Needs a lot of work and my arthritis is killing me.

when I read that story it reminded me of that old game lemmings🙂

15 10 2008
Crust Scramble - SouthGA

And wouldn’t it be nice to get a cell tower for free even if you are on the committee that oversees the FCC?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/washingtonpostinvestigations/2008/10/exclusive_verizon_gave_cell_to.html#more

15 10 2008
Denise ThatOneFromMSgaAZca

Top Repub on Senate Foreign Relations Committee endorses Obama.

“Lugar weighed the benefits of talking to foreign leaders, including U.S. enemies, against other actions, such as military force . . . “He correctly cautions against the implication that hostile nations must be dealt with almost exclusively through isolation or military force,” Lugar said . . . “In some cases, refusing to talk can even be dangerous.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20081015/pl_cq_politics/politics2975236

15 10 2008
whichferret

I am thinking I heard on the radio today that Stevens is also trying to put some of this off on his wife. That she was the one who was supposed to be “handling” overseeing all the bills and making sure that they got all of them and that they got paid. Now maybe I missed something since I did have a 5 year old in the car, but…sounds about right for these guys lately, doesn’t it?

Which Hussein Ferret Proud Democrat Voter Stuck in a Red State

15 10 2008
whichferret

@bullwinkle

and Now for the “Oh NO!” button🙂

15 10 2008
Crust Scramble - SouthGA

If Stevens wife is called by the defense, doesn’t that open her up to the prosecution?
So if she testifies for the defense, does that mean she can still ‘take the fifth’ if she doesn’t want to answer?

15 10 2008
soCalGal

Very interesting article on the Politico.com website.

Will McCain be channeling Hillary tonight? This is a must read. JM’s way of reaching accross the aisle perhaps?

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14599.html

Also a good message from ‘Off the Bus’ from the Huffpost: This is good advise folks.

“I think the Democrats need to be very cautious at this point. The exuberance on the part of Democrats is becoming a little alarming. The GOP is a cornered and wounded animal that is at it’s most vicious and dangerous; being complacent now is inviting disaster. Please, calm down folks; the election is still 3 weeks away and there’s still a lot to do and a lot that could happen.”

(Regarding a possibility Colin Powell may endorse Obama):

“I don’t personally think that Colin Powell is likely to endorse Obama; perhaps he may vote for him but I seriously doubt he’s going to make a public announcement about it. If I were a gambler my bet would be that Colin Powell doesn’t endorse ANYBODY publicly. Considering the degree to which he’s bee burned by politicians in the past, I don’t think he’s likely to put that much trust in either candidate.”

Obama/Biden 2008

15 10 2008
Annette

The AIP scandal seems to be taking off at last, especially on the blogs. Not sure if it is a coincidence but McCains price on betting site has dived to 17.5 whilst Obamas has risen to 82.5.

15 10 2008
bullwinklecringing

Lemmings: gotta get another copy somehow. I wish i still had my old 386 dos machine just to play old games.

Speaking of lemmings I guess I could make a new game called Republicans and have the little dudes follow GW McPailin, Newt,Rove etc over a cliff

15 10 2008
Let'sGetReal for "That One"

Augie (14:29:27) :

Let’sGetReal-
Say, didn’t you say you’re from Arkansas? Where about?

A small town called Magnolia

15 10 2008
Augie

Let’sGetReal-
I know Magnolia! I’m in North LR. Moved from Fort Smith about 12 years ago.

15 10 2008
whitehawk

You know, Palin tells everyone that she put all those big boys away, but I know that’s not true. Randy Rhuedrich got on the bad side of her and she moved to eliminate him, then attack. But really, the FBI was investigating long before Palin in picture……….but she is connected to Stevens, Allen and a few other’s financially and it’s officially out her cost of her home was wrapped up in the cost of the sports complex. So, she’s actually more of a crook than Ted Stevens. Ironic. She also put the cost of an SUV on the budget as mayor. How about that tidbit. She’s got lot of explaining to do. I’d love to know how Todd’s business financed, his snowmobiles, all of it.

15 10 2008
NoCalGal

Man, how can I get me some of those “elves”??? I need them!

Are they native to Alaska???

(I thought it was just Ireland… who knew!?) 🙂

15 10 2008
NoCalGal

TJOut of curiosity, what sort of punishment would Stevens be looking at if found guilty of the whole $250,000 kit and kaboodle?
****************************************

Technically, each of the seven felony counts can have as much as a five year jail sentence. Or fines. Or both. AKM
****************************************
Not to mention past due TAXES on that windfall and penalties… ah me…

15 10 2008
no more

I think their called “Gremlins” and you’ll find them lurking around the Petroleum Club in Anchorage. A few also hang out at the Double Musky in Girdwood. Support Mark Begich. http://www.begich.com/blog

15 10 2008
Let'sGetReal for "That One"

Augie (15:31:26) :

Let’sGetReal-
I know Magnolia! I’m in North LR. Moved from Fort Smith about 12 years ago.

I have quite a few relatives in N. LR. I think we played basketball in Ft. Smith years, and years ago in a tournament. I vaguely remember it.

15 10 2008
Augie

Let’sGetReal-
It really is a small world. Who would have thought our paths would cross on an Alaskan blog?
Where are you now? Didn’t you say Texas?

16 10 2008
Political Amazon

[[[I wonder if this “We paid the bills that were given to us.” defense will be the one the Palins use for Housegate?]]]

That argument doesn’t work with the iRS. Remember that it was the IRS that brought down Al Capone.

I do believe Stevens should have listed that $250,000 “gift” as income and pad taxes on it

16 10 2008
Political Amazon

From article about the First Douchebag, Todd Palin, and his likely inability to qualify for a security clearance:

[[[…The AIP has long been aligned closely with paramilitary militia groups — the kind that fear black helicopters and a United Nations takeover of the US. Indeed, under the leadership of AIP’s tough-talking founder, Joe Vogler, AIP allied itself with the Islamic dictatorship in Iran in 1993 so that Vogler could appear at the United Nations to appeal for Alaska’s freedom from US “tyranny.” A fellow AIP member murdered Vogler before he could take the UN stage. The current AIP chairwoman, Lynnette Clark, believes that Vogler’s killer was framed and all but blames the Federal government for Vogler’s “execution.”…]]]

It’s the paramilitary groups (militias) that jumped out to me.

Militias have long been associated with the nutball Christian Reconstructionist and antisemitic groups. They can be very dangerous. I was set to do an interview with a militia gruup in San Diego, and colleagues strongly advised me not to go, that it was a very dangerous proposition because once you entered their property they believed U.S. law did not apply to them and that they would feel free to react to anything they considered “hostile action” with violence.

17 10 2008
phoebe

Sarah wants 15 million for emails.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27228287/




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