Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fishing Vessel 'Alaska Don'

Sen. Ted Stevens (R Alaska) thinks of himself as the 'Godfather of Alaska,' that the Governor can't run the state, and Alaskans would be in a world of hurt if he didn't provide frequent pork.

The owners of the big seafood processors in Alaska own boats too. Lots of them. I put in a dozen summers at this plant and others.

I'm tell'n ya, he's got the first two right, but Alaskans would be ten times better off if he would simply forget the pork and quit giving away all the resources to big corporations. Ted, let ALASKANS figure out how to make money off their natural wealth, it may take longer, but they will end up with something and not noth'n.

Maybe Alaskans ARE a little slow to develop resources themselves. Until WWII there were hardly any people up there. Just moose and bears and other four legged and finny critters. A lot of foreign nations and other states had well-developed capabilities to extract Alaska's resources, in terms of capital and modern equipment, none of which Alaskans had. In the case of the huge fisheries resources in the Bering Sea, Alaskans let Seattle companies with their foreign backers in. What a mistake that was.

Those companies are now able to dominate the federal fisheries management process and exclude Alaskans. The current Governor, Frank Murkowski, the former Alaska Senator, and Alaska's own Sen. Ted Stevens are actually directing traffic in this monumental give-away. What do they get out of it? Plenty, it turns out. Here's a letter sent to me by a reader on this subject.

"John, I thought some of your readers might like this check list titled "How to bribe a Politician"

See if this applies to anyone we might know. This is a must do for big companies planning on working in any Natural Resources in Alaska.

#1 Hire a son when he is young, it is very important to get him young for many reasons, like to train him in ethics, or to train him before someone else does.

#2 Hire a wife, this works really well when she is already an "expert in government relations" for one of the biggest law firms in the world, 1400 lawyers in one group.

#3 Hire his wife's brother, this works well if he already has a law firm, with lots of native corporation clients.

#4 Make him a pile of money without risk, this is easy to do if you already have a sure-fire real estate deal, fully funded. Try for $1,000,000 on a $50,000 "investment."

#5 You can always loan him the $50,000 to put into the deal as a non-recourse loan, that way he can't possibly "lose money."

#6 Hire his son because of his "business experience," make sure your company spokesperson never ever says the word 'lobby' when asked about the son's total lack of knowlege.

#7 Have oil companies hire the relatives of his son's wife, this is good as it's hard to track down, that way not so many questions by nasty press.

#8 If you are the owner of a really big company, have your son work as a staff member for an important Senator, this is helpful as later your son will have super access anytime.

#9 Give him stock picks when you know your own stock is going up during an IPO, and just like #5 you can loan him the money to buy your stock.

#10 Give him total free access to the company jet, both for him and his family. Make sure you forget to file the reports on jet useage, because "he will."

#11 Make sure that jet is top of the line, because a lot of people and companies are standing by to have the honor of flying such a man.

#12 Host dinners in his honor, give him awards and plaques, surround him with loyal followers, if possible name a few airports, boats and research stations after him.

#13 Hire his former staff members who just happen to be partners with his son, pay him huge amounts of money, it will find its way to the right place.

#14 Go into partnership with former staff members to buy real estate since they know ahead of time where the government is planning to buy.

#15 If possible go into partnership with staff and relatives, this is good even if the investment goes bad, then you can bail them out. Now you own them.

#16 Ask him to change tax laws so you can steer all those tax dollars that would have been lost into University of Alaska because you need to build a huge library in honor of him.

#17 Note that this a twofer, as the University economists now become very careful about being on the wrong side of pending resource allocations.

#18 Offer to help his son become the next "whatever he wants"

#19 Help him create his own foundation, you can hide anything, pay anything, and best of all, you do not have to worry about those pesky flight reports when you fly him on foundation business.

#20 Discuss the larger-than-life (!) statue of him, designed to be the centerpiece of his new wing of the University library. This is particularly effective."

The 'son' mentioned in this piece has started down the same slipery path to having his own boat named after him. Some of his latest antics were written about in the Alaska Almanac, besides being reviewed by the Alaska Public Offices Commission as we speak, for violations of income reporting. Wanna bet the 'other Senator,' the Governor, gets him off the hook. This is important for fishermen and all Alaskans to watch, because he is starting a brilliant career, as a chief resource peddler to large out-of-state corporate interests.

"40-0 -- Vote in Alaska House May 7 to pass a bill that included identity theft notification and protection measures.
6 -- Number of times Senate President Ben Stevens May 9 declined to acknowledge the House-passed identity theft bill.
13-7 -- Vote in the Senate to force Sen. Stevens to acknowledge the bill so the Senate could take action on it.
3 -- Number of committees to which the president then assigned the ID theft bill, killing the measure, rather than allowing the full Senate to vote on it."