Friday, June 02, 2006

Will the real Generals of Ratz and AFA please stand up; the debate continues

We have a heated discussion going on between readers about who are the real Generals of the give-away of the Bering Sea.

My brothers and I pioneered the S.E. herring gillnet fishery and now the processors won't buy my brother's herring. He was one of those behind the push to get a RSDA for S.E. Why should you do anything for the processors if they are going to come back and bite you.

There are plenty of people to point to. There is such a monumental amount of money involved that armies of soldiers have been less well financed than the "ratz" army. But it is useful to continue the debate so the NEW Magnuson-Stevens Act doesn't make the same old mistakes.

To recap the discussion, a reader wrote in on his involvement in writing the original MSA and strong-arming Ted to get crab ratz, and pleads leniency for (Senator) Ted and (Representative) Don. Readers are not really buying that Ted and Don aren't the real architects, with political ambitions the real motivation. Many hundreds of us have seen with our own eyes the furvor in which Sen. Ted Stevens pursued this goal. But lets not forget the basic principal of corporatism: "He who has the gold makes the rules." There aren't nearly as many strings on the gold of a privately held fish company as federal gold.

Things just don't add up to me. Now you've got his son bucking for another stint as the Alaska Legislature's leading on-the-take candidate. Take a look at this letter I got:

"John, The people of Alaska need to ask only one question of Ben Stevens, what else his he hiding. After all the past issues of hidden options and assets that have only been made public by accidents. Like a lawsuit around the very strange Adak pollock Quota, worth many million's of dollars. Or now after the Vecos; the huge lobbying fees from groups that had asked for and received ungainly new and unusual laws from his father. And finally this newss of unreported $170,000, plus income, from Enstar's parent company.

I woke up thinking this is just crazy; why would he [Ben] now say he does not need to, and much more importantly, says he will not report this "deferred income." Even though it is clear under the [weak] rules that just because you do not pick up your cash, it's still income.
(Those pesky rules.)

Why would the head of the Alaska Senate Ethics Committee take this position after getting caught again? He must, after earning all those millions in "consulting," not lobbying, be able to afford a good lawyer. Why such a stand?

The only answer is there is a lot more "deferred income" out there waiting for him to pick up. How much? The amount could be shocking even for the king of consulting. In fact, it must be huge, or the source very embarrassing to him, otherwise why the stand on "deferred income."

Please Ben, come out of hiding and stand in front of the people of Alaska and declare under oath you do not have more under-the-table deals; that Trevor is not holding assets for you, that you do not have a big bonus waiting from Trident Seafood's.

I can still remember when we had politicians that you could be proud to know, like Jay Hammond, too bad he is not around today."

I can understand our King of Corporatism getting the nickname "Benito," even though Mousolini has been misquoted as saying corporatism and fascism are ideological twins. Enough of Ben Stevens, we were talking about his father. This is the rebuttal to the rebuttal on who are the real Generals of Ratz.

"John, I'll be glad to debate the issue anytime, anywhere with my critic. I'll bring John Bruce, longtime fomer Chairman of the NPFMC's Adivsory Committee, to substantiate my claims about the ringleaders of the Crab Ratz process. My critic better bring Jesus or Moses or Buddha or that beautiful raven-haired empath, Diana Troy, from Star Trek. Alaskans f..... Alaskans bigtime in Crab Ratz and Benton and Duffy led the charge.

That will be my opening statement. Remember, everything is on tape. No speculation necessary. Just roll the g...... tapes.Only Alaskans can repair the crab ratz damage inflicted on their own residents. So let's see if they smarten up by next April's NPFMC meeting when all the chips will be on the table.

As for Ted Stevens, Warren Magnuson, Don Young and Gerry Studds, without their intervention in my life and the lives of all the Kodiak fishermen I represented, I, for one, would probably still be driving a worn-out Yellow Cab back in South Boston and slouching, pie-facced, in the cheap seats at Fenway Park. The Old Man ain't perfect by any means. Neither is Don. Who the f... among us is? But they came through for Alaska residents at crunch time back in 1976 when Seattle's economic colonization of Alaska was right on the verge of solidifying at a much richer level than ever achieved before.

Ask Dr. Lee Alverson, Harold Lokken or Bud Walsh at Davis, Wright, Tremaine in San Francisco. They nearly shit green apples when the Old Man and Don stole the NPFMC from them and took it to Alaska for keeps. I wish George Santayana were still alive to kick my critic's ass. Rumors ain't history. Speculation ain't history, either. History is blood, sweat and tears where the winner takes all and the loser never recovers from his stupidity. That's what history is. So kiss my ass."

I think we are going to find that aspiring candidates for elected office in Alaska, Tony Knowles and Ben Stevens, were at least Full Colonels in this Ratz Army in the past. Fishermen may not be able to stand up now or the big processor down in the harbor will refuse to buy their fish, and tell the other processors to do the same, which is why the NPFMC and the Board of Fish are such a joke. But come election time later this year, anyone who had anything to do with throwing a thousand crab fishermen out on the street and giving billions of dollars worth of pollock to the Japanese will see who's in charge.