Monday, November 12, 2007
The Devil and Alaska's Republican Legislators
The Washington Post (Karl Vick)
- "On another tape, Pete Kott, the former Republican speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, crowed as he described beating back a tax bill opposed by oil companies. 'I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie," Kott said. "Exxon's happy. BP's happy. I'll sell my soul to the devil'."
- Officially, the scandal has remained confined to Juneau, where Alaska lawmakers had grown so accustomed to operating under the presumption of impropriety that several of them embroidered ball caps with the letters CBC, for "Corrupt Bastards Club." (An Anchorage coffeehouse now offers Corrupt Bastards Brew.) But with signs that the investigation is brushing against Alaska's lone congressman, Don Young (R), and its longtime and venerated senator Ted Stevens (R), residents of the Last Frontier are experiencing a rare spasm of soul-searching.
This is going to enliven many cocktail parties in Washington, DC, and elsewhere:
The probe has delivered low humor as well as bad behavior. In one exchange the FBI captured by wiretap, Allen handed a sexual potency pill and a sleeping pill to Kott -- who later phoned, confused and upset, after mixing them up.
"Sometimes you try to come up with an exaggeration to make a point," said Les Gara, an Anchorage Democrat. "It's hard to do that here."
Ah, the travails of the Grand Old Party!