Senate Corruption Comes to Light

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by dswoodley, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    EDIT: title should read "Senator's Corruption comes to light"

    Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the history of the US Sentate, WWII hero, master of congressional intrigue, now sees his legacy of a lifetime of public service all about to go down the toilet.

    Anchorage Daily News

    CNN

    I like Uncle Ted. I really do. He did a lot of great things for Alaskans in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

    Not even the great, rich and powerful are above the laws of the country.

    He'll get his day in court, but no matter what happens his image is forever soiled.
     
  2. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

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    #2
    I hate him, he deserves the worst :mad:
    He's too stubborn for his own good, and the good of the people of Alaska.
     
  3. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #3
    That's what he gets for trying to remove the neutrality from our beloved series of tubes, that contrary to popular belief, is not a dump truck.
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #4
    He was past his sell by date a long time ago. Isn't he the ignoramus who said the internet is a bunch of tubes?

    Unfortunately, many career politicians choose to think themselves above the law and as long as they continue to deliver $280 million dollar bridges to nowhere, their constituents will continue to elect them.

    The good part of all this is that the Stevens family is probably all washed up in Alaska politics and that's a really good thing for the state. Let's hope some young 'un gets elected and starts to focus on Alaska's long term viability as opposed to short term profits.
     
  5. Kashchei macrumors 65816

    Kashchei

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    This story takes a predictable turn since we are, after all, discussing a GOP stalwart. Warning: Bill O'Reilly fans should not follow this link.
     
  6. dswoodley thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    I agree he's past his sell by date. yeah, he's the tube man. Being an Alaskan though I have to exception to the Bridges to Nowhere, many people just don't have the facts on one of them (or both). My problem with the bridges was that as much as we wanted them, the Katrina refugees needed the money more. "Bridges to nowhere" was not a good description of them, but is sounded inflamatory so it caught on.

    I do hope better days are ahead for AK. Congressman Don Young is also being investigated for his ties to VECO. Three former legislators are awaiting trial for corruption charges. Ted Stevens son, Ben Stevens, is going to be charged with corruption any day now. The list goes on and on...
     
  7. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #7
    There was no justification for the bridges whatsoever. Knik has no possibility of providing any economic activity and Gravina Island was already well served by a ferry. It's too bad that Stevens didn't follow through with his threat to resign. Typical school yard bully behaviour.

    Since climate change is Alaska's number 1 problem, it would seem more intelligent to focus on dealing with permafrost melt than spend hundreds of millions of dollars on handouts to property developers.

    Ted Stevens' inordinate amount of influence can be attributed to oil, just one more reason to wean the state of Alaska before it runs out. Since Alaska has only three areas of economic activity; oil, tourism and the military, they better start doing something about it now, before it's too late.
     
  8. dswoodley thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Alas, it seems you are one of the people who need to be educated on some facts about the bridges (the Knik Arm bridge anyway). The Knik Arm bridge provided a very necessary additional road link between the largest city in Alaska and the fastest growing (second most populous) region in the state. Currently the route to Anchorage and Wasilla takes 1-1.5 hours depending on traffice. The bridge would cut some commutes down to 20 minutes or less. Anchorage has almost run out of developable land, adding access to the Knik flats would stimulate economic development for decades. Housing costs would stabilize and prevent more burst housing bubbles in the region. Surely you can appreciate that?

    Furthermore, every state in the union has benefited heavily from federal funds to create and strengthen infrastructure. Why discriminate against Alaska?

    I'm not going to argue in this thread on the bridges anymore, but if you want to start another thread, I'll happily participate.
     
  9. Maui macrumors 6502a

    Maui

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    #9
    I think the news here is that Anchorage has daily news. :D
     
  10. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #10
    Isn't this thread about Ted Stevens?

    Having spent a year in Anchorage, I'm somewhat familiar with its infrastructure and the lack of buildable land is not a huge problem. Wasteful zoning is however and outward expansion is not going to help Anchorage in this day and age of high fuel prices. A high speed ferry would be far more cost effective.

    What's more, this article makes it pretty clear that nepotism is a major part of the story. Just one more reason for Ted Stevens to go.


     
  11. dswoodley thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    No it isn't, that's why I invited you to discuss this in another thread if you feel the need. The Knik arm bridge was a relatively minor expenditure compared to some projects in the union, and I'll happily defend that elswhere.
     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #12
    "Uncle Ted' as you so quaintly call him, has a long history of corruption in his personal dealings and the dealings of those around him. I think it's pretty clear that the Knik bridge is part of that corruption. It's just a little too convenient that all those relatives and associates bought property in that particular area just before he proposed the legislation.

    What's even more relevant as I said before is that some entrenched politicians like teddy, tend to see their congressional duties as little more than a pathway to personal enrichment. I'm generally not fond of term limits but in his case it would have been a good thing. Just like Hatch and a host of others who are elected based on their ability to provide pork, stevens needs to go. Let's hope the people of Alaska are willing to recognize that fact and at the next go around, all the corrupt bums are kicked out.

    As I mentioned earlier, rather than enrich a handful of developers and relatives/friends, why doesn't teddy do something truly useful for Anchorage, like provide them a mass transit system. The era of cheap gas is over and encouraging massive outward development is not doing future Alaskans any favors.
     
  13. dswoodley thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    "Uncle Ted" is what everyone calls him. It's not necessarily a sign of affection for many people. The ENTIRE Anchorage and Mat-su business communities will benefit. Do you think that's a bad thing?

    I gather you are intent on keeping this argument here, instead of taking me up on my suggestion. Here's the facts on the bridge. It will cost (in 2006 dollars) $462 million. Less than 20% will come from federal $. About $75 million to be sure. Most states get several times that amount for infrastructure upgrades and new construction in any 10 year period. Do you want a list of "bridges to nowhere" as they were branded by their enemies that are thriving today? Why are you discriminating against Alaska?

    Over 10,000 people commute from the Mat-su Vally to Anchorage. Exactly what public transit system will accomodate that? And be cheaper to design, buy, build and run than a bridge? Public transit isn't going to bring down housing costs. Demand is outpacing supply. Single family housing costs and rental costs have increased on the median by over 100% in the last decade. I'm not indepently wealthy yet would like to own property one day. Who are you to tell me what's best for that? Only new development on cheaper real estate will fix that.
     
  14. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #14
    "Uncle" just reflects his paternalistic attitude towards the state. Not something to be proud of.

    Right......., have you ever heard of a highway project coming in at budget? I've got a bridge, I'll sell you.

    Knik Arm has tides of some 30 feet, the logistics of putting in a bridge would be phenomenal. The peninsula is also prone to earthquakes and the weather is not exactly conducive to large scale construction. The real cost is probably well over a billion dollars.

    Alaska's population is roughly 600,000. For many years, Federal dollars flowed to states where the population was too small to support its own road system. This encouraged wasteful development and widespread sprawl. Montana and Alaska are prime examples of this.

    I live in California which is a net donor state when it comes to federal funds. I understand that some poorer states simply don't have the means to fund all their own roads, but I hardly see why California's dollars should be used in Alaska with its huge oil fund. Alaskan's get, what, about $1,000 a year AND they pay no sales tax or income tax?!?!

    Now, please tell me why federal dollars should be funding such a project in Alaska, when Alaska can clearly pay for it on its own and clearly is a net receiver of federal funds?

    The fact the project will clearly benefit Stevens' friends and family is a clear sign that once again, this is a political payout and a sign of corruption at the highest levels.

    You've still failed to address the issue of gas prices. Are we next going to be responsible for subsidizing Alaskan's SUVs?
     
  15. MacNut macrumors Core

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  16. dswoodley thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Bridges have been put in far more difficult places than Knik Arm. The expertise to do it has been around for 30+ years. If you can prove exactly what the bridge will cost, then do it. But that doesn't change what the federal appropriation is. That amount is fixed. The state and toll-financing will cover the rest. The state is already paying for projects in advance of the bridge construction and will continue to so during construction.

    There are entire countries exisiting on fault lines. Know what? They keep building bridges. They just build better ones.

    The weather is no worse in the winter than the Michigan UP. Know what? There's a bridge there.

    As I said earlier, tens of thousands of people will benefit from the bridge. Because one is connected should the entire region have to pay the consequences of not getting PARTIAL-funding for the bridge?

    What does the gas price have to do with anything? If anything, by building the bridge, thousands of commuters will be driving LESS.
     
  17. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

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    Another one of many that have been in the Senate beyond their expiration dates. And I do mean both sides of the aisle.
     
  18. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #18

    Ted at least has not been dipping his hands in the federal cookie jar for his friends and relatives. He's been more than adept at bringing home the pork for his home state though.
     
  19. ham_man macrumors 68020

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  20. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    I don't really understand what Anchorage has to do with Ketchikan and Gravina Island, according to Google Maps, they are significantly far away.
     
  21. SMM macrumors 65816

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    #21
    This should answer any questions some of you may have. (caution - do not watch on a full stomach)
     
  22. dswoodley thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    The Gravina Island bridge is 1 of the 2 "bridges to nowhere". I don't defend that one more than it being a want.
     
  23. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #23
    I get that the bridge would connect Gravina Island to Ketchikan, that much makes sense, but how would this affect Anchorage?
     
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    There are actually two bridges to nowhere. One from Ketchikan to Gravina Island and the other is northeast of Anchorage. It would span Knik Arm and reduce the commute from Wasila to Anchorage.

    As I mentioned earlier, the real cost would probably be over one billion dollars although the proponents claim only half of that. Knik Arm has 30 foot tides so it would be a formidable engineering project and coupled with earthquakes and the weather, constructing it would be somewhat of a nightmare.

    The alternative would be a high speed ferry or some sort of mass transit. The main road from Wasila to Anchorage can't be widened much if at all due to the mountains. The only form of mass transit that would be viable would be buses.

    The Wasila area is growing by leaps and bounds due to wasteful zoning practices in Anchorage and the fact that like Seattle it is surrounded by mountains and water. Anchorage, except for a small downtown, is one huge sprawling suburb.
     
  25. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #25
    Which is the problem and why it was killed. And why he's being investigated. Just like his house, which was refurbished by a buddy who he may have helped with his position in the gov.
     

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