Monday, September 28, 2009

If Bill Allen Is the Source of All Evil, Why Is It Only Now that His Flaws Are Obvious?


It seems like that there’s a long line of people who now want to call Bill Allen a dangerous sleazeball.

Former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens called the long-time VECO CEO a liar at the Senator’s trial last fall, and Stevens’s lawyers painted the tycoon as both brain-addled and determined to shade his testimony to protect his family from prosecution and his fortune from forfeiture. Former Alaska Speaker of the House Pete Kott’s new lawyer cites evidence that Allen repeatedly had sex with underage girls, sometimes bringing them across state lines for purposes of prostitution. And as waves of embarrassing revelations about government misconduct increasingly wash over the federal investigation into Alaska public corruption, it seems possible that federal officials will point the finger at Allen and his duplicity as the reason prosecution cases have gone awry.

But why is only now that these people who used to be so close to Bill Allen now denounce him as a devil? Why is it that the scales are only now falling from their eyes so that the once-influential magnate stands as the worst person in the world?

Ted Stevens went repeatedly on “Boot Camp” vacations with Allen, and the last of those just-the-two-of-them get-togethers was five years after Allen suffered his brain injury in a motorcycle accident in 2001 . One of Stevens’s adult daughters testified in her father’s own defense that she found “creepy” the way Allen used the Senator’s home in Girdwood. FBI tapes captured how Kott spent many hours with Allen drinking and saying crude and outrageous things in the famous “Animal House” of Suite 604 in Juneau’s Baranof Hotel. Kott actually lived at Allen’s house for a while, and seemed to consider the multimillionaire businessman as a surrogate father. The Alaska Republican Party relied on Allen to be the party’s fund-raising powerhouse, and even got out of his way to let the VECO chieftain be the man to see in financing GOP campaigns on the Last Frontier. And federal prosecutors and investigators spent many hundreds of hours with Allen over a period of more than two years before the collapse of the Ted Stevens case over prosecutorial misconduct caused them to start to edge away from their key witness.

A lot of people who now want to distance themselves from Bill Allen had plenty of opportunities over the years to see up close how bad he was—a man who cut corners as a matter of course, a man whose well-documented active and varied sex life reportedly crossed the line into the illegal over and over.

There are a lot of people in Alaska and Washington, D.C. who need to ask themselves “How did Bill Allen get to be so popular with so many of the powerful for so long? And who let him get that way?”

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