Sunday, October 4, 2009

A More Complete Set of Disclosures About Your Blogger


In getting ready for my class on the topic covered by this blog, I prepared an extended biography of me that also includes various disclosures that might be relevant in considering my work on Alaska public corruption. This blog has featured some of this information before, but this is the most complete set of disclosures I have compiled. It strikes me that readers of this blog might find this information interesting as well, so here it is:

Extended Biography of Cliff Groh
(Complete with Disclosures of Interests and
Relationships Potentially Relevant to this Course)

Cliff Groh is a lifelong Alaskan who has been a lawyer for more than 20 years. He is now a writer and attorney in Anchorage. Formerly a prosecutor, Groh has represented some criminal defendants in his private law practice.

Groh has been doing research for a book on the Alaska public corruption scandals uncovered by the current federal investigations and the resulting trials. To that end, he has observed most of the trials of Pete Kott and Vic Kohring in Anchorage and all of the trial of Ted Stevens in Washington, D.C. He maintains a blog on the Alaska public corruption scandals at on the Internet.

Groh served as the Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Revenue from 1987 through 1990. In that capacity, he served essentially as the State of Alaska's chief tax lobbyist in the successful effort in 1989 to revise the state's oil taxes in a way that increased revenues from the giant Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk fields. The legislation adopted in 1989 changed the Economic Limit Factor (ELF) of the state’s oil production (severance) tax, and that legislation created a regime for oil taxes that lasted until the Alaska Legislature adopted the Petroleum Profits Tax in 2006.

Groh was also the principal legislative staff member working on Permanent Fund Dividend legislation in 1982. That legislation produced the per capita Permanent Fund Dividend Alaska has today.

Groh has worked for Democrats while serving in these partisan positions in the Alaska State Legislature and the Alaska Department of Revenue. He is a registered Democrat who was a delegate to the 1988 Alaska Democratic Convention.

Groh has also served in government in non-partisan positions. His service includes work as an Assistant District Attorney in Anchorage and in rural Alaska communities such as St. Paul, Unalaska, and Sand Point. He has handled approximately 30 jury trials as a prosecutor. He has also served as in-house and outside counsel for municipal governments in Alaska.

When Groh was first out of college in the late 1970s, he worked as a reporter with a statewide newspaper called the Alaska Advocate. He has also published historical articles on topics ranging from the Permanent Fund Dividend to the history of journalistic coverage of the capital move.

Groh socialized with Bruce Weyhrauch during periods in the 1980s and early 1990s when both lived in Juneau, and Groh had some social contacts with Weyhrauch afterwards. While serving as City and Borough Attorney for the City and Borough of Sitka, Groh arranged in 2002 or 2003 for Weyhrauch to act as counsel for the City and Borough in a case where Groh had a conflict of interest.

Groh has known Ted Stevens all of Groh's life, and Groh's father—who passed away in 1998—was a close friend and political ally of Ted Stevens. Groh lived in a dormitory in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1975 with interns of Stevens' Senate office while researching a college senior honors thesis on the history of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, and Ted Stevens apparently made the arrangements for Groh to live in that dormitory. Groh sometimes used space in Ted Stevens' Senate office during the summer of 1975 while researching his thesis, and Groh had some social contacts with Stevens that summer.

Groh’s mother was a close friend of Ted Stevens’ first wife Ann Stevens, who died in an airplane crash in 1978. Ted Stevens and his Senate staff worked to arrange for additional medical care for both of Groh’s parents when they were stricken with cancer in the 1990s.

At various points over the years, Groh met and spoke with Jim Clark, Bill Weimar, and Pete Kott about various matters.

In the 1980s, Groh’s father served as VECO’s lawyer in defending the corporation against an enforcement action brought by the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) regarding VECO’s campaign contributions. One or both of Groh’s parents also had some business dealings with Bill Allen in the 1980s.

Groh has also worked and/or socialized with a number of the Anchorage lawyers who have worked on matters associated with the “POLAR PEN” probe into public corruption in Alaska. Some of those attorneys are or have been prosecutors on those matters, and some of those attorneys have served as defense counsel on those matters.
Updated to narrow the period of any business dealings of my parents with Bill Allen to include only the 1980s.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good luck with your class Cliff, I enjoy checking in on your blog from time to time.

Myer Hutchinson