Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tapping into the Vein of Alaskans' Conflicted Views of "POLAR PEN": "Alaska Edition" Version


A wrap-up of the re-sentencings of former Alaska legislators Pete Kott and Vic Kohring contains one of the purest distillations of the ambivalent feelings on the Last Frontier about the federal investigation into Alaska public corruption.   In kicking off the discussion last Friday on the public radio and TV program "Alaska Edition," Eric Adams of Alaska Dispatch noted that many Alaskans saw the federal government exposing a "deeply corrupted legislature" as well as leaving its own competence "in tatters" through the revelation of prosecutorial misconduct.  

Veteran Anchorage journalist Paul Jenkins, editor of the Anchorage Daily Planet, had a different take.   Jenkins--who once worked for ex-VECO CEO and confessed briber Bill Allen--said "There was no justice."   Jenkins downplayed the severity of the public corruption uncovered and emphasized the prosecutorial misconduct.    Jenkins also lamented that a result of the probe was the defeat of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.   

"We lost the most powerful Senator in the country.  He was worth $5 billion a year to this state," Jenkins said.   "Plus he was 'Uncle Ted.'    If you needed something badly enough, 'Uncle Ted' would get it for you.   We lost him because of this."  

Jenkins said that he thought that "Alaskans are generally sick of it" and "fed up" with the federal investigation and prosecutions.        

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