Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Home of Senator Stevens Raided by the FBI

The home of Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), former Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, was raided by FBI and IRS agents yesterday as a part of a corruption probe.

This is the same Senator who placed a secret hold on a bill that was aimed at increasing government accountability by requiring the government to publish and online database of federal spending.

This is the same Senator who, as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, was able to attach a $2 billion project for the 'Bridge to Nowhere'. And the same Senator who threated to resign if the funds for this monument to government waste were redirected to rebuild a major thoroughfare bridge destroy by Hurricane Katrina.

It is a relief to see that Senator Stevens seems to be unraveling from his own corruption and arrogance. It is somewhat disheartening that it had to be the FBI to do it. Where were the people of Alaska, who voted Stevens into office for six terms? Enjoying the pork projects he showered upon his state, I suppose (Alaska is number one recipient of federal pork funds, though it is the 48th most populous).

The beauty of democracy is that it is supposed to create institutionalized checks on power. Instead our democracy, through cronyism and special interests, allowed Senator Stevens to be untouchable for nearly 40 years.

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