This practice must stop

Posted: Monday, August 27, 2007

Question: What is the difference between one U.S. senator paying $130,000 for a $230,000 remodel and another senator paying $179,000 for a $279,000 home site?

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Answer: There isn't any.

What is the difference between Veco continuing to pay former Sen. Ben Stevens $50,000 per year in "consulting fees," after he was elected, and another employer paying the same old salary to their newly elected employee?

There isn't any. Unfortunately, two Alaska companies and one union still don't get it.

ConocoPhillips, Peninsula Airways and the IBEW each still pay legislators who once did jobs for them. Jobs that would be impossible to continue while simultaneously serving in the regular sessions of the Legislature, its many special sessions, or the hundreds of hours of required meetings while not in session.

I posed the above dilemma to someone connected to one of the above employers and they replied, "Yes, but what if some of his Legislative work was also for us?"

I replied, "Then that work done for you would violate Alaska's bribery by law."

Would you think it OK if a majority of both houses were on the payrolls of Veco and/or Alaska's major oil companies? What if one of them was fired shortly after voting to tax Alaska's oil as much as other countries tax theirs?

Republicans and Democrats both need to end this practice.

Ray Metcalfe

Chairman of the Republican Moderate Party


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