Despite appreciation, Stevens tarnished

Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2008

I just finished th column by former Juneau Empire editor Carl Sampson, of Stayton, Ore., who seemed to be telling us what ethics in Alaska should be.

I agree that Alaska is a better place because of Sen. Ted Stevens. I agree that he is human, has a reputation for being grouchy, and is 84 years old. Alaska has a lot to thank him for.

What we can't and shouldn't thank him for is choosing to not declare gifts given to him. In the old days that was called bribery, and laws were passed making bribery illegal. Bribery is not a matter of failing to fill out a few papers.

Stevens was convicted of knowingly not declaring as income gifts that he received (bribery). Every person convicted of a criminal activity has a right to appeal to a higher court. It does not change the fact that a jury of his peers found him guilty.

We can and should appreciate all that Stevens has done for Alaska and Alaskans.

We, as Alaskans, can and should also feel shame and embarrassment that such a brilliant star fell, tarnished by bribery, at the end of a great career.

I hope that we, as Alaskans, have better ethics and are smarter than Sampson seemed to imply in his article.

Barbara May


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