FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Future of Ted and Sarah

by STEVE CONN

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is no fool. He asked for an early trial on his federal corruption changes to create a fall back position, if convicted, like the one he has in play right now. He has a better hand than most people realize.

The vote on his seat is next Tuesday and nobody in Alaska or outside knows if he will win or lose. His “friends” in the national party and the Republican national candidates, including the Alaska governor, want him to resign. But he knows, and they know, he might win. Alaskans won’t forget the billions he has brought into the state. Losing Ted and his seniority and his ability to shovel federal dollars into the trough for Alaska will be like a six-month breakdown in the transAlaska pipeline, maybe worse. Still other Alaskans, especially newcomers, are embarrassed by the outside media’s focus on corruption in Alaska, Sarah Palin’s incompetence, and late night jokes about bridges to nowhere.

Democratic candidate Mark Begich is no shoo-in. Outsiders don’t know about his own involvement with real estate kingpins and problems with public employees. Palin wants Stevens out so that she can appoint someone else — just maybe Sarah Palin — to run in a special election. This maneuver has its own complications.

Thanks to 2004 voter initiative, prompted by Senator-then-Governor Murkowski’s appointment of his own daughter to fill the spot he left vacant, Palin may not be legally capable of an interim appointment. That also works in Steven’s favor. It would mean that an interim appointment would exist under the legal cloud of a court challenge until a special election. Or Alaska might have no sitting Senator in Steven’s spot, until a special election.

If pundits are right, Palin can now command some attention from Republicans higher –ups in the party, even in the White House itself, to get what she wants. They may want her to run in a special election in Alaska or as Stevens’ quick replacement. Her popularity has fallen from the high sixty percents to the lower sixty percent, according to a poll funded by the IBEW but is still up there. She could feed on an Alaska backlash against the bad national press, as could Stevens. Bottom line- she may want a White House pardon for Stevens as much as Stevens’ even though there is no love lost between these two politicians. Stevens holds key to the next step in her political career.

So here’s the deal Ted can demand. He resigns in exchange for the promise of a full Presidential pardon along with no federal prosecutions of his son, Ben, for a smelly fishery buy-in, tied to federal legislation dad secured, of his former staffer ,Trevor McCabe, for a suspect Seward land sale to the Alaska Sealife Center, paid for with a federal appropriation Stevens directed at the non-profit to buy the land) or, if Stevens has the balls, anyone else who drew on Stevens’ influence to get special favors from the Big Guy while he was under FBI scrutiny. He might also ask for a special room in the new federal archive in Anchorage for his public papers. His hand is that good and his balls are that big.

Stevens knows he needs to work fast if he thinks he may lose the election next Tuesday. If he thinks he will win, he has until Inauguration Day.

My guess is negotiations are happening right now. Senator Ted Stevens is wheeling and dealing, Sarah Palin is dialing in, and President George Bush is paying attention.

STEVE CONN lived in Alaska from 1972 until 2007. He is a retired professor, University of Alaska. His e mail is steveconn@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
December 08, 2016
John W. Whitehead
Power to the People: John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On
Mike Whitney
Rolling Back the Empire: Washington’s Proxy-Army Faces Decisive Defeat in Aleppo
Ellen Brown
“We’ll Look at Everything:” More Thoughts on Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
John Stauber
The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told?
Ted Rall
Ameri-Splaining
Michael J. Sainato
Mainstream Media Continues Absolving Itself From Clinton, Trump Election Failures
Ralph Nader – Mark Green
Divest or Face Impeachment: an Open Letter to Donald Trump
Gareth Porter
US Airstrikes on Syrian Troops: Report Data Undermine Claim of “Mistake”
Martha Burke
What Trumponomics Means for Women
Ramzy Baroud
Fatah, Hold Your Applause: Palestinian Body Politic Rotten to the Core
Steve Horn
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General Pick, Introduced First Bill Exempting Fracking from Drinking Water Rules
Joe Ware
The Big Shift: Why Banks Need to Stop Investing Our Money Into Fossil Fuels
Juliana Barnet
On the Ground at Standing Rock
Franklin Lamb
Aleppo Update: An Inspiring Return to the Bombed Out National Museum
Steve Kelly
Hidden Harmony: on the Perfection of Forests
December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba After Fidel
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewal of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail