Bob Bell is Oh So Super Special
You know those politicians whom nobody can stand – the ones that think the rules apply to absolutely everyone? No exceptions. Except for them.
I got one for you.
Remember that scandal that had Director of the Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation, Corey Rossi, in the headlines for weeks? Rossi and his croneys from the Board of Game got busted flying into rural Alaska and pretending to subsistence hunt muskoxen for food. You see, there’s a really really expensive way of hunting muskoxen, and there’s a much less expensive way. One way, you have to enter a lottery for a permit that costs $500 for residents, and you have to fly out to a very remote island. This is for the headhunters who want to take home a cool trophy with horns in addition to the meat. 1700 people applied for only 100 permits available.
The second way is for people who really only want the meat, and they have to destroy the horns to prove it. That’s been pretty effective in keeping people from lying and saying they’re “subsistence hunting,” (wink wink) just to they can have a horned head to hang over the fireplace, and taking an animal someone else would have actually needed and used. These subsistence permits are free and only 200 were used that year.
So Corey Rossi, and his two pals the Board of Game, Cliff Judkins and Bob Bell (see first paragraph) got together and hatched a scheme to get around the rules. They’d just get the free, easy and guaranteed subsistence permit, and claim they were there just to fill the freezer with yummy muskox burger. Oh, and by the way, just look over there while we load the forbidden trophy horns in the back of the plane. If anyone gave them a hard time, they’d just bully them into submission. After all, these were three big powerful guys way up the food chain. What could go wrong?
And these three would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for a humble Fish and Game biologist named Tony Gorn, who told the trio they weren’t allowed to keep the horns. Then Rossi and crew pulled the old “do you know who we are?” card, and the biologist said he did know who they were, but it didn’t mean they got to break the rules. And then they tried “can’t you just make an exception for US?” And Gorn said no, actually, he was not going to make an exception just because the three thought they were important and powerful, and deserved special privileges because that’s not how it’s supposed to work. Hooray for Fish & Game biologists with more ethics than those running the show.
At the time, Corey Rossi got most of the attention, but Board of Game member Bob Bell should not be forgotten.
“That name sounds familiar,” you say as you stroke your chin… “Bob Bell… Bob Bell… Hey, wait a minute. Is that the same Bob Bell who is now running for State Senate against Hollis French?”
“Why yes, gentle Mudflatter, it is that self same Bob Bell,” I say, impressed with your ability to connect the dots.
Well, Bob Bell’s sense of personal specialness and entitlement don’t stop at pretending to subsistence hunt muskoxen so he can nab the horns for trophies. He’s also trying to get away with some other rule-bendy skulduggery, as evidenced in a recent complaint filed against him with the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), the organization that tells rule breakers, “Oh no you don’t.”
According to the complaint, Mr. Bell has chosen to report his earnings not the way the rules say he has to, but the way Bob Bell wants to, which is all that seems to matter to Bob Bell. Because surely, all that disclosure stuff is for everyone ELSE.
The complaint has three bones to pick (if you will) with Mr. Bell’s lack of transparency and unwillingness to follow laws he finds annoying.
1) In Mr. Bell’s 2008 personal financial disclosure statement he lists several non-retail clients of his own corporation F.R. Bell & Associates. He is obligated to disclose them as sources of income, state how much income came from them, and for what kind of work.
Did he do this? Oh, no he di-in’t.
2) Bob Bell might be receiving upwards of $1 million a year from clients of his engineering firm. Or not. We don’t know. Because Mr. Bell is special, and thinks that he shouldn’t have to disclose that information to voters like everyone else does.
3) Bob Bell disclosed money he made from tenants in 2010, and said who they were. He followed the rules then, and understood the law. But in 2012, he decided he wasn’t willing to abide by it. He’s decided voters don’t need to know that information, and he’d rather mask large sums of money from us. So there.
The complaint has been filed, and it’s not the first time Mr. Bell has run afoul of APOC. Here’s where you can imagine Bob Bell stomping into APOC all red-faced and asking them if they know who he is.
Sometimes an incident of asshattery is an anomaly. We all have bad days. Some of us have hung out with the wrong kids. But other times, there’s a pattern of being part of the problem. Those are the people who have no business being in office, and no business in positions of power. They’re part of the 90% of politicians that give the other 10% a bad name.
So, let’s not stack the deck in their favor any more than it already is. The new redistricting may make it a challenge, so please support Hollis French – one of the smartest, most thoughtful, humble and decent Senators out there.
And tell Bob Bell – yes, you do know who he is. You know exactly who he is. And that’s why you’re not voting for him.