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June 13, 2021

Headlines:

Corrupt Bastards Plead Out – No New Trials for Kott and Kohring

Well, it’s good news for former Senate President Pete (got) Kott and former Representative Vic Kohring – bad news for courtroom devotees of the Corrupt Bastard trials. It was political theater at its best, and there never seemed to be an end to the drama. But with news that there will be no prosecution of Ben Stevens, former Senate President (and son of the late Senator Ted Stevens), nor of Congressman Don Young, it appeared that things are winding down.  Kott and Kohring were both found guilty and serving prison time when their attorneys successfully appealed and got both a retrial because of a botched prosecution.

The retrial promised to have all kinds of new information, dragging the state’s witness former VECO CEO Bill Allen through the mud. Bribing politicians should be enough to call someone’s ethics into question, but we were sure to hear more about all sorts of other abominable hobbies of Allen & Co. like sex-for-drugs with underage girls.

The venue of the new trials was to be in Fairbanks, supposedly to avoid the “media circus.” Frankly, if having your legislators bought and sold for a few pieces of silver isn’t reason enough to fully engage the media, then I don’t know what is. And the constituents of Kott in Eagle River, and Kohring in Wasilla certainly had every right to attend these trials. They, after all, were the ones betrayed by those they entrusted with their votes and whom they put in office. But all that is no longer relevant.

After their convictions in 2007, Kott and Kohring won do-overs in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing successfully that their original trials were tainted by prosecutors who failed to provide them with favorable evidence in their files. Each faced upcoming retrials on three felony charges apiece, but the plea agreements reduced their charges to a single felony for each defendant.

In Kott’s case, it’s bribery, with a maximum penalty of 10 years, according to his plea deal. Kohring is pleading guilty to engaging in a bribery conspiracy, carrying a maximum of five years in prison.

They won’t serve any more jail time, and can now “move on.”

And so, we must be content with the legislators (that were caught), confessing to (a tiny fraction) of the crimes that were committed, and being (sort of) held accountable. Oh, yeah… and we  paid for it.  It’s like refreshing your drink with a chip off a floating iceberg. Or feeling good about a “successful” oil spill clean up that got an estimated 5% of the spilled oil. In matters of political corruption, our bar must be set very low if we are to ever celebrate a victory.

And to play us out, here’s a little memory from the Way Back Machine. Pretend you’re a fly on the wall in room 604 of the Baranof Hotel in Juneau Alaska. The day is March 30, 2006. Vic Kohring, servant of the people talks with Bill Allen about what legislators he can influence, and the miracle of Easter, which consists of… cash in Easter eggs. It’s a true Alaskan classic. Enjoy…

~Brian the moose, listening at the door of Room 604 in the Baranof Hotel in Juneau. Who needs a fly on the wall when you’ve got a moose on the handle?

Comments

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Comments
19 Responses to “Corrupt Bastards Plead Out – No New Trials for Kott and Kohring”
  1. REALLY says:

    See Tongass Low Down for more on corruption

  2. Winski says:

    Hey Mud… This is running in the LA Times today (10/22/11)…

    “Alaska’s former House speaker, Peter Kott, pleaded guilty to a felony bribery count Friday in the conclusion to the long-running political corruption investigation that has seen six state legislators convicted and helped unseat former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.”

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/10/kott-kohring-alaska-political-corruption.html

  3. Pinwheel says:

    This is a bizarre thread about the ‘Corrupt Bastards Club’. My take is that as long as we remain either silent or intimidated nothing much will change.

  4. fishingmamma says:

    These two can get together with George Hohman and start an Occupy the Baranof movement.

  5. flex gunship pailn says:

    it’s the 99.5% of politicians who give the rest a bad name

  6. tallimat says:

    Screw ittybitty tadpole Benji Stevens.

    Bill Allen messed with under age girls. A little fact we must not forget.

    I wish to hang his arse in town square, but all I got is this letter that says Senator Frank’s Kid wants a full investagation as to how, possibly why and with whom did Bill Allen mess with and why arnt drunk Bill Allen gettin the full investigative treatment!

    Hang Bill, spit on Benji.

    Good night.

  7. Moose Pucky says:

    Looks like Brian is commenting by lifting his leg.

  8. AKjah says:

    Ben. My bad. Cooking an typing.

  9. AKjah says:

    So are they the 99.5% just shy of not getting prosecuted at all. Unlike Yon and

  10. Zyxomma says:

    Unsurprising. Awful, but unsurprising.

  11. mike from iowa says:

    What is the point of ethics for legislatwhores if they aren’t gonna be applied to violatwhores?

  12. GoI3ig says:

    Anyone who wants to wish Vic well, can always stop in to Gorilla Fireworks out in Houston, Ak where he works as a part time fireworks salesman. I think he may don the Gorilla suit once in a while. That Gorilla looks pretty tall some days.

  13. GoI3ig says:

    I saw this coming for a long while. Their attorneys knew that no matter what dirt they drug out of the closet to dump on Allen and Smith, they had a little problem. That was the video tapes from the hotel room. Despite Allen being unsavory (surprise, he was bribing politicians), the jurors would have hung the boys again with nothing more than the tapes from he Baronof Hotel.

    This way, the Government saves money, they at least get one conviction to stand, and the books are closed. The more amazing part of the story, is that the most crooked one of all (little Ben) rode off in to the sunset unscathed beyond an abrupt end to his political career.

  14. Mag the Mick says:

    At the very least, they will spend the rest of their lives as convicted felons.

    And in other news, I note that Parnell;s office has requested still more of a delay in releasing La Palin’s last batch of e-mails. And so it goes…

    • ks sunflower says:

      More delay? That is shameful – just like the resolution of the corruption. If there is no real price to pay for pay-for-play political shenanigans, then how do you deter the players?

    • mike from iowa says:

      you are starting to sound like Linda Ellerbee,another of my favorite lady journalists. I used to watch her at three or four in the morning on CBS really overnight news.

      • Mag the Mick says:

        I thought of Linda when I wrote this, but I think we are both quoting Mr. Vonnegut. I would be proud to sound like either one of them!

    • What, are they hoping those emails will disintigrate before they have to release them? Ooops, sorry, they don’t exist anymore – we don’t know how that happened?

      Good grief.

      Love Brian on the door handle, btw. 🙂

  15. Irishgirl says:

    I don’t know what to say…but I do like Brian.

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