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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Corrupt Bastard Comes to School Board **VIDEO UPDATE**


UPDATE: Mr. Corkran withdrew his name for consideration on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday, Thomas P. Corkran will be sworn in as a School Board member. He was selected by the Anchorage School Board after four rounds of voting to fill the seat vacated by Gretchen Guess.

The board had boiled the candidates down to two, and selected Corkran over the CEO of Avant-Garde Learning Alliance, Kameron Perez-Verdia. There were 41 applications: why did they pick this guy?

Do our School Board members know how to Google? I’m hoping the answer is no. Why? Because the alternative is spooky.


Mr. Corkran as vice president of Veco was a major financier of the Corrupt Bastards Club. I didn’t name them, and I have no knowledge of their parents’ marital status, but as Rep. Mike Chenault put it, “Somebody walked up and said, ‘You corrupt bastards,’ and that name stuck.”

Mr. Corkran was a major player at Veco and was left the helm when his boss was busy with trials and prison.

During the Veco trials, Bill Allen explained how he gave “bonuses” to execs including Corkran and had them launder money to “oil friendly” candidates.

As the Anchorage Daily News reported then:

“Extra or special bonuses were paid to some Veco executives for political purposes, Allen told the federal agents. Allen said Veco President Pete Leathard, Rick Smith, and himself had a meeting each year to determine which politicians, charities and community events they wanted to support. They mostly supported oil-industry-friendly Republicans, he said. Allen and Smith would review who was up for election and “guesstimate” bonus amounts based on the number of candidates and anticipated contribution amounts, he said.

A select group of executives received the special bonuses: Leathard, Smith, Roger Chan, Tom Corkran and Jamie Slack, Allen said, the summary said.”

Between June 1998 and August of 2006, Mr. Corkran personally donated $74,000 to oil friendly candidates. On August 31, 2006, the FBI raided Veco offices in the Corrupt Bastards raid. His $2,000 donation to Republican Mike McGavick, U.S. Senate candidate in Washington state, was returned after the scandal broke.

Mr. Corkran had one donation to a PAC for $100 in 2007. According to reporting agencies he was pretty quiet until December of 2011 when he donated $500 to Natasha von Imhof’s School Board campaign. Ms. von Imhof won her seat and was able to lobby for and vote for Mr. Corkran’s appointment to the vacant seat. Their relationship wasn’t disclosed to the public while Ms. von Imhof waxed poetic about the virtues of Mr. Corkran.

In his application for consideration for the empty seat, Mr. Corkran didn’t mention Veco. He wrote much about his experience leading “a world wide company” with more than 5,000 employees. He wrote, “Successfully negotiated all aspects of the sale of one of the largest privately-held company in Alaska in 2007.”

Our schools are having tough times. We deserve better than a man who funded political criminals. There isn’t one lawmaker who went to jail who didn’t take money from Mr. Corkran.

He’s not fit to make decisions for our schools and our children.

This article is cross-posted from the Anchorage Daily News

***UPDATE from Linda KB***

Natasha Von Imhof lobbies for Mr. Corkran’s selection for the Anchorage School Board. However, she neglected to inform the public that he was the treasurer of her campaign nor that he was a maxed-out donor to her campaign. She made the first mention of VECO, but made it sound like he was a third party negotiator in the sale to CH2M Hill, not the acting CEO.


Update from Jeanne Devon:

It appears Mr. Corkran has withdrawn his name, and will not be appointed to the School Board on Monday. Wonder why?

Read the latest HERE.



26 Responses to “Corrupt Bastard Comes to School Board **VIDEO UPDATE**”
  1. simple mind says:

    Van Imhof, Smith and other Cockran apologists can’t seem to let this go. They blame “liberal bloggers” and such for railroading their “intelligent, wonderful and caring” guy on the basis of uninformed assumptions. Take a breath. Cockran was financial controller for Veco, not an engineer, tool-pusher, driver, or receptionist. A financial controller is the person who is responsible to know where all the money is and where it is going. Veco money was at the center of the biggest political scandal in recent Alaskan history. Before Cockran gets a free appointment to a normally elected public office, don’t you think his employment history is worth ONE QUESTION? Cockran lists several “entities” that he currently works for that he also fails to name (and no one asked about.) It is possible that these are spin-offs from the proceeds of the Veco sale. Could he still be working for or with Bill Allen? Before Cockran gets a free appointment to a public office responsible for the education of children, isn’t it worth ONE QUESTION whether he is currently working for a guy who is accused of paying underage girls for sex? Cockran might be an “intelligent, wonderful and caring” guy. We don’t know. The point is that this is an appointment to a public office, and the public has a right to know who is getting it. And it is unspeakably arrogant of people like Van Imhoff and others like her to get pissed off because we won’t just take her word for it.

  2. Erik says:

    Shannyn’s piece moved me to testify at the ASD Board meeting last night (4/1). I let them have it. Don Smith said “Fuck You” when I walked over to him at the end. (@1:20)

    • John says:

      he is a good board member for our children to model.

      • Sara says:

        I’m sure children never see rated R movies or hear adults around them swearing. Not to mention the school board rarely spend time interacting with the students. On a final note- he has almost 20 grand kids who all work, attend college, and are upstanding contributing members of society. He must not be too horrible of a role model!

        • Todd says:

          You are a ******* idiot !!!!! This is the type of corrupt souls that typifies the Republican thinking. …..and they get away with all their crimes becaause of all their agents in government, politics, their judges and corporations.

          Kind of like the KGB and the communist party. It’s so funny that the closest theing to Commie in America is the Republican” Party”, and their the ones running around calling everyone else Commies. What a nightmare.

  3. All I Saw says:

    No shame. Just none at all.

    Veco is to Alaska like Enron is to Texas. Oh, they might have disbanded and “entity” but the assholes that made it all possible are still hanging around.

  4. AKblue says:

    The Anchorage Daily News doesn’t bother to collect relevent information about candidates. Many of the candidates wrote that they are owners of businesses, but the ADN doesn’t ask them to disclose what kind of businesses they are. How can we know if there are any conflicts of interest?
    Also helpful would be to ask about their church affiliation, which was voluntary in years past, I think. With a couple of churches determined to pass laws that would favor them, I would like to know that too.

  5. StElias says:

    Excellent find and research Shannyn. Obviously, many of us, including myself, are embarrassed that we didn’t pick up on this snake as he attempted, earlier, to worm his way back into Alaskan politics through our local education management structure.

    What a charade, he threw a few bucks at the already over funded ultra right wing big oil daughter of Eddy R., the richest family the state has ever known .

  6. JoinAK says:

    the sun just came out…….. hmmm. I think there’s a little light shining on what’s going on in Anchorage!

  7. simple mind says:

    Now wait a minute. It never occurred to anyone on the School Board to ask Cockran where he worked? Let’s look at his application/resume. He says that he “led worldwide operations of a firm with 5,000 employees …” He says he is currently the “President of a Company (sic) that has …foreign assets … in Canada, Barbados, Russia and the Middle East.” (Any questions? Nope, let’s go on.) He says he is currently “CEO of ….an assets holding company which holds or has held over $100 million in assets.” (What company might that be? Who cares?) He says that 2 years ago, he was “CEO for this company (sic) which featured over 600 pieces of … equipment located on the North Slope of Alaska.” He says that “managed all financial affairs for a union electrical contractor (sic). The company went from less than 100 employees to over 3,200 in six months … as the company participated in the Exxon Valdez oil spill clean-up.” (How many ways can you describe Veco without actually saying the word?) Of course, you’d have to be dumb as a rock to read this resume and not realize he was talking about Veco – especially if you were his friend, neighbor and he was your campaign treasurer…… either that or you actually knew that he was the financial controller for Veco and maybe continues to work with Bill Allen and you just didn’t care.

    • StElias says:

      Very well stated. Thanks.

      Also, you could have mentioned, that if one read that entire resume and still didn’t guess it was “VECO”, would not one be just the least bit curious as to who this dude was/is connected with?

  8. Serious props to AKM and Shannyn for digging these facts out and airing them. Corkran’s decision to withdraw is a very nice example of how a few citizens can make a difference.

    Ms. Van Imhof, on the other hand, may need a refresher course in ethics.


  9. akbright says:

    If anyone needed a little extra incentive to vote on Tuesday’s election, maybe this latest example of a “Corrupt Bastard Hustle” will help.

  10. BearWoman says:

    he now says he won’t accept the appointment; it’ll cause too much “controversy”.

  11. Wugmump says:

    Unrepentant criminals, paid shills, and lobbyists have taken over the state and local governments for their own or their owner’s benefit. Our oil royalties (and with it, the Permanent Fund) have just been given to the oil companies, who are enjoying record earnings, and then have the audacity to claim that it’s a “good start”. Fuck them. This is a pretty place, easy to forget the rat race, but the damned rats have taken over. I’ve been watching this happen for years; voters have been trained to not pay attention, and those that do have been hoodwinked into thinking these crooks represent them. They’re going after working people, collective bargaining, social safety nets. I won’t be surprised to hear they’re going to institute aerial hunting of those with opposing political views. What’s next? Jerry Prevo named superintendent of the ASD so he can direct the teaching of how Jesus wrote the constitution and warned everyone that the British were coming by riding his velociraptor through the night ringing the Freedom Bell?
    I’m going to quit reading the news.

    • Lawman says:

      Parents need to file a complaint with the Dept of Education in Seattle and ask for an investigation…
      Got one on MSBSD because of their actions with students and parents that were “serving an agenda”…
      CNN reports that lower 48 education administrators are “cooking the books” so far as passing children…
      When they are not able to comprehend the tests…sounds familiar? MSBSD does the same thing…
      Passes a kid into the next grade with no work completed or attendance at all…nifty isn’t it…
      It is time to invest in our kids…read a book with them…help them with homework…create study sheets…
      We make a list to shop and do business…do it with the kids…and let the DOE deal with poor management…They are AWARE of the “illicit actions” of school districts in the State of Alaska…unquote…
      Make the reports today…go online and they will get back to you…the more the merrier and better outcome!!!

    • Squeaky Mous says:

      “I won’t be surprised to hear they’re going to institute aerial hunting of those with opposing political views.”

      How about bait traps stuffed with money in and around Juneau. that might help get rid of some of the vermin.

  12. Squeaky Mous says:

    Dan Coffey is Jeanie Mackie’s campaign treasurer.

  13. Ken says:

    Let’s assume some kid is being questioned by a Principal, and he hid certain facts, or was this deceptive in his responses, what would a the Principal do? You betcha! What exactly is the message that is being sent to the school kids; be dishonest on your job application, or your job resume?

  14. Valley_Independent says:

    In any company where significant corruption and fraud have been discovered, there’s always more than one person involved. The most powerful CEO can’t pull it off without help. Corkran’s an intelligent guy, he knew the numbers at VECO, and I’m not buying for a minute that he didn’t know that taking money as reimbursement for political donations to get around campaign finance laws was wrong.

    He must have turned a blind eye to some things, and he participated in others. Tom, I wish I still believed you were better than that.

  15. Millie says:

    I detest how corrupt our government is in the State of Alaska – on the state and city levels! Hopefully, any w/connections to the ‘bastards club’ will be voted out in their next cycles. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  16. simple mind says:

    The Anchorage Daily News story, which basically reads like they copied it from Corkran’s press release, says that Corkran is “currently president of a company holding assets in Canada, Barbados, Russia and the Middle East.”. I mean, right off the bat, if someone who wants to run your child’s school said he lives in Alaska but runs a company in Barbados, Russia and the Middle East, wouldn’t you ask some questions? Not if you are the Anchorage Daily News. Anything to do with Bill Allen? Of course, we’ll wait and see what the ever-vigilant Daily News reports beyond the self-congratulatory witty banter at the Board meeting. In his resume, Corkran neglects to name his current employers, referring to them as “a Company”. I guess the Anchorage School Board wants to show the good ole boys down in Juneau that there are no hard feelings. What’s alittle bribery between friends? And what if a new School Board member does work for a guy accused of transporting 16-year-old girls across state lines for sex? If you are the Daily News, well, nothing to see here folks, just keep walking.

  17. John says:

    Maybe we can convince Tom Anderson to come backto the school board too, once his voting rights are restored.

  18. John says:

    It is a brilliant move. ASD hasn’t had much success lobbying in Juneau the legal, so nowthey will try something different.

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