Less than two months ago, officials were careful to say that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was not, himself, under investigation for corruption: it was his son, a former Alaska state senator (BN-Politics). Today's Washington Post tells a different story:
"Agents from the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service raided the Alaska home of Sen. Ted Stevens (R) yesterday as part of a broad federal investigation of political corruption in the state that has also swept up his son and one of his closest financial backers, officials said.
"Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, is under scrutiny from the Justice Department for his ties to an Alaska energy services company, Veco, whose chief executive pleaded guilty in early May to a bribery scheme involving state lawmakers."
In 2000, Sen. Stevens' house underwent major remodeling, turning the one-story structure into a two-story structure and roughly doubling its size. The building contractor reportedly was paid by a Veco executive (Anchorage Daily News). Perhaps coincidentally, Veco has received $30 million in federal contracts since 2000 (WaPo citing FedSpending.org).
In May, two Veco executives pled guilty to bribery and other charges (Justice Dept.). One Veco exec admitted to laundering campaign donations by illegally reimbursing the employees who actually gave them (WaPo).
Stevens, who joined the U.S. Senate in 1968, is known for getting impressive earmarks for Alaska. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, Stevens got $646 million in earmarks in 2006, alone, and got more than $1 billion from 1991-2000.