Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Alaskan Bribery Conspiracy Spreads through the GOP Ranks

Two executives from the Alaskan based oil company Veco have plead guilty to federal bribery, extortion, and conspiracy charges. Founder and Chief Executive Bill Allen and Vice President Rick Smith have taken a plea agreement on the charges which requires them to disclose full details of the bribery and extortion they have been engages in with Republican legislators so they would vote favorably for them. Veco and it's employees have given more than one million dollars to Republicans since 1990. Twenty-four thousand of those dollars went to President Bush's campaigns. Bill Allen even served as Bush's 2000 state financial co-chairman during the campaign.

The two executives admitted to bribing one current Alaskan representative, Vic Kohring, and two former representatives, Pete Kott and Bruce Weyhrauch. The legislators have all plead not guilty to federal bribery and extortion charges. Veco was looking for favorable changes in Alaskan tax laws and other legislation. The company repaid thousands of dollars in bonuses to employees for making "donations" to both state and federal Republican candidates. Both Allen and Smith could possible face up to ten years in prison and have to pay 750 thousand dollars in fines. However, since they are cooperating their penalties could be substantially reduced. More and more Republicans are being implicated in this bribery scandal as the investigation continues.

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