In Kodiak, home to the largest fishing fleet in the state,
Senator Ted Stevens’ indictment on seven counts of making false statements is drawing mixed reaction.
Some say he is innocent and will be proven so. But others are openly wondering
about his involvement with the state’s seafood industry. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has
The ongoing federal corruption probe in Alaska has
included subpoenas of seafood companies, although none were mentioned in the
indictment. Stephen Taufen of the Groundswell Fisheries Movement has been a
vocal critic of Senator Stevens and some of those same companies.
1 :11s “…does involve VECO and others.”)
the years, Taufen says Stevens has pushed legislation that directly benefited
companies that hired the Senator’s son, Ben, as a consultant and lobbyist. He
also has questions about the Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board, an agency
created by a Stevens’ earmark to administer tens of millions of dollars in grants
to salmon processors following an industry downturn. Ben Stevens is the former
chairman of the board, which has several critics, including current Republican
presidential hopeful John McCain. Taufen says all of this should still be under
investigation by the justice department.
2 :12s “…we’re just getting started
Al Burch, executive director of the Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Association and a
member of the marketing board, says the charges against Senator Stevens are
1 :14s “…that are correct and needed.”)
says the trawlers association stands by its recent endorsement of the senator
in his reelection bid. He says Stevens has done a lot for the seafood industry
in the state, and he hopes that he can continue to do so in the future.
2 :20s “…accomplished under his watch.”)
Sloan, a former federal prosecutor with the watchdog group Citizens for
Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, says it’s still possible for the
justice department to issue what’s called a superceding indictment that could
include more charges against Stevens. But she says that it is unlikely. Ben
Stevens still has not been charged with a crime.
Kodiak, I’m Casey Kelly.