AUDIO: FBI recording of convicted oil company bagman Bill Allen in a conspiracy with Conoco/Phillips Alaska president Jim Bowles - June 6, 2006
February 17, 2008 10:26 PM - Posted by Ray Metcalfe
Part Two - Oil Company Bribery of Alaska's Public Officials
So how could anyone believe the producers are innocent of Veco's puppet mastery today? The account Arco, BP and Veco used to launder money to Knowles was established and managed by the Democratic National Committee, (the DNC) at the request of Tony Knowles. The DNC agreed that all money received by, and earmarked for the "Governor's Fund" would be spent as directed by Tony Knowles. It was also agreed that the funds were largely for Tony's personal use.
See Anchorage Daily News reports dated:
1. June 17, 1995: "Some of Alaska's most powerful business executives and lobbyists are expected to go fishing with Gov. Tony Knowles at a $2,500-a-pole political fund-raiser next week on the Kenai River. Knowles and other administration officials described the event as a benefit for the state Democratic Party. But proceeds will actually go to the party's ''Governor's Fund,'' an account Knowles can tap for a wide range of purposes, said party chairman David Guttenberg."The above quote "so far this year, $375,000" is from an article written before Veco, ARCO, and BP put an additional $59,000 in the Governors Fund. The account had nothing to do with any legal campaign activity. Not then not now. If it was not legal for Veco, ARCO, and BP to give the money directly to Tony, then it was not legal for Veco, ARCO, and BP to give it to the Democratic Party's Governors Fund with the understanding that the Democratic Party would then deliver it to Tony for them.
Knowles and the DNC did, almost to the letter, the same thing Republican Congressman Tom DeLay was recently indicted for in Texas. With the help of the Democratic National Committee, Knowles laundered the money through the Governor's Fund. Tom DeLay has been indicted for doing exactly the same thing, with two exceptions. Delay laundered his money through the Republican National Committee, (the RNC) and directed it to be illegally funneled into political campaigns. When Knowles laundered BP's payments, he used much of the money for himself. That makes it bribery in addition to money laundering.
See: The Associated Press By KELLEY SHANNON Wednesday, January 24, 2007; 1:31 PM AUSTIN, Texas:
"Prosecutors allege that DeLay, Ellis and Colyandro illegally funneled $190,000 in corporate contributions through DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee and through an arm of the National Republican Committee to seven GOP state legislative candidates in 2002."
Before the "Governor's Fund" was closed, Tony Knowles had collected and laundered over $400,000 from people for whom he was doing favors. Much of it came from people under investigation today. (I'll shed more light on that later as well.) Just as was the case with Ben Stevens when he was President of the Alaska State Senate, not one state official was willing to lift a finger to stop or prosecute Knowles when it should have been obvious to anyone that he was taking bribes.
Clyde Baxley and I (Ray Metcalfe) sued the Knowles administration for giving away the NorthStar oilfield and did our best to expose what was happening. We had one unpaid over-worked volunteer attorney. BP and the Knowles administration had 32 well paid attorneys on the case, and the press wasn't much interested in our suggestions of criminal activity.
. Same old David and Goliath story, different ending. We lost. Two things have changed since and they are relevant to current events.
1. In an effort to discourage people like Clyde and I from using the courts to expose corruption, former State Senate President Ben Stevens, and Alaska's Speaker of the House Representative John Harris pushed through a new statute that, had it been law sooner, would have required Clyde Baxley and I to pay the states' legal costs, possibly as much as all 32 attorney's worth. Putting the new statute into prospective, had the new statute taken effect just a little sooner, I would have been required to pay Ben Stevens' attorney's fees when the Division of Elections and Alaska's Courts came to Ben's defense and threw out my complaint alleging bribery and corruption. With the new law, I'll think twice before doing it again.
2. Fortunate for our side, in spite of our legislature's best efforts to pacify public outrage with meaningless do-nothing ethics and APOC legislation, legislation they glorify while quietly passing legislation like that described above, I'm convinced the FBI will get to the bottom of things. My prediction is that Alaskans have seen only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to prosecutions and exposure of corruption.
The information above is well documented and I believe demonstrates that Alaska's oil producers have engaged in a long-term pattern of criminal racketeering and ongoing criminal enterprises of bribery designed to relieve Alaska of its jewels for less than their real value.
More recently it has come to light that Tony Knowles' cozy exchange of cash and favors may have played a roll in the illegal curtailment of statutorily required maintenance and regulatory oversight that led to the biggest on-land oil spill in Alaska's history. According to Susan Harvey, who was the state's North Slope maintenance regulator, at BP's request, the Knowles administration impeded her ability to do her job until she gave up and quit.
There is no statute of limitations for racketeering and I am doing my best to remind those with the ability to do something about it to do something about it.
The bribery didn't work last year and Alaska now has a multi-billion dollar surplus. In years gone by, bribing of Alaska's public officials has cost the state of Alaska between two and three billion dollars per year for about 25 years.
Pete Kott was the Speaker of the House and Ben Stevens was the President of the Senate. That didn't happen by accident. It happened because Veco's owner Bill Allen controlled enough of your legislators to, more often than not since about 1981, determine the outcome of your Legislature's selections of its presiding officers. Had it not been for their sellout of Alaska's interests, the Permanent Fund would very likely exceed $100 Billion by now, which is about the point at which it would be fully capable of spinning off enough income to prevent the economic collapse of Alaska's economy when the oil runs out.
Bottom Line: When the contribution restrictions of the Alaska Public Office Commission kept getting in the way, Veco owner Bill Allen simply put the now convicted legislator Tom Anderson on Veco's payroll.
In Alaska's State Senate President Ben Stevens' case, Bill Allen was buying access to US Senator Ted Stevens through his son Ben, before Ben was appointed to replace Drew Pierce's vacated State Senate Seat, (A seat that became vacant in Ben's election district because daddy Ted had arranged for President Bush to create a new job within his administration and appoint State Senator Drew Pierce to it, thereby vacating the seat in Ben's election district so Ben could be appointed to it as Ted continued the grooming of his son and preparing Ben to succeed him on his throne in the US Senate.) After Ben was appointed to the State Senate, Veco owner Bill Allen simply continued paying Ben for the trumped up job he wasn't really doing and began asking him for favors in the State Senate.
It's no different if a company keeps a once legitimate employee on the payroll for a job they no longer have the time to do while fulfilling their legislative duties. If ConocoPhillips is making concessions of any kind that they would not be making if Representative Kevin Meyer had not been elected to the Legislature and chosen to repeatedly cast his vote in favor of the interests of ConocoPhillips, then what they are engaging in is bribery. If that is what is occurring we allow it to go unpunished, every major company in Alaska will be reviewing its personnel for electable employees to represent their interests in the Legislature.
End of part one. Stay tuned for part two of: "Unfolding the Bribery Story, 1981 to 2008 and Continuing." Part two will connect the dots between bribery events you will remember, expose currently seated legislators and other well known Alaskans who have yet to make the corruption headlines. It will explore the question of whether or not ConocoPhillips would continue to give Representative Kevin Meyer a pass to come and go from his "job" as required to attend legislative sessions, special sessions, and numerous hearings held outside the legislative session. How much longer would his job last if Kevin joined the Sierra Club and began voting against the interests of ConocoPhillips? Is Kevin getting the same old paycheck ConocoPhillips paid him before he was elected? If so, what are they paying him for? They couldn't possibly be paying him for what he used to do if he is only spending a quarter of the time he used to spend on the business of ConocoPhillips. Or maybe they are paying him to do the business of ConocoPhillips and maybe that business is on the House Floor of Alaska's State Legislature.
Ray Metcalfe may be reached at 907-344-4514 or via email at RayinAK@aol.com
Open honest ethical government is the most important missing ingredient in our political system. Lots of people talk about it but very few people do something about it. If you have watched the unfolding investigations, you know I had a great deal to do with it. If you elect me, I will continue to weed out corruption and bring sunshine into our government. Ray Metcalfe