GOP House Speaker: "I'll Sell My Soul to the Devil"

This post, written by Howie Klein, originally appeared on Down With Tyranny!

Do you think Republican politicians take $100 bills to sell out their constituents' interests? Or do you think that's too crass and exaggerated and the bribery is more subtle? If you tapped on door #1, you'd be the winner-- although not of the $100 bills. According to today's Washington Post they all went to Alaska politicians last year when they were in Juneau setting taxes-- or lack there of-- for the oil industry.

Ted Stevens tries real hard to portray himself as the slightly whacky old uncle who brings home lots of goodies. He does bring home lots of goodies-- and some even make their way down the chain to benefit normal Alaskans. Most however go no further than the homes of his family and closest associates-- and to those, like oil services executive Bill Allen, who have spent untold amounts bribing him and Congressman Don Young over the years. And although Stevens and Young may be the senior crooks in Alaska politics, you would be hard put to find an Alaska Republican politician who wasn't on the take-- and on tape being on the take.

The FBI has some great tapes. And with the Writers Guild strike looking like it may last a long time, we may have to depend on them for entertainment. In fact only the most creative-- in a childish kind of way-- would come up with lines like these Republican legislators. Pete Kott, the former Speaker of Alaska's House of Representatives bragged to Stevens' Veco pal Allen (as Allen was counting out the cash), "I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie. Exxon's happy. BP's happy. I'll sell my soul to the devil." Yes, we know; that's a basic tenet of the contemporary Republican Party "philosophy" but what the rest of us are worried about is that crooked Republican pols are selling out our children and grandchildren for their self-enrichment. When FBI agents broke into Speaker Kott's home they found tens of thousands of dollars-- in neatly stacked hundred dollar bills. They also have tapes of him complaining he mixed up the viagra and pain killers-- drugs-- that were part of his package of bribes.
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