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Question every Alaskan forced to confront
By Steve Conn


June 23, 2005

An elected official, a Senior Senator, refuses to answer questions of any kind from a representative of the state's largest newspaper as a way to punish the newspaper for covering his finances, reported out as required by federal law. Whom is he punishing? The corporate newspaper or its readers who want to know how federal appropriations and programs impact their lives and Alaska? Does he care?

Everything has its price. Tolerating Senator Steven's egomaniacal rages and their consequences as he showers our state with federal appropriations all out of proportion to the taxes we pay in has been the compromise Alaskans have made. Alaskans looked the other way when a native advocate was fired for criticizing Stevens.

Nobody wants to cross Big Ted, even to plan or suggest that he is mortal and economic realities will be very, very different when the Grim Reaper does what Alaska voters will never do - replace Ted with Ben, his low seniority and his proven interpersonal charms.

When does economic realism and admiration for Ted - the federal pork meister - sacrifice
all pretense of Democracy? This is a question that Ted Stevens forces every Alaskan to confront.

Steve Conn
Seward, AK - USA



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