SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Democratic legislators say illegal campaign activity was extensive


September 25, 2007

Representatives Les Gara and Harry Crawford (both D-Anchorage) sent a letter today urging the Alaska Public Offices Commission and Alaska Attorney General Talis J. Colberg to take more aggressive action against VECO, and the candidates allegedly helped by illegal VECO activity, for a broad array of illegal political activities.

APOC has previously declined to take meaningful action in pursuing VECO campaign donations, and claimed to be limited by a one-year statute of limitations. Gara said the statute of limitations is bogus, since the activities were criminal in nature.

Under Alaska law, criminal violations of Alaska's campaign laws are subject to a five-year, not one year statute of limitations. Gara and Crawford also said the extent of VECO's violations went well beyond illegally paying for political polls. The State should also determine which candidates knew they were benefiting from VECO's illegal campaign donations - conduct for which the public deserves an answer say the legislators.

"VECO has corrupted the political system, and finding reasons to take no action isn't acceptable," Gara said. In addition to the illegal polling payments Gara said VECO also used corporate money to pay for campaign fundraisers, and that the company also used corporate funds to compensate its executives for campaign contributions they made - essentially resulting in direct campaign donations from VECO to Republican candidates. The fact that VECO knew is was violating campaign law makes the act criminal, according to Gara and Crawford.

"Investigating VECO is only the beginning as far as I'm concerned," Crawford said. "The people who accepted these illegal bribes are equally culpable, and I won't be satisfied until the political system in Alaska is cleaned up - inside and out."

Gara and Crawford are asking the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) and the Attorney General for a full investigation of VECO's illegal political activity and a prosecution for any crimes the company committed.

These two Democratic legislators sponsored legislation last year that now makes it illegal to bribe legislators with campaign contributions. Prior to the passage of that bill, bribery was against federal law, but not against Alaska law.

The Juneau Empire reported today that the Alaska Public Offices Commission did decide on Monday to investigate if VECO may have violated campaign finance rules in providing polling results to favored candidates without reporting the cost of the poll. (Read this Juneau Empire story.)

The oil field services company VECO, is now part of Colorado-based CH2M-Hill.


Related Information:

VECO Political Investigation Stories in the News

Download the letter to Alaska Public Offices Commission and Attorney General


Source of News:

Office of Representative Les Gara

E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews
        Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2007
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska