Ben Stevens, former Alaska Senate president once investigated for corruption, po…

Ben Stevens, the previous Republican Alaska Senate president who federal authorities investigated for political corruption, says he is serious about operating for governor in subsequent yr’s election.

“I’ve lived by way of a number of storms in my life, and I feel I do know what it takes to outlive and I do know what it takes to maneuver into the longer term,” Stevens stated in a telephone interview Thursday.

“Alaska’s dealing with some troublesome occasions, and we’re simply considering whether or not we will make a contribution or not in a public place,” he stated. “Once we decide, individuals will know.”

Stevens, son of late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, stated he attended a Nashville, Tennessee, convention for candidates final week hosted by the Republican Governors Affiliation, a political group that helps GOP hopefuls. His spouse, Elizabeth, went with him on what Stevens referred to as an “exploratory mission.”

Stevens, fifty eight, was appointed to a vacant Anchorage state Senate seat by Gov. Tony Knowles in 2001. He ran unopposed the next yr and was elected Senate president by his colleagues in 2005, however did not search re-election when his 4-yr time period led to 2006 as he turned mired in a federal corruption investigation.

On Aug. 31, 2006, the FBI raided Stevens’ state workplaces in Juneau and Anchorage, together with the workplaces of no less than 5 different legislators, in reference to the federal investigation into Alaska political corruption.

Ben Stevens was by no means charged with a criminal offense. However executives of Veco Corp., the politically lively oil area providers firm on the middle of the investigation, testified in subsequent corruption trials that they paid Stevens greater than $240,000 for “consulting” work whereas he served within the Senate, in line with disclosures Stevens filed.

He by no means defined what he did to earn the cash, and a Veco vice chairman testified within the 2007 trial of one other legislator that the corporate had bribed Stevens and one other state senator, John Cowdery.

Whereas Stevens wasn’t charged, the federal investigation, and different accusations of political corruption, left a “collection of unanswered questions that might hassle voters,” stated Jerry McBeath, emeritus political science professor at College of Alaska Fairbanks.

The connection to his father ought to assist, McBeath added, however Stevens “can be campaigning beneath considerably of an moral cloud.” However, McBeath stated, “we’re in a brand new period, when President Trump has popularized the thought of ‘pretend information.’ “

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