Senate Majority Project

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Something Fishy in Alaska

Reader tip #1:

The Anchorage Daily News has an investigative report of a deal between Alaska State Senator Ben Stevens, the son of Republican U.S Senator Ted Stevens, and a fishery that stood to gain millions thanks to legislation pushed through by the elder Stevens.

State Sen. Ben Stevens held a secret option to buy into an Alaska seafood company at the same time his powerful father, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, was creating a special Aleutian Islands fishery that would supply the company with pollock worth millions of dollars a year.

The pollock allocation alone was projected to provide the company with $1.5 million in profits this year and $3.7 million in 2006, the company's founder said in an affidavit in March, before problems involving the company and the availability of fish cast doubt on those numbers. Under his deal, Ben Stevens would have been entitled to one-fourth of the profits of the company, Adak Fisheries.

During the time he held the option, the company grew in value from about $2 million to at least $8.5 million, according to an owner and court documents.

The full report has a lot more detail about the origins of the deal and Ted Stevens's refusal to provide all the details about what he knew when he pushed the legislation that benefited his son.