Friday, August 10, 2007

Sen. Stevens Thank You Note Shows Bribery

The Anchorage Daily News reports that the FBI found a thank-you note Stevens hand-wrote to former US Attorney Wev Shea after the White House hosted a dinner in the Republican senator's honor in May. In the June 7th note, Stevens makes it sound like he got a good deal on the 2000 remodeling of his home:
"This is a sad portion of my life -- it will take time to explain," Stevens said in the two-page note. "Catherine and I personally paid over $130,000 for the improvements to our chalet in Girdwood. Someone -- or more than one -- keeps telling the FBI that's not so. Takes time to go back over five years to prove they are wrong."
Stevens has claimed before that there was nothing nefarious about the job, despite oil services Veco Corp. acting as general contractor while Stevens was in Washington.
But the Daily News' story raises pretty clear doubts about how Stevens could have managed to get all the work done for that amount of money:
If $130,000 is an accurate total, it would raise questions about how such a major renovation could have been accomplished within such a tight budget. The carpentry contractor alone said he was paid more than $100,000 by Stevens. Another contractor, who raised up the house to make room for the new first floor and built part of the foundation, said he too was paid by Stevens, though he didn't recall the amount. The earth-moving contractor who prepared the ground for the job also said he was paid by Stevens.
That would leave little if any left over for a range of other work that was done, everything from design to plumbing and electric to a new roof. As recently as this week, Stevens declined to answer questions about how the project was billed and financed.


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