There’s some good news and some bad news for Republican US Senate wannabe Mike?™ McGavick. The good news is that the story about his 1993 DUI and his less than candid confession may have finally run its course. The bad news is that the DUI story could be replaced by a potentially bigger, badder and more damaging scandal.
Last Thursday the FBI raided the offices of six Alaska legislators, hauling out crates of documents concerning oil field services giant VECO Corp and the generous campaign contributions and consulting fees it lavishes on politicians.
Turns out, one of those politicians is Mike?™ McGavick.
As first uncovered by Natasha at Pacific Views, and then expanded on by Noemie over at WashBlog, FEC reports show that McGavick has received contributions of at least $12,000 from VECO’s top six executives, including VECO President Peter Leathard, who seems to be at the center of the investigation.
Why? Why would an Alaska oil field services company have all its top executives contribute to a candidate seeking to represent the state of Washington? Because Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens told them to, that’s why. That’s why McGavick is the only federal candidate outside of Alaska to whom Leathard has contributed during the current election cycle… and I suppose it also explains why he and VECO Chairman & CEO Bill Allen have each contributed an additional $25,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Hmm. I wonder where that money is supposed to be spent?
Sen. Stevens is known to have close ties to VECO, a subcontractor on one of the Senator’s infamous bridges to nowhere, and at $76,750 his number two career contributor. One of the offices raided last week was that of Sen. Stevens’ son, Alaska state Senate President Ben Stevens, to whom VECO is reported to have paid more than $240,000 in consulting fees — and while the FBI did not volunteer specifics, at least one of Thursday’s 20 search warrants was executed in Girdwood Alaska, where Ted Stevens keeps a home and office.
So ingrained is the culture of corruption in Alaska politics that the legislators in question actually jokingly refer to themselves as the Corrupt Bastards Club, and even printed up hats proudly emblazoned with the letters “CBC”.
That is the type of crowd McGavick is running with, though it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the fact that McGavick’s entire career path has run straight through the same revolving door between government and big business that, legally or not, has enriched the likes of Ben Stevens. McGavick started as a campaign aide to Sen. Slade Gorton, later becoming his campaign manager and chief of staff, before trading in his access and connections to become a highly paid insurance industry lobbyist. From there he quickly rose to occupy Safeco’s executive suites, and now having “earned” tens of millions of dollars, he seeks to return to the other Washington, this time as a US Senator charged with writing the laws that regulate his corporate benefactors.
It is this revolving door that lies at the heart of the culture of corruption that is eating away at our body politic in Congress, the White House and in state houses throughout the nation. It is a culture in which McGavick is steeped — in which he has achieved wealth beyond most of our wildest dreams — and so it is not surprising that he fails to see the Corrupt Bastards Club for what it is: a club for corrupt bastards.
But as the VECO scandal continues to unfold, I’m not so sure that this is a club in which Mike?™ McGavick wants to be seen to be a member.