We Have A Winner


There were rumblings last night that a new indictment had been handed down in the Alaska corruption probe. The Anchorage paper is now reporting that a new case is on file in federal court, titled USA v. John Cowdery. Cowdery is a Republican state senator from Anchorage. But that’s all the information they have so far. Nothing that links it yet to the Veco probe that has snared Sen. Ted Stevens.

Late Update: We just obtained the indictment, which alleges that Cowdery was part of a conspiracy to bribe another state senator. It appears to be all part of the sprawling Veco probe. We’ll be posting the indictment shortly at TPMmuckraker.

Later Update: From the DOJ press release announcing the indictment:

The indictment alleges that Cowdery and his co-conspirators, including Bill J. Allen, the former chief executive officer of VECO Corporation, and Richard L. Smith, VECO’s former vice president, corruptly offered and agreed to give financial benefits to another state legislator (State Senator A) to influence and reward State Senator A in exchange for State Senator A agreeing to perform official acts as a member of the Alaska State Legislature.

The indictment specifically alleges that VECO Corporation, which at the time was a multinational oil services corporation, had a significant financial interest in contracts with oil producers in Alaska and, consequently, supported certain oil and gas legislation pending in the Alaska state legislature in 2006. The indictment further alleges that, in exchange for $25,000 – characterized as political campaign contributions – Cowdery, Allen, Smith and others sought an agreement with State Senator A that would require State Senator A to vote in favor of the oil and gas legislation favored by VECO. Cowdery and the alleged co-conspirators agreed to this plan, according to the indictment, through a series of telephone calls and in-person meetings.

Latest Update: You can read the indictment here.


David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.