Twelve days ago, at a town meeting in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) accused Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) of obstructing his porkbuster-database bill with an anonymous hold.
to an Aug. 18 article in the Fort Smith (Ark.) Times Record
One of the senators most criticized for his personal projects, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has a hold of his own on Coburnâs bill to make public the spending patterns of the government. Called the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, the legislation calls for the creation of a database open to the public where citizens can track government spending.
âHeâs the only senator blocking it,â Coburn said of Stevens.
Coburn's office was not available for comment this evening.
The article has gone largely unnoticed in recent days, as hundreds of bloggers and blog-readers (at TPMm and elsewhere
) have called Senate offices in an effort
to determine who placed the "secret" hold on Coburn's bill. The piece does not turn up in a Nexis search, although it is in Google.
Stevens has been the odds-on favorite
since the hunt for the Holder Who Dare Not Speak His Name began.
But did he really do it? Well, he had a motive: As the paper and others have noted, Stevens and Coburn have clashed before -- in particular over Stevens' now-legendary "bridge to nowhere." Coburn attempted (and failed) to block the $233 million boondoggle. And revenge certainly fits the senior Alaskan's m.o. "Stevens can play rough," the Seattle Times noted
in June. "Despite denials from his staff, he retaliates - and doesn't mind waiting years to do so."
Stevens' office has so far refused to comment on the hold. Ninety-five other senators have confirmed
they were not responsible.
Thanks to TPMm Readers MP
for the tips.