The federal government has been very good to two of Sen. Ted Stevens' (R-AK) business partners, Leonard Hyde and Jonathan Rubini, reports
(sub. req.) John Stanton of Roll Call
In 2004, Stevens slipped them a $3.5 million earmark for an empty plot of land in Anchorage that was to be used by the National Archives and Records Administration. The deal meant $2 million profit for Hyde and Rubini.
What's happened since the initial windfall for Stevens' business partners? Not much:
Since the land deal was finished, federal funding has slowed significantly for the project. Despite a price tag of at least $29 million in construction costs, Stevens appears to have taken only modest interest in securing funding for the project since the land transfer. Stevens set aside $3 million in 2005 for site preparation, while the archives earmark diminished to just $1.9 million last year.
However, according to a May 11, 2007, Anchorage Daily News story, $290,000 tagged for the construction has been reprogrammed for a new speed-skating-rink project being planned next to the NARA land. Stevens also secured a $940,000 earmark specifically for the skating rink in 2004, according to the story.
Stevens' help to secure federal money for business contacts is atypical. Roll Call surveyed the senators seated on the 29-member committee about whether any of their business ties receive federal dollars:
Of the 19 Senate Appropriations Committee members whose offices responded to requests for comment, out of 29 on the committee, Stevens was one of only two members who disclosed a direct business relationship between themselves or their spouses and an entity that receives federal funds â and was the only member of the powerful committee who has such a relationship himself.
Stevens is already in trouble with federal investigators for allowing an oil services company to oversee the renovation of his home in Alaska. He was quoted yesterday by the Associated Press saying the probe "could cause me some trouble."