One of the companies involved in the widening federal probe into Alaska political corruption is positioned to benefit handsomely from a $3.5 million earmark tucked into a 2008 Senate spending bill by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), CQ reports.
The company, Trident Seafoods Corp., was one of several that received federal money via a local board headed by Stevens’ son, Ben Stevens. While the younger Stevens dolled out federal grants supplied by his father, he received “consulting fees” from an association formed by the same companies winning the grants. Trident CEO Charles Bundrant contributed $6,700 to the elder Stevens’ campaign and affiliated PACs since 2004. He also gave the National Republican Senatorial Committee $35,000 between 2005 and 2007.
The earmark CQ notes is for an airstrip that would service seafood giant Trident, and the 100 Alaskans who live in Akutan.
Trident and Stevens are no strangers. For years, company founder and Chief Executive Charles Bundrant has been a generous contributor to the Alaska Republicanâs campaigns. And in December, according to the Seattle Times, a federal grand jury investigating political corruption in Alaska ordered Trident and other seafood companies to produce documents detailing financial ties to the senatorâs son, former Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board Chairman Ben Stevens.