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AGC

FBI investigating members of State Senate in apparent pay-for-play scheme

Four people have confirmed that the FBI is currently investigating members of the Alaska State Senate connected to an apparent pay-for-play scheme.

According to the sources, who are connected to the legislature but want to remain anonymous, the scheme seems to involve promises of campaign contributions in exchange for votes on the amount of the Permanent Fund Dividend, and potentially other issues.

I first became aware of an investigation in late spring after hearing a senator had been interviewed by the FBI. However, at that time I had no other information. I heard another senator was interviewed over the summer. I have now confirmed at least three Republican senators have been interviewed by the FBI since spring.

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The issue came to a head on November 13 during a private organizational meeting of the 13 Senate Republicans. Sources who were at the meeting said Senator Peter Micciche (R – Soldotna) brought up the topic of the investigation to the group. Senator Micciche did not respond with a comment for this story. It’s not clear how many of the lawmakers at the meeting were aware of the investigation. At this point I have not been able to identify the target or targets of the investigation.

I spoke with several other Republican senators about this story. All declined to provide a comment. But one did tell me, “We are going to find the motherfucker who is talking to you.”

Chloe Martin, the Public Affairs Officer for the FBI Anchorage Field Office, provided the following comment in response to questions I sent about the investigation and interviews:

Combatting public corruption is a top priority for the FBI, and we take all allegations of this nature seriously; however, as a matter of longstanding practice, the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations, nor do we release information pertaining to interviews.

This is a developing story.

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areal bilk
1 month ago

Oh look another exclusive Landmine post with zero credibility. I’d love this to be true… but how many of these do you post a week? Also… still awaiting the “major announcement from DHSS” post.

Maria V
1 month ago
Reply to  areal bilk

Be patient. These kind of investigations normally take 3-5 years before someone is indicted. And sometimes just interviewing the legislators gets out, and the behavior stops, for a while.

Areal bilk
1 month ago
Reply to  Maria V

That my point. The notion that you can report on a potential investigation is ridiculous. The “I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend” method is not actual reporting. Report back when an court document is actually filed (see today’s CNN report).

Peggy Lewerenz
1 month ago
Reply to  Areal bilk

Feeling cranky today. Don’t like it, don’t read it.

Harold BORBRIDGE
1 month ago
Reply to  areal bilk

Actually, Jeff’s reporting has changed public policy on the Federal Level; immigration …Bethel Mom…. I’d say Landmine has a TON of Credibility. #keepitup

Lynn Willis
1 month ago

Being “shocked” that “pay for play” is going on in the Alaska State Government is like Police Captain Renault being “shocked” to discover gambling at Rick’s Cafe in the movie Casablanca”. Looks like the lessons of the Polar Pen Investigation have been forgotten and once again the Federal Government is the only entity that will police the Alaska State Government. It was the Federal Department of Justice – Public Integrity Section that put some of these legislators in prison because the legislature certainly won’t police itself and our appointed Attorney General won’t lift a finger if any investigation might embarrass… Read more »

Taku
1 month ago
Reply to  Lynn Willis

I think we need a Polar Pen type of investigation every couple of years in order to keep these clowns honest.

Marlin Savage
1 month ago

I would only be shocked if politicians in general didn’t “owe favors”………….

Ex-Staffer, 10 years
1 month ago

Let’s all take bets on who is involved. All Interior and Southeast legislators can be ruled out.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ex-Staffer, 10 years
turbodigits
1 month ago

I’ll put $100 on Mat-Su & KPB legislators, with the exception of Eastman and possibly Wilson. But I’m open to expert counsel in this matter. Please tell us more.

Ex-Staffer, 10 Years
1 month ago
Reply to  turbodigits

Throw in a handful of Anchorage names, possibly. Not so sure about ruling out Wilson. If Micciche was inquiring about the investigation, rules him out, unless he was questioned after the fact. No one under scrutiny would bring something like this up in caucus.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ex-Staffer, 10 Years
turbodigits
1 month ago

This will inspire all kinds of entertaining speculation. Remember that odd episode when Shower & Hughes flew in for the last budget session in Juneau just in time to vote for a big PFD and then boogied?

Scott Christiansen
1 month ago

Wasn’t there a lobbyist in the territorial days who bragged Something like, “Send me to Juneau with a case of whiskey and I can get any law passed” ?

Dick Almighty
1 month ago

Of course the FBI will investigate republicans, it’s easy to make them into lil’ lisas when the feds are holding a crime over their heads. They’ll vote which ever way Wray tells them to in the future.

Lynn Willis
1 month ago
Reply to  Dick Almighty

It is actually less complicated than you think. If you don’t want a speeding ticket – don’t speed and no cop will “investigate” your driving habits. If you don’t want the FBI “interested” in you don’t give them a reason.