Monday, July 09, 2007

Former Alaska State Representative Tom Anderson Just Found Guilty On All Seven Counts Relating To Extortion, Bribery, And Money Laundering

A federal court jury has just convicted former Alaska State Representative Tom Anderson on all seven counts related to bribery and conspiracy, after two days of deliberation. Full story in the Anchorage Daily News.

The jury of eight men and four women returned a verdict shortly before 2 P.M. July 9th, 2007 that found Anderson, 39, guilty of all seven charges against him. The charges include conspiracy to commit extortion, bribery and money laundering and stemmed from claims he took money to do the bidding of a private prison firm. The money was supplied by the FBI through a consultant for Cornell Cos. who secretly recorded his conversations with Anderson and a co-conspirator, former lobbyist Bill Bobrick. This case is completely separate from the VECO scandal which ensnared Rep. Vic Kohring (resignation takes effect July 19th) and former Reps. Pete Kott and Bruce Weyhrauch.

Here are the specific counts against Anderson:

Count 1 - Conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, bribery, and money laundering.

Count 2 - Inteference with commerce by extortion induced under color of official right.

Count 3 - Bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Counts 4 through 6 - Money laundering

Count 7 - Interference with commerce by extortion induced under color of official right.

Click HERE to view the original 18-page Anderson indictment in PDF format.

After the trial, Anderson told reporters that he was "devastated", and plans to appeal. His family, including his wife, State Senator Lesil McGuire, who was not accused of wrongdoing, were not present for the verdict. Lesil McGuire's steadfast loyalty to her husband through this time of trial has been inspiring. Anderson said they couldn't get to the downtown Anchorage courthouse in time after it was announced the jury had reached a verdict.

Look for additional local coverage later on at KTUU Channel 2, KTVA Channel 11, and KIMO Channel 13, all in Anchorage.

Analysis: Despite the fact that Anderson presented himself as a rather unsympathetic figure, it was surprising the jury took two days to deliberate. In contrast, back in April, it took a Utah jury only five hours to serve up former National Alliance Chairman Shaun Walker's head on a platter despite genuine reasonable doubt in that case. The delay in the Anderson case was most likely not a dispute over guilt vs. innocence, but rather the number of counts on which to convict him.

And subsequent public comments on Daily News reporter Kyle Hopkins' Alaska Politics blog indicate Anderson may have helped serve up his own head on that platter. No one has defended him so far; here is a typical comment:

It will not be lost on the judge at sentencing that Anderson showed no remorse, took no responsibility, and blamed (and continues to blame) the nebulous "government" - while claiming that some prosecutor made being a state legislator over the past year a criminal thing. Two points: 1) it started with Tom many years ago, 2) prosecutors don't make laws, Tom, that was your prior job, but you couldn't seem to understand what was best for the People, because you were too busy worrying about how to un-victimize yourself from poverty at our expense.

The only "outrageous conduct" here is yours. (And at the least that is what this has to do with Ben [Stevens] and Ted [Stevens], too. As will the list of charges.)

Go to jail! But first stop by the Bar to watch them tear up your license.

Tom Anderson's gonna get hammered, folks, and it won't be undeserved.

1 comment:

  1. I complain about AIPAC a lot, but I think any kind of political corruption is bad. See how easy it was for Anderson? When he accepted money in exchange for political favors, it was disguised as charging "consulting fees" if I remember correctly.

    The feds do a lot of bad things, but when they bust corrupt politicians and those who corrupt politicians, I have to rejoice.