18 October 2010


During a prior analysis of fundraising in the Alaska Senate race, I noted that Senator Lisa Murkowski (?-AK) was receiving $800,000 of funding from native corporations.  This seemed like a quid pro quo so that the senior Alaska Senator would continue to bring home the bacon to Frontier State natives.  However, an excellent investigative expose by Washington Examiner reporter Timothy P. Carney shows how this funding is actually a “rent-an-Eskimo” racket.

The strong support from Alaska Native Corporations (ANC) should be This should be no surprise since they  were formed by legislation sponsored by recently deceased former Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) in the 1970s.  These Native Corporations have long been supporting the “Alaska Mafia”, namely friends and family of the Murkowskis, Rep. Don Young (R-AK AL) and the Stevens.

 “Alaskans Standing Together” was formed in late September by mainly by nine Alaska Native Corporations to oppose Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller and support the incumbent sore loser Sen. Lisa Murkowski.  These nine privileged, well connected for-profit corporations contributed $900,000 to keep their patron in power.

What is interesting is that this money is not coming from Political Action Committees but directly from Corporations’ treasuries.  That is quite concerning since special no-bid contract rules apply for these Native Corporations when winning federal contracts.  Five of the Native Corporations supporting Murkowski have scored $16 billion in no bid contracts.  And those worksites are not in the just Great White North, but include Puerto Rico and Florida.  So now taxpayer money is being funneled from these Native Corporations to their political patrons.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) commissioned a recent report which stated: The GAO has repeatedly reported that some sole-source procurements to ANCs have resulted in paying significantly more for services and products than were warranted." Some might think that this might not be so bad if it helps underprivileged native Alaskans.  After all, native Alaskans have garnered an average of $615 a year from the ANCs.

Alas, ANC representation on K Street lobbyists (which indirectly include members of the “Alaska Mafia”) syphon off much of the contract profits through lobbying fees.  And McCaskill found that in the several ANCs that released financial data, 69% of executive compensation went to non-natives.  It can be argued that this is K Street lobbying money (without PAC restrictions) directed to preserve the pork barrel patroness while using earmarks for aboriginal Americans as a front–hence the “rent an Ekimo”.

This sort of crony capitalism and wastefulness by big government should anger good governance groups, the Tea Party and Momma Grizzlies.

These ANC special interest groups had better hope that their patsy patrons can spell L-I-S-A  M-U-R-K-O-W- S-K-I correctly on their write in ballots.

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