Friday, November 11, 2005

Ted Stevens: Oil Industry Handmaiden

Ted Stevens, republican senator and pathetic power monger from Alaska, is as low as they come. Let's forget for a minute that he had a literal temper tantrum and soiled his depends when fellow senators asked him to give back the $223 million that is earmarked for the bridge to his 50 constituents.

What I want to focus on is what happened today on the hill. A group of big oil executives appeared before the Energy and Commerce committees to give us an explanation for the reason we are paying huge prices at the pump while they announce record profits.

In another republican example of wanton abuse of chairperson power, Ted Stevens engaged in the following: (snipped from Washington Post)
When Energy Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska, $102,190) announced that he would not require the executives to give their testimony under oath, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash., $9,400) asked for a vote on the issue. Stevens shot back: "There will be no vote . . . It's the decision of the chairman, and I have made that decision."

"I move that we swear in witnesses," Cantwell persisted.

"I second the motion," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif., $9,450).

"That's the last we're going to hear about that, because it's out of order," a piqued Stevens replied. When the two women continued their protest, the chairman informed them that "I intend to be respectful of the position that these gentlemen hold."

I'm nearly struck dumb and speechless every time I read that. I submit that Ted Stevens should have recused himself from these proceedings. Why? Most people aren't aware that every man, woman and child of Alaska receive a yearly 'dividend' from a permanent fund set up and funded by oil companies that operate in Alaska. This dividend averages about $1000 per year, per person. One might wonder why it is that the Chairperson, Ted Stevens, is protecting the executives and industry that has a direct funding link to every one of his constituents.

Ted Stevens should be removed from office for this travesty and his outright disdain for the interests and greater good of the citizens of the United States.