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Ted Stevens involved in fatal AK accident

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Ted Stevens involved in fatal AK accident

Old 08-12-2010, 06:40 AM
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Aviation family mourns for the second time in two weeks - CNN.com

(CNN) -- Terry Smith decided a fishing trip might bring him some peace after his son-in-law was killed two weeks ago in plane crash outside Anchorage, Alaska.
But in a cruel twist, the small plane flown by Smith and carrying eight passengers crashed Monday into the side of a mountain near Dillingham, Alaska. The crash killed Smith and four others, including former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.
The loss of two family members "is unbearable for the family," said Alice Rogoff, family friend and publisher of the Alaska Dispatch online magazine. "Sadly this is life in Alaska because this is the form of daily transportation."
On July 28, Smith's son-in-law, Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Aaron Malone, was among four airmen who died when a cargo plane crashed during a training mission near Elmendorf Air Force Base. He is survived by his wife, Melanie, and his three young children.
Smith was preparing to assume more of a fatherly role for his daughter.
"I last saw him Monday night a week ago. He was talking through his tears about his son-in-law and what a fabulous man he was. He was about to be the father figure for these three little grandsons of his," Rogoff said.
A love of flying coursed through the veins of the Malone and Smith families. Smith's daughter, Melanie Malone, has her commercial pilot's license, Rogoff said. Smith's son flies and is an airplane mechanic. And Terry Smith and his wife, Terri, are both commercially rated pilots who flew their own trekking business.
Smith's wife is also steeped in the aviation business as her family owned Ellis Airlines, which later merged with Alaska Airlines.
"This family is aviation nobility," Rogoff said.
Smith, who retired from Alaska Airlines in 2007 after a 28-year career, also flew as captain on two historic flights across the Bering Sea in the late 1980s that laid the groundwork for Alaska Airlines to offer the first U.S.-scheduled service to the Russian Far East. The Boeing 737-200 used on those flights bears Smith's name and is now on exhibit at the Alaska Aviation Museum in Anchorage, according to a company statement.
"I just want everyone who hears about this man to understand the quality of his judgment. He was the dean of serious pilots in this state, and he taught everybody else those standards," Rogoff said. "What happened here is four people survived -- that's what he accomplished."
Cleve McDonald has flown, hunted and fished with Smith for more than 30 years. He uses words such as mentor, teacher and leader when referring to his longtime friend.
McDonald spoke with him recently at his daughter's wedding in July. Four days later, Aaron Malone died.
"[Aaron] was a superstar, and had great credibility amongst his peers. He was a great dad, and a great family man just like [Smith]. ... This is a tremendous blow to the family," he said.
McDonald said friends and family have been arriving in the community of Eagle River in Anchorage to support Smith's wife and family.
"We're holding her," he said, adding that Terri Smith and Melanie Malone have to be strong for each other.
McDonald said right now, the wounds are raw, but he can't imagine the family abandoning their love of flying.
"They own airplanes, live on a lake and tie their airplanes up out in front of their house," he said. "That's the dynamics of the group. ... Aviation kind of gets in your blood. We all live and breathe and do this not only for fun but living. [Smith] was the happiest when he was driving an airplane with a big smile on his face and his hand on the throttle."
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Don't forget that his convictions were thrown out and the Justice Department was severely reprimanded because they basically fabricated and manipulated key evidence in their zeal to make a high-profile (ie career-enhancing) case.

Does that make him innocent? Not necessarily, but 'll give him the benefit of the doubt. If the feds had to frame him to make it stick, he might not be such a bad guy after all.
Tom Schatz, president of Citizen's Against Government Waste remarked when Mr. Stevens left the Senate. “While his friend Senator Robert Byrd was called ‘the king of pork,’ Ted Stevens was the emperor of earmarks. Since we started counting in 1991, Senator Stevens has accumulated 1,452 projects worth $3.4 billion. That is a record amount.”
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by paladin View Post
Tom Schatz, president of Citizen's Against Government Waste remarked when Mr. Stevens left the Senate. “While his friend Senator Robert Byrd was called ‘the king of pork,’ Ted Stevens was the emperor of earmarks. Since we started counting in 1991, Senator Stevens has accumulated 1,452 projects worth $3.4 billion. That is a record amount.”
Earmarks are not a crime.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Earmarks are not a crime.
I didn't say they were and I don't believe Mr Schatz was implying that either. Senator Stevens is just another politician in a long list that was villified while alive and lionized in death.The fact remains he was known as the "emperor of earmarks" of which one of the more notable was the "bridge to nowhere".

While he was "framed" and found guilty of making "false statements" that speaks more to the "culture of corruption" so prevalent in Washington than to the late Senator. Just because his conviction was voided and indictment dismissed does not mean that he was not part that "cesspool" of Washington insiders.

Last edited by paladin; 08-13-2010 at 03:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:03 PM
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Additional irony is that the plane was registered to Anchorage-based communications company GCI, and was en route from a GCI company lodge to a fishing camp. This is a politician that incoherently argued against net neutrality, obviously not understanding the first thing about network transmissions and the implications of what he argued. He was a bought and woo-ed tool of the telecom company and one of the most blatantly corrupt politicians that I have ever witnessed. The same lobby eventually led to his death.

Former Sen. Ted Stevens dies in plane crash - U.S. news - Life - msnbc.com

and his famous "series of tubes" speech:
Series of tubes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indictment:
YouTube - Sen. Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens lashes out at reporter


Live by the sword...
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