Anchorage, Alaska - (AssoCIAted Mess): Former State Representative Vic Kohring was just a worm on the end of a massive corruption probe hook that plumbed the murkiest depths of Alaska's oil-rich waters, the US District Court was told today.
"And that hook keeps pulling up all kinds of Corrupt Bastards Club muck as the Feds trawl ever deeper for their prize catch," was the opening salvo in the former lawmaker's trial in Anrchorage.
Kohring is in the dock accused of taking up to $2,600 in backhanders, claiming another $17,000 and soliciting an internship for his nephew in exchange for being the puppet of big oil's graft specialist The Veco Corporation.
Kohring (R-Wasilla) was busted on 4 May 2007 along with Former Alaska House Speaker Pete Kott (R-Eagle River) and ex-Representative Bruce Weyhrauch (R-Juneau).
The three, along with other local and national politicians, formed the core of the notorious self-aggrandizing Corrupt Bastards Club which has been smashed by the Feds in lengthy sting op to root out oil industry graft in Alaska.
The 4 May arrests began spookily with a bizarre sequence of events that appear to have been triggered nearly two weeks earlier.
On 22 April Weyhrauch mysteriously fell off his 15-foot boat The Boston Whaler into the icy waters off Auke Bay and had to spend a miserable night in the raw with only the Juneau mosquitos for company.
"Sure feels like someone or somethin' hooked old Brucie good and proper that day," an anonymous souce chuckled in the Anchriage court today.
Weyhrauch subsequently claimed he'd 'slipped on some oil' on the deck of his boat before taking that ominious tumble.
That fall may itself have been the satirical omen of what was to come for Weyhrauch as he cursed the faultlines in his previously extremely lucky fate.
He now faces multiple corruption charges in Alaska and is one of seven indicted in the FBI and Justice Department probe.
Weyhrauch's ignominous public arrest was followed by the icy Alaskan waters claiming yet another prize-winning trophy in the form of the Empress of North pleasure craft.
In an exquisitely schadenfreude moment, nearly 300 passengers and crew had to be airlifted to safety after the Empress ran aground just yards away from the scene of Weyhrauch's own humbling.
Several weeks' rescue work was needed before the ship was repaired and allowed to sail again in those now heavily hexed seas.
Those same unforgiving Alaskan waters then captured a boat owned by Alaska state Senator John Cowdery on August 5th when the Johnita suddenly caught fire near Whittier necessitating the emergency evacuation of the senator and and three passengers.
Kohring's trial is expected to last over two weeks as the prosecution calls over 25 witnesses in their bid to nail him as one of the Corrupt Bastards Club's ugliest worms.
Expect an update later in the week.