Some call it bribery

Oil exec says $400,000 work done for Sen. Stevens.

Was it or wasn't it a bribe that former Alaska oil executive Bill Allen says he gave to our state's "third senator?"

He didn't use The Word. But Allen, ex-chief executive of oil services company VECO, says his corporation spent more than $400,000 working on Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens' house in the ski resort town of Girdwood.

He said VECO also paid at least two contractors, a plumber and a carpenter, for work on the house," the AP reports.

Allen, who has pleaded guilty to corrupting state officials, was testifying in the bribery trial of Alaska legislators. Allen says he also bribed Stevens' son Ben Stevens when he was a state senator, but the son has not yet been charged.

VECO's work on Ted Stevens' home in 2000 more than doubled the size of the four-bedroom residence. The bribery question relies on whether it can be proved that Allen and VECO got something in return from the elder Stevens.

Blogger Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo says he doesn't need any more evidence, feeling that Allen "has now said, under oath, that he also bribed Sen. Stevens, senior senator from Alaska." Stevens wouldn't comment but earlier said "I will tell you we paid every bill that was given to us with our own money." Emphasis added!

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