Native firm leases Stevens building for $6M
Thursday, December 18, 2003

An Alaska Native corporation that has benefited from the influence of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) leases a building owned by Stevens and his business partners for $6 million a year, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The 20-year deal is just one of several that have helped boost Stevens out of financial troubles, the paper said. And with Stevens' help over the years, Arctic Slope Regional Corp., representing about 8,000 Inupiat shareholders, has become one of the wealthiest Alaska Native corporations. With interests in a diverse range of businesses, including the oil industry, its annual revenues exceed $1 billion.

ASRC and other corporations benefit from a rider Stevens inserted in appropriations bill that allows the military to award them contracts through a no-bid process. In 2001, ASRC shared in a $2 billion defense contract, considered the largest outsource to a Native-owned company in history.

While Stevens questions the existence of Alaska's federally recognized tribes, he has taken pains to create special legislative measures for the corporations. Earlier this year, he drafted -- but did not introduce -- a rider that would treat the corporations as tribes under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Stevens did succeed in placing a rider in a pending appropriations bill that treats Alaska Native corporations as tribes. "This gives Arctic Slope, for one, new legal standing when pushing to open the Arctic wildlife refuge to oil and gas drilling--a position opposed by at least some tribal leaders," The Times wrote.

The story in the Times also listed several other business deals and arrangements that benefit Stevens and members of his family. "We hope that the senator will hit the questions raised by the story head-on, quickly, and put any lingering issues to rest," The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says in an editorial response. "Certainly it is a story of a magnitude and from a source that demands attention, lest it follow our influential leader for some time."

Get the Story:
Report targets Stevens' record (The Los Angeles Times 12/18)
Newspaper questions Stevens' ethics (The Anchorage Daily News 12/18)
Editorial: Stevens and the Times (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 12/18)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court rejects appeal of Native preference case (12/16)
GAO report reviews funding for Alaska Native villages (12/15)
Appropriations measure takes on Alaska Native funding (12/04)
Tribes lobbying against 'harmful' appropriations riders (11/10)
Stevens unapologetic in speech to Alaska Natives (10/27)
Alaska Native: 'We became the other N-word' (10/21)
Stevens remarks on Alaska Natives draw fire (10/7)
Stevens files Alaska Native gaming rider (01/24)

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