Some Speak Up, Criticize Stevens

Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak

In the wake of Senator Ted Stevens’ death Monday in a plane crash near Dillingham, people from throughout the state and nation have honored and shared their memories of him and the work he did over the course of 40-years in the U.S. Senate. But not all of it has been positive.

Alvin Felzenberg, writing in the U.S. News and World Report online called Stevens “… the personification of arrogance, a bully, a walking argument for term and even age limits….”

In his article posted Wednesday, Felzenberg, a teacher and author, who was the spokesman for the 9/11 Commission, decried the politics of Stevens and the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia as those of greed, as they steered money from the powerful appropriation committee to their states.

Stevens was also a controversial figure in fisheries policy. In the 1970s, Stevens, working with Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington State, moved American territorial waters out to 200 miles. Before that, foreign fishing boats could harvest seafood within sight of U.S. shores. But in later years, when he pushed through rationalization, and with it catch shares for fishermen and processor shares for seafood companies, his popularity wavered in many fishing communities. Especially among fishermen who lost their jobs through consolidation of fishing effort, and the merchants in the towns that lost the money the fishermen brought in.

Kodiak’s Rhonda Maker, an outspoken opponent of catch shares and rationalization policy, called into APRN’s Talk of Alaska with Steven Heimel on Thursday morning during a show remembering the late senator.

Download Audio (MP3)