By Karl Vick
The Washington Post
Posted August 16, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — On the summer morning he would deliver himself to federal marshals to begin a 3½-year sentence for accepting an oil company's bribes, former Republican state lawmaker Vic Kohring parked along the side of Alaska's busiest highway. While his mother waited in the car, Kohring posted a hand-lettered sign reading "Thanks, Alaska" and spent three hours waving and smiling at drivers heading to work.
The unlikely display of gratitude came after the FBI captured the portly Republican on surveillance video gushing, "That's very kind of you, I appreciate that," as an oil executive handed over hundred-dollar bills. And he may not be the last Alaska Republican making a less than graceful exit from the stage this year.
Polls show that Sen. Ted Stevens, recently indicted for allegedly failing to report a quarter of a million dollars in gifts from the same oil executive, is widely expected to prevail in the Aug. 26 Republican primary. But that victory would allow the patriarch widely known as "Uncle Ted" only the dubious honor of being able to devote his full attention to a felony trial in advance of a November general election that looks less promising for the incumbent.