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August 30, 2006
Did Coburn Out Stevens As The Secret Holder?

TPM Muckraker found a story in an Arkansas newspaper that reported on a speech by Senator Tom Coburn on his bill to create an online federal budget database, where Coburn fingers the Secret Holder among his colleagues. The culprit? Pretty much whom you'd expect:

One of the senators most criticized for his personal projects, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has a hold of his own on Coburn’s bill to make public the spending patterns of the government. Called the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, the legislation calls for the creation of a database open to the public where citizens can track government spending.

“He’s the only senator blocking it,” Coburn said of Stevens.

Of course, I'm still waiting for a reply to Steven's office on whether Stevens put the hold on the bill. And one of the points raised by TPMM sounds familiar as well:

Stevens has been the odds-on favorite since the hunt for the Holder Who Dare Not Speak His Name began.

But did he really do it? Well, he had a motive: As the paper and others have noted, Stevens and Coburn have clashed before -- in particular over Stevens' now-legendary "bridge to nowhere." Coburn attempted (and failed) to block the $233 million boondoggle. And revenge certainly fits the senior Alaskan's m.o. "Stevens can play rough," the Seattle Times noted in June. "Despite denials from his staff, he retaliates - and doesn't mind waiting years to do so."

Interesting, especially if one considers this comment from my interview with Bill Frist yesterday:

Typically they don’t put a hold on because they don’t like the bill – it’s because they don’t like something else someone’s doing. It’s petty politics.

In this case, petty politics may have coincided with a healthy dose of self-preservation. I'd guess we have our culprit.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 30, 2006 6:06 AM

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» Southern Exposure from Overtaken by Events
Much ado in the Blogosphere this week regarding everyone\'s favorite new bogeyman, The Secret Senator. But has the answer been staring our intrepid young citizen journalists in the face for almost two weeks? [Read More]

Tracked on August 30, 2006 7:32 AM

» The Silent Triumverate from Suitably Flip
Dude, are you secret holdin'? [Read More]

Tracked on August 30, 2006 8:31 AM

» Stevens Bridge is falling down, falling down from Old War Dogs
Coburn: Stevens Blocked My Bill Twelve days ago, at a town meeting in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) accused Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) of obstructing his porkbuster-database bill with an anonymous hold. That's according to an Aug. 18 article [Read More]

Tracked on August 30, 2006 12:52 PM

» Secret Senator Secret No More from A Blog For All
And Stevens, who was never shy about spending taxpayer money, now wants a cost benefit analysis on a bill that would essentially open up the earmark process to public review? Well, don't that beat all. [Read More]

Tracked on August 30, 2006 8:49 PM


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