Whatever Happened To?

One of the signature characteristics of Alaska is that people come and go. Including WC. Some stay longer – more than 60 years in WC’s case. Some a lot less. Like sometime gubernatorial candidate and convicted criminal John Lindauer. WC often wonders what happened to, among many others:

Shelia Toomey, who for decades researched and wrote the Alaska Ear, the closest thing to a gossip column to ever grace an Alaska newspaper. The end of the Alaska Ear four years ago for WC marked the start of the long, sad decline of the Anchorage Daily News. What is Sheila Toomy doing now? Why did we lose the Ear?

And what about John Lindauer? Among the rogues, crooks, con artists and loonies who have graced Alaska politics since statehood Lindauer stands out as the gubernatorial candidate who saw his campaign fall apart like a wet Kleenex™. The only governor candidate to be convicted of an electioneering crime. Where did he perform and what were his 200 hours of community service, for example? Inquiring minds want to know.

Ben Stevens, former State senator and Unindicted

Ben Stevens, former State senator and Unindicted

Then there’s Ben Stevens, the late Uncle Ted’s eldest child. Somehow, whether through prosecutorial incompetence or political influence, he escaped criminal charges for his numerous conflicts of interest, apparent bribe acceptance and egregious attempts at influence-peddling. Whatever happened to Ben? He’s now president of Cook Inlet Tug and Barge, a unit of tug company Foss Maritime.

More recently, there’s Sean Parnell, good old Captain Zero himself, who assumed office after The Quitter decided Alaska was too small, and was elected by foolish voters to a four year term. Parnell set a new low mark for ineffective, corrupt governors, taking the trophy from the late Keith Miller. When last heard from, the Captain had sworn off politics and set up a private law practice in Palmer. Hey. he’s not a registered lobbyist yet.

If you have names to add to Alaska’s list of true characters who have disappeared from the public scene, pass them along to WC who will have a look at them.