Once more into the breach. In a typical, unsigned editorial by the Anchorage Daily News on August 8, 2013, the writer attempted to convince readers that I a) did prison time, b) had my convictions vacated, c) betrayed the public trust, d) maintained the feds had Kohring dead to rights and therefore he has no business running for office. Cut and dried. Why everyone knows these facts are completely true! How do we know? The ADN told you so for over four years.
Except for the prison time and winning my appeal, the editorial is based on false assertions built upon exaggerations. The ADN failed to ask why my convictions were vacated other than stating one weak phrase, "prosecutors' misconduct." This involved not merely a few minor errors by government attorneys, but rather 6,500-plus pages of intentionally concealed evidence the prosecution was required by law to give me before the trial. None of this evidence was considered by the jury, much of which was crucial to clearing my name.
Second, the judge was married to my former political nemesis whose high-paid government job was abolished by my House Bill 40, eliminating her entire agency by rolling it into another. By law, the judge was required to step down due to a conflict of interest, even if a hint of bias exists.
He and the prosecutors framed me. They literally turned my asking for a modest loan from former friend Bill Allen to help pay medical bills (a loan I never received and one I insisted be "in accordance with the law") into a huge case of bribery. When my first lawyer Wayne Ross was presented the alleged evidence the Feds had on me, he literally laughed. "What evidence," he asked? They converted a series of totally legal acts into "bribery." The hidden evidence later revealed that Allen admitted several times in private interviews that he did not bribe me.
Am I the only one who thought the feds cheated by committing major illegal and cruel acts against me to get a conviction? No. In fact one judge from the three judge panel at my appeals hearing in Seattle, Betty Fletcher, who had taken time to actually listen to the tapes, stated clearly that the government engaged in "egregious violations of basic prosecutorial responsibilities" and that "... this case exemplifies flagrant prosecutorial misconduct." But do you see the ADN mentioning that?
Did I "betray the public trust"? No, my error was not thinking about how my asking for a loan would look to the press or the feds. I never lied once to the feds or public.
Yes, I've brought up Ted Stevens' case because the exact same government prosecutors bullied Stevens' judge and jury into accepting the same omissions and legal chicanery they did to me. But in Stevens' case, the judge clearly saw what they were doing and warned them to stop. When they did not, he called them on it by vacating the convictions.
Stevens' judge did not have a wife who was his bitter, political enemy. Mine did. Did the ADN tell you about that? And did the ADN ever attempt to explore if I was telling the truth about my judge's wife? Oddly, they did. But they concluded Tony Knowles gave her an even better job after I eliminated her agency. But she and her husband the judge didn't know this would happen for the two years it took me to pass my legislation. She fought me tooth and nail the entire time, while her husband knew full well it was me sponsoring House Bill 40.
I made many mistakes during my years in Juneau, but I never lied about it. I never betrayed anyone's trust. Therefore I hold my head high in asking for my fellow Wasillans' vote.
Vic Kohring is a candidate for the Wasilla City Council and a former seven-term Alaska state representative.
By VIC KOHRING