The following is the entire list of FBI wiretaps submitted as evidence in the corruption trial of former Alaska state Rep. Vic Kohring. Summaries written by David Hulen, Anchorage Daily News.
01/28/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith
Kohring checks in with Smith early in the legislative session - “Just to keep in touch with my friends at Veco ‘cause I never want you guys to get the impression I forget about you after I get your help during a campaign...” Smith says then-Gov. Frank Murkowski’s emerging oil profits tax proposal, tied to a proposed natural gas pipeline, “is a huge part of our future.” Later, Smith says he’s looking forward to getting to Juneau and buying a drink for Kohring’s staff at the Baranof Hotel. Says Kohring: “I’d like to come by, too, and eat some of those hors d’oeuvres going, man. Helps with my food budget. I’m really on a tight budget.”
02/21/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith
Kohring calls Smith, who says he’s having dinner with U.S. Rep. Don Young, Veco CEO Bill Allen and Veco President Pete Leathard. Smith mentions that he would be having dinner the next night with then-Atty. Gen. David Marquez (a former lobbyist for Veco whose wife, Pam, was an aide to Kohring at the time). “So we’ll be with your staff tomorrow night,” Smith says, laughing. “Small world, man,” says Kohring. Later, Kohring - who is strident about opposing tax increases of all forms - says he might reluctantly support the oil tax plan being pushed by Veco. Smith suggests how Kohring can justify his support then says this: “Don’t you dare take this as an opportunity to go crazy, you know, to go wacko.” Kohring, at the time chairman of the House Special Committee on Oil and Gas, says he’d reluctantly go along with the tax if Veco and the North Slope producers want it. (Smith and Allen testified that Allen gave Kohring $1,000 in cash two days later, on Feb. 23.)
03/01/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith
Kohring says he’s ill and asks if Veco CEO Bill Allen received a thank you card he’d dropped off at the hotel. “Isn’t that guy amazing?” Kohring says of Allen, “It’s not beneath him, extraordinarily successful businessman, to bring a friend soup. Isn’t that cool how this man is?” Says Smith: “That’s the kind of person he is... He can be tougher than nails, but he has a heart that’s too big.
03/19/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith
Kohring says he wants to talk with Veco about an internship for his nephew. Among the charges Kohring is facing: that Veco gave his relative a job in exchange for Kohring serving the company’s interests in the Legislature.
03/21/06: Voice mail message from Rep. Vic Kohring on phone of Veco VP Rick Smith
Kohring says he left two items in an envelope at the hotel for Smith: His nephew’s resume and results of a Dittman poll on attitudes toward the oil industry. Thanks Smith for dinner the previous night.
03/22/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith
Kohring, who is chairman of the House Special Committee on Oil and Gas, checks in with Smith. “I was mainly calling just to touch bases with you and Bill and let you know anything that comes along that I can help with, if I can be an information source or if I can lobby on your behalf, if I can consider modifications to legislation or whatever, you please let me know, OK?” They talk about oil tax legislation.
03/24/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith
Kohring: “I wanted you to know I stand by to do anything to help. I know I say that so many times, but I do want to be of assistance and if I don’t hear from you guys I’ll just keep following the course that I do as far as advocating for good things for you guys, including this gas line.” Kohring reports developments on the oil tax legislation, and his meetings with other lawmakers.
03/29/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith
Kohring calls Smith concerned about efforts in a Senate committee to increase the oil tax rate higher than what the industry wanted. Kohring says he wants to meet with Smith and Veco CEO Bill Allen on a serious matter, and makes arrangements to stop by Suite 604 the following day. (See video recording of the March 30 meeting between Kohring, Allen and Smith)
03/31/06: Voice mail message from Rep. Vic Kohring on phone of Veco VP Rick SmithIt’s the day after Kohring went to Smith and Veco CEO Bill Allen in their hotel suite and asked for their help paying off a $17,000 credit card debt. Watch it here. Allen had handed Kohring cash twice during the meeting, and after thanking him and asking what he could do to help Allen and Smith, Kohring said he would meet with other specific lawmakers to “politely and gently as carefully as I can influence them in a positive way to see that the governor’s bill (being pushed by the Veco executives) is the vehicle they consider.” On the voice mail, Kohring reports that he’s setting up those meetings.
03/31/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith
t’s later in the day on the day after Kohring met with Allen and Smith in Suite 604. In the phone call, Kohring tells Smith: “I just want to let you know I’m doing what I can to help you guys out over here,” and reports on the status of the oil tax bill. “Let me know if there’s anything comes along I can help with.” Kohring mentions his nephew is in Juneau, and “I’ll introduce him to a lot of my friends, including you folks. And we’re going to have several dinners with him. I have a bunch of lobbyists that are all lined up to buy my nephew dinners... I’m gonna milk my buddies for what I can.”
04/20/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick SmithSmith reports Veco is planning to hire Kohring‘s nephew.Exhibit 1604/20/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith and Veco CEO Bill AllenKohring calls to thank Smith and Allen for giving his nephew an internship. “Uncle Bill, my friend, I just want you to know how much I appreciate you. I know I’ve said that so many times, but you’ve been so good to me over the years...I’m just so grateful.” Kohring reports that he put money inside the Easter eggs as Allen had earlier suggested, “And boy did she have a thrill...Thank you for helping to make that happen.”
04/28/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick SmithKohring reports on status of oil tax legislation. “Is there anything I can do to help at this point, Rick?” He says other lawmakers are ticked at Gov. Murkowski for not disclosing the terms of his gas pipeline negotiatiaons with the oil producers.
05/10/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick SmithIt’s the day after the regular session ended without passage of the petroleum profits tax being pushed by Gov. Frank Murkowski. Korhing tells Smith he thinks raising taxes on the industry is a bad idea.
05/23/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick SmithKohring reports from the special session and on efforts to develop a gas pipeline (tied to passing a revamped oil tax). He complains the public, and some of his colleagues in the legislature, want to tax the oil industry at a rate that’s too high. Kohring complains to Smith about “all the crap you have to take from the stupid media, with the exception of the Voice of the Times, of course.”
07/01/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick SmithKohring checks in with Smith prior to the second special sesison on oil taxes. He thanks Smith for a positive mention in that day’s Voice of the Times, and for Veco giving his nephew an internship.
07/25/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick SmithKohring reporting from the special session on oil taxes, and says he’s giving up a vacation to Russia and Germany because of the special session. “It certainly wouldn’t look good to my constiutents if their representative wasn’t here in Juneau conducting business and voting on the important gas line issues. So I’m just going to have to cancel it. It’s a non-refundable ticket.” He again thanks Smith for arranging the Veco internship for his nephew, then asks if Smith could arrange a fundraising luncheon for him. “No problem,” says Smith.
08/12/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick SmithWith the Aug. 22 primary election approaching, Kohring thanks Smith for hosting a fundraiser. “I also wanted to say thank you once again, man, you guys are so good to me. The Voice of the Times played up my column today. I can’t emphasize how much I appreciate the coverage you guys give me in that little newspaper there.” Kohring asks Smith to pass along to Allen how much appreciates their support, and says he’s headed to Eagle River for a Pete Kott fundraiser, where he plans to donate $100. “Anything I can do to help, give me a call anytime, OK?” Korhing says.
08/23/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick SmithIt’s the day after the primary election, and Kohring is calling Smith to talk about the results. It’s a sad day for state Rep. Pete Kott, who lost his re-election. Kohring presses Smith whether he knows when Gov. Murkowski, who also lost in the primary, might call a special session on his proposed gas pipeline. Kohring reports that former Democrat Rep. Katie Hurley has entered the November race against him, and he expects her to be strong opponent. Then Kohring tells Smith he needs a pickup truck to campaign. “Maybe you or perhaps (Anchorage developer) Marc Marlow (for whom Kohring reported being a paid consultant) or somebody might know of somebody who might be willing to donate a vehicle for just a brief period of time, six to eight weeks or so. Do you have any ideas how I might be able to get a vehicle?”
08/30/06: Phone call from Rep. Vic Kohring to Veco VP Rick Smith. Kohring is following up on his search for a pickup truck, and telling Smith he needs a better vehicle than his “jalopy junker” so he can campaign for the November election. The next day, federal agents execute search warrants at legislative offices around the state, including Kohring’s in Wasilla, and the FBI corruption investigation bursts into public view.