Some Alaskans make a living off of oil piped from the Arctic. Others, for years, have made it off of federal money, piped from DC by former Sen. Ted Stevens. But with Uncle Ted's downfall, lobbyists who traded on their access to him face disaster, the New York Times reports. “For those of us long on the dole, the coming reality will take some getting used to,” says one.
Stevens maintained positions of such power for so long in the Senate that insider status meant a leg up for would-be lobbyists. “When somebody who had his ear said something would happen, it usually happened. You could really trade on it. It was the coin of the realm,” says a political scientist.