It did not, of course. Since breaking into public view a year ago when federal agents raided lawmakers' offices and homes -- finding $32,200 neatly stacked in a closet of Kott's condo -- the federal probe has produced four indictments, three convictions, three guilty pleas and a rapt audience keen to see how high into Alaska's political hierarchy the rot reaches.
Officially, the scandal has remained confined to Juneau, where Alaska lawmakers had grown so accustomed to operating under the presumption of impropriety that several of them embroidered ball caps with the letters CBC, for "Corrupt Bastards Club." (An Anchorage coffeehouse now offers Corrupt Bastards Brew.) But with signs that the investigation is brushing against Alaska's lone congressman, Don Young (R), and its longtime and venerated senator Ted Stevens (R), residents of the Last Frontier are experiencing a rare spasm of soul-searching.