Foundation formed to further Sen. Stevens' work

Posted: Thursday, June 01, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Friends and employees of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens are forming a nonprofit corporation that will raise money for a library to house his personal papers and invest in programs reflecting the senator's policy interests.

Paperwork necessary to create the Ted Stevens Foundation was filed with the state Banking, Securities and Corporations Division in Juneau last month.

Although the articles of incorporation give the senator no official connection to the foundation, he has sanctioned its creation and has said he will help raise money for it.

Anchorage lawyer Tim McKeever, a former Stevens staffer, said the primary purpose of the foundation is to honor Stevens' long public service career.

The foundation also will promote Alaska, encourage excellence in public service, and ''collect, preserve and make public'' Stevens' personal papers, McKeever said.

Another objective will be to support charitable and scientific programs. McKeever cited several examples, including the promotion of rural-urban communication and public broadcasting, national defense, and athletic programs such as the Olympics and Special Olympics.

In recent interviews, Stevens has declined to say where his personal papers will be archived after he leaves office. The senator said that after he dies, his papers will go to his wife, Catherine, and she will decide what to do with them.

But Stevens also said that he probably would help raise private money to add a building or library wing at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus if his wife chooses to place his papers there.

The Ted Stevens Foundation is modeled after the Jackson Foundation, created by the friends and family of former Sen. Henry ''Scoop'' Jackson of Washington after his unexpected death in 1983. Jackson's widow, Helen, chairs that nonprofit foundation, whose assets have grown to about $22 million.

Stevens' records are among the most extensive in Congress. Four years ago he added an archivist to his staff to begin organizing them.

Stevens acknowledged in a recent interview that he was not wild about creation of the foundation because of the impression it creates that he is near the end of his political career. He turns 77 in November.

During the Senate's Memorial Day recess this week Stevens is making a swing through the country, including a stop in Louisiana for a political fund-raiser for his next re-election campaign in 2002.

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