WASHINGTON – Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted of seven corruption charges Monday in a trial that tainted the 40-year Senate career of Alaska's political patriarch.
The verdict, coming just days before Election Day, adds further uncertainty to a closely watched Senate race. Democrats hope to seize the once reliably Republican seat as part of their bid for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
Stevens, 84, was convicted of all seven charges he faced of lying about free home renovations and other gifts he received from a wealthy oil contractor. Jurors began deliberating Wednesday at noon.
Stevens faces up to five years in prison on each count when he is sentenced Jan. 26, but under federal sentencing guidelines, he is likely to receive much less prison time, if any.
No way he keeps his seat now, unless Alaska would like a convicted felon representing them. Hey, my Senator Sarah Palin prediction is well on its way to coming true.
Palin might not even have to wait to make her comeback. If Ted Stevens wins re-election next Tuesday, Sarah Palin has an instant fallback plan. Should Stevens win, it would likely be decided for him that he won't take his seat in the Senate come January. That means the Governor of Alaska picks the replacement until a special election can be held in two years. Sarah Palin could choose herself as that replacement, and she gets to Washington a full 17 days sooner than if McCain wins the White House. Regardless of whether it's McCain or Obama next Tuesday, her immediate political future could be brighter and more secure than anybody realizes.
Originally posted by Big StewiePalin might not even have to wait to make her comeback. If Ted Stevens wins re-election next Tuesday, Sarah Palin has an instant fallback plan. Should Stevens win, it would likely be decided for him that he won't take his seat in the Senate come January. That means the Governor of Alaska picks the replacement until a special election can be held in two years. Sarah Palin could choose herself as that replacement, and she gets to Washington a full 17 days sooner than if McCain wins the White House. Regardless of whether it's McCain or Obama next Tuesday, her immediate political future could be brighter and more secure than anybody realizes.
Nope, after the fiasco of a few years ago when Frank Murkowski appointed his daughter as his replacement, the law in Alaska was changed so that the Governor no longer has the power to appoint a replacement to the Senate. Instead, it requires a special election.
As for Stevens, I wish I could say good riddance to bad rubbish, but I have a feeling this may not play out as cleanly as the GOP would wish, especially if he wins the election. After all, the only way to remove him from the Senate is through impeachment and I'm not at all convinced that the GOP can muster the votes necessary to impeach him when they'll only have 41 or 42 GOP senators.
Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. -- Erasmus
All others things being equal, the simplest solution is usually stupidity. -- Darwin Minor
To me, this just epitomizes the culture of arrogance and greed on Capital Hill, regardless of political affiliation. The problem is that Stevens, like most of our congresspeople, lacks the basic grace or ability to think about anyone other than himself. The guy is 84 years old and facing corruption charges. A decent* person would exit the race, fight the charges against himself and then retire.
*A decent human being would almost definitely not be convicted of 7 charges of corruption, plus the other ethical failings that mark Stevens' career.
One last thing, what does that tell us about the demands of a job, when people well into their 80s can continue to perform (not to mention Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms)? And, that Biden, McCain and Obama can campaign nonstop, still receive their full salary and benefits package, and be considered as contributing members of Congress. It's just frustrating because these guys are robbing the taxpayer on so many levels.
Originally posted by CorajudoOne last thing, what does that tell us about the demands of a job, when people well into their 80s can continue to perform (not to mention Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms)? And, that Biden, McCain and Obama can campaign nonstop, still receive their full salary and benefits package, and be considered as contributing members of Congress. It's just frustrating because these guys are robbing the taxpayer on so many levels.
Vitamins? Seriously, they are the exceptions an whether you like them or not, they are quite active. And the fact is in a job like that, the key is the staff they put together. I have met with Senators and Reps in D.C. and most of them are really sharp, active, and committed. Even the ones I disagree with. Their staffs consist in large part of young, driven, intellegent people helping them to formulate policy.
As for the Candidates, Dole did the right thing in 1996 when he stepped down after getting the nomination. If you are your parties candidate in that situation, you should resign your seat IMO.
Having a candidate found guilty of a crime a week before the election is obviously pretty unprecedented, but FiveThirtyEight.com is projecting that Stevens' approval rating should fall about 18%. Since the race was about 50/50 before, that makes Begich a 6 point favorite. And again, in turn, 538 is putting a Begich victory at 87%. Once some polls come in, Begich could gain on Stevens even more.
Originally posted by DrDirt As for the Candidates, Dole did the right thing in 1996 when he stepped down after getting the nomination. If you are your parties candidate in that situation, you should resign your seat IMO.
Dole might have been aware that Sam Brownback wanted his seat. When Dole stepped down in June, the Republican governor appointed his Lt Governor as the Senator. She lost to Brownback (who at the time was a Representative) in the Republican primary, and Brownback went on to win the general election.
Both Lieberman in 2000 and Biden this year have campaigned for their Senate seat at the same time as the Presidential nomination. Now that could be because by the time you find out that you're the VP nominee, you're already pretty far along in your Senate race. I'm sure it also helps knowing that your state's governor will appoint someone of the same party should you win the national election. Also when you have no fear of actually losing that Senate race.
With all due respect to DrDirt, my experience with congresspeople and their staffs has been somewhat different. Although they are pretty sharp and active, I disagree about their dedication, at least in terms of understanding the laws they pass. As part of my job, I sometimes help companies make sure that their operations comply with federal law, particularly new regulations that are passed by Congress. It has been my experience that the members of Congress (and their staff), even the sponsors of the bills along with both the heads of and members of the committees who pass the bills to the floor for a vote, don't know the details of what they are passing and have no clue about how the law will work in practice. To me, someone who passes a law/bill without understanding what they pass is abdicating their responsibility. Period.
For example, the latest financial bailout grew from a 3 page proposal from Treasury to a 110 page bill 8 days later, which was rejected. The bill then grew to 451 pages in less than three days and was passed two days after that. There is no way that *anyone* in Congress actually understood everything they were passing, as evidenced by a lot of the nonsense included in the bill. And, to me, this epitomizes the problem with our current legislative situation. We have a serious situation and Congress is screwing around with tax breaks for wooden arrow manufacturers, rum producers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, racetrack owners, the wool industry, the film industry, etc.
Personally, I'd prefer that Congress be a little less active and a little more serious.
EDIT: And, one last thing, I agree that the classy and ethical thing to do is to resign when pursuing a different office. This is particularly true when pursuing the Presidency, which is obviously a full-time job and then some. So, hats off to Dole and raspberries to McCain, Obama and Biden.
Corajudo, my experience has been with the KS, OK, and CO delegations both in D.C. and in KS. I am not refering to an item suchas you stated but things such as ARS monies for research, RMA insurance coverage and things like that. They are well aware of what they are doing and what it means re thee items. But I am sure you are also correct.
Locally, our Congressman, Moran, covers 2/3 of the counties in KS and visits each twice each year. In fact he dropped by my daughters HS last week. And he is running unopposed essentially. I have talked to him at the state fair, K-State events, local meetings, etc. Same with Roberts and Glickman when he was in office. I am a lifelong Dem and they know it. And Moranhas bucked his party on numerous occasions for the good of his district and paid fo it.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) will be allowed to vote in next week’s election despite being found guilty of committing seven felonies, an Alaskan agency ruled Wednesday evening.
In order to be disqualified from voting in Alaska, a citizen must have committed a felony involving “moral turpitude” and the guilty verdict must meet the legal definition of a conviction.
Stevens’s crime does amount to a felony of moral turpitude, but since the court case is not officially concluded, he has not technically been convicted, according to a memo from the Alaska Department of Law.
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Too bad they only did it because their business was hurt, as opposed to doing it for "the right reasons," from the get go. We'll see if either side actually changes from this - I'd LOVE to see it happen, but I'm not holding my breath either.