GOP Senator Stevens Indicted

Senator Ted Sevens (R-AK), the longest-serving GOP Senator in U.S history was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday, July 29, for seven counts of making false statements related to receiving 250,000 from the energy company Veco, an Alaskan-based company Stevens has assisted in Washington. The acting assistant attorney general Matt Friedrich stressed that the indictment did not accuse Stevens of accepting bribes. The indictment does not require Stevens to abdicate his seat in the Senate, but it has restricted his position and placed him in a precarious seat for the 2008 election.

Ted Barrett of CNN.com reports, July 29, 2008:

The indictment does not restrict Stevens’ ability to vote in the Senate, speak on the Senate floor or participate in committee work. Stevens, however, did say he would relinquish his co-chairmanships and ranking member positions, in accordance with Senate Republican rules.

Reacting to the indictment, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said it was up to Senate Republicans to decide if any punishment was warranted.

A World War II veteran, Stevens began his career in the U.S Senate in 1968 and has been re-elected six times, the last in 2002. Stevens’s Senate seat was one of the few the GOP had considered safe going into the 2008 elections. The recent indictment has changed the situation dramatically.

Martin Kady II and John Bresnahan of Politico.com report, July 29, 2008:

This is very bad for the party,” a retiring Senate Republican told Politico as news of Ted Stevens’ indictment echoed across Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “The timing on this couldn’t be worse.”

One year ago today, Stevens pleaded with his Republican colleagues to “stay with me” as he rode out a Justice Department investigation and an FBI raid on his Alaska home.

Now, there’s an arrest warrant out for the 84-year-old senator. He’s been stripped of his top committee rankings. His iconic career is crumbling. His hopes for reelection are in serious doubt.

While spelling trouble for Stevens’s re-election efforts and the GOP position, it provides muster to the Democrats who are seeking for a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

  • I think this probably will be pretty bad for the party for about 10 minutes. Bad for McCain? No, Sen. Stevens is one of the senators McCain has railed against for years about his pork barrel spending. I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet who can align the two. In fact, isn’t Stevens one of the republicans who said they didn’t endorse McCain? I’ll have to look that one up. 😉

  • nzpudding

    Voters won’t care who endorsed who and I don’t think they ever really did, it’s a corrupt Republican and McCain is a Republican, they’ll both be tarred with the same brush unfortunately.

  • Another example of republicain corruption that has become so commonplace. Luckily the country is ready for a new direction.

    GO OBAMA!

    Mccain and Bush only have the interest of their rich familys in mind. ( Well over 100 million each)

  • IndiMinded

    It’s another strike against the party “brand name” as the media talking heads call it. I doubt it will have much impact on the presidential race. However, Ted Stevens could easily find his long time republican-held office replaced by a democrat come this election – that’s where the real impact is. The Dems really hope to gain some ground this election, and this will be a major boon to them.

    By the time this is all over, they hope the party will control the presidency, the house, and the senate, and with some sizable margins. Control like that held by a single party is likely to spell disaster and abuse of power, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

  • IndiMinded, I’m thinking you’re referring to Obama’s statement after his closed door meeting the other day on the Hill. I was frankly very surprised that he would come out and say he was supporting efforts for the party to control virtually every facet of government. Where, oh where, is the uniter? What happened to unity and working together in a partisan fashion? To crossing the aisle? What’s up with that? Now he supports a monopoly of democrats in government? Isn’t there a name for that?

  • IndiMinded

    Nope, sorry Babs, afraid I haven’t heard the comments you’re referring to. But the ambitions of the DNC aren’t exactly a secret. They try to do their best every election, just like the RNC – I’m just afraid this year they’ll actually pull it off, and Ted Stevens isn’t slowing them down.

    I really hated it when the Republicans controlled everything, and the checks had no balances, and there was no accountability for anything because no body had reason to hold the other accountable. I’m not eager to see the system broken again – but between the house, the senate, and the presidency, the presidency may be the race Republicans are most likely to come out ahead in. Given that most people don’t rate those chances as overwhelming, that could spell trouble and corruption in government. But I guess time will tell.

  • The GOP have been in charge of the House Of Representatives for 12 of the past 14 years and President for 20 of the past 28 years and they haven’t tried to stop corruption in their party once. I think most Americans are figuring out that something in Washington is clearly broken and corruption is rife.

  • nzpudding, what’s your take on the “sit in” that some of the Republicans are pulling up on the Hill over the energy bill vote?

  • I like it Babs. Kinda bugs me no end that the Dems went on holiday to their fancy homes without trying to solve anything, whilst the ordinary folks are struggling away.

  • I agree, I don’t get a vacation, why should they. I dislike their total disregard for what the american people are telling them, which is to do their job. I was surprised at the Republicans, really, but nicely so.

  • Dreadsen

    They must think they are one of those European countries where some of the factories shut down for an entire month. Maybe they should past that as a law eh?