November 18th, 2008
10:58 AM ET
7 years ago

An unhappy birthday for Stevens?

 Steven turns 85 Tuesday.

Steven turns 85 Tuesday.

(CNN) - It may not be the happiest of birthday's for Ted Stevens. As the longtime Republican Senator from Alaska marks his 85th birthday, he's fighting for his political life.

Stevens was convicted last month of seven felony counts in federal court.

He's locked in a re-election battle with his Democratic challenger, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. Two weeks after election day, the vote counting in Alaska continues. Begich currently leads Stevens by 1,022 votes in the fight for Steven's seat, which he's held for 40 years. Some 24,000 votes remain to be counted, as well as absentee ballots from overseas. The results may not be made final until the first week of December.

Back in Washington, Senate Republicans today could vote to expel Stevens from their ranks. This after a move by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, to force a vote on ousting Stevens from the GOP conference, which would strip him of his committee assignments if he survives his campaign battle and is re-elected.

Stevens is trying to become the first person awaiting felony sentencing to ever get elected or re-elected to the Senate. A federal jury found him guilty of lying about gifts and work on his Alaska home. Stevens says he's innocent and will appeal.

UPDATE: Moments after the GOP senators' meeting began Tuesday, DeMint announced he would put off the vote until after Alaska announces the final tally of the close election. An unofficial tally could come Tuesday night.

Filed under: Ted Stevens
soundoff (281 Responses)
  1. beth

    Yeah....he doesn't deserve to win.

    November 18, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. CMJ

    Why is it not illegal for someone to be a United States Senator if they've been convicted of a crime. It should be automatic. He should have been barred from running in the first place! Our system is batty!

    November 18, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Kevin

    It's amazing how angry people are; lashing out with hatred at every turn. This country is full of lazy thinkers who won't even attempt to view issues with a clear eye. Everything that is wrong and will be wrong is well earned.

    November 18, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Paul

    if a felon cannot vote in regular elections ... how could we possibly let a felon make laws ? clearly another example of our politicians' self sustained immunity.

    November 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. elsie

    What gives up there? With most of the country's gas prices hovering at $2.00, why is it still over $3.00 in oil rich Alaska?

    November 18, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. bkrane/pgh

    Stevens' conviction may/may not be upheld. Regardless, the next step should be an indictment of the Alaskan people who have made a mockery out of the electoral process for 40 years.

    November 18, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Marsha

    Sen. are 85 years old. Time to call it a day and give your seat to someone else. You're a washed up has-been of a politician. Enjoy your golden years in jail...

    November 18, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Karen

    WHY is it even an OPTION for him to remain in office???? This is more insanity from the Republican party!

    November 18, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. parker


    November 18, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Rob

    Stick a fork in him. He's done. Have a few martinis dude.

    November 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. zgomer

    To old and now a crook, to big for his pants and he is fighting for his political life! How do you figure that out. He's goingto jail, we have enough crooks in congress, Kenndy killed a girl, Reid is a land scam artist. Piglosi thinks she is the savior of the planet, but can't do anything in congress, Boxer is a femanazi supporter, the list goes on and on.

    November 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. paul oregon

    another republican need one say any more ?
    liberman a wanna be repub.
    and the repub. cant seem to figure out whats wrong with there party
    abounch ot old white haired wanna bes .
    dem. if you dont get your act together youll be just like the gop.

    November 18, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. Ken

    What's this article talking about? I'm not unhappy. I'm GLAD the scum got caught, and so should the rest of the country. Sounds like a happy time to me. Happy BD Ted...hoooraayyyy!!!!

    November 18, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Guy

    Why isn't he in jail?

    November 18, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Brian

    Stevens represents everything thats wrong with politics in our country . The sooner he goes to prison the better.

    November 18, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Jim

    To "I Know Ted,"

    If I were an Alaskan, I'd probably like Ted, too. He is the king of pork, and he helps ensure Alaskans receive more government money, per capita, than any other state in the nation. As you're spending your $3600 oil windfall profit rebate check this year – again, paid for by Joe Americans every time they go to the pump, we can partially thank Ted Stevens (and Palin for $1200 of that amount). Ted preaches against "socialism" but then espouses a hypocritical policies where American wealth is redistributed unevenly to one segment of the population. If he were just straight to us, then it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

    Again, I don't blame you for loving him – he fights for Alaska. But please don't blame the lower 48 for not falling head over heels for your the convicted felon. He is the first mate on the sinking Republican ship, a ship that has avoided the waters of true conservatism for many years.

    November 18, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Ken



    November 18, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. parker

    HE IS STLL!!!!!!!! IN OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 18, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Marsha

    #1 tgere are several felons in office...more than you can count.
    #2 Politicians don't go to your average prison.....they have a special one for's like a country club setting. Ted will be just fine.

    November 18, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. john

    if stevans were a regular guy like the most of us, he would have already been striped of his senate committees, but the old boys protect there own. thats what is wrong with the country, congrees

    November 18, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. chelle

    As a Canadian, I find it completely baffling that if Ted Stevens is removed from his Senate seat, that the Governor gets to choose his successor. That is so bizarre – if someone leaves office in Canada, we have a bi-election and vote democratically for a new person. How is a choice by one person democratic??? I would be so angered by this lack of democratic choice if I lived in Alaska. Who knows what putz Sarah Palin will choose – for heaven's sake she could pick herself or Todd!

    November 18, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. dittohead with forty names

    I got to laugh,you folks are arguing over a two bit crook while Paulson and Bernache rob every American at pen point.They wont help the American labor force by helping car companies but its ok to stuff fat cat bankers pockets with money you will never see again.They will retire in Dubai next year as we sit and wonder where the money went.

    November 18, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. j7

    If vetting of all potential candidates who wanted to run for office was done before they were allow to toss their hats into the ring for election, we would at least start with a creditable candidate.

    Then elrected official should have to give disclosure before vetting is completed and subsequent annual public disclosure.

    I think more than a few of our representatives are beholding to special interests (Lobbiests) and not to their constituencies until it is time for re-election. Take Elizabeth Dole. She learned a hard lesson. Hope others were 'listening'.

    © 2008 jvii all rights reserved..

    November 18, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. parker


    November 18, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Pat

    For me this isn't about Republican or Democrat. It's the fact that so many people voted for this guy after he had been convicted of felony charges. I am just surprised that the election is this close.

    November 18, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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