November 18th, 2008
10:58 AM ET
3 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. shirley

    Working Americans go to jail when we commit a Felony crime, Senator's get to continue making policy? Who decided this and when? Someone needs to take a hard look at what laws the Senate has put into place to protect their lucrative jobs and benefits.

    November 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. Matt: honestly

    No offense to Alaskans, but what is taking so long to count 24,000 votes???

    November 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. CM in AR

    He needs to be jailed!

    November 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Richard

    At least he's still in the Senate for now, along with fellow Republicans David Vitter and Larry Craig.

    November 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    There are so many critical issues in our Nation and World, why is this a story???

    Come on CNN, you are not a tabloid news station. Offer people REAL news!

    November 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Ray Fisher

    How old do these people have to be before retiring??? At age 85, what political career does he expect??? This is nothing but a waste of time, money and effort when he should simply bow out gracefully. The Republicans should simply attempt to rebuild a fraction of integrity by asking him to step aside. Nobody convicted of a felony should be able to serve as a legislator under any circumstances. It's not politics just common sense!!!

    November 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. veronica griffin

    Another quality politician from Alaska. Maybe he could run with the Polar Princess Palin. Then she could crusade against corruption , starting with her running mate , the wicked UNCLE Fester, I mean Ted.
    All that booze and pot just makes everyone think so clearly-I know of what I speak. I live for over 4 years near Anchorage and saw more debauchery than in the 50 plus years living in the lower 48.
    Rock on, you drunken potheads.

    November 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. Pete Collins

    Senator Stevens, for your birthday I wish you a long stay in prison. Your profound arrogance got you convicted. Even Bill Gates, with a net worth of tens of billions of dollars, would notice if somebody stuffed hundreds of thousands of dollars in his pockets, or made improvements to his house worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for free. You told a jury that YOU didn't, and you insist you can't understand why they didn't believe you. Perhaps spending the next 14 years in prison will give you time to think about it more clearly. Not that thieving scumbags like you ever really serve any real time.

    November 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. ET from Omaha

    ALASKA IS THE MOST CORRUPT STATE IN THE UNION.
    They all jerks corrupt by oil companies over in Alaska.
    They are so much disconnected from the world they don't know the reality. They voted for a woman with a 60 IQ score as a governor and continue to vote for a felons (by the way 7 conviction of felonies).
    Poor ALASKANS.

    November 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  10. Laverne

    Happy UNHAPPY Birthday Ted Stevens. Enjoy all the stolen goods and favors you acrued over the years!

    November 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Please tell me how a convicted felon, who cannot vote, can serve in the senate?

    November 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. Michael

    I want Stevens gone. And, perhaps, he should be expelled. But, there's no sense disgracing him if its not necessary. Let's wait to see if he loses, which it looks like he will lose. If he loses, let him silently slither back to Alaska without the party vote.

    November 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. Phil, CA

    Ack...it's my birthday today too...I think I'm just gonna drive up to alaska and jump off the "bridge to nowhere"!!!

    November 18, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  14. Oh Yes We Did!

    Darn CNN! Everytime I try to come back to this site for some relevant information, I see postings like this. I'm going back to HuffPo. I tried.

    November 18, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. Kevin

    Kennedy is a murderer and he is still senator. The Republicans at least will give him the boot if he does win.

    November 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. Steve, Madison WI

    HAppy Birthday Senator – I have a nice orange jumpsuit and a set of silver handcuffs you'd look good in.

    November 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  17. John E Lexington KY

    What kind of corrupt state would even come close to reelecting someone so obviously venal? And then propagate Palin on top of it. Sell it back to the Russians and divide up the proceeds to the citizens of the state, which is all they care about, getting a check from the state.

    November 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Steve

    At his age he should just resign and retire. He's an PERFECT EXAMPLE OF GREED AND POWER HUNGRY. It's just plain ugly. He has give all that he can and should just step aside.

    November 18, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  19. Mack

    A convicted felon can run for congress?!?! Give me a break!

    These career professional congressmen make laws for Americans but they don't have to abide by those laws. They can do whatever they dam**d well please, until they get caught! And they can also vote themselves pay raises every year. They work (supposedly) for the American people; their constituents should determine if they get a raise or not. Show me a company where employees can vote for a pay raise.

    Ted Stevens needs to just bow out now so he won't be rolled out of the Senate feet first!

    November 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. LIP

    Looks like both sides have a few losers. Alaska has Stevens and Minnesota has Franken. I really don't think Washington needs the likes of either of them. One for dishonesty and the other for bad jokes. Can you imagine Al Franken doing his standup, brand of humor comedy in front of the world leaders. Please don't let this happen and make sure Stevens gets what he is due also.

    November 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. recycle washington

    – Alaska is a JOKE, they have palin and stevens.

    they're all about $$$$$$ and power.

    November 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. S. Boatman Warrensburg, Mo.

    There Is No Way This Guy Should Be Elected Again! But If He Is, He Should Be Expelled!

    November 18, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  23. Marge

    I am a democrat so I can say this. Why shouldn't Stevens fight. After all Jefferson is charged with yeah hoo charges and they have a tape of him accepting money ....two years ago. HE STILL HAS HIS SEAT AND HAS NOT BEEN EXPELLED FROM CONGRESS.

    November 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  24. Tabitha

    I can hear that door slamming. Darn it.

    November 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. JIM...TX

    Those folks in Alaska aren't really that dumb. Steven's has been bringing the bacon home for 40 years! Why change now an take the chance of getting less from a new Senator. Sad but true.

    November 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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