November 18th, 2008
10:58 AM ET
4 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. veronica griffin

    Isn't the topic Uncle Ted?
    How did Obama get drug into this one?
    There are other topics on which to trash Obama, you haters
    The man hasn't EVEN BEEN SWORN IN AND YOU ARE AT IT ALREADY.

    November 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. Linda

    Reslugs certainly back up all the crooks and criminals in their party.

    November 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Isn't it ironic that the family values members in the GOP were the first to cast stones at him?

    November 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Joe Sepeda

    As long as there have been government there have been corrupt and dishonest officials. There is no shame and guilt in a group of people who think they are above everyone else. There needs to be more watchdogs in government and we, the people, need to get more informed about the people we elect. Garbage in, garbage out.

    November 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Nannie Bouroughs

    It is largely meaningless what action the Senate takes on Senator Stevens... accept perhaps that it might show us all how they "protect their own."

    Senator Stevens is going to jail, and he cannot serve as a Senator from jail!

    My only hope is they would take other "life-time Senators" like Ted Kennedy along with him to jail...

    November 18, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Kevin

    An absolute prime example of why there should be term limits for every elected official state, local and national.

    November 18, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Eric

    This is just perfect. The Republicans tried to oust President Clinton for lying about a personal affair with a consenting adult / gold digger yet a convicted felon for bribery is no sweat? Solution: Sell Alaska to the Russians for 53 trillion Gov. Naylin Paylin et al.

    November 18, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. LIP

    By the way, we shouldn't really be condeming him for his age or his Felony conviction which he can appeal and may win...one never knows.
    Remember to that Senator Kennedy is "old" as well and was only one "bridge" away from being a felon. So, lets not cast stones.

    November 18, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. just a thought

    if felons can't vote, how can they hold office??

    November 18, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. keefus

    There should be term limits, two terms in the Senate, three in the House, no one stays more than 12 yeras, plenty of time to get things done, but not long enough to become a professional Congressman oe Senator.

    Stevens is a convicted felon, he insists his conviction is not finalized until he is sentenced. What a bunch of B.S.!

    The best thing that can happne here is for Begich to win...

    November 18, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. Sanity Has Returned

    To Jan and Choosing our crooks. Your sour grapes attitude has no power here. The Obama house story is a non issue and Rezco is a non issue. Both were brought up at the beginning of Obama's run and by that pathetic Palin/McCain campaign which ended up being their undoing. These non stories were designed for uneducated voters like yourselves..Read em and weep and move on.

    November 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Slim

    Mmmmmmm they didn't wait around to get Ron Sailor out his seat in government, what's the hold up here??? Is it because he white??? Are cause he been in that seat for 40 years!!! Retirement MUCH???

    November 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. Jeff G

    "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"

    Sure, might as well wait. If he'd not re-elected, then they don't have to do anything. Very convenient.

    November 18, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I hope that the recount has Stevens out of a job. He needs to understand that Congress has enough problems with its reputation without people like Stevens and others (such as William Jefferson) to drag it down any further.

    November 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. j

    Stevens should do the right thing and step down, no matter what the outcome of the election.

    November 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. Dee

    Shouldn't he just retire anyway? He is almost 90...there needs to be an age limit on these types of positions...we need fresh and new blood, talent and ideas...he probably doesn't even WANT the job but just has too much PRIDE to let it go...

    November 18, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. Mark

    Kevin,
    Was Kennedy ever convicted of murder? By a jury of his peers? Thinking it does not make it so.

    November 18, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. philip

    You cannot even get a local city or county job if you are a Felon... how is it that you can be a US senator? This is corruption to the nth degree!

    November 18, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. Judy T

    Stevens was convicted of 7 FELONY COUNTS. What is the problem here? The man does not deserve to serve our country after this conviction. He's 85 years old for goodness sake and a crook to boot. He should not even have the option. Right and wrong – has anyone ever heard of that?

    November 18, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Real Change

    WHY DOES IT TAKE A MONTH FOR ALASKA TO COUNT VOTES!

    November 18, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. CT

    Jan,

    First statement " I thought Obama". Critical mistake on your part. "thinking". Specifically the thought that if there was a way to stop Obama and "The Man" didn't get all over it, is asinine.

    November 18, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. JL

    Don't they get CNN in Alaska? If so, why on earth would anyone knowingly vote for a convicted felon?

    November 18, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    This is sick. It really shows that people in alaska don't know how to vote I swear haha.

    November 18, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Stephen Stuckert

    Uncle Ted is the "poster child" of how the Republican Party lost its way! Republicans were going to 'clean up Washington', fight corruption and pork barrel spending! The true of the matter is that they are all, Democrats and Republicans, alike, "cut out of the same cloth"!

    November 18, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. Saad from NJ

    We can say whatever we wish to Stevens, an idiot, a crook, and whatever else, that's fine – but what does this say about the people who still voted for this criminal? Come on you Alaskan morons, change the water you drink or the bread you eat – you are a disgrace to our great nation!

    November 18, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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