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. facts are facts

    I don't know why people are so surprised at Ted Stevens getting so many votes as that is the way your political system is designed.

    You register as a Democrat, Republican or Independent and the first two is almost how the people in those categories will vote regardless of what that vote will do to them personally or the country as a whole.

    How else could you explain McCain and dippy dora getting over 40% of the vote in these troubled times with no policies any different then what your current buffoon has espoused over the past 8 years.

    November 18, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. Republican in PA

    Throw is old butt in jail. I'm a conservative and he gives us a really bad name.

    November 18, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Kevin

    The people of New Jersey re-elected Menendez to Senate while he's been under investigation since Sept. '06. George Carlin said it well when he said that the government's only concern is keeping and enhancing its power. We have no rights per se, only privileges. What's good for these elected officials is too good for everybody else.

    November 18, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Gracie





    November 18, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Luke Brown, Charleston SC

    Stevens needs to get out now. Wouldn't mind seeing Demint go as well.

    November 18, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Bob

    I understand the elderly have a relevant contribution to make but why is this man running again? Did he really expect to serve a 6 year term to the age of 91? As for his felony convictions, it should disqualify him or anyone else from serving in either house of congress. Our standard is innocent until proven guilty. Not innocent until all appeals are exhausted. Finally – Absentee ballots were likely submitted before he was convicted. I expect him to be re-elected by the slimmest of margins.

    November 18, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. ran

    He needs to be in jail by the first week of December2008.

    November 18, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. Charlotte

    Voters are so stupid. How can this man win re-election?

    November 18, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Ted, meet your cell mate, Big Bubba!

    November 18, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. MICK from MESA

    If the repugs let the auto industry collapse by not giving them the bridge fianacing they so desperately need then will DeWitt move to have all the GOP senators fired because the country went into a depression?

    PS: If the repugs and Bush deny the bridge loan then this will be the second depression that is laid at the door step of the GOP. Nice legacy Dubya...

    November 18, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. Agnes Fleming

    This guy, Stevens, should simply go, period. Aside from his conviction on corruption charges, he is far too old, and since his seat as a Senator from Alaska is of such long duration, we should not be surprised by his sense of entitlement. That is why there are term limits upon our representatives, but it does not always work. Far too many senators and representatives step over the line when their tenure appears to be "until death do us part". If he had any decency, he would simply step down, especially in light of a conviction. But like electing Sarah Palin as Governor, a woman who cannot put a clear and coherent sentence together, one must question the electorate in Alaska and where it has its brains – where it stacks its six-packs and hockey moms?

    November 18, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. Qunsa

    who cares ? 250,000$ big deal. on a house? so what? what about the 800 billionzillion that they can't find in iraq? who is responsible for that ?they waste more than that on state dinner whines and inagural balls. who is responsible for that?

    November 18, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. LIP

    How about a ticker on Hillarys and Bills conflict of interest regarding the SOS office. Hillary would be better at something that doesn't constantly raise red flags everytime she goes somewhere or meets with someone that may or may not be giving money to her husband. It will soon become a constant distraction to the job Obama needs to do...the work of the people.

    November 18, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. AD

    Not..about...term...limits! Shush with that argument! It's about the possible re-election of a CONVICTED FELON! Yuk!


    November 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Hypocracy has no bounds

    Funny how they always mention longest running Republican. I wonder why they do not mention that 4 democrats have been in office longer than he has. But then again people are so biased in thier thinking that using logic never comes into play.

    November 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. Karen

    Jamie – (see below) – Don't worry. Stevens probably lied about that, too, and his real birthday is in July.


    November 18th, 2008 9:52 am ET

    I share my birthday with Ted Stevens…not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

    November 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Mike

    This guy needs to hang-up his hat and the people of Alaska need to get a flippin clue: HE'S A CONVICTED FELON, GET IT......

    He belongs in a museum not in Washington, his time has past and so has his corrupt methods that have served special interest for 40 years.

    November 18, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. Debra

    I never saw the Obama team vetting the spouses of his other cabinet members. Or is this privalege for Clinton alone. Does he really want her for his cabinet – or is he just trying to dig up dirt?

    I can understand Obama wanting some restrictions in the future as to what Mr. Clinton does, but Shouldn't he be looking forward to what is acceptable in the future and not be digging up who contributed what in the past to her HUSBAND?. After all, there was no conflict of interest at the time.

    November 18, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. Truth Hurts

    Ted needs to go and sit down somewhere. Democrats and Republicans get convicted of things but at least the Democrats step down immediately after they are convicted. The republicans are so greedy and want power over everything!!

    November 18, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. Phil-Little Rock

    (in the tune of 'Happy Birthday'):

    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday, Dear Inmate #PX-1E45YF7,
    Happy Birthday to you!!

    November 18, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. Truth Hurts

    That's right. If you are a convicted felon you can't vote and should not be aloud to hold a public office!! Is there double standards? And did Ted vote because he was convicted before the election?

    November 18, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. Chris

    Happy birthday you deceitful crook. Congrats, our faith in politicians has once again been ruined. Hope you sleep well at night in your nice big house knowing that even though your political career is ending, our faith in the system you represent will be tarnished for many decades after your gone.

    November 18, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Marik

    Shouldn't he be in prison? What kind of idiots live in Alaska who would still even consider voting for this thief? If he's willing to commit felonies, he certainly doesn't care about his constituents, this is a selfish, horrible slug, and the Alaskans are no better if they end up electing this vulture. A vote for Stevens is a vote to condone criminal behaviour. Family values...thievery can yield things of value, but only via dishonesty.

    November 18, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. steve

    stevens is not the only crooked person we have in the senate. just remember stevens didn't kill someone walk away like nothing happened and end up in the senate. mr. kennedy comes to mind.

    November 18, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. Dez

    Been to Alaska lately. They keep the eskimoes drunk like they did the Indians. No wonder Stevens and Palin stay in office.

    November 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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