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. James

    Whats the Hold Up, it prolongs the agony of defeat .
    Remember, Country First ?
    Same old Bull, different day !

    November 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Warren from TEXAS

    Guess he will serve his term behind bars.

    November 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Mark L.

    Senator Ted Stevens has an awful lot in common with the likes of our former Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagin, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, in addition to former VP's: Spiro T. Agnew, Nelson Rockefeller, and 'Tricky Dickie' Cheney. You know what it is? THEY'RE ALL GOP CROOKS !!

    November 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. party of five

    to choosing our crooks...

    you really need to let it go...
    Go see a shrink for all this hate and discontent your spewing.
    Get a life. It's President Obama get over it..and move on.

    November 18, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Debra

    It you can't beat them, charge them with corruption!

    November 18, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. former gop

    The fact that any Alaskan would vote for Stevens after being convicted of 7 felonies, is telling of how Palin was elected. I think the people of Alaska are just plain dimwitted.

    November 18, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Nick

    Poor Ted.

    And Tom, it's taking them a long time for a very simple reason. As Palin said, they are more advanced socially up there in their acceptance of woman in higher power, but for that they gave up technology and speed.

    On top of that, it's getting close to their dark season, so their days are far shorter. In reality, it's taking the same amount of time, it's just that they only work for 2 hours a day on it. Imagine if they did the recount in the summer, they'd have it done in no time at all.

    November 18, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. TrueIndependent

    This man exemplifies what the Republican Party truly is – Old, Dishonesty, Abusive, and Desperately hanging on to power. Sheme really!

    November 18, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Charles L. Shaw, Liverpool, NY

    Are they above the law? Seems so, we have a double standard for us and the Governemnt elite. look at the Former Gov. of NY Elliot Spitzer no formal charges brought against him, if that was you or me we be facing 20 years in prison. I live in NY and everyone is still wondering how we can ever get justice?
    In the last 12 months 8 trillion dollars has been stolen from the American economy. hundreds of thousands of American citizens are loosing their jobs, yet the Elite only bailout Wall Street and the banks. And has anyone been charged? NO
    "We the People" are being systematically enslaved by those who were elected to represnt us.
    Our Forefathers threw tea into Bostone harbor for less cause!
    It is time to bring Freedom and Liberty back to our home land. A return to the principles of the U.S Constitution!

    November 18, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. Dolores M.

    politicians repeatedly prove that our political system is failing us. The Republicans are a disgrace and have been for many years – and I am a Republican. Perhaps George Bush's legacy will be that we initiate a new standard and bette yet – a new system of government. Washington and all our State capitals must be made accountable for their actions and decisions.

    November 18, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    That this vote should be even this close doesn't say much to me about the honesty and integrity of Alaskans.

    They vote for convicted felons? No matter what?

    Add in the Sarah Palin connection, I am glad Alaska is far, far away from the mainland.

    November 18, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. Scapegoat

    I dont like this guy a bit,but hes being made a scapegoat.He hasnt done anything that many others havent done or are still doing,but they arent getting caught.Its just like Mark Cuban and Martha Stewart getting caught for insider trading.Their are scumbags doing that everyday and doing way worse than that,like Paulson and Bernache.They are outright crooks, that manipulate the markets for the fat cats everyday.

    November 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. John Q. Cynic

    Say good night Stevens, between Alaska, and Idaho senators the republicans only need to open their eyes to see why they're loosing supporters. Admit you like having sex with strangers in airport restrooms, and admit you used your office to do home improvements, and accept toys for contracts, your fired. The US congress is looking more like a third world nation, which we are quickly sliding down into.

    November 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. SC that is NOT a Republican

    What a jerk. This is what should happen when you quit serving the people that elected you and start getting greedy. Happy Birthday, convicted felon jerk.

    November 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Kurt

    DeMint, self righteous and cowardly as ever, is hoping Stevens loses so he won't have to do the right thing–kick Stevens out. Steven's losing or winning does not change the ethics issue one bit. DeMint needs to grow a spine and take a stand against corruption, period.

    November 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. thomas

    Happy birthday Ted. This is a goot time to think about all of the men and women that you helped imprison through perverted justice and denial of human rights. But don't despair, you just might be able to rap with Bush and Cheney. Yeah, right.

    November 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. George Ennis from Toronto, Canada

    Well if he does win I would hope that they would defer voting him out of the Senate. Yes it would be unfortunate that Alaska could potentially (depending upon the actual sentencing) have a Senator representing them from a jail cell. But that was their decision when they voted for him. The new Congress will have too much important national work ahead of it to spend time on an impeachment and removal of a Senator. Any trial in the Senate should wait until other more important issues are dealt with. To spend time on an impeachment of the Senator would only be rewarding people (yes that includes voters) playing the old political games and who have not taken the electoral process seriously.

    November 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. Proud to be an American and willing to defend America

    "A federal jury found him guilty of lying about gifts and work on his Alaska home." So, this is reason for all you democrats to want him booted, and I agree he should be, but you thought it was OK for Clinton to remain PRESIDENT after he lied about Monica. As ususal, a double standard.

    November 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. chrisann snell

    Is it just me or am I the only one who thinks convicted felons should not be elected into the senate. I can't believe Alaskans will re-elect this criminal.

    November 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. ET

    He should spend the rest of his life in prison. They think they are above the law. If you are a regular person with a felony you can't vote, but they can and run again for office. The U.S. gov. is the laughing stock of the world.

    November 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Jeff

    The GOP is becoming the GOF – Grand Old Felons.

    November 18, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. Tony

    I would be interested to hear the dems on this board go against Cold Cash Jefferson.

    It goes both ways. The Dem leadership cannot get rid of him since they need that seat. How ironic tht the dems condem, but not their own.

    Sounds like the Obama world of politics. Blame the others while I am doing wrong. It got him elected........

    November 18, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. rena

    We all know why this man is getting away with this crime and still have the gull to run for Senate; he has the right color and he's old. Just like Ayers got away with trying to bomb the Pentagon. We know no black man could get away with these types of crimes. So my question is WHY are so many of you acting shock about this corrupt process? Hasn't it always been this way? Right color you get away with anything; wrong color you go down for anything.

    November 18, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. SAI

    It si certainly sad to see a senior with a long term of service in the senate would be in such a situation. It would have served him well to have submitted his resignation when he was convicted on all counts; as it is, one can only hope that the election results will spare him more indignities – like expulsion from the senate where he once was among the high and mighties. If Alaska announces its unofficial results tonight – and names Mark Begich the winner – that will be a good birthday present for Ted Stevens. For the preservation of the remants of his dignity, I wish that to be his birthday present.

    I wish for him a long and healthy life too, so that he may be able to enjoy his retired life in the mansion built for him by his cronies. After all, that is the reason for his downfall.

    November 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. O & Joe '08!!!

    Isn't impeachment an option for Senators? If not, this precedent needs to be addressed and constitutional amendments made accordingly.

    While we are at it, can we put forth a referendum to the rest of the U.S. to strip Alaska of its congressional representation and electoral votes until they demonstrate a grasp of basic qualifications for public office (i.e., not being a criminal)??

    November 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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