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. A Real American

    What is the holdup on ousting this guy? HE IS A CONVICTED CRIMINAL SEVEN TIME OVER!!!

    November 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Craig - Hastings, MN

    Give him the BOOT!!! Period... This man is a CONVICTED FELON who has betrayed the public trust and is UNFIT to serve in the United States Senate. And that is the name of that tune.

    November 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Three buzzards on the Roof

    This guys like the frog in the pot,he just doesnt know it.They are making a scapegoat out of him though,the same thing happens everyday in every walk of life,"I scratch your back and you scratch mine".I cant blame him in a way,he knows he got setup to take a fall for something that happens everyday and will never stop.

    November 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Josh.C.

    ET of Omaha did you know that 75% of the time people pull random percentages and numbers out of their head to sound smart? When really they said a completely random thing.

    November 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Aaron from Ohio

    Happy birthday to Ted.
    Happy birthday to Ted.
    You're just a year older
    and your career is now dead.

    November 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. Chris

    A convicted felon AND he gets re-elected. No wonder why our elected officials are so emboldended. As a fellow SC resident, kudos to Sen DeMint for moving to have Sen Stevens striped of his committees. It's the very least, considering that I doubt he'll serve any real jail time.

    How about 1 step further – Any congress person convicted of anything be immediately expelled from office altogether. As elected officials representing the people, they should be held to a highefstandard.

    November 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. G.R.I.T. - Girl Raised in the South

    Kevin:

    Ted Kennedy is not a murderer and has never been convicted of murder. There is a difference that I will not get into here between murder and negligent homicide or manslaughter. Murder requires a certain mental state, or mens rea, that was not present during the incident to which you refer. The incident was determined to be caused by Sen. Kennedy's negligence, manslaughter charges were not pursued and Sen. Kennedy pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, which is not a felony.

    Kevin, please get all of your facts straight before you start labeling people murderers. Unfortunately, so many people on the neo-con right don't get their facts straight, they pay more attention to Hannity and Limbaugh, and they use terms meant to invoke ideological responses, rather than terms that exemplify the truth of the matter.

    November 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. dublwhami

    Oh, come on, what is the Senate without at least one Republican crook on the boards? It won't be the same without a dishonest, graft grabbing old coot around to slow down progress. Stevens should be kept around as a mummified reminder of the Republican party in the Senate.

    November 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. cool onlooker

    I do not understand why this has to be a news on CNN? Are you covering every senator's b-day on a routine basis?

    Worthless news.

    Plus, Alaska the name only reminds people of the biggest joke in politics: PALIN.

    November 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Helene

    That crook should spend his birthday in jail !

    November 18, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. Tex Ann ~~~~~~~

    Stevens should step up and concede this election. Begich is ahead in the vote count, and unless Stevens can pull an astounding 60% of the remaining ballots to be counted, he's lost anyway.

    And I'm wondering WHY it is taking SO long to count those last ballots??? It's been 2 weeks since the election. This long drawn out count reminds me of Florida & Ohio in the last 2 elections– is it "Republican vote tallying" strategy at work again????

    But then, maybe the Republicans were hoping they could pull out a miracle win (by whatever means) and then boot Stevens out of office and give it to Sarah Palin. Maybe that's the reason she's being kept in the media spotlight for right now. If that's the case, then there IS hope that if Stevens loses, then we won't be seeing Sarah's face & hearing her annoying voice anymore after this week. Pray for a Begich win!!!

    November 18, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. rotten CEOs and their rotten corporate media spinters

    are using big 3 nailout plan

    as their bludgeon to the unions.

    IF WASHINGTON DOESN'T REPRESENT THE PEOPLE THIS TIME

    WE THE PEOPLE WILL THROW THEN OUT OF WASHINGTON

    IN THE NEXT ROUND!

    November 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. Elizabeth

    He's a felon, and way too old to be working at Wal-Mart let alone in the Senate. No offense Alaska, but you suck a lot this year.

    November 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. thomas

    limit the terms for senators and congressmen to 4 terms.let the new blood and ideas have a chance to some good to their country

    November 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Texas Trail Kitty

    Man! Senator Stevens and I share a birthday, but at least I'm enjoying the day and chilling out instead of being cuffed and stuffed. I'm glad I'm not a politician because apparently these people can't stay out of trouble. I can't believe he had the gall to run again. I guess being a criminal in Alaska makes you the perfect political candidate. Geez.

    November 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Sarah, Colorado

    You've got to wonder what type of people would knowingly vote for a convicted felon who, in essence, stole their money; rather than vote for the Democratic candidate. It absolutely boggles my mind.

    November 18, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. Maggie from Virginia

    I know Ted,

    Cry me a river... He was found guilty. Period.

    November 18, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. JJ

    I really hope he loses. I do not wish to see Gov. Palin end up as Sen. Palin.

    November 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. GA Independent

    Out with the old...

    November 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. CanIcallyouJoe

    Since my previous comment was deleted – ya know – going against that first amendment that you, CNN, use to defend yourself – I will just resubmit.

    CNN has repeated misspelled the word "felon" in this article. I think you should update your spell check, guys. "Felon" is not spelled "Senator".

    He as a felon cannot vote, but he can win office?

    (By the way, next time you want to use an amendment to defend your rights, you better look up judicial fact: You cannot use the U.S. Constitution to defend yourself because you are not a party to it.
    cited.(Padelford Fat & Co. vs. The Mayor and Alderman of the City of Savannah 14 Georgian 43, 520))

    November 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. Don

    Forget being convicted, he should retire just for being too old

    November 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Stevens is 85 years old and fighting for his "political" life, what a joke. This is another old man who should be fighting to stay alive. What's up with these senile old guys.

    November 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. Carol

    The same state that gives Sarah Palin such high marks has given this man, a convicted 7 time felon, enough votes for a runoff.

    Speaks volumes as to where the priorities lie in judgment.

    Thanks but no thanks, this man should be in prison.

    November 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. chelle

    Ummmmmmmmm Jan, the article is about Ted Stevens. And as far as Rezko goes, Barack Obama got a lower price for some land – nothing illegal about it. He paid a set price for a city

    November 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. rob

    what are they counting on Palin's toe ? very slow process

    November 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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