November 18th, 2008
10:45 AM ET
10 years ago

Senate GOP delays vote on Stevens

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Republicans have decided to delay a vote on a resolution to strip embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens from his committee assignments, Republican senators told CNN Tuesday.

The Senate GOP caucus is delaying the vote in part because the outcome of Stevens' reelection race against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich remains in doubt.

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint - a leading Republican critic of Stevens - issued a statement saying it is "clear there are sufficient votes to pass the resolution... The question now is timing. Some who support the resolution believe we should address this after the results of his election are confirmed in Alaska."

DeMint stated that he would ask the GOP Conference to postpone the vote on Sen. Stevens until Thursday.

One Republican senator told CNN there is no point in holding any vote to strip Stevens of his committee assignments if Stevens loses his seat.

Begich currently has a narrow lead over Stevens, with 47.37 percent of the votes counted, compared to 47.02 percent for Stevens. The two are separated by 1,022 votes out of more than 290,000 cast, according to the Alaska Division of Elections Web site.

Today, 24,000 outstanding votes from the southern part of Alaska are expected to be counted. Absentee ballots, however, are still coming in from overseas. All absentee ballots must be received by tomorrow.

Stevens, who turns 85 Tuesday, was convicted in October of filing false statements on Senate financial disclosure forms. He currently serves on the Senate Appropriations, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Rules committees.

Filed under: GOP • Mark Begich • Senate • Ted Stevens
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. PAT California

    Time for the man to retire or go to jail! The Reps have to clear out their dead wood . They can start in Alaska!

    November 18, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Jackie in Dallas

    They are waiting for the voice of the Alaskan population to do their job for them. No re-election, they are off the hook. Stevens has been in Washington so long, he knows where all the skeletons are kept especially for the members of his own party. He seems to me to be the type that will take others down with him if he falls and they've already stripped him of his committees. This way, they dont' have to publicly denounce him (which is really what stripping him of his committees really IS). However, if he is elected, they've got a major PR nightmare to deal with.

    November 18, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. No More GOP

    Why are the Republicans protecting this felon? He's been proven guilty in a court of law. Any other citizen convicted would have automatically gone to jail. But not if you're a Republican, I guess. Just goes to show what a bunch of crooks, liars and cheats they all are.

    November 18, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Boered1

    why vote to suspend him? He will lose the election and then not go back so the GOP can get rid of him without acknowledging the FACTS that this crimminal is one of their own.. politically a smart idea

    November 18, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Jan

    why did Obama get away with his free stuff in Chicago? double standard here.

    November 18, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. paul (staunch Moderate)

    The Republican strategy on Stevens has been outlined a million times already. They hope he gets reelected so Palin can replace him with a Republican after the Senate tosses him out; perhaps even naming herself. Then they go to a special election where the new Rep candidate would [maybe] have a better chance of beating the Dems for the seat.

    That said, the law should be changed: Once convicted you are out and ineligible for federal public office.

    November 18, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. indyred

    GOP Seantors–Way to take a stand against corruption!

    November 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Simmy

    Shameless Stevens, Shocking Saxby, Rudy G, the Fruity, Romney the Mormney, Huckabee the Wannabe: These are the ones you negative Repub who are bashing should be focusing on! Don't be angry because you have a black president, who is an American just like you, and patriotic like you, if not more than you. He is truly putting his country first!

    Dr. Hepaluza is still standing by if you need further treatment! Just call 1-800-Ima-loser!

    November 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Jaye

    Why dosen't he do the right thing and bow out gracefully.
    He's a criminal and has no busness in the senate keeping things stirred up.

    November 18, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Milhouse van Houten

    Hey,maybe he can make his victory speech from cell-block D.

    November 18, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. Nick

    Sure there's a reason to hold the vote, regardless if he wins or loses. If he wins, there's an obvious reason to it. But if he loses, it's to send a message.

    November 18, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Pete Collins

    Yes there IS a point in stripping Stevens of his committee posts right now: If you don't want a seven-time convict felon as a member of your party.
    Stevens, in addition to being a convicted criminal, is a very arrogant man. So much so that he told a jury that he didn't notice when someone stuffed hundreds of thousands of dollars into his pockets. I dare say multibillionaire Bill Gates would notice if somebody made improvements worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to his home and didn't make him pay for it.
    It's an insult to the American people. I cannot claim it's any insult to the intelligence of the people of Alaska because, 1. they elected Palin and 2. they came within literally a few votes of re-electing a felon.

    November 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. jeff in MA

    No convicted criminal should be able to represent the people of a democracy, the mere thought of that is completely absurd. Throw him in jail like anyone else who would commit those crimes.

    November 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. Carl

    Settle down and let the process run it's course. They need to wait for the results to come in. If Stevens loses, there's no need to waste any time on a vote. If he wins, they boot him out and Alaska does whatever it's laws require for finding a replacement.

    Yes, republicans have done some pretty corrupt things in their time, but waiting for the election results is not an example of that corruption.

    November 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. David

    If he is the winner, please show him the door!

    November 18, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. askdfl

    If the people of Alaska re-elect him then why should they take that away from him. If Alaska wants to be represented by Stevens then so be it. What gives people not form Alaska any say in who ALASKAN's decide who they want to represent them in the Senate. Last I check he was running for the Alaskan Senatorial seat not any other state. Besides there is no rule or law that says he can not server in Congress as a convicted felon. So why don't you complainors do something about the law that we are governored by instead of compaining that people don't do what you think is right even though they don't have a legal leg to stand on.

    November 18, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Why so much outcry to get rid of him now everybody? Wouldn't you Democrats like to know that your Rep won this election by votes and not by default? He may have been convicted but he is also appealing, which is his right.

    Quit trashing the republican party for this, they are doing what is right. Who knows, he may lose this election and then your rep got in on his own.

    November 18, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Max, NJ

    Alaskans love living on the edge. Now let me see, should we or should we not vote for the FELON? What a joke. Vote for the one that's not a felon Alaska, come on.

    November 18, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. bababear

    The whole part of Stevens running in the election is for the party not the man. If he wins, the senate will probably show him the door but then the Gov (guess who that is) gets to appoint a republican replacement instead of or until there is a special election. If he wins and is kicked out, the losing candidate does get the seat "by default" and he may be the first Senator as a convicted felon but the house has a long standing and honorable tradition of inmate congressmen.

    November 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. Darrel from Denver

    Clearly an egomaniac and power-monger. This dude is 85....he should simply retire.

    I am sure what is going on here is nothing more than 1) power and privilege trying to hang on by their fingernails, and 2) positioning to get Palin back on stage.

    Both, it appears now, will fail.

    November 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    If Reps were smart, they'd vote him out now, and then also go after Jefferson in Louisiana.
    Or better yet, if they weren't cowards on this deal, they'd move on Steves now.

    As for Alaskans, I can understand why they'd vote for him. He's brought more pork to them (per capita) than any other state. It's kind of like the pimp in the city, or the drug dealer in the suburbs, or the corrupt businessman in a rural town who do a lot of charity work that benefits a number of people in the community. In return, the community looks the other way
    Okay, I don't know any pimps, or drug dealers so I can't say that they doo "beneficial work" for their community. Nor do I know any corrupt business people. But the point is, people look the other way (or take a best case look) when looking at people with ethical challenges when those people do something for them that they think they couldn't have gotten without that person.

    November 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. RH

    So if he wins re-election he'll keep his chairmanships? That's not crooked at all.

    November 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Sue

    Funny, he can't vote as a convicted felon, but he can serve in Congress? And we wonder why Washington doesn't work.

    November 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. Steve from Florida

    This is illustrative of what is wrong with the current GOP team. How can they not censure Stevens immediately. He was appeal is only an appeal!

    November 18, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Matthew

    It should not be about who wins the seat or not. The vote should be held now so that a clear and unequivocal message is sent to all lawmakers: Illegal dealings with lobbyists and special interests groups will not be tolerated.

    He should be removed from all comittees. Immediately.

    November 18, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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