April 3rd, 2009
10:25 AM ET
5 years ago

Sarah Palin wants rematch between Stevens and Begich

(CNN) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Thursday she believes voters deserve another chance to consider electing Ted Stevens to the U.S. Senate now that federal prosecutors have decided to drop their case against him, and supports a re-match between the former senator and Democrat Mark Begich.

Begich defeated Stevens last November soon after the incumbent was convicted on ethics charges.

"Many voters did not choose Stevens because they were told he was guilty, and now, after the election we see there was improper conduct in his trial, so how fair an election was that?" asked Palin, in an email to an Alaska Public Radio reporter. CNN has confirmed the authenticity of the e-mail.

"I agree with other Alaskans who would like to see an election that's free from improper influence, and I can't imagine how Mark Begich could argue that," she continued.

(updated after the jump with Begich camp response)

Palin told the Anchorage Daily News that she does not want to "split hairs" on whether Begich should resign, while agreeing with state Republican party officials calling for a special election.

But the Fairbanks News Miner reported that the governor did back the GOP's position that Begich should step down. A journalist for the paper e-mailed Palin a copy of a statement by the state's Republican party Chairman calling for Begich's resignation. Palin responded: “I absolutely agree.”

Asked by the paper to confirm that answer meant Begich should resign for the election to take place, Palin replied: “Yes.”

Palin spokeswoman Megan Stapleton repeated that position to Politico. “She absolutely agrees that there should be a special election. Stepping down to hold the special election would be the right thing to do,” Stapleton said.

Begich spokesman Max Croes told CNN Friday that the Stevens criminal case was never part of the Begich campaign. "He did not use the Stevens trial as an issue," Croes said. He declined immediate comment on Palin's support of a re-match between Stevens and Begich.

Begich, a former mayor of Anchorage, issued a statement Thursday noting he "got into the Senate race long before Senator Stevens' legal troubles began."

"I'm honored to serve Alaskans for the next six years," he said.

Stevens, 85, will be at a hearing in Washington Tuesday as a judge reviews a Justice Department request to drop the case against the longtime Alaska senator because of prosecutorial misconduct. Stevens has not yet indicated any interest in returning to public office.

UPDATE: Begich Friday was on his way from Washington to Alaska and was not available to comment on Palin's latest remarks. But his press secretary, Julie Hasquet, told CNN that "Sen. Mark Begich is not going to resign, no matter who's asking."

She acknowledged the story has been given new life as a result of Palin's remarks in support of state Republican party calls for Begich to step down as part of a special election. "It's ridiculous. Sen. Begich won very fairly," said Hasquet. "People made up their minds before there was a conviction of Ted Stevens."

Begich is likely to face the question directly during a previously scheduled media availability Monday in Anchorage.


Filed under: Mark Begich • Sarah Palin • Ted Stevens
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Well it's not about what you want Sarah. Don't be scared. Stevens is coming for your governorship and he just may win it.

    April 3, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. Brian Crooks

    Sarah Palin wants a rematch between Stevens and Begich, and hillbillies prefer to be called "sons of the soil," but it ain't gonna happen. Imagine the precedence this would create. From now on, after every election if you could prove that your opponent had lied or at the very least stretched the truth about you or your record, you would be justified in seeking a rematch.

    Earth to Sarah: You painted Barack Obama as a terrorist with a radical wife who would rather teach kindergarteners how to have sex than how to read. You also tried to make him look like a sexist chauvinist with that whole "lipstick on a pig" thing. Give me a break. I think we all know you're more afraid of Ted Stevens putting you through a primary at the behest of Don Young than anything else.

    April 3, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. carlo

    There will be no re-vote for Senator, just like there will be no re-vote for President Mrs. Palin.

    April 3, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Nick - Arlington, VA

    Just because there was prosecutorial misconduct does not mean the man wasn't corrupt. He clearly accepted gifts from lobbyists in his state in exchange for some face time. It sucks that Bush's DOJ was so corrupted, but Begich won. Its over lady, and, God willing, so are your national ambitions.

    April 3, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Carl from MI

    Really? She wants a do-over in a Constitutionally held election that her party lost.

    Gee... why don't we just hold do-over's for the Presidential election again too, since a Republican didn't win that one either... AND the press was 'unfair' to Sarah as well...

    And you Republicans wanted this lady to be the VP?? REALLY??

    Once again... the level of intelligence of those in the Republican party dips into the single digits!!!!

    April 3, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. itbeme

    hmmmmmmm....if you don't like the results, try for a re-match.

    the people voted. it should stand

    April 3, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. dave

    Sorry, I did not hear anyone say Senator Stevens was NOT GUILTY. I heard the US Attorneys broke a rule about disclosing exculpatory evidence. the charges were dismissed b/c that is a recognized penalty for prosecutorial misconduct. If the prosecutor breaks the rules, then his case will be thrown out.

    That does not mean Ted is innocent.

    April 3, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. Lynn

    The decision was not that Stevens was not guilty but that the prosecution screwed up.

    April 3, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. proud army navy mom

    sarah is a dingbat. She actually thinks that a legitimately won seat should somehow be vacated because she wants a do-over?

    Pathetic Palin has finally lost her mind.

    April 3, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. obama-mama

    Sarah Palin need to kick rocks......Begich won election fair and square. Just because the set Stevens free doesn't mean he wasn't guilt free. Just means the prosecutor screwed up the case by not revealing evidence to the defense. Why don't Sarah give Stevens her job. I'm sure he would be better at it.

    April 3, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. am

    I wonder whether she knows we are in recession to spend all that money on a speacial election.

    April 3, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. David

    Palin and Norm Coleman should get together and form the "DO-OVER" ticket. Their slogan: "There's no point in accepting the will of the people".

    April 3, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Frozone

    Stevens is as innocent as Bill Ayers. No surprise that crook Palin wants her boy back in office so she doesn't have any challengers for governor.

    April 3, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Sue M

    Another re-vote, I don't think so. Did we get another re-vote when Florida messed up the votes when Gore was running against Bush.....Begich won fair and square so sit down and shut up Palin your stupidity is showing again......

    April 3, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Nick

    A rematch?

    It's not like their was voter fraud or anything. One was charged with a crime at the time of the election. Fair? Maybe not. But oh well, neither is my life at times. I don't get a "redo" though.

    April 3, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Washingtonian

    Good grief. enough of the Alaskan soap opera. Gov Palin needs to get busy and convince the Canadian Government to let her run her pipeline through Canada.

    April 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. John

    A rematch of Stevens vs Begich?

    Sure. If we can also have rematches of Bush vs Gore or Kerry.

    April 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Greg in Colorado

    The election-to-nowhere!!! You can want in one hand and poop in the other and which one are you going to get? Good luck with that sarah!!!

    April 3, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. John in Ohio

    As a reminder, it was Bush's Department of Justice that was prosecuting Senator Stevens. It was a Republican-run DOJ that thought they had a case. And a trial being thrown out does not mean innocence, any more then OJ was innocent.

    April 3, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Pel

    If the Atty General found evidence that the Bush appointed prosecutors held back evidence from Senator's attorneys or falsified evidence, then the conviction of Senator Steven should be set aside. However, this still does not prove the senator was not guilty of doing wrong. I think that evedence would still be strong.

    Also, no one called for President George Bush to resign when weapon of mass destruction was not found in Iraq or other things he and his team misrepresented.

    Senator Begich will continue to be the senator of Alaska, plus he enter the senate race long before charges were level against Senator Steven. Remember, he was the senator who wanted funding for the bridge to no where.

    April 3, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. windfall

    eh, she's just saying that so he won't run against her.

    April 3, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. dona

    She never ceases to amaze me! It wasn't Begich's fault that Stevens had legal problems AND Stevens was not cleared of the accusations. He got off on a technicality. Palin does not think before she speaks!

    April 3, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    It is what it is Sarah. You can't just hold another election because you don't like the outcome. If that were the case I'd like to go back to Nov. 4th, 2000!!!

    April 3, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. barking dogs

    If this case had been held properly,he would STILL be guilty.Period

    April 3, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Eric

    God help Alaska, such a beautiful state with such ugly representation.

    April 3, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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