Jurors found Stevens, 84, guilty of willfully filing false financial-disclosure forms that hid such gifts as a $2,695 massage chair, a stained glass window, a sled dog and renovations that doubled the size of his Girdwood home. Those gifts, valued at as much as $250,000 over seven years, came mostly from his former friend Bill Allen, the star prosecution witness in Stevens’ trial and the former owner of Veco Corp.
The oil field-services company was one of Alaska’s largest private employers before Allen, caught up in the federal corruption probe himself, was forced to sell it last year.
… If Hays is right and Stevens is now doomed politically, that gives the Democrats three rock-solid Senate pickups. In Virginia, Mark Warner is cruising to an easy victory for an open seat that a Republican had held (a new Washington Post poll shows him holding onto a whopping 30-percentage-point lead). Similarly, in New Mexico, Tom Udall is far ahead in the race for an open GOP seat.
The party also is counting on two more gains. In Colorado — in the contest to fill still another seat a Republican is giving up — Mark Udall (Tom’s cousin) appears headed for a win. And in New Hampshire, Jeanne Shaheen is favored to take out incumbent John Sununu (one new poll, though, shows the Republican still within shouting distance).
Democrats will be grossly disappointed if they don’t win all five of these races. And they’ve set their sights on more — a victory by Al Franken over incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota, along with triumphs by Democratic challengers over incumbents Liddy Dole in North Carolina and Gordon Smith in Oregon. While hoping for a trifecta, the Democrats will gladly live with two out of these three. …- lat
Yeah, I’m not surprised about the corruption, but I didn’t know Al Franken is running for office. Cool. Here he is on Letterman.