Jury finds longest-serving Republican in the Senate guilty of lying about gifts

By | October 28, 2008

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.

0 thoughts on “Jury finds longest-serving Republican in the Senate guilty of lying about gifts

  1. Ann

    Did you read the LA Time op-ed on Stevens? “Ted Stevens’ 40-year itch” October 29, 2008

    [It’s a discussion, really, about power.]

    here’s part:

    Stevens has probably done more to shape contemporary Alaska than any other single Alaskan. His fingerprints are everywhere in the 49th state. Using the federal budget, especially earmarks, he has delivered billions of dollars to Alaska for roads, bridges, airports, hospitals and clinics — a list of projects so long, no one can recite it anymore. The money has a generic name: “Stevens money.”

    …. Stevens has not had a serious opponent since the early ’70s — a circumstance that won him the title “senator for life.” …

    After decades in Congress, Stevens answered to no one — not his constituents, not the media, not his critics in Alaska and Congress. To those who disagreed with his policies and politics, his answer was more or less, “What are you going to do about it?” The answer usually was nothing.

    In a democracy, no one should have the power Stevens accumulated. The best word to describe it is imperial

    … There is no evidence Stevens ever expected to retire from the Senate. …

    With the passage of time, Stevens developed another characteristic that brought him down: The inability to separate his personal life from his professional life. Prosecutors showed that Stevens and his wife, Catherine, turned his professional staff into serfs who walked the dog, fed the cat, mowed the lawn, wrapped Christmas presents, returned overdue videos.

    [Power always corrupts.]

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