Senator Ted Stevens Indicted — At Last

For many years, Ted Stevens has been the virtual symbol of corruption in Washington, making himself a multimillionaire while serving in Congress. Despite detailed accounts of the shady dealings of Stevens and his family, Alaskans continued to return him to Washington where he and colleagues like Don Young tarnished the reputation of both houses. He is now a criminally indicted defendant, though the current allegations constitute small change in comparison to some of the past controversies surrounding the Stevens clan. The Stevens indictment is below.

I have long written about Stevens and his family as examples of everything that is wrong with congressional ethics and contemporary politics, click here and here and here.

Stevens insists that he is innocent of charges that he lied about receiving gifts worth more than $250,000 from Veco, an Alaska-based energy company on whose behalf he intervened in Washington.

The indictment alleges that Stevens “schemed to conceal” the fact that Veco paid for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work on his home.

What is astonishing is the statements of his colleagues. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said i”It’s a sad day for him, us. But I believe in the American system of justice that he is presumed innocent.” I certainly understand the need to be generous but this is hardly a sad day for us. For those of us who have been critics of the laughable congressional ethics system, this is a very good day indeed.

Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, said, “I have known Ted Stevens for 28 years, and I have always found him to be impeccably honest.” Now that one has a great number of heads spinning. The word honest, let alone impeccable, has never before been used in the same sentence as Ted Stevens.

The indictment of Stevens should concentrate the minds of Alaskans on the horrific record of its delegation. It is one thing to elect state officials who say that they would “sell their soul” to the devil for oil companies, here, but they should not externalize such corruption to the rest of country in the form of people like Stevens or Young. It is a poor statement on a state that it takes an indictment to reform a long-criticized delegation. I come from Chicago and lived under the original Daley machine, so this is not unique to Alaska. However, to have both Stevens and Young from the same small delegation is quite an indictment of its own for any state.

For the full story, click here.

For a copy of the indictment, click here.

20 thoughts on “Senator Ted Stevens Indicted — At Last”

  1. Hugh,

    That’s a good idea. Since these MC’s are perfectly fair and legal, I’m sure he won’t mind a tribunal instead of a trial.

    For myself, I am still reeling from the indictment as well.

  2. Hugh:

    Another famous “shocked” person said while pocketing his illegal gambling winnings:

    “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”

    Murkowski has about as much credibility here as Captain Renault.

  3. “I was shocked to learn of today’s announcement. I know Ted Stevens to be an honorable, hard-working Alaskan who has served our state well for as long as we have been a state. As to the charges, we are at the beginning of the criminal process and there is a judicial procedure in place that will be followed.” _ Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

    I don’t know… I think a military tribunal at Gitmo is more appropriate… After all- he voted for them.

  4. LindyLou,

    I heard the same thing this morning to get amusement. I think Ted Stevens is the enemy of dick cheney’s friend or this would never have happened. The evidence has been there for years, I know that’s a shock to you, so that’s my take on it.

    Jill

  5. Here’s a site that has gathered a list of reactions to Sen Stevens’ indictment.

    http://wtop.com/?nid=116&sid=1450187

    Many of them are shocked, just shocked, to think such an “impeccably honest” senator would be caught doing something dishonest.

    Will he be pardoned? That’s a good question.

    “The president has been working with Sen. Stevens for many years and he appreciates his strong leadership on key issues. This is a legal matter that the Department of Justice is handling, and so we will not comment further on it.” _ White House press secretary Dana Perino.

    On the other hand, maybe the white house is throwing Stevens to the lions because so many of us would really like to see Rove indicted, or at least squirming under oath.

  6. Stevens should start his pardon request right now. I can’t believe that Bush would let that old felon go to prison.

  7. I hope the Democrats are happy, they FINALLY found the single corrupt Republican. I’m sure Sen. Stevens merely overlooked the money and gifts as he has been so busy worrying about ways to help the poor, hungry and homeless, as do Republicans.

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  10. I am wondering how many “must” Senate races the Repubs have lost through attrition including this one. Does rout at the polls make sense?

  11. Do you think he will end up on the Bush Pardon list? I am guessing that he will be part of the large group of felons and felons to be that will be included by Bush. One of the most disturbing comments was Sen. Specter’s comment. It seems that when he is in the committee room he will sometimes actually make sense and show his disbelief in the party line of nonsense that has been uttered by the Bush faithful. Then on other occasions he just reads his lines as if they were just handed to him from Fox News. He is a strange one.
    My response when I heard the news was, good riddance. Even if he gets pardoned by Bush, at least he will likely be out of the Senate and the country is better off because he is gone.

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