Alaska’s Senate race has Stevens leading with 48 percent of the vote compared with 47 percent for Democrat Mark Begich, with 96 percent of precincts reporting. There more than 40,000 absentee ballots to be counted within 10 days of the election — many of which probably preceded his corruption conviction.
The closeness of the election is unbelievably disheartening. This was a true Faustian moment for Alaskans and they appear to have chosen, once again, politics over ethics. Even if Begich were to pull it off, half of Alaska still voted for a convicted felon. Next time someone tells me about “small town values,” “religious faith in politics,” or “law and order” Republicans in Alaska, I will have a meltdown. The election answered the question from my last column of whether Alaskans would stand up to Stevens — apparently the earmark windfalls were too tempting. Alaskans also returned Rep. Don Young to office despite years of criticism as one of the more ethically challenged members in Congress.
What will be interesting is to now watch Stevens voting on appropriation bills for the Justice Department while that department struggles to put him in jail.
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