Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Return of Ted Stevens

The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal judge on Wednesday to throw out the corruption conviction of former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens.

You’ll remember that last fall, during a heavily publicized reelection campaign, Stevens was found guilty of seven counts of lying on Senate disclosure forms and attempting to conceal more than $250,000 in gifts from his pals in the oil industry.

Steven alleged judicial and jury misconduct during the entire trial, and after his conviction vowed to appeal. He did. And yesterday that appeal paid off for Stevens when US Attorney General, Eric Holder, decided to “abandon” the case because federal prosecutors apparently withheld helpful evidence from the former Alaskan Senator’s lawyers.

Way to go, Justice Department.

Stevens had this to say about his abrupt vindication:

"I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed. That day has finally come. It is unfortunate that an election was affected by proceedings now recognized as unfair,"

Those of us here in The Great Land know Uncle Teddy isn’t the kind of guy to go quietly into the dark Alaskan night. But this morning he surprised even me when he filed suit in the US District Court for the District of Alaska alleging voter fraud and demanding that the recent senatorial election results be overturned and that he be reinstated as the US Senate’s longest serving Republican.

Alaska Governor Palin has not yet released a comment, but a spokesman for her office in Juneau said that the Governor had spoken to Stevens via phone and was reviewing the situation and that a reinstatement of Ted Stevens to the Democrat dominated US Senate would have to be carefully considered.

Alaskan Junior Senator, Mark Begich (D), could not be reached for comment.

US District Court Judge A. Foole, speaking from the steps in front of the 9th Circuit Court, said she had not seen the complaint but believed that Steven would have “a very good basis” for a possible reinstatement. She said she couldn’t comment further on an ongoing case and referred questions to Stevens’ legal representation, Steale & Lie.

Monday evening, workers at the Anchorage airport were seen re-installing the large “Ted Stevens International Airport” sign that had been removed following the Senator’s conviction last October. Calls to the airport Public relations office were met with a recording about volcanic ash fall closures and flight delays.

It’s going to be an interesting summer.


The April Fools joke here is that only part of this post is an April Fools joke. It's up to you to figure out which part.

Speaking of which, Christ is it really April already?


  1. Having fallen for LiveJournal's "joke" (using the sysadmin account for joke messages is so junior high) I took a careful look at your email.

    Wanna bet that Alberto Gonzalez would be so generous with a Democratic senator?

  2. I'm sitting here watching the news and I was sure the whole thing was a joke until NBC started running the story.

    And as a corollary to Chris' comment, isn't it interesting that Bush's DOJ convicted him with a badly run case and Obama's DOJ is setting things right.

    Note: I'm not hearing anything that says he might have actually been innocent...only that DOJ fucked up the prosecution.

  3. Well, see that's the thing Chris and Nathan, I was pretty sure the NYT story was an April Fool's Day joke. Then I did some digging. It's not. In fact a couple of papers had to publish stories that began with "This is not an April Fool's Day Joke, They're Letting Ted Go."

    But yeah, it's not that he's innocent, it's that the Fed hosed up the case. Nice.

  4. Jim, unfortunately you may have been wrong about "part of the post" being a joke:

    The Alaska Republican Party is calling on Democratic freshman Sen. Mark Begich to resign so a new vote can be held now that the Department of Justice is dropping its case against former Sen. Ted Stevens.

    Alaska GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich said a special election should be held "so Alaskans may have the chance to vote for a senator without the improper influence of the corrupt Department of Justice."

    "The only reason Mark Begich won the election in November is because a few thousand Alaskans thought that Senator Ted Stevens was guilty of seven felonies. Senator Stevens has maintained his innocence and now, even the Department of Justice acknowledges its wrongdoing," Ruedrich said in a statement.

    -"In Wake of Stevens Case Dismissal, Alaska Republicans Call for Special Election", FOXNews.com

    So maybe Ted's not going to be giving that "You won't have Ted Stevens to kick around anymore" speech after all?

  5. Like you didn't see that coming, right?

    And just for the record, I still think Steven is guilty. Just because the DoJ screwed up doesn't mean he's innocent. New election? We need a new trial.

    What chaps my ass here is that because the Fed decided to play fast and loose with the rules, Stevens is not only going to get away with it, he's going to get sympathy and support from Alaskan who are even dumber than Sarah Palin. Fuck! Now I'll have to spend the next four years listening to how not only Obama stole the election, so did Begich. Christ, I wish these people would shut the hell up. Republicans, party of the stupid.

  6. I love that FoxNews is claiming "all" Alaskans. Fuck you, FoxNews, I'm an Alaskan I don't want Stevens.

    I also love this line:
    The public deserves to be protected from unethical attorneys," Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.,

    You mean like the unethical attorneys in Congress? Like that, Rep Sensenbrenner?


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