Senator Ted Stevens Found Guilty
Uncle Ted, the Senator with an avuncular penchant for giftgiving — $3.4 billion in federal earmarks for Alaska since 1995 alone — has been convicted of receiving a few freebies of his own. Stevens, 84, was found guilty Monday on seven felony counts for failing to report $250,000 in improper gifts he received from Bill Allen, the disgraced executive of an oil services company.
The Democrats are salivating at the idea that a jury of their peers may have just cleared the way for a Democratic supermajority of 60 seats in the Senate. But Stevens' chances are better than you might think. The latest polls, from earlier this month, show Stevens in a nearly dead heat with his Democratic challenger, Anchorage mayor Mark Begich. The numbers will change in the wake of the verdict, but it's worth noting that those polls had actually been moving Stevens' way, slightly, since he was indicted in July. It's possible that in Alaska, even a sullied Ted Stevens brand could be enough to win him election.