Ted Stevens Re-elected, ‘Senator Convicted Felon’

While neither AP nor the networks have yet called it, convicted felon Ted Stevens has almost certainly been re-elected to the Senate from Alaska.

Alaskans will have to wait a little while longer to find out if Senator Ted Stevens has been re-elected just days after becoming a convicted felon.  The Republican held a slim lead over Democrat Mark Begich with 96 percent of precincts voting. More than 40,000 absentee ballots are yet to be counted. That must happen within 10 days of the election.

It’s almost inconceivable, though, that enough of the absentees — many of which were cast before Stevens’ conviction — will be enough to overturn the margin of victory.

WHIO’s Jamie Dupree dubs him “Senator Convicted Felon.”  At the Arkansas Times, Max Brantley observes,

Sen. Ted Stevens, the newly minted felon, will be re-elected in Alaska. But when his conviction is affirmed and he resigns, a special election will be required for the seat and his Democratic challenger should be reasonably well-positioned. And the corrupt Rep. Don Young also was re-elected. Something is bad wrong in Alaska.

I’m reminded of Lewis Grizzard’s long-ago quip, when Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards was acquitted on racketering charges, that they “couldn’t find twelve people in Louisiana who thought stealin’ was a crime.”  Alaska seems to have taken over the crown in that department.

The good news is that Stevens will surely be forced to resign or otherwise ousted from office.  The good news for the GOP is that, with a non-convict on the ballot, a Republican should win a special election easily.

UPDATE (Alex Knapp) I second the special election scenario, about which I will make a prediction right now: “Welcome to Washington, Senator Palin.”

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Alex Knapp is predicting that when Sen Stevens conviction is affirmed, Palin will become new Senator from Alaska. http://is.gd/6s47

  2. […] one Republican I would have liked to have seen lose. Seriously, what goes on in the thought processes of someone […]

  3. Bithead says:

    I suspect that Alaska just figured that despite the felony, he was better than the Democrat running against him.

    (Shrug)

  4. Michael says:

    The good news for the GOP is that, with a non-convict on the ballot, a Republican should win a special election easily.

    Alaskans liked Stevens, that’s why he won. If the GOP can’t field a candidate whom Alaskans like just as much, being a non-felon probably won’t be of much help.

    I suspect that Alaska just figured that despite the felony, he was better than the Democrat running against him.

    Better for Alaska, at any rate. Louisiana re-elected Jefferson after all.

  5. John Burgess says:

    While I’m not completely up to date on the trial, these allegations of prosecutorial misconduct (16-page PDF) do not seem frivolous, even if they are from the defense attorneys. I think there’s a chance that the conviction will be overturned.

  6. RSR says:

    Alaskans weren’t re-electing Stevens as much as they were preserving the seat for another Republican when Stevens is forced to step down. Actually a very smart strategic move.

  7. Bithead says:

    IN any event, Spare me the whining about how Ted Stephens won in Alaska, when Murtha has also won.

    Idiots.

  8. Patrick says:

    I tend to agree that this is more about the Alaskans liking Stevens. He’s spent many years providing good service to Alaska and they seem to like him. His conviction doesn’t impact that much.

  9. Rick DeMent says:

    I tend to agree that this is more about the Alaskans liking Stevens. He’s spent many years providing good service pork barrel earmarks to Alaska and they seem to like him. His conviction doesn’t impact that much.

    There, fixed it for you

  10. Bithead says:

    Funny you shuld mention that, Rick, since it’s exactly why I mention Murtha…

  11. Michael says:

    IN any event, Spare me the whining about how Ted Stephens won in Alaska, when Murtha has also won.

    Murtha hasn’t been convicted of a felony, he just said some outright stupid things. Unless of course you are trying to morally equate the two.

  12. Grewgills says:

    Unless of course you are trying to morally equate the two.

    But it’s not moral equivalence when he does it.
    Oh, and he’s just holding those evil Democrats to their own standards.

  13. Floyd says:

    Boy, you’d think you guys would realize by now that it’s the political organization that counts,
    the candidate is less relevant,
    the electorate??… irrelevant!
    the issues??? [lol]
    And cynicism?? Impossible!

  14. Bithead says:

    Murtha hasn’t been convicted of a felony, he just said some outright stupid things. Unless of course you are trying to morally equate the two

    I’d say of the two Murtha’s offense was worse. I suspect those Marines would tend to agree.

  15. William d'Inger says:

    they “couldn’t find twelve people in Louisiana who thought stealin’ was a crime.”

    I presume you haven’t overlooked the fact that “Dollar Bill” Jefferson got reelected by a confortable margin.

  16. Spoker says:

    What’s that old saying…’Better the devil you know than the one you don’t’ or is it the one about the ‘lesser of two evils’? Either way the Republicans played the game to their advantage and Sarah Palin will at least have a small chuckle the Nov.

  17. Michael says:

    I’d say of the two Murtha’s offense was worse. I suspect those Marines would tend to agree.

    Murtha’s was more offensive, absolutely. Murtha did something that insulted his constituents, Stevens did something at at worst did nothing to his constituents, and more likely helped them.

    But worse? Sorry, but being a felon is worse than being an ass.

  18. Bithead says:

    Sorry, but being a felon is worse than being an ass.

    Just the response I’d expect from someone who figures the law is higher than the morality it was suppsoed to uphold, and figures the population is supopsed to service the government, rather than the reverse.

    I can’t make the distinction much clearer than that.

  19. […] me the whining about how Ted Stephens won in Alaska, when Murtha has also won. Idiots. And yes, I morally equate the two… indeed, I […]

  20. Michael says:

    Just the response I’d expect from someone who figures the law is higher than the morality it was suppsoed to uphold

    Wait, so now you’re saying that committing a felony is less immoral that calling your constituents names? I think it’s time for you to step back and re-evaluate where you’re taking this argument Bithead.

  21. Anderson says:

    One of the things I like about JJ is that he remembers Lewis Grizzard.

  22. just me says:

    Honestly-I can see some people voting for Stevens not so much because they wanted him as senator, but because they wanted the chance to keep the office in GOP hands. Had the democrat won-it would have been 6 years before he could be replaced. With the senate so close to veto proof, I may have been tempted to do just that, if I lived in Alaska.

    Then again maybe most of the voters still like him in spite of the corruption, and feel like he got a raw deal and will be vindicated in the appeals.

    I am not convinced the prosecutorial misconduct is going to go anywhere, and I suspect he will resign or be forced out of office and a new election will be held with a viable GOP candidate.

  23. Grewgills says:

    Wait, so now you’re saying that committing a felony is less immoral that calling your constituents names?

    That depends on whether it is a D or an R that follows the name.

  24. Eric says:

    I can’t make the distinction much clearer than that.

    Oh, stop it, Bitsy. You’re being coy. You know darn well you can’t make any distinctions.

    Wait, so now you’re saying that committing a felony is less immoral that calling your constituents names? I think it’s time for you to step back and re-evaluate where you’re taking this argument Bithead.

    Michael, if Bitsy does that, then his arguments will *begin* to make sense. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine a world (visualize my best Don LaFontaine voice here!) in which there exists a logical and reasonable Bitsy.

  25. Michael says:

    Michael, if Bitsy does that, then his arguments will *begin* to make sense. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine a world (visualize my best Don LaFontaine voice here!) in which there exists a logical and reasonable Bitsy.

    Bithead is perfectly capable of reasoned and sensible debate, I’ve had several with him over the years. Right now, he’s deliberately choosing not to do so.

  26. Bithead says:

    Wait, so now you’re saying that committing a felony is less immoral that calling your constituents names? I think it’s time for you to step back and re-evaluate where you’re taking this argument Bithead.

    So, you really propose to ignore what he did to those Marines for his own political purposes? If you look close, you’ll note that, and not his ‘racist’ insults was my stated objection.

  27. Anderson,

    Agreed on JJ and Lewis Grizzard. Twenty years or so ago I laughed until tears were streaming down my face over his routines. The “sitting up with the dead” story, how Grizzard, in French, means “sissy welfare recipient” and many many others. What a guy.

    Oh yeah, the thing about his daddy not getting a good toe-hold!!

  28. G.A.Phillips says:

    But worse? Sorry, but being a felon is worse than being an ass.

    It depends on what your definition of ass is.

    and hey some of your friends are felons, but then again some of mine have a lot to do with being an ass, in more definitions then one, you know, what I mean, buddy?

  29. Eric says:

    and hey some of your friends are felons, but then again some of mine have a lot to do with being an ass, in more definitions then one, you know, what I mean, buddy?

    Oh, G.A., you just exude class. Homophobia suits you well.

  30. Eric says:

    Bithead is perfectly capable of reasoned and sensible debate, I’ve had several with him over the years. Right now, he’s deliberately choosing not to do so.

    I’m sorry, Michael, but that’s not been my experience. In the 6 months I’ve been here, I’ve yet to see Bit (or G.A., Zelsy, Rodney, et al) make a sustained coherent argument that doesn’t rely on invective or Area 51 aliens.

  31. Michael says:

    So, you really propose to ignore what he did to those Marines for his own political purposes? If you look close, you’ll note that, and not his ‘racist’ insults was my stated objection.

    So Murtha made statements based on what he believed was factually true. That’s your objection? Or that Murtha was outraged that US Marines would do such a thing? Are you just outraged that somebody would criticize a US Marine? The only explanation that makes logical sense is that you just want to be outraged, and this is the only thing you can come up with to justify it.

  32. Michael says:

    Eric,
    Unfortunately the past 6 months have been the high-point for desperate paranoia on the part of Bithead and Rodney, they made much more coherent arguments before McCain ran away with the GOP primary.

    GA and Zelsdorf, however, are a lost cause.

  33. anjin-san says:

    Bithead is perfectly capable of reasoned and sensible debate, I’ve had several with him over the years. Right now, he’s deliberately choosing not to do so.

    Bit continues to play small ball, and I suspect that is the only game he understands. At any rate, after last night, he is irrelevant. I think we have too much work to do on damage control for the country to spend much time on him…

  34. glasnost says:

    Ted Stevens did not commit a victimless crime, and his felony wasn’t for pork-barrel spending. He ripped off his constituents. That’s what you do when you use the power of your office to procure free stuff.

    Of course, our culture doesn’t have entirely consistent rules on this topic, depending on whether you extort or whether the free stuff is freely offered. But that’s the less charitable, but plausible, version of what Stevens did.

  35. G.A.Phillips says:

    Homophobia suits you well.

    lol I’m not scared of gay people I just don’t like what they want do to me country. And as always I was talking about donkys in their many forms.

    And I think that I am Michaels friend, And I’m a felon, And he always seemed to be a friend to me even that we disagree, but then again I could be wrong. It’s just a stupid joke bro.

    And I have a good amount of empathy and can read between the line and of course I can read what you write plainly, and I know that most of you liberals hate my guts because I’m a believer and hate my religion and want to see it destroyed.

    I’m sorry that I’m am not evolved enough as a Christian to let you get away with talking smack about every good thing under the SON, got to much liberal left in me to act right.

    Bit is a brilliant conservative that always gives you facts and sound reason, BIG Z tells you how he feels and I make fun of you for being so proud of your indoctrination, as I have a good time doing so, and in the hope I can show you how you look to a lot of us.

    And Mr. Dill does the caption contests, It’s not his fault if what you write most of the time looks like a silly picture for him to test a few zingers on.

    lol, If it were not for my Micheal I would still be writing one word sentences, he has done more good for me then you know.

  36. Michael says:

    And I think that I am Michaels friend, And I’m a felon, And he always seemed to be a friend to me even that we disagree, but then again I could be wrong.

    Don’t mistake my civility for friendship.

    I know that most of you liberals hate my guts because I’m a believer and hate my religion and want to see it destroyed.

    Most liberals are religious Christians. Just because most atheists are liberals, doesn’t mean that most liberals are atheists.

    lol, If it were not for my Micheal I would still be writing one word sentences, he has done more good for me then you know.

    I’m not sure how to feel about that.

  37. Bob Idir says:

    As an Alaskan resident, it’s not about selecting a convicted felon to the Senate, it’s about keeping the seat “Republican”. A special election for the vacated seat (when Stevens is force down) will most likely follow in 60-90 days, and the seat can remain Republican. This is a better option than allowing it to go Democratic for 6 years.

  38. Michael says:

    As an Alaskan resident, it’s not about selecting a convicted felon to the Senate, it’s about keeping the seat “Republican”.

    And yet during the primary, when all you had to choose from were Republicans, you guys still picked Stevens.