The longest serving Republican senator in history has gone down to defeat in Alaska.
Senator Ted Stevens, champion of pork barrel spending and an arrogant, superannuated relic who should have been kicked out of the senate years ago has lost his bid for re-election to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.
Stevens waited anxiously to see whether a climactic vote count would keep him in Congress long enough for his fellow Republicans to decide whether to expel him from their ranks.
He also turned 85 on Tuesday, just another in a series of topsy-turvy days for the six-term senator who has been straddling challenges to his power both at home and in his trial in Washington. Notwithstanding all that turmoil, Stevens revealed that he will not ask President George W. Bush to give him a pardon for his seven felony convictions.
Stevens' future was murky at a time when newly elected members of both the House and Senate were on Capitol Hill for heady receptions, picture-taking sessions and orientation this week. Stevens, for his part, had no idea what his life would be like in January, when the 111th Congress convenes.
"I wouldn't wish what I'm going through on anyone, my worst enemy," he lamented to reporters at one point. "I haven't had a night's sleep for almost four months."
Yes, a guilty conscience is hard to assuage. His allowing a campaign contributor and recipient of much of his pork barrel spending to double the size of his house for free and not reporting the gift resulted in his conviction and certain expulsion from the senate should he have prevailed in this race.A couple of his more noteworthy "accomplishments" might be appropriate given his demise. From Wikpedia:
Stevens' son Ben is under investigation for his activities while serving on the Alaskan fisheries marketing board and his dealings with Trident.
- He placed a secret hold on a bill that would allow easier accountability and research of all federal funding measures.
- He has received criticism for his support of perceived pork barrel projects such as the Gravina Island Bridge and the Knik Arm Bridge (collectively known as the "Bridges to Nowhere" by their opponents).
- In 2007, Stevens added $3.5 million into a Senate spending bill to help finance an airport to serve a remote Alaskan island. The airstrip would connect the roughly 100 permanent residents of Akutan, but the biggest beneficiary is the Seattle-based Trident Seafoods Corp.Aleutians." that operates "one of the world’s largest seafood processing plants on the volcanic island in the
This really is good riddance to a senator who spent most of his career doing nothing but engaging in horse trading for goodies that he could give to his contributors and lobbyists.