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SoCoKHntr's picture
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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges

Curious what you guys think of this especially Expat since this Sen. is from his state.

"WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator and a figure in Alaska politics since before statehood, was indicted Tuesday on seven counts of failing to disclose thousands of dollars in services he received from a company that helped renovate his home.

The first sitting U.S. senator to face federal indictment since 1993, Stevens has been dogged by a federal investigation into his home renovation project and his dealings with wealthy oil contractors.

The investigation has upended Alaska state politics and cast scrutiny on Stevens _ who is running for re-election this year _ and on his congressional colleague, Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who is also under investigation.

Stevens' indictment further damages Republican prospects in the November election as Senate Democrats, who now enjoy a 51-49 majority, try to capture a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority.

Matthew Friedrich, chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, said prosecutors followed the department's policy to keep politics out of the decision-making process.

"We bring cases based on our evaluation of the facts and the law," Friedrich said. "We bring cases when they are ready to be charged and that's what happened here."

Prosecutors said Stevens received more than $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO Corp., a powerful oil services contractor, and its executives. From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said, the 84-year-old senator concealed "his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation."

The indictment unsealed Tuesday says the items included: home improvements to his vacation home in Alaska, including a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing, electrical wiring; as well as a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools. He also was accused of failing to report swapping an old Ford for a new Land Rover to be driven by one of his children.

Justice Department said Stevens will not be arrested and will be allowed to turn himself in.

Stevens has adamantly denied any wrongdoing but he said little else publicly about the investigation. Messages left at both Stevens' Senate office in Washington and his campaign office in Anchorage were not immediately returned. His attorney also did not return calls.

Stevens has coasted to re-election six times in Alaska, but was in what was viewed as the toughest race of his career this year against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begicha.

It also tarnishes one of the most powerful and savvy of the GOP lions in the Senate a year after another Republican senator, Larry Craig of Idaho, pleaded guilty to charges arising out of a Minneapolis airport men's room sex sting.

Stevens for years wielded power from his position as chairman of the Appropriations Committee from 1997 to 2005, except for 18 months when Democrats controlled the Senate. His longevity also means that if Republicans took over the Senate, he would be president pro tempore, a mostly symbolic title but one that would make him third in line for the presidency after the vice president and speaker of the House.

Under Senate rules, Tuesday's indictment will require Stevens to give up his post as senior Republican on the Appropriations Committee.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., called Stevens a hero, adding, however, he didn't know any details about the indictment. "All of us have time that we have to deal with that are tough," Warner said. "I wish him the best."

"I've known Ted Stevens for 28 years and have always known him to be impeccably honest,' said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., another longtime colleague.

Prosecutors said Stevens "took multiple steps to continue" receiving things from oil services company VECO Corp., and its founder, Bill Allen. At the time, the indictment says, Allen and other VECO employees were soliciting Stevens for "multiple official actions .... knowing that Stevens could and did use his official position and his office on behalf of VECO during that same time period."

VECO's requests included funding and other aid for the oil services company's projects and partnerships in Pakistan and Russia. It also included federal grants from several agencies _ as well as help in building a national gas pipeline in Alaska's North Slope Region, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.

A moderate Republican, Stevens has served almost 40 years in the Senate, where he unabashedly steered money to toward his remote and sparsely populated home state. He often drew criticism, however, for going around the traditional appropriations process to fund his pet projects.

The Justice Department has closely followed that money, looking for where it intersects with the senator's son, Ben.

A lobbyist and former state senator, Ben Stevens was paid as a consultant for many in the fishing industry who benefited from legislation his father drafted. When Ted Stevens created a $30 million marketing fund for Alaska seafood, Ben Stevens helped decide which companies got the money. Some were his clients.

Ben Stevens also had financial ties to a company that stood to make millions off a piece of federal legislation his father wrote. But he repeatedly has said he never lobbied his father and both men have dismissed such criticism for years."

I would sure love to receive 'gifts' in excess of $250,000 and a Range Rover for my children to drive. Maybe I should get into politics.

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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges

Wow, that's ALMOST as bad as Teddy Kennedy. It's also about as bad as the hipocracy of Eliot Spitzer.

Our problem is that we have too many rich people, lawyers and lifelong politicians running our country. Admittedly, lawyers irritate me the most. Both sides of the aisle have been fleecing us for too long and letting their power get them out of trouble.

I also heard John Edwards got caught visiting his girlfriend. It's funny that the liberal media hasn't done much to cover this story. Although, Jay Leno did say Edwards asked Kobe where he bought the ring.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges
Whelland wrote:
Wow, that's ALMOST as bad as Teddy Kennedy. It's also about as bad as the hipocracy of Eliot Spitzer.

Our problem is that we have too many rich people, lawyers and lifelong politicians running our country. Admittedly, lawyers irritate me the most. Both sides of the aisle have been fleecing us for too long and letting their power get them out of trouble.

I also heard John Edwards got caught visiting his girlfriend. It's funny that the liberal media hasn't done much to cover this story. Although, Jay Leno did say Edwards asked Kobe where he bought the ring.

The John Edwards thing has been all over the huffpost and you don't get more Democrat then that. In regard to Ted and Eliot and Bill for that matter you're talking sex which that desire has ruined many a man.

This Ted Stevens seems like money was more his lust and desire. John Edwards cheating on his wife if true is a sad thing especially for his wife, but accepting gifts/bribes to get legislation passed is corruption that affects all of us.

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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges

I don't know all the facts, but I think politics are pushing this. When the FBI "raided" the Girdwood house, they made sure to notify the press ahead of time so the reporters could all be out there watching them break into the house with locksmiths.

Ted's response was to ask why they didn't just ask someone on the staff for a key. They could have had a consented entry, and instead decided to grandstand for the media.

I think the politics of scandal has been very effective for the Democrats, and it has paid off for them big time. Get an indictment just before an election and do all the damage before the rest of the story (and adjudication) can get out. This formula has played out all over the country -- particularly for Senate seats.

Losing Stevens would be a disaster for Alaska. Nothing in the Democrat platform has anything positive to offer the state -- whether it's in terms of shutting down mining through environmental restrictions or standing in the way of oil development.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges
expatriate wrote:
I don't know all the facts, but I think politics are pushing this. When the FBI "raided" the Girdwood house, they made sure to notify the press ahead of time so the reporters could all be out there watching them break into the house with locksmiths.

Ted's response was to ask why they didn't just ask someone on the staff for a key. They could have had a consented entry, and instead decided to grandstand for the media.

I think the politics of scandal has been very effective for the Democrats, and it has paid off for them big time. Get an indictment just before an election and do all the damage before the rest of the story (and adjudication) can get out. This formula has played out all over the country -- particularly for Senate seats.

Losing Stevens would be a disaster for Alaska. Nothing in the Democrat platform has anything positive to offer the state -- whether it's in terms of shutting down mining through environmental restrictions or standing in the way of oil development.

Okay, in your world where there's smoke it's just liberal smoke and mirrors and not fire.

But, for one instant can you fathom to entertain the idea that he may be, gasp, guilty? Or again for you whenever one of your guys is caught there innocent and it's just those cunning democrats up to their devious shenanigans!!! Sheesh!

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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges

Corruption is horrible. It's also continuous throughout history, so I'm not sitting back in my chair gasping and saying how horrible this incident is. Alaska is in a completely different ball park, so I can see why expat is concerned about politics in his neck of the woods.

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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges

SoCo, you really can cease with he condescension at any time. It's immature and reflects poorly on you.

If the guy's guilty, so be it. But I've said it before, Republicans hold their people accountable for corruption and Democrats promote them.

But I'm also extremely fed up with the scandal accusations that just happen to pop up conveniently late in the campaign cycle. I don't think Democrats had anything to do with it IF he did anything (remember innocent until proven guilty?). However, I find it an amazing coincidence how many key Republicans have been taken down by late-breaking accusations that can't be refuted before an election. I'm not saying Democrats are behind misdoings, but I will say that they take advantage of accusations and milk them to death (with the help of the media) for advantage. I also consider the Democrats to be utter hypocrites for pouncing on Republicans scandals but condoning those in their own ranks. When accusations of misdoings hit Republicans, careers end because the Republicans excommunicate them. That doesn't happen with the Dems.

And since when does the FBI invite the media along when executing a search warrant? Think there might be anything political there?

I'll wager if someone was funded to dig enough, they'd find something on every member of Congress that could be exploited in the public arena.

Oh, yeah...I also think it's hypocritical how the media jumps on every Republican issue, but they muzzle the Edwards story.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges
expatriate wrote:
Oh, yeah...I also think it's hypocritical how the media jumps on every Republican issue, but they muzzle the Edwards story.

Oh yeah, like the Rev. Wright issue wasn't milked for all it was worth and I ain't even talking about FOX who lived on that story for what seemed like months.

Edwards ain't even an issue he didn't get the nomination pal so, it's really not the biggest news in the world.

But, hey keep feigning mistreatment if it makes you feel better.

expatriate's picture
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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges

Wright got milked because Obama got his hand caught in a cookie jar. His reaction to that was insulting to our intellect as well. If he had denounced what Wright said up front, the issue would have died a quick death. But his reluctance to do so got people wondering where his head was at.

And don't try to pass off the Edwards issue as irrelevant. The guy was the vice presidential nominee in the last election, and one of the front runners in this one. So it's not like he's a nobody. He was a lot closer to the presidency than Ted Stevens.

As for "feigning" mistreatment, I've suffered far worse than you. Your continued tone really doesn't impact me at all. But it does make you look immature and emotional, and suggests you lack intellectual depth. If you're comfortable with that, so be it -- it's your credibility it affects, not mine.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges
expatriate wrote:
Wright got milked because Obama got his hand caught in a cookie jar. His reaction to that was insulting to our intellect as well. If he had denounced what Wright said up front, the issue would have died a quick death. But his reluctance to do so got people wondering where his head was at.

And don't try to pass off the Edwards issue as irrelevant. The guy was the vice presidential nominee in the last election, and one of the front runners in this one. So it's not like he's a nobody. He was a lot closer to the presidency than Ted Stevens.

As for "feigning" mistreatment, I've suffered far worse than you. Your continued tone really doesn't impact me at all. But it does make you look immature and emotional, and suggests you lack intellectual depth. If you're comfortable with that, so be it -- it's your credibility it affects, not mine.

You are blind to the way you rationalize the situation to your favor by false means. You stated the media ignores the misdeeds of Dems and focuses on Repubs. I gave you factual info that quells that claim and you rationalize it with "well Obama deserved it so there".

Do pray tell how I have suffered? To what extent have I suffered that it is less then yours. Please tell me how your life experience trumps anyone who disagrees with you.

Your continual use of half truths and innuendo's makes you look incapable of being truthful.

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Ted Stevens Indicted on 7 Criminal Charges
SoCoKHntr wrote:

Your continual use of half truths and innuendo's makes you look incapable of being truthful.

Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black dont you think?

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