Sen. Stevens Faces Criminal Charges

Senator Ted Stevens (Republican, Alaska), the highest ranking and longest serving current Republican in the US Senate has been indicted of 7 criminal counts by the US Justice Department. Stevens tried unsuccessfully in Alaska's Republican Senate Primary of 1968 before falling short to Elmer E. Rasmuson; who later lost to Mike Gravel (Democrat, Alaska). Stevens came to power in that same year after the death of Alaska's other Senator Bob Bartlett (Democrat, Alaska). In turn Stevens was then appointed by Governor Walter Hickel (Republican, Alaska) to serve out Bertlett's remaining term. Stevens was later reelected in a 1970 Special Election.

At this point it looks as though Sen. Stevens' career will end how it started, with a Senate Election lose. It is a safe bet to assume that the 7 charges will hang over his reelection bid this November. Sen Stevens' seat was already at the top of the Democrat's list for possible takeovers, and these indictments will all but seal a Democratic victory for the challenger, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. The 7 charges stem from a lengthy investigation involving shady buisiness dealings in Stevens' home state of Alaska. The exact details behind the charges will be disclosed in an upcoming press conference.

Update: The press conference has occurred and nothing really happened other than some procedural stuff. Stevens is charged of making false statements in relation to accepting $250,000 from VECO Corp. the largest private employer in Alaska. The person running the press conference was asked several question to which he referred the questioner to read the report in greater detail. Well guess what, the average person wasn't handed a report from the Justice Department so I tried to find my own. I went to the Justice Department website to see if I could get my hands on a PDF, but to no avail; it will be interesting to see how long it takes them to post the report as the whole incident is a giant smudge on the GOP's image. There is also a lot of talk about whether Senator Ted Stevens will resign and the ramifications this event will have on the presidential race. I'll post a direct link to the document if it ever gets published. The Department of Justice has published a press release, but not the actual indictment documents.

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