Could Alaskans Elect a Convicted Felon?

‘There are strange things done in the midnight sun . . .’

The New York Times reports that Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens returned home to a hero’s welcome. Hundreds of supporters cheered while Stevens vowed to appeal his felony convictions and asked voters to re-elect him.

Top Republicans including John McCain and Sarah Palin have called for Stevens to resign.

Mr. Stevens made no reference to those demands on Wednesday, but he spent half of his eight-minute speech criticizing his conviction. He expressed regret but stopped short of apologizing, saying he had been guilty only of naïveté.

Naïveté? Not a word I would choose to describe Stevens.

He accused federal prosecutors of being “willing to do anything to win” and he implied that holding his trial in Washington added to its illegitimacy.

“If I had had a fair trial in Alaska, I would have been acquitted,” he said to cheers.

Yeah, from what we’ve seen so far about the way things are done in Alaska, I don’t doubt he would get a “fair” trial in Alaska. Clearly they do things a little differently in Alaska. Today on MSNBC, Stu Rothenberg of The Rothenberg Political Report was predicting senate races. But when asked whether Stevens could actually be re-elected, Stu said, “I do American politics — that means I don’t do Alaska.”

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader, was quoted by a newspaper in his home state as saying that “there is a 100 percent certainty” that the senate would vote to expel Mr. Stevens should he win re-election and his appeals fail.

So it’s anybody’s guess, but I have a feeling we haven’t see the last of that mean Mr. Stevens. And haven’t we had our eyes opened to our independent neighbor in the north.

Photo credit: New York Times

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  1. #1 by Anonymous on October 31, 2008 - 7:53 am

    Could be that Bush will pardon him, that time of presidency is just around the corner, Bush has 12 weeks, lot can be done.

    Don’t know how that would affect the Senate rules on the felony, if he were pardoned, and then wins his appeals.

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