Subscribe via RSS Feed

Depends on what the meaning of "convicted" is

[ 22 ] October 31, 2008 |

Ted Stevens is a real piece of work:

“I’ve not been convicted yet,” Stevens said Thursday in a meeting with the editorial board of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “There’s not a black mark by my name yet, until the appeal is over and I am finally convicted, if that happens. If that happens, of course I’ll do what’s right for Alaska and for the Senate. … I don’t anticipate it happening, and until it happens I do not have a black mark.”

Stevens reiterated that position during a televised debate late Thursday night, declaring early in the give-and-take with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, “I have not been convicted of anything.”

Please allow me to translate this into Alaskan for you: So far as Stevens and his supporters are concerned, Alaska has always been regarded as the only legitimate venue for the senator’s trial. Other courts, by contrast, carry a degree of legitimacy that’s roughly equivalent to the International Criminal Court, or perhaps to the Zinoviev trial. So the fact that Stevens has in fact been convicted of seven felonies is, to a significant percentage of the public completely irrelevant.

I should add that a lot of folks around here are seriously talking about the possibility that Stevens might win re-election and resign at some point in 2009, regardless of the status or outcome of his appeal. In that event, a special election would be scheduled, with Sarah Palin being a likely contender for the seat. I haven’t decided yet whether I think this is a likely scenario. Whether or not this actually transpires, though, I suspect a lot of Alaskans are going to vote for Stevens on the assumption that reducing the power of Democrats in the Senate is more important than sparing the state further national embarrassment by electing someone who isn’t a crook. And I’d imagine more than a few people will cast votes for Stevens and comfort themselves with the thought that either (a) his conviction will be overturned on appeal, or (b) he’ll hold the seat long enough for a stronger Republican to emerge and deny Mark Begich the seat. If a special election were held sometime in 2009, it would be framed as much by anti-Obama/Reid/Pelosi narratives as anything else. And if Senate Democrats have 59-60 seats after Tuesday, such an election would present an opportunity for the RNC to test-market all the insane shit they’ll be developing for the mid-term elections in ’10.

Comments (22)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jay B. says:

    Kos’ R2K poll has it 59 – 38 Begich.

  2. Jay B. says:

    Kos’ R2K poll has it 59 – 38 Begich.

  3. Jay B. says:

    Sorry, 58 – 36.
    Get out of Juneau man. It’s a fever swamp. Not the Real Alaska. Shit, it might as well be Seattle.

  4. Jay B. says:

    Sorry, 58 – 36.
    Get out of Juneau man. It’s a fever swamp. Not the Real Alaska. Shit, it might as well be Seattle.

  5. rea says:

    Alaska, I believe, does not allow the governor to appoint a successor senator, and requires a special election?
    Stevens is going to have an unpleasant surprise on the day of his sentencing, when they lead him off in chains, if he thinks taking an appeal automatically stays his conviction.
    (One of the more entertaining experiences of my legal career invovled an obnoxious defense attorny representing an insurer in a civil case, who thought his taking of an appeal automtically stayed the judgment. The insurer cut me a check when we showed up at their offices with a deputy sheriff, a writ, a truck and a couple of furniture movers . . .)

  6. rea says:

    Alaska, I believe, does not allow the governor to appoint a successor senator, and requires a special election?
    Stevens is going to have an unpleasant surprise on the day of his sentencing, when they lead him off in chains, if he thinks taking an appeal automatically stays his conviction.
    (One of the more entertaining experiences of my legal career invovled an obnoxious defense attorny representing an insurer in a civil case, who thought his taking of an appeal automtically stayed the judgment. The insurer cut me a check when we showed up at their offices with a deputy sheriff, a writ, a truck and a couple of furniture movers . . .)

  7. cleter says:

    What kind of vote do you need to expel him? Why doesn’t Reid schedule a vote to expel him, say, tomorrow? Make Republican senators running for re-election squirm. Can the senate refuse to seat a convicted felon?

  8. cleter says:

    What kind of vote do you need to expel him? Why doesn’t Reid schedule a vote to expel him, say, tomorrow? Make Republican senators running for re-election squirm. Can the senate refuse to seat a convicted felon?

  9. P J Evans says:

    I understand, from an attorney, that technically Stevens is correct: the conviction isn’t on record until he’s sentenced. (Something like Kenny Lay dying before sentencing: the conviction goes away.) It’s still weaselly behavior.

  10. P J Evans says:

    I understand, from an attorney, that technically Stevens is correct: the conviction isn’t on record until he’s sentenced. (Something like Kenny Lay dying before sentencing: the conviction goes away.) It’s still weaselly behavior.

  11. Vadranor says:

    Dave,
    Bad analogy. Grigory Zinoviev, as well as all of the other defendents of the 1930′s show trials such as Kamenev, Pyatakov, Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky, all admitted guilt before being convicted. This is precisely what Stevens refuses to do.

  12. Vadranor says:

    Dave,
    Bad analogy. Grigory Zinoviev, as well as all of the other defendents of the 1930′s show trials such as Kamenev, Pyatakov, Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky, all admitted guilt before being convicted. This is precisely what Stevens refuses to do.

  13. jon says:

    Q: Alright, so seven felony convictions aren’t actually a criminal conviction. What are they then?
    A: A good start.
    Let the flogging and extraordinary rendering begin.

  14. jon says:

    Q: Alright, so seven felony convictions aren’t actually a criminal conviction. What are they then?
    A: A good start.
    Let the flogging and extraordinary rendering begin.

  15. phil says:

    You need two thirds of the senate to vote to expel. See Article I s. 5.

  16. phil says:

    You need two thirds of the senate to vote to expel. See Article I s. 5.

  17. Walt says:

    I see that Vadranor is a foot soldier in the War on Humor.

  18. Walt says:

    I see that Vadranor is a foot soldier in the War on Humor.

  19. rea says:

    Bad analogy. Grigory Zinoviev, as well as all of the other defendents of the 1930′s show trials such as Kamenev, Pyatakov, Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky, all admitted guilt before being convicted. This is precisely what Stevens refuses to do.
    Well, and to compelte the symnetry, Zinoviev and the other Old Bolsheviks weren’t guilty even though they admitted guilt, while Stevens won’t admit guilt even though it’s fairly clear that he was guilty.
    (Even though the Stevens prosecutors were so overreaching as to give rise to concerns they were attempting to sabotage their own case).

  20. rea says:

    Bad analogy. Grigory Zinoviev, as well as all of the other defendents of the 1930′s show trials such as Kamenev, Pyatakov, Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky, all admitted guilt before being convicted. This is precisely what Stevens refuses to do.
    Well, and to compelte the symnetry, Zinoviev and the other Old Bolsheviks weren’t guilty even though they admitted guilt, while Stevens won’t admit guilt even though it’s fairly clear that he was guilty.
    (Even though the Stevens prosecutors were so overreaching as to give rise to concerns they were attempting to sabotage their own case).

  21. PG says:

    Something like Kenny Lay dying before sentencing: the conviction goes away.
    Not exactly — I believe that’s a peculiarity of the 5th Circuit: “when a defendant who has been found guilty of a federal crime dies before exhaustion of his appeal, his prosecution must be abated, his conviction vacated and his indictment dismissed.” That is, Lay was deemed convicted right up until he gasped his last; the conviction is abated by death, which means it did exist until then. So even by 5th Circuit standards, Stevens has been convicted.

  22. PG says:

    Something like Kenny Lay dying before sentencing: the conviction goes away.
    Not exactly — I believe that’s a peculiarity of the 5th Circuit: “when a defendant who has been found guilty of a federal crime dies before exhaustion of his appeal, his prosecution must be abated, his conviction vacated and his indictment dismissed.” That is, Lay was deemed convicted right up until he gasped his last; the conviction is abated by death, which means it did exist until then. So even by 5th Circuit standards, Stevens has been convicted.

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

  • Switch to our mobile site