What Happens When the Ted Stevens Verdict is Handed Down?

With the trial of Ted Stevens beginning next month, and a verdict likely in the case before election day, what happens to the Republican presidential ticket if and when the case comes to a close in mid- or late-October.

There was an extent to which John McCain had an opportunity to deflect criticism over the trial of Stevens, the longest serving Republican Senator in history, given the fact that the two haven't tended to be particularly close on Capitol Hill. However, by picking Sarah Palin, McCain is wholeheartedly embracing the Stevens machine, which is in tatters in Alaska following not only the indictment of the senior Senator but also the cases against and investigations into state legislators close to him (including his son Ben Stevens, the former President of the state Senate). Take a look, for instance, at the ad Stevens cut for Palin at a key point in her nascent general election campaign in 2006:

But it's not just the case that Stevens has been a key supporter of Palin, helping her move up from the mayor of a town with a population of less than 10,000 residents to become Governor. Palin has also been a key ally of Stevens -- even after it was well known that he was under federal investigation. Here's the two of them campaigning together just last month, for instance:

With Palin so closely aligned with Stevens -- and under an ethics investigation herself -- what happens if and when a verdict in the Stevens trial comes down, say, on October 20th, roughly two weeks from election day? What if it comes down on the Thursday before election day? I'm not sure we know the exact answer -- but I've got a feeling that such an outcome wouldn't be a great one for the McCain campaign.

Update [2008-8-29 14:20:13 by Jonathan Singer]: Don't think the McCain campaign is worried about Palin's ties to Stevens? Then why was the ad above featuring Stevens stumping and vouching for Palin mysteriously scrubbed from Palin's website? (Nice catch, TPM!)

Tags: Alaska, corruption, Sarah Palin, Ted Stevens, White House 2008 (all tags)



Ted Stevens Verdict is Handed Down?

Is this guilt by association again?

by wasanyonehurt 2008-08-29 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Ted Stevens Verdict is Handed Down?

Jonathan, PLEASE, can we get an Ignore function on this board for trolls like this?

by vcalzone 2008-08-29 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Ted Stevens Verdict is Handed Down?

What are you some kind of Joe McCarthy?  As it's wrong to paint Obama with Ayers or Rev. Wrights brush.  So it's wrong to paint Palin with Stevens while knowing nothing.  

Progressive Democrats with a Hillary bent still exist.  If you can't handle it then "shaka brah"

by wasanyonehurt 2008-08-29 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Ted Stevens Verdict is Handed Down?

McCarthy?  Man, you trolls never change.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-08-29 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Ted Stevens Verdict is Handed Down?
Are you kidding me?
Let's see, Hillary- pro-choice, pro-science, pro-environment, versus Palin, creationist, pro-oil, anti-abortion half term governor of the least populated state in the US?
Sarah Palin is about as close to an anti-Hillary as you can get.
by skohayes 2008-08-29 01:40PM | 0 recs
They were campaigning

That's a big leap in logic.  Palin was campaigning with Stevens last month.  Their politics are inextricably connected.  She chose to make and continue that connection even though she's championed herself as an ethics reformer.

And clearly she's been having problems keeping her hands clean as well--and with only 18 months in office, no less.

by Tenafly Viper 2008-08-29 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Ted Stevens

Depends how the media covers it.  On the one hand both are from Alaska, Stevens endorsed in her in her run for Gov and cut a commercial for / with her.

On the other hand she primaried a corrupt Republican Murkawski (spelling?) who was Steven's buddy and Stevens paid her back by waiting until the last minute to endorse her.   She also called on Stevens to address the rumors when the allegations against Steven's surfaced a while back.  Some in Republican circles thought she was polishing her reformer creds at the GOP's and Steven's expense.

So it hard to say.  You can find all the ammo you want on either side.   We need to tie her to Stevens and hopefully the corporate media goes with that narrative.

by RichardFlatts 2008-08-29 10:18AM | 0 recs
I thought her reformer cred was pretty strong

But I think I may have been mistaken. I don't think she was vetted much, if at all. There may be gigantic frozen skeletons in that closet.

by vcalzone 2008-08-29 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: I thought her reformer cred was pretty strong

No she has her own mini scandal because she's being investigated for nepotism corruption charges. Its unrelated, but fits in  the narrative of corrupt Alaskan GOP officials.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 10:42AM | 0 recs
Stronger than JS's 'real info' cred

cf this piece at Washington Monthly.

by RonK Seattle 2008-08-29 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: What Happens When the Ted Stevens Verdict is H

Meanwhile, Ted Stevens is in his lair cursing the fact he couldn't plug up all the tubes before that leaked out.

by TCQuad 2008-08-29 10:25AM | 0 recs

Can the Alaska state house initiate impeachment proceedings against Governor Palin because of the scandal involving the firing of a state trooper?

by Airpower 2008-08-29 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: What Happens When the Ted Stevens Verdict is H

In her speech today she claimed when Washington offered to build a bridge to nowhere she said no thanks if we need a bridge we will build it ourselves - to great applause.  Is there any evidence of this or was this something just hastily written by the McCain camp without any knowledge that could backfire on them?

by Piuma 2008-08-29 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: What Happens When the Ted Stevens Verdict is H

Not true. Brad Plummer has a post on this over on TNR.

http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank /archive/2008/08/29/did-palin-really-fig ht-the-bridge-to-nowhere.aspx

Apparently she was for it in 2006 and wanted to get the money appropriated while the GOP was still in power. After it became obvious Congress wasn't going to give them the money, she stated they were $329 million dollars short and would have to find another way to get people to the airport. In the end, she complained that people didn't understand transportation projects in Alaska and they were being unfairly judged.

by kjblair2 2008-08-29 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: What Happens When the Ted Stevens Verdict is H

Thanks.  Great link.  I'm sure this will get more press since it was one of the few defining positions she offered in today's statement.

by Piuma 2008-08-29 11:43AM | 0 recs
It gets better!

The Washington Monthly found out another interesting fact - the state still got the money! Here's the link to the original CNN story that they linked to.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/09/22/alaska. bridge.ap/

So it doesn't look like she fought very hard against ear marks, does it?

by kjblair2 2008-08-29 12:09PM | 0 recs
I guess it depends

Here's some information I found on Wiki regarding construction projects:

In June 2007, Palin signed into law a $6.6 billion operating budget--the largest in Alaska's history.[48] At the same time, she used her veto power to make the second-largest cuts of the construction budget in state history. The $237 million in cuts represented over 300 local projects, and reduced the construction budget to nearly $1.6 billion.[49]


I wonder how many jobs were lost when she cut all that construction?

by skohayes 2008-08-29 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: What Happens

Then why was the ad above featuring Stevens stumping and vouching for Palin mysteriously scrubbed from Palin's website?

Given the amount of material scrubbed from Obama's site during the campaign, I wouldn't ask this question if I were you.

by KimPossible 2008-08-29 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: What Happens When the Ted Stevens Verdict is H

Here's what happened...

McCain picked Palin out of desperation. John McCain knee-jerked so hard he just broke his hip.

That's what happened.

by RocStar 2008-08-29 11:43AM | 0 recs
The Alaskan Socialist Republic(an)

Hi John--

(Yup, it's me.)

There's a lot for people to like about Palin: she's smart and poised and articulate; she's got a great family story; she took on Murkowski's personal machine and won; she blew the whistle on corruption in the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

But wait.  That last one is weird.  What's an Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and why was she on it?

I don't think most Americans understand how Oil runs Alaska and its Republican party.  Like Wyoming and some other energy producing states, Alaska skim a little off the top when they export their oil and gas, and the wealth generated funds their government and its patronage system.

Alaskans don't pay income tax to their government.  Their government pays out "royalties" to them to the tune of more than $1500 each every year.

That makes people like Palin think they're great fiscal geniuses who can balance budgets.  In fact, like most good Republicans, all they're doing is taking credit for the work of others.  We gasoline-buyers are the ones who balance the Alaska budgets.

Alaskans just sit back and let the money roll in, and their government leaders spend it however they want in their little planned economy.

Republicans hate socialism, except when they get to run it.

There's got to be a simple way to boil this down for voters and explain why Palin's not such a big deal.

That, and all the right-wing Christian conservative stuff...

by DML 2008-08-29 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The Alaskan Socialist Republic(an)

Wow, great comment and something I didn't know. Can you put it in a diary? I think more people should read this.

by skohayes 2008-08-29 01:53PM | 0 recs


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