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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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July 29, 2008 12:35 PM

What Stevens indictment means to his re-election

Posted by David Postman

U.S. Sen. Ted Sevens, R-Alaska, was indicted today on charges related to his failure to disclose financial gifts and favors from VECO that brought him a remodeled home along with a new car for his son.

In Alaska, I’m sure the talk has already turned to what this does to Stevens’ re-election bid. He faces primary challengers and, if he were to win the nomination, would face a well-known and well-financed Democrat in Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

But the candidate who is likely to get the most immediate attention is a newcomer to the state, Vic Vickers, one of the Republicans in the primary against Stevens. While other candidates avoid direct mention of allegations against Stevens, Vickers has been explicit.


Tomorrow he will look downright prescient. According to the Anchorage Daily News, that’s when Vickers scheduled the start of his TV ad campaign. And those ads focus (literally and figuratively) on the very home at the center of the Stevens indictment. Vickers' television ad shows him standing in front of Stevens' Girdwood home, which FBI and IRS agents searched in July of last year.

"I am Vic Vickers, and I'm running against Ted Stevens to stop corruption," Vickers says in the ad.

Vickers goes on to say in the TV ad that "I will not accept a single penny from any oil company or special interest.

Vickers told the ADN that he planned to spend $750,000 of his own money to win the race. He only moved to Alaska in January. On his Web site, Vickers tells the tale of his involvement with Alaska, from hitchhiking there as a teenager to his move to the state in January - a move seemingly aimed at taking out Stevens.

Take Back Alaska!

Vic knew that he had to confront Ted Stevens head on. Now Vic needs your help to rid Alaska of the corruption we all know exists. Ted Stevens became a millionaire while hoping you would be satisfied with bridges to nowhere and other smokescreens to distract you from his wrongdoing.

Stevens has raised a lot more money than any of his opponents. According to OpenSecrets.org he has raised $4.1 million and already spent $3.1 million.

Vickers has raised $195,000 and spent $77,628.

Republican Dave Cuddy, has raised $129,000, but could be expected to spend some of his own money. In 1996, he largely self-financed a $1 million campaign against Stevens, but only got 27 percent of the vote, according to the ADN. Cuddy told the paper in December that Stevens’ problems wouldn’t be part of his campaign. And I don’t see any mention of the incumbent on his Web site.

Begich, the likely Democratic nominee, has raised $1.3 million and spent almost $500,000 of that. He, too, seems to be avoiding any direct attacks on Stevens - for decades the state’s most powerful politician.

Begich talks a lot about the need for more stringent ethics rules and has laid out his pledge to go beyond what the law now requires.

But that’s done without mentioning Stevens. Begich’s latest TV ad, about how he knows people wish they could hose down some of their politicians, avoids even a reference to Stevens.

With Stevens under indictment I wonder whether Cuddy and Begich will speak out more against the allegations that have plagued Stevens and opened the opportunity for the two men to make runs at the incumbent.

At the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza also looks at the electoral implications of today’s indictment.

An indictment hanging over his head could well change that calculus -- especially if the national party makes clear it would rather have someone other than Stevens on the ticket. While Stevens could still fight on, donations to his campaign could well dry up, making it tough for him to run the sort of campaign he must in order to beat Begich.

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Posted by John

1:09 PM, Jul 29, 2008

YAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Let us know if he ends up in Jail.

Posted by SeattleRick

1:51 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Drop him off in the middle of Bering Sea.....what a crook, a typical politican who couldn't keep his nose clean and do the honorable thing and serve his country decently. Of course, you don't have to look any further than our fearless leads back in the WH for that, don't you?

Posted by Bob

2:44 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Goodbye Sen Tubes! Enjoy your retirement in prison.

Posted by Daniel K

4:24 PM, Jul 29, 2008

"In Alaska, I’m sure the talk has already turned to what this does to Stevens’ re-election bid"

Well I would think it means he's toast. Surely we can elect people in this country who haven't been indicted over those that have been?

Posted by Seadog

4:32 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Your blog post is superficial & ridiculous - Ray Metcalfe is running against Ted Stevens as Democrat. He is a former Republican who served in the Alaska State Legislature. He also is one of the primary sources of information leading to the federal and state investigations of both Ben and Ted Stevens. Vickers is late to the party - just jumping onto the train before it leaves the station. Ray Metcalfe has repeatedly filed complaints with the Alaska Public Offices Commission and with the FBI to reveal the depth of the oil & fishing industry corruption endemic to Alaska state politics, yet you credit Vickers, who only arrived in Alaska in January with "prescience." It's too bad that you didn't read the Anchorage Daily News coverage that you linked to in your blog post, you wouldn't have made such a fatuous error.

Posted by Richard Pope

5:34 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Mark Begich Statement on Sen. Ted Stevens Indictment
July 29, 2008

U.S. Senate candidate Mark Begich today released the following statement regarding the indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens:

“The indictment of Senator Ted Stevens is a sad day for Alaska and for the senator after his 40 years of service to our state. The people of Alaska are resilient and strong.

I have great faith in our state and our people, and we will continue to move forward.”

http://begich.com/content/mark-begich-statement-indictment-sen-ted-stevens

Posted by Bothsides

6:03 PM, Jul 29, 2008

"Well I would think it means he's toast. Surely we can elect people in this country who haven't been indicted over those that have been?"

Who knows, we had a president committ purgery (spelling?) and half of his close friends were indicted, a mayor of Washington DC convicted of a drug charge only to be re-elected after serving his prison sentence, I guess anything goes....

Posted by GoodRiddance

8:36 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Sen. Stevens has for decades fought against the things people in this state believe in.

He is also good at stealing our money -- building bridges to nowhere when we can't get funding to build a bridge to replace SR-520. SR-520 by the way is a traffic bottleneck in a region of 4 million people: a two lane bridge between the Eastside and North Settle, one which faces 24/7 congestion and may face high toll costs.

So I let's all give a good cheer at the misfortune of our opponent from Alaska. He could make things even better if he sticks around for a while. That way we could say that that republican senators in this area tend to be either thieves or perverts (The honorable restroom-foot-tapper from Idaho is still in office!).

Posted by Seadog

8:41 AM, Jul 30, 2008

I'm not an Alaska voter, but here is are links to documents Ray Metcalfe assembled:

http://www.metcalfe4senate.com/pledge.html
(includes questionable real estate deals by Mark Begich)

http://www.metcalfe4senate.com/veco.html
(from June 2005)

Posted by R. Travaille

9:08 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Well wasn't Rep McDermitt tried , convicted and Fined for crimes?? It doesn't seem to have hurt his elections too much, but then he has a "D" behind his name so guess that makes it ok!

Posted by swatter

10:00 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Once again it is Republican Stevens. I will breathe a lot easier when you guys use Democrat to describe a convicted criminal like Fred Walser and many, many others.

On the Stevens side, he should have gone long ago.

Posted by NW Denizen

10:14 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Stevens can easily stay in office. All he has to do is change parties. Democrats don't care if their candidates are crooks.

Posted by jamesb

10:40 AM, Jul 30, 2008

R. Travaille,
No, McDermott was suited. He was not tried and convicted of any crimes. He did lose the suit and did lie about his handling of the recorded phone conversation. Not good but not a conviction.

Swatter,
You really don’t want to start a list of dems verses repubs who have been indicted or convicted do you? Postman probably doesn’t have enough band width. Go ahead and give it your best shot though.

NW Denizen
You have nothing to substantiate your post.

Posted by John

4:50 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Jamie,

"You really don’t want to start a list of dems verses repubs who have been indicted or convicted do you? Postman probably doesn’t have enough band width. Go ahead and give it your best shot though."

When you have the Judges, ACLU and the trail lawyers behind you they have a better chance of avoiding prosecution as history proves.
If you ask me to prove this learn how to Google Jamie.

Posted by JimD

1:08 AM, Jul 31, 2008

R.Travaille wrote:
"...Well wasn't Rep McDermott tried , convicted and Fined for crimes??,,,"

No, he wasn't.
He was sued in CIVIL court, not criminal court.
He was never charged with any crime, never tried for any crime, and never convicted of any crime.

Stevens has been indicted on federal charges of SECRETLY accepting millions from corporations he played a role in acquiring contracts and other work for.
It's the secret part that makes that a crime - for obvious reasons - and a conviction may send him to federal prison.

A good way to learn the difference between civil court and criminal court, R.Travaille, is by watching Judge Judy - a civil court of law. (actually an arbitration with the parties appearing on the show, but for all intents and purposes, the same as civil court)

I'm sure if the deadbeats who watch daytime TV can understand the difference, you can too.

Posted by jamesb

9:11 AM, Jul 31, 2008

John,
If you want to take up my challenge to Swatter, please feel free. Shall we just stay with the republicans on a national level or can we include the likes of Jim West and Richard Curtis?

Posted by John

9:41 AM, Jul 31, 2008

jamesb

"John,
If you want to take up my challenge to Swatter, please feel free. Shall we just stay with the republicans on a national level or can we include the likes of Jim West and Richard Curtis?"

No need to, If and when a Republican screws up they resign, however when a “d” screws up they stay in office and receive a badge of honor from the leadership.

Posted by jmaesb

9:52 AM, Jul 31, 2008

John,
I had not heard that David Vitter and Larry Craig resigned. I had not heard that Ted Stevens resigned. These are breaking stories. You should alert Fox “News”.

Posted by John

10:03 AM, Jul 31, 2008

jmaesb


"John,
I had not heard that David Vitter and Larry Craig resigned. I had not heard that Ted Stevens resigned. These are breaking stories. You should alert Fox “News”."

Since when is sex an issue with the left? You can stay on this and compare Republicans and d's that would be interesting to some people.

Ted Stevens get real Jamesb No matter what you think of Republicans you need to wait for process to be completed before hanging him.

Posted by jamesb

10:22 AM, Jul 31, 2008

John,
I had not heard that David Vitter and Larry Craig resigned. I had not heard that Ted Stevens resigned. These are breaking stories. You should alert Fox “News”.

Posted by John

10:29 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Ok, as far as the two sex scandals .
I should have said the odds of Republicans resigning from office are higher than "d's" when it comes to SEX.

Posted by jamesb

10:37 AM, Jul 31, 2008

John,
Vitter admitted to being with prostitutes. That is a crime yes? Not one that I particularly care about but a crime none the less. Larry Craig pled guilty to a crime. He later tried, unsuccessfully, to take back the plea. The fact remains both men have admitted to crimes and neither has resigned. Together, they introduced a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the name of protecting the sanctity of marriage. What a crock. They should both be more concerned about the sanctity of their own marriages. The senate republicans were not so happy to see Craig return but they gave Vitter a standing ovation. Rank hypocrisy.
The republican house leadership knew there were problems with Rep. Foley and what did they do? They urged him to run for re-election before the story broke. Again, rant hypocrisy. Foley was also big on “protecting” kids from internet predators. Guess he wanted to stave off the competition.
Your precious party of all things good has shown itself to be just the opposite.

Posted by jamesb

10:39 AM, Jul 31, 2008

John,
Why limit this to sex scandals? Shall we talk about what has been going on in the Justice Dept.? Perhaps the EPA?

Posted by John

10:53 AM, Jul 31, 2008

I'm not following sex scandals as you do.
As I said SEX is an exception. Both should have been hung by their feet ok!

Breaking News Sen. Ted Stevens Enters Not Guilty Plea!

I stand by by remarks on Republicans having more honor than "d's" any day any time. Hey, do a search maybe you can find a list of more Republicans and prove me wrong.
No, I'm not going to do it for you.

Posted by jamesb

11:04 AM, Jul 31, 2008

John,
Stand by your remarks all you want. The record proves you wrong. It also shows the republican party to be a bunch of hypocrites.

You really think the Bush Justice (for republicans only) Dept. would have indicted Stevens unless they had no choice?

Posted by John

11:19 AM, Jul 31, 2008

jamesb


"John,
Stand by your remarks all you want. The record proves you wrong. It also shows the republican party to be a bunch of hypocrites.

You really think the Bush Justice (for republicans only) Dept. would have indicted Stevens unless they had no choice?"

Your being silly again !
Will see next year what President John McCain J.D. will be with Sen.Ted Stevens if convicted.

Posted by jamesb

11:37 AM, Jul 31, 2008

John,
Read something other than FOX “NEWS” and those right wing nut bucket blogs you read. I’m not being silly. I’m being accurate.

Posted by JimD

12:14 PM, Jul 31, 2008

John wrote:
"...I should have said the odds of Republicans resigning from office are higher than "d's" when it comes to SEX..."

"...If and when a Republican screws up they resign, however when a “d” screws up they stay in office and receive a badge of honor from the leadership...."

"...I stand by remarks on Republicans having more honor than "d's" any day any time..."

Man...I'm getting dizzy with all this flip-flopping.
How about just cutting the spin, John, and admitting the truth we all know; Both parties contain crooks and hypocrites (sexually or other wise), and trying to rank one worse than the other is pots and kettles arguing over who's blacker.
Most of Stevens' crew is also under investigation or already indicted, he's the "bridge to nowhere" guy who's pumped over 60 BILLION of earmarks and pork into Alaska - the most per capita of any in the union.
His temperamental manner and shady dealings are legendary in Alaska political culture
Gosh...even Craig's insistence he doesn't solicit gay sex in public bathrooms is more believable than Stevens' denial he hid illicit money he got from businesses he helped prosper with our tax dollars.
And...it already looked like a democrat was finally going to beat him in his desperate attempt to keep his seat this fall anyway.
Even if he has no scruples, his smartest move would be to resign before further destroying what little dignity he has left by staying in a race he won't win anyway.

Posted by John

4:39 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Ted will step down the day this guy steps down.


http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/05/21/jefferson.search/index.html

Posted by jamesb

6:12 PM, Jul 31, 2008

John,
It took you that long to bring up Jefferson? By the way, do you remember this statement? “If and when a Republican screws up they resign, however when a “d” screws up they stay in office and receive a badge of honor from the leadership”
You said that John. So, are you saying Jefferson should resign before being tried? Either way, shouldn’t the same apply to Steven’s?

Posted by John

7:27 PM, Jul 31, 2008

You guys are hanging the guy with nothing but a indictment !

Screws up I never said HE screwed up! This has not been proven as you know.

innocent until proven guilty! That is the rule of law and if proven guilty then resign. Did you think I was talking about resigning without prove of guilt ?

Until he has his day in court which he wants in Sept. how can anyone tell him to resign.

However this Jefferson case is different as you well know. :)

Posted by JimD

8:51 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Well, no it isn't according to your standard.
He hasn't had his day in court either.
Why is it different?

Posted by John

9:54 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Good you agree Senator Stevens should have his day in court and not be lynched on this blog.

Posted by JimD

8:16 AM, Aug 01, 2008

"...However this Jefferson case is different as you well know. :)..."

Again - what's different, John.
Both Stevens and Jefferson were caught with unreported, special interest gifts - money for Jefferson, a home remodel and car for Stevens.
In fact - while its not yet known where Jefferson got the money in his freezer, it's already established that Steven's gifts came from VECO.
Even though VECO isn't in the home construction business, they remodeled Stevens' home and gave his daughter a car, while Stevens steered millions in earmarks and pork to the struggling Alaska-based oil pipeline service.

So John, what's "different" about Jefferson?
Why shouldn't he be presumed as innocent as Stevens until proven guilty?
Why should Jefferson resign and Stevens should not?

Posted by John

8:49 AM, Aug 01, 2008

Jimd,
I have no idea what your real agenda is on this blog the more I read your post the more I think you’re a race baiter.

Again, you have this profound nastiest to turn apples into oranges and then be surprised at the answers you receive.

I will answer your baited question. Jefferson may have blood on his hands Senator Stevens from what I have read dose not there is the difference as you well know.


Posted by JimD

9:21 PM, Aug 01, 2008

John wrote:
"...I will answer your baited question. Jefferson may have blood on his hands Senator Stevens from what I have read dose not there is the difference as you well know..."

Jefferson may have blood on his hands?
Has he been linked to some murder or something?
Only thing I've heard about is astack of money in his office freezer.
When and where did you hear he may have blood on his hands?
That's a serious allegation.
What's it about?

Posted by filsdepatrick

6:03 AM, Aug 02, 2008

Oh John, those traitorous, treacherous facts just keep getting in the way, don't they?

Here's a brilliant and hilarious bit that encapsulates John's position:

http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/videos.jhtml?videoId=177958

Posted by JimD

6:57 AM, Aug 02, 2008

LOL...that's good.

But seriously, John.
Even Google - which will find "PROOF!" that Edward Kennedy is a tran-sexual space alien if that's what you're looking for - doesn't produce anything close to the charge you made against Jefferson, except a meeting with Debswana's Louis Nchindo on a trip to Bostwana, home to the "blood diamonds" mining controversy.

Jefferson, his friends and associates appear to be crooks.
Stevens, his friends and associates appear to be crooks.
Neither has been tried or convicted yet.
So what's the big "difference", John.

I didn't bring up race - you did.
But since you want to go there, the fact that Jefferson is a black democrat and Stevens is a white republican seem to be the only real "difference" to support your belief that Jefferson should resign before his trial, but Stevens shouldn't.

Well - I guess another difference is that Stevens funneled over 60 BILLION of our tax dollars (yes BILLION) in earmark pork projects to Alaska - the most per capita of for any state - and was caught with over a quarter-million in undisclosed gifts, while Jefferson was only caught with 70-grand in his freezer.

Seems like Jefferson isn't even close to the kind of alleged graft and corruption Stevens is charged with...
But except for the relative severity of their alleged crimes, what IS the "difference" you think requires Jefferson to resign while Stevens doesn't, if not his party and race?

Posted by SpokaneEddie

1:38 PM, Aug 03, 2008

John think all white people are racists like him. He thinks if you're not KKK and don't use the n word then no one can call you a racist and that is what matters. John thinks Jefferson is a typical black guy and winks like you know what he means without saying it.

Posted by John

5:59 PM, Aug 04, 2008

You’re my favorite liberal JIMD. Both personalities have shown me why my party will win in 2008 and why America needs to stand up against liberalism.

You cannot hide under the name Jamesb Mr. Jimd, I only wish you could go National with your intriguing thoughtless mind process of many words but nothing to really say. In fact BHO must be your mentor, you have so little to say on anything that your posts are meaningless when it comes to substance. I have never been a racist and find your accusations laughable.

I do not want to cause other posters trouble on this blog everyone knows what your real motives are on this blog now, so I will not be posting here any longer as you true colors have been reveled.

As I said before I am your worst nightmare as you have proven in your hits on me, which brings a smile thank you.

I expect what ticked you off today was this…

http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

Cheers,
John

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