Alaska GOP Sen. Ted Stevens, the embodiment of Beltway arrogance, has been charged with seven counts of making false statements and covering up gifts he failed to disclose:
A 28-page indictment outlining the charges released by the Justice Department said Stevens provided false information in financial disclosure forms he filed with the Senate that required him to report items of value he had received. He filed the forms between 1999 and 2006.
“Stevens knew the requirements of the financial disclosure forms and knowingly and intentionally sought to conceal and cover up his receipt of things of value by filing financial disclosure forms that contained false statements and omissions concerning Stevens’ receipt of these things of value,” the indictment said.
Stevens, 84, faces a tough campaign for election in November to a seventh term. He has become vulnerable largely because of his legal problems.
He was first appointed to the Senate in 1968 to fill the seat vacated by the death of Democratic Sen. Bob Bartlett. He won the seat in a special 1970 election and was repeatedly reelected by wide margins, most recently in 2002 with 79 percent of the vote.
Stevens, known for being hard-driving and having a hot-temper, has earned a reputation for delivering billions of dollars in federal projects to his oil-producing state.
The charges will make his re-election campaign tougher and could further improve Democrats chances of expanding their thin Senate majority, now at 51-49.
“He has already been in trouble. This puts him in worse trouble,” said Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. She said Stevens may decide to drop out of the race, though there was no immediate word if he would.
The GOP should be all over him to step aside. It would be better late than never.
Allah’s got the lowdown on the case, VECO, and the bribery angle.
Said it before, will say it again:
Republicans can’t tell the Dems to clean their House, if they won’t come clean about the GOP’s own dirtbags.
Mark Hemingway: A William Jefferson reminder.
Speaking of Sen. Stevens and Cold Cash Jefferson, commenter John Ansell writes: “Well, he is in Alaska so no need to stuff cash in the fridge. Just put it in a snow bank.”