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Stevens Expulsion Vote Postponed

By Ben Pershing and Paul Kane

An internal GOP vote on whether to expel convicted Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska) from the Senate, originally slated to happen today, has been postponed, as his fellow Republicans wait for all the ballots to be counted in Stevens' reelection race.

The Senate Republican Conference is meeting right now, and had been scheduled to take up a resolution by Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) calling for Stevens, who was convicted last month on seven felony counts for failing to disclose gifts, to be kicked out of the Senate. An expulsion would require a vote of the full Senate, but if Republicans decide to boot the Alaskan, his fate would be sealed.

But the election results may end up doing DeMint's job for him. Though Stevens led in the balloting at the close of Election Day, the current tally in Alaska now has the incumbent trailing Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) by 1,022 votes, with about 24,000 ballots remaining to be counted today. If Stevens loses, DeMint may not bother pushing forward to expel the veteran lawmaker.

"After talking with many of my colleagues, it's clear there are sufficient votes to pass the resolution regarding Senator Stevens," DeMint said in a statement released this morning. "The question now is timing. Some who support the resolution believe we should address this after the results of his election are confirmed in Alaska. For this reason, I will ask the Conference to postpone the vote on Senator Stevens until Thursday."

UPDATE 11:40 a.m. ET: Stevens just spoke to the Capitol press corps for the first time since his conviction last month.

He left the ongoing GOP organizational meeting to go to the men's restroom, and afterward said he did not plan to say anything of substance about his legal predicament to his colleagues.

"I plan to say, 'It's a nice day. It's a really nice day,'" Stevens said.

"I wouldn't wish what I'm going through on anyone, my worst enemy," he added.

Stevens said the Alaska Republican Party would automatically ask for a recount for his re-election if he ends up losing by 0.5 percent or less to Begich.

"No, no, no," Stevens said when asked if he would seek a pardon for his offenses.

He said he's been "leading three lives" the past few months - criminal defendent, candidate for election, U.S. senator.

Stevens also said he's not had a good night's sleep in four months -- he was indicted July 29.

By Ben Pershing  |  November 18, 2008; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , Senate  
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Next: Boehner Wins GOP Leader Race

Comments

Republicans can always be counted on to punt when the going gets tough. Instead of doing the right thing and standing up for integrity, they're going to instead cross their fingers and hope that the problem gets solved for them so they won't have to make a decision.

I guess they're going to the David Vitter play book, in which the Republican Senator from Louisiana, who ran on a "family values" holier-than-thou platform and subsequently got caught with prostitutes, kept his job. Unlike Elliot Spitzer, who also got caught with prostitutes and was pressured by Democrats to immediately resign, Vitter hasn't received any pressure from any of his fellow "family values" Republican colleagues in the Senate and he has survived quite nicely.

And then they wonder why Republicans are rapidly becoming an endangered species. How can they preach the "family values" platform to their unibrow base in the South and then completely abdicate their responsibility to abide by any morals? Hypocrisy at its best!

What a joke the Republican Party has become...

Posted by: fitznew1 | November 18, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The party of law and order now tolerates a convict in their midst. Stevens should be expelled from the caucus and stripped of his chairmanships regardless of the results in the elections. He's still a Senator until the next Congress is sworn in.
Next move: the Democrats will seize the initiative by voting to expel him from the Senate.

Posted by: Smoke_Jaguar4 | November 18, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

It's Ted's birthday you know. But he only gets one present (losing his reelection race) instead of two (expelled from Senate).

Posted by: jgoodfri1971 | November 18, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Hear hear...

As I've said before, being from Louisiana, we once had bumper stiickers that said "Best Politicians that money can buy...!"

Now it's Alaska...

Well, Republicans in general...

Bring it on, all you "Dems are crooked too! Waaa...!!!!" commenters...

Look in the mirror...

I can see where the donkeys aren't perfect...

You refuse to look or listen as you go down the tubes...

Posted by: LeroyTheRoadie | November 18, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are lucky.

If Sen Stevens loses, they can expel him from the senate for the remaining few days, with little consequences while claiming some integrity. But ofcourse, if they had any, they would have expelled Sen Craig and Sen Vitter a long time ago.

If Sen Stevens wins, they would be in trouble as expelling him would open up the possibility of a Democrat winning a special election.

Posted by: thinkagain | November 18, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

And now let us pause to shed a tear for that poor, old victim of the unjust slings and arrows cast upon him by his venomous political enemies, King Earmark of the North, Ted Stevens. Actually, it is depressing to think that the citizens of Alaska don't think they deserve better than Stevens and Palin.

Posted by: free9604 | November 18, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Although certainly the oldest and most crotchety, Stevens may yet go down in history as NOT being the stupidest. Sarah Palin has come to his rescue in that regard.

"Let them eat moosemeat. It's free." - Sarah Palin

Posted by: Heerman532 | November 18, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget."

Posted by: diana9 | November 18, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans can always be counted on to punt when the going gets tough. Instead of doing the right thing and standing up for integrity, they're going to instead cross their fingers and hope that the problem gets solved for them so they won't have to make a decision.
I guess they're going to the David Vitter play book, in which the Republican Senator from Louisiana, who ran on a "family values" holier-than-thou platform and subsequently got caught with prostitutes, kept his job. Unlike Elliot Spitzer, who also got caught with prostitutes and was pressured by Democrats to immediately resign, Vitter hasn't received any pressure from any of his fellow "family values" Republican colleagues in the Senate and he has survived quite nicely.
And then they wonder why Republicans are rapidly becoming an endangered species. How can they preach the "family values" platform to their unibrow base in the South and then completely abdicate their responsibility to abide by any morals? Hypocrisy at its best!
What a joke the Republican Party has become...
Posted by: fitznew1 | November 18, 2008 10:47 AM"

considering how dems rose up to salute the dem senator that had sex with senate pages...
your too ignorant to know what you are talking about...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 18, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

PURGE THE NEO-CON CRIMINALS FROM OUR GOVERNMENT!

Posted by: onestring | November 18, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

WE HAVE MORE TO DO:

Democrat Jim Martin is in a runoff against Bush Republican Saxby Chambliss for the Senate seat from Georgia. Bush's Saxby Chambliss voted against spending a few measly dollars to provide health care coverage for Georgia, and Americas needy children. But he supported wasting hundreds of billions of your dollars, and the life BLOOD of Americas finest on an unnecessary war in Iraq.

At a time when 47 million of you have no health insurance coverage, and over 100 million of you with insurance are just one major illness away from complete financial destruction. Bush and Saxby Chambliss voted to make the heart break of bankruptcy relief even harder for all of you to use.

You see, Bush and Saxby Chambliss, and his family don't have to worry about their health care coverage. They have the finest health care coverage your tax money can buy for them. Courtesy of you. The American Tax payer. In fact, no one but the super rich can afford the health care coverage you the tax payer provide for Saxby Chambliss, and his family for FREE! with your tax dollars.

He supposedly works for you. But he doesn't think you and your family should have access to the type of taxpayer supported FREE health care that you provide for him, and his loved ones for FREE!. Doesn't that just make you BURRING MAD!

Vote for JIM MARTIN for US senator from Georgia. Vote for JIM Martin who will be on your side. Vote for JIM MARTIN who will work with President Obama and a majority congress for you. Vote for JIM MARTIN most of all for your-self, your family's, friends, and loved ones. Vote for JIM MARTIN for a better America, and a better World.

Don't let Saxby Chambliss make a chump out of you by tricking you into voting against your own best interest. Saxby chambliss is NOT! on your side. He's not one of you. He is on George Bush's side. And we all know what a catastrophe the Bush Chambliss administration has been the past 8 years.

Contact all your family and friends and do every thing you can to see to it that JIM MARTIN and GEORGIANS! take that senate seat back for Georgia, and America. No matter where you live in America. This is important to you. President Obama will need all the help, and power you can give him to try and fix this catastrophic mess that the Corrupt Bush Chambliss administration has created.

As I said before you will have to vote in overwhelming numbers to overcome the Bush Chambliss "Let Them Eat Cake" vote fraud machine. Vote early if you can. Then help everyone you can get to the polls and vote for JIM MARTIN. You and your loved ones don't have to be Saxby Chambliss's victims anymore.

I know you will get it done. Just like you did for President Obama.

God bless all of you

jacksmith - WORKING CLASS... :-)

Posted by: JackSmith1 | November 18, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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