Ted Stevens has died, family spokesman says
The Associated Press is reporting that Mitch Rose, a spokesman for Ted Stevens' family, has confirmed the former Alaskan senator's death.
In his 40 years in the Senate, Stevens unapologetically brought home billions of federal dollars and was a major force in shaping his vast state,
Mr. Stevens, 86, was apparently flying to a fishing lodge in southwest Alaska when his plane crashed near the town of Dillingham on Monday afternoon. It was the former senator's second air accident - in 1978, his wife was killed and he was critically injured when their plane crashed on the runway in Anchorage.
Officials have reported that five of the plane's nine passengers have died. Sean O'Keefe, chief executive of aerospace firm EADS North America, former NASA administrator and close friend of Mr. Stevens, was also on board the flight. His condition is not yet known.
Mr. Stevens served for 40 years until 2008. In a storyline that feels a little like a Greek tragedy, he was convicted (a week before the Nov. 2008 elections) of several felonies for failing to disclose campaign gifts. The case was later dismissed by Attorney General Eric H. Holder, who cited misconduct on the part of Stevens' prosecutors, but the dismissal came too late for Mr. Stevens' political career. He narrowly lost his seat to Democrat Mark Begich.
Gruff and short-tempered and always ready to rumble - he was famous for wearing an Incredible Hulk tie during particularly feisty floor debates -- Mr. Stevens was nevertheless beloved by many Alaskans for his ability to direct an outsized proportion of federal largesse to the state.
Though he made national headlines for his unwavering support of the "Bridge to Nowhere," which became a symbol of out-of-control pork spending, "Uncle Ted" funneled home billions of dollars for quieter projects that unquestionably altered the quality of life in Alaska's rural reaches.
His earmarks helped connect Alaskan towns by roads and ferries and brought countless jobs in the defense industry. In tiny villages populated largely by Native Alaskans, Stevens money paid for modern schools, health clinics and airports, and replaced many so-called "honey buckets" with up-to-date sanitation systems.
The full obituary is here.
Mr. Stevens left behind his wife Catherine, six children and an untold number of stories from his years in Washington and Alaska. Please leave your memories of the former senator in the comments section.
UPDATE 4:25 pm: The AP has collected statements and tributes to Stevens from U.S. politicians including President Obama, former President George H.W. Bush, all three members of the Alaska delegation and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
August 10, 2010; 11:02 AM ET
Categories: Emma Brown , Politics , Washington DC-area people | Tags: alaska crash, alaska senator plane crash, did ted stevens plane crash?, dillingham, dillingham plane crash, how did ted stevens die?, plane crash alaska, ted stevens, ted stevens alaska, ted stevens alaska senator jet crash, ted stevens bio, ted stevens dead, ted stevens death, ted stevens died, ted stevens dillingham, ted stevens plane crash
Save & Share: Previous: Matthew Simmons, prominent 'peak oil' backer, dies
Next: Daily Goodbye
Posted by: pjcafe | August 10, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: HappyArmyWife | August 10, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Blurgle | August 10, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rogied25 | August 10, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Dorothy1 | August 10, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jmr92 | August 10, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: creamy | August 10, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Afraid4USA | August 11, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: judgecayer | August 11, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse