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Ear to the Ground

More Trouble for Sen. Stevens

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Posted on Aug 2, 2007
Ted Stevens
engadget.com

AP is reporting that Sen. Ted Stevens may have broken the law by not declaring a gift from a longtime aide. Earlier this week, the FBI and IRS raided Stevens’ Alaska home as part of an investigation into the Republican senator’s relationship with a local contractor who admitted to bribing Alaskan lawmakers.


AP:

Investigators, including FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents, raided Stevens’ home Monday. They photographed and videotaped its contents and left with a garbage bag full of unidentified items.

U.S. law prohibits a federal employee from giving a gift to a superior. The law also would bar Stevens from accepting a gift from an employee receiving less pay.

Lawmakers are prohibited from accepting anything of value from someone whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance of the lawmaker’s official duties. In this case, [Barbara] Flanders’ job and her duties [as a financial clerk at the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee] could be affected by Stevens’ official actions.

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By THOMAS BILLIS, August 5, 2007 at 2:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Skruff you are right.We should not circumvent the process even though sometimes we get so angry at the the contempt these people have for the rest of us that when we think they are caught there is a tendency to want them punished right away.But the guy who robs 711 has his day in court and it should follow that Ted Stevens has his.My real bitch will be if Ted Stevens is not punished to the full extent of law if he is convicted.That may cause some of our politicians to think twice before robbing.As I started out my comment with deterrence being one reason for harsh sentences.

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By Skruff, August 4, 2007 at 7:03 am Link to this comment
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92067 by THOMAS BILLIS on 8/03 at 8:18 pm

“Deterrence.One of the commenters made a case for leniency in the Ted Stevens case.Well if you do not care if these sophisticated bank robbers rob large amounts of money and get to retire in opulence you are right.Send a couple of them to maximum security for 10 years and you might have an element of fear entering into their nefarious dealings.A guy robs a 711 to feed his family off with his head.A politician robs for sport fine him.Somehow those two statements do not belong in the same country.You know the one where equality under law is supposed to rule.Maybe as he was getting older he should have stopped stealing so it would not be a death sentence.Looks like he passed down the best part of being a politician down to his son.I know it is innocent until proven guiilty but for them to get a search warrant for a Senator especially one as powerful as Stevens the proof had to be overwhelming.”

Most of the folks robbing 7-11’s do so not to feed their families but to support some substance abuse hang-up. and actually, if they do not physicallt hurt, or threaten a person with a weapon, I don’t believe they belong in jail either,  I would under no conditions suggest they go directly to jail without a trial, even if caught by a reputable law enforcement agency (maybe the Swiss police or the Canadian Mounties) 

My points are;

No one is guilty till a judge says so, and folks here who have bemoaned the lack of professionalism at the FBI since Bush took it over, are all too willing to make an exception in this case.

If Justice doesn’t apply to Stevens, it won’t work for anyone…

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By THOMAS BILLIS, August 3, 2007 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Deterrence.One of the commenters made a case for leniency in the Ted Stevens case.Well if you do not care if these sophisticated bank robbers rob large amounts of money and get to retire in opulence you are right.Send a couple of them to maximum security for 10 years and you might have an element of fear entering into their nefarious dealings.A guy robs a 711 to feed his family off with his head.A politician robs for sport fine him.Somehow those two statements do not belong in the same country.You know the one where equality under law is supposed to rule.Maybe as he was getting older he should have stopped stealing so it would not be a death sentence.Looks like he passed down the best part of being a politician down to his son.I know it is innocent until proven guiilty but for them to get a search warrant for a Senator especially one as powerful as Stevens the proof had to be overwhelming.

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By farmertx, August 3, 2007 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

Skruff
Point taken. We always need a trial before we hang em high.
But, seriously, Stevens has had his hand in the till for a while. Just as Jefferson should have been escorted off the Hill and his office packed up and sent back to LA.
No one keeps that kind of money in a freezer in this day and age, unless they are guilty of something.
These people, when they were candidates, were holding themselves up a learned, honest person.
When that is proven to be a lie, jail is the answer.
Naturally, if Stevens sticks around for a trial, he will have his chance to say it was all a bookkeeping error or oversight on his part.
But I seriously doubt that he will risk a trial, even with Justice R Us doing the prosecution.

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By Skruff, August 3, 2007 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“#91990 by farmertx on 8/03 at 10:47 am

Skruff
Question really is was his greed worth a death sentence? No one made him take bribes. He chose that option on his own.
Any Congress Critter should have a certain knowledge that when his wrong doing is exposed, there will be a hard penalty applied.
His arrogance in refusing to consider his constituents request that the bridge funds (that none of them wanted in the first place) be applied to aid 9/11 victims didn’t make me think any better of him; and now this.
But the question is moot. As I said, he’ll stick it out for a while, then resign to avoid trial and go back home and count his money. Sends a real strong message about not breaking the law”


No, My point was “come-on guys get the rope we’re ready for a trial/\  But guess that little niceity (a trial before guilt) is reserved for those with whom we agree.

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By rage, August 3, 2007 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I beleive the blogosphere’s Secret Senator, infamous for the bridge to nowhere, has discovered a way across that bridge of pork to JAIL. A tragic cautionary tale of what happens when we don’t take that dementia medication the way the doctor prescribed. Oh, the humanity!

Finding new and resourceful routes through iniquity, corruption, and graft to PRISON must be a Republican talent requisite for membership acceptance into the GOP these days. One is now obviously forbidden to enjoy the pomposity of Elephantile Hubris in this corrupt era sans a truly satanic personal history of criminal experience, preferably in mayhem, treachery, grifting, and religious institutional pyramid schemes. Administration43 proudly boasts some of the most rabid, nakedly avaricious crony criminals let loose in the free world. America now gets to count the scandal-free days since the last embarrassing GOP-initiated national spectacle brought us unbearable global shame and humiliation. HELL is starting to get a little jealous of the perditious lead the GOP now boasts over Satan, who’s complaining that Cheney and these guys cheat at everything.

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By farmertx, August 3, 2007 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Skruff
Question really is was his greed worth a death sentence? No one made him take bribes. He chose that option on his own.
Any Congress Critter should have a certain knowledge that when his wrong doing is exposed, there will be a hard penalty applied.
His arrogance in refusing to consider his constituents request that the bridge funds (that none of them wanted in the first place) be applied to aid 9/11 victims didn’t make me think any better of him; and now this.
But the question is moot. As I said, he’ll stick it out for a while, then resign to avoid trial and go back home and count his money. Sends a real strong message about not breaking the law.

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By Dale Headley, August 3, 2007 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It couldn’t happen to a nastier guy!

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By Skruff, August 3, 2007 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One thing about the human race, they eat their wounded.

Stevens is old, his career is over (no matter what happens) so the question becomes;

Are his crimes worthy of a death sentence?

When we finally “got” Agnew we removed him from relevance (He was fined $10,000 and given a suspended prison sentence)That’s what should happen to Stevens, ASSUMING he is found guilty. 

Unfortunately the feeding frenzy doesn’t appear to allow for the constitutional provision of “presumed innocence.” I also find it rather strange that some folks here who do not trust the government, to investigets properly, the events of 9/11, Katrina, or the Plame/Wilson case, accept matter-of-factly the FBI/IRS pronouncements in this case. Is the concept of “fair” dead (don’t bother answering, it’s rehetorical)

The law should work for all, even those with whom we disagree.

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By Johnny Doughey, August 2, 2007 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

I’ve been reading that Flanders” job is actually nonexistent, but that her salary is above $100,000/yr.

I guess this’ll probably end up in the IRS office as well.  I wonder what the penalty will be for a few years at that rate?

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By farmertx, August 2, 2007 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Another brick in the wall…to cite the old song.
But, with the Brown One in charge of Justice R Us, can we really expect any justice?
At worst, he’ll retire and go back to Alaska with what bribes he has left ala Delay. Can’t say I expect much more than that. I ought to be able to, but…

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