The hits keep coming on the crime blotter of the "family values" Republican Party. Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, is indicted and faces seven felony counts of corruption. Read it and weep.
Mr. Stevens, 84, was indicted on seven counts of falsely reporting income. The charges are related to renovations on his home and to gifts he has received. They arise from an investigation that has been under way for more than a year, in connection with the senator’s relationship with a businessman who oversaw the home-remodeling project.
The indictment will surely reverberate through the November elections. Mr. Stevens, who has been in the Senate for 40 years, is up for re-election this year. Mark Begich, a popular Democratic mayor of Anchorage, hopes to supplant him. ...
Republicans on Capitol Hill were already jittery over a lobbying and influence-peddling scandal related to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is now in prison. Mr. Stevens’s troubles are not linked to that affair. Instead, they stem from his ties to an oil executive whose company won millions of dollars in federal contracts with the help of Mr. Stevens, whose home in Alaska was almost doubled in size in the renovation project.
Stevens has been the target of a year-long federal ethics investigation and his homes were raided by FBI and IRS agents. Although the octogenarian senator has become infamous for steering pork barrel and government contracts to his state—such as the costly "Bridge to Nowhere"—the ethically-challenged Alaska Republican has shown no such love for the gay community and has consistently used his position to fight against basic rights for LGBT citizens. Stevens has a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard in the last Congress, opposing ENDA and "voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006 and even opposed the Matthew Shepard Act in 2007."
By all means, Stevens should continue his re-election bid. The senator's indictment is a gift to progressives, gays and the Democratic Party.