Alaska's former veteran Republican Sen. Ted Stevens was aboard a plane that crashed last night in Alaska. Nine people apparently were on board and five were killed.
The NTSB says the small aircraft crashed near Dillingham late Monday, reports VOA. Rescue crews are having trouble reaching the crash site because of severe weather conditions. Former National Aeronautics and Space Administration head Sean O’Keefe was also aboard the plane.
Ted Stevens served in the Senate from 1968 to 2008, making him the longest-serving Republican senator in history. The octogenatrian boasted a rabidly homophobic record: Stevens earned 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign, opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006 and even opposed the Matthew Shepard Act in 2007.
Stevens was defeated in 2008 following his conviction for corruption. The conviction was later overturned because of misconduct by federal prosecutors. Of note: Stevens survived a 1978 plane crash that killed his first wife.
UPDATE: The Republican National Committee has emailed a condolence statement by Chairman Michael Steele.