Dan and Ted’s Excellent Delusion

From Politico:

ANCHORAGE—In an unusual move, one of the Senate’s most senior Democrats is lending his name to the embattled reelection bid of its longest-serving Republican.

Hawaii’s Daniel K. Inouye, a Democrat, in a statement issued by the campaign of Alaska’s Ted Stevens, a Republican and longtime friend, answers criticism from Stevens’ Democratic opponent and predicts Stevens will win reelection Tuesday and later be exonerated on an appeal of last week’s verdict finding him guilty of hiding gifts.

Original DVD cover.

“As the Senate has done in every other instance in its long 220-year history, I am absolutely confident that Ted Stevens will be sworn into the Senate while he appeals this unjust verdict,” Inouye is quoted as saying in a statement emailed to reporters Saturday. “I am certain that this decision in Washington, D.C., will be overturned on appeal.”

The statement is intended as a direct rebuttal to Stevens’ Democratic challenger, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, who is asserting that even if Stevens is reelected, he would not be seated and would be expelled from the Senate.


[…] Inouye’s statement raised eyebrows, in part because Democrats are openly angling for enough pickups in Senate elections to claim 60 of the chamber’s seats, giving them a filibuster-proof majority.


Though Inouye last month testified in Stevens’ defense at his trial, assuring jurors that Stevens’ word is “good enough to take to the bank,” it would be considered a breach of party protocol for a Democrat to endorse a Republican, even under the unwritten rules of the clubby U.S. Senate.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said that, “While I respect the opinion of Senator Daniel Inoyue, the reality is that a convicted felon is not going to be able to serve in the United States Senate.


As World War II veterans and senators from states that recently joined the United States, Inouye and Stevens forged a close bond, one that includes their respective families.

“I’m proud to have his daughter Lily call me ‘Uncle Dan,'” Inouye said from the witness stand at Stevens’ trial.

From Time:

Change has been talked about plenty this campaign season by both sides. But if you’re looking for real change on November 4, you might want to look north to Alaska, where two of the country’s most entrenched Republican Congressmen are fighting for their political lives in this strongly conservative state and home of Sarah Palin.

You’ve heard, no doubt, about Sen. Ted Stevens, 84, who made headlines this week by being convicted of seven felonies related to a multitude of gifts that he failed to report on his Senate disclosure forms […]


But less widely known is Rep. Don Young, 75, the state’s only congressman. Young is under investigation by the FBI as part of the same wide-ranging, multiyear corruption probe in the Frontier State that led to Stevens’ conviction. Young hasn’t been charged or indicted, nor is it entirely clear what the investigation is focusing on. But Young had infamously close ties with disgraced Washinigton lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his actions on one transportation bill—adding a provision about a Florida highway interchange after the bill was passed in a way that helped a major campaign donor—was so egregious that fellow members of the House asked the Justice Department to investigate.


The two men have more than the FBI investigations in common. They are both unrepentant pork barrel politicians, aggressively putting Alaska’s interests over everyone else’s (they both angrily balked at transferring funds for the notorious Bridge to Nowhere to areas affected by Hurricane Katrina). Stevens is undoubtedly more beloved, but they are both institutions in the state—Stevens has served since 1968, Young since 1973—who haven’t faced a serious political challenge in decades.


The end result is that the two men enter the final weekend of their re-election campaigns with plenty of ground to make up. In the wake of his convictions, Stevens now trails his opponent, Anchorage mayor Mark Begich; since his conviction one poll has put him eight points behind and another a whopping 22 points behind. On the House of Representatives side, Republican congressman Don Young is facing the nearly the same long odds, anywhere from 5 to 20 points behind Democrat Ethan Berkowitz. Sensing blood in the water, the Democratic party has been pouring money into both races. The national Republican party, by contrast, has left both GOP candidates to their fate, many of Stevens’ Republican colleagues have called on him to resign and even outlets like conservative website redstate.com are urging Alaskans to vote them out of office.


But it would be a mistake to count these men out. Stevens, the man Alaskans still call Uncle Ted with genuine affection, just got a standing ovation last weekend at the massive Alaska Federation of Native annual meeting (natives comprise 20% of the general population there).[…] in case you are wondering, Stevens technically can serve in the Senate as a convicted felon, though it is likely if he were to win reelection that his colleagues would force him out.


Both Young and Stevens may also catch an unintended break from Sarah Palin, who has called for Stevens to resign and is no friend to Young. Her appearance on the national ticket is the one bright spot for conservatives in Alaska this year, and it may drive Republicans to the polls who otherwise might have stayed home.


Young is running against former state lawmaker Ethan Berkowitz, 46, who is a double minority in Alaska—a Democrat and a Jew. […] Berkowitz is running mostly on an I’m-not-Don-Young platform, and it’s working.

Mark Begich, 46, is the more impressive candidate. […] Begich has been running a fairly restrained race, on a typical Alaskan Democrat platform—pro-gun, pro-drilling, pro-union.


Only now has Begich started to hit Stevens directly on the corruption charges.


Still, it’s a wonder that only eight points separate Begich and Stevens in at least one poll “Mark has not run a particularly inspiring campaign in my view,” says Don Mitchell, a Democratic Anchorage attorney and historian. “He’s just sat around all summer waiting around for a guilty verdict against Stevens.” Now that he’s finally got it, that approach may just be good enough.


Filed under 2008 election, Alaska, Corruption, Daniel Inouye, Democrats, Don Young, FBI, Florida, Guns, Harry Reid, humor, Jack Abramoff, Justice Department, Katrina, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Scandals, snark, Ted Stevens, Wordpress Political Blogs

11 responses to “Dan and Ted’s Excellent Delusion

  1. jeb

    I’m really disappointed in Dan Inouye. However, he is senior enough to know that he won’t get anything stronger than a mild disagreement from Harry Reid.

    C’mon Alaska, you’re state is quickly becoming the national butt of all jokes. Vote these bozos out. Yes, we know that means you’ll have to put up with Princess Sarah until her term ends but that’s a bullet you’ll have to take for the good of the country!

  2. why look who’s here.! trm, keep throwing the -ism words around, and see where it gets you. maybe you can explain what they all mean to princess sarah, as i don’t think she has a clue. of course, i mean that in the nicest way. 😀

  3. jeb,
    i’m disappointed, too. i’ve seen that people are using the excuse that they are both ww2 veterans as the reason for inouye’s defense of uncle ted. it seems to me that fighting in ww2 would make you more devoted to what’s best for you country, not a felonious old buddy. i know that alaskans like to think of themselves as independent. however, they are coming off as laughingstocks instead of independent thinkers.

  4. nightowl724

    jeb, Seward’s Folly?

    nonnie, another goodie!

  5. nightowl,
    i think a better name for princess is sewage folly.

  6. jeb

    Sewage Folly indeed! HA!

  7. jeb

    Oh $hit Buffoon, you mean I voted communist? Comrade Obama never mentioned that. Pardon me, I have to go work on the statue.

  8. jeb,
    if i could only take back my commie vote! it seems that all the blue states are actually red after all! oh, the irony, comrade!

  9. And to think that Alaska looks like it’s going to return both Tubes Stevens and Young to DC. *shakes head*

  10. neon vincent,
    i say let them secede. bunch of morons!