From Anchorage Daily News:
Gov. Sarah Palin and the head of the Alaska Republican Party said Thursday that Sen. Mark Begich should give his Senate seat up to a special election now that prosecutors have abandoned their case against Ted Stevens.
“Alaskans deserve to have a fair election not tainted by some announcement that one of the candidates was convicted fairly of seven felonies, when in fact it wasn’t a fair conviction,” Palin said in a Thursday interview with the Daily News.
Now word yet on when she’s going to start campaigning for Gary Condit now that Chandra Levy’s murderer turned out to be someone other than the congressman.
The governor said she does not want to “split hairs” on whether Begich should resign or not but agrees with the Republican Party’s call for a special election.
Begich fired back Thursday, saying that although he believed it was clear there was misconduct during the senator’s trial, he stepped into the race “long before Senator Stevens’ legal troubles began, because Alaskans were looking for a change and a senator as independent as Alaska.
The chairman of the state Republican Party, Randy Ruedrich, said that the only reason Begich won his race was because “a few thousand Alaskans thought that Senator Stevens was guilty of seven felonies.”
He added that he thought Begich should step down “so Alaskans may have the chance to vote for a senator without the improper influence of the corrupt Department of Justice.”
C’mon, Randy, be specific. That was the Rethuglican/Chimpy /John Ashcroft/Alberto Gonzales/Michael Mukasey corrupt Department of Justice! And, by the way, does corrupt apply to the same Justice Department that
railroaded prosecuted Governor Don Siegelman? When does the call for Bob Riley‘s resignation go out?
Palin, a Republican, had called for Stevens to step aside after he had been convicted but said Thursday that “I believed in justice through our legal system.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the Justice Department will move to dismiss the indictment against Stevens, who was convicted Oct. 27 on seven counts of failing to disclose gifts, including home renovations, on his U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms. Despite Palin and Ruedrich saying there should be a special election, the Republicans in Alaska’s Congressional delegation said it’s time to move on.
“In light of the good news yesterday, I am sure many of us wish we could turn the clock back to last November,” said Begich’s Senate colleague, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. “Unfortunately, that is not an option.”
Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young told Fox News Channel after Wednesday’s announcement by Holder that although he thought Stevens “would have won hands-down. I would say by 70 percent had the Justice Department investigation not figured into his re-election campaign.
Alaska Democratic Party Chair Patti Higgins said the call for a special election is an insult to the intelligence of the Alaskans who voted.
“The fact that the Obama Administration has decided to not pursue a case that the Bush Administration lawyers handled in a faulty manner does not take away the fact that Ted Stevens broke laws,” she said in a written statement.
U.S. Attorney General Holder moved to dismiss the indictment after Justice Department attorneys handling the post-trial motions in the case discovered that the trial team failed to turn over to Stevens’ lawyers notes from an interview conducted with the star prosecution witness in the case.
DOJ found discrepancies between the interview and the courtroom testimony of the star witness, Bill Allen, the former oil-services company chief executive officer who plied Stevens with gifts. Those gifts, which went unreported on Stevens’ senate financial disclosure forms, included renovations that doubled the size of the senator’s residence in Alaska.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Now that the corruption case against former Sen. Ted Stevens has been dropped, Alaska Rep. Don Young wants Stevens to run for governor — a move that would set up a Republican primary between the veteran lawmaker and Sarah Palin, if she decides to seek a second term in 2010.
“Personally I’d like to see him run for governor, and that’s my personal feeling,” Young told the Alaska Public Radio Network on Thursday.
Stevens will be 87 years old by the time the next governor takes office in January 2011.
Young dismissed [demands by Palin and Ruedrich for Begich’s resignation,] calling them “a lot of noise.”
“Sen. Begich, in all due respect, won the race,” he said. “There is no other recourse. He has taken office, he is now the new senator.”
Young and Palin aren’t exactly political pals. Palin endorsed a Republican primary challenger against Young in 2008, and during her vice presidential campaign the Alaska governor refused to publicly back Young’s re-election bid while federal investigators looked into his dealings with an oil company.
A mulligan, in a game, happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action. The practice is also sometimes referred to as a “do over.”