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Sen. Ted "Tubes" Stevens Is Indicted 553

Posted by kdawson
from the eating-our-own-pork dept.
Many readers are letting us know about the indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens on seven counts of making false statements on his financial disclosure forms. We discussed the raid on the senator's house a while back. Everyone's favorite technologically challenged senator is the longest-serving Republican in the history of the upper house. An Alaskan paper gives deep background on the probe that has ensnared Stevens and a number of other Alaska political figures.
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Sen. Ted "Tubes" Stevens Is Indicted

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  • tee-hee (Score:5, Funny)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @01:58PM (#24389829)

    There's a joke here about federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison and clogged tubes but I'm just going to savor the indictment instead.

    • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:02PM (#24389905)

      People like Ted Stevens don't go to pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

      Some pigs are more equal than others.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sm62704 (957197)

        A rich powerful man only goes to prison if a richer, more powerful man wants him there. I wonder who he pissed off? Gates? Branson?

        • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Funny)

          by AmaDaden (794446) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @03:01PM (#24390859)
          His first name is "The" and his last name is "People".
          • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Funny)

            by geminidomino (614729) * on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @03:25PM (#24391239) Journal

            His first name is "The" and his last name is "People".

            Aww, aren't you cute. You actually believe that, don't you. That's just precious.

            • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @04:03PM (#24391829)

              Just because you've bought into the whole "cheap cynicism is cool" BS, doesn't mean you have to be so condescending to those of us who still recognize that sometimes the right people do the right things for the right reasons.

              Maybe not often, but it happens.

              • Re:tee-hee (Score:4, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @05:16PM (#24392883)

                Might well be because the cynicism is deserved rather than because it's "cool".

                Just because some people are still naive enough to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and Honest Politicians doesn't mean all of us should disable our critical thinking skills.

        • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Interesting)

          Gates? Branson?

          Politicians are powerful, but nowhere near that wealthy. The CEO of even a modestly sized company earns more than a US Senator.

          The likelihood is that Tubes was simply far too blatant with his shady deals. So blatant that even the masses began to notice. Once that happened, he became a liability to the people that were once willing to use him and he had to be gotten rid of.

          The smart politician is corrupt, but always discrete about it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by j79zlr (930600)
            Usually congressmen first become wealthy, then become politicians for the power. I don't think any elected official has aspirations for office for the over the table pay.
          • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Insightful)

            by blantonl (784786) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @03:15PM (#24391109) Homepage

            You have to be kidding me. US Senators might only be paid a base salary of 165K or so, but their ability to generate wealth far exceeds the ability of many corporate CEOs.

            Quote from Forbes:

            The wealth of the incoming class will hardly raise eyebrows in the Senate, where about half of the current 100 members are also millionaires and the average net worth is $8.9 million, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington. By contrast, less than 1% of the U.S. population has a net worth of $1 million or more.

            • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Insightful)

              by afabbro (33948) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @03:47PM (#24391565) Homepage

              You have to be kidding me. US Senators might only be paid a base salary of 165K or so, but their ability to generate wealth far exceeds the ability of many corporate CEOs.

              Quote from Forbes:

              The wealth of the incoming class will hardly raise eyebrows in the Senate, where about half of the current 100 members are also millionaires and the average net worth is $8.9 million, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington. By contrast, less than 1% of the U.S. population has a net worth of $1 million or more.

              The point you missed is that their net worth was that high before they became Senators.

        • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Funny)

          by Wiseblood1 (1135095) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @03:04PM (#24390943)
          No, it was the Spanish Inquisition. Poor Ted never even saw it coming.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shakrai (717556) *

        People like Ted Stevens don't go to pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

        Eh, regardless of his position or wealth do 84 year olds really go to pound-me-in-the-ass prison for white collar crimes?

      • Re:tee-hee (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Luke_22 (1296823) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @03:28PM (#24391269)

        Some pigs are more equal than others.

        Sad memo...
        In Italy our Prime Minister actually said that, speaking of himself, in court.
        well, he didn't say pigs actually... nor he put that in plural...
        He just said (speaking of himself):"this citizen is more equal than the others, since he's been elected"...
        *sigh*

    • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Funny)

      by mattpm (1135875) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:02PM (#24389907)
      Unsolicited male in his tubes?
    • Re:tee-hee (Score:5, Funny)

      by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:07PM (#24389979) Homepage Journal

      At the moment it's only his finances that are being probed.

  • by The Dancing Panda (1321121) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @01:58PM (#24389837)
    It's not just a truck you can dump things on....

    It's a house, that you can add things to...apparently for free.
  • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @01:59PM (#24389855)
    down the...ummm...drain.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by adamstew (909658)

      I dunno about down the career down the drain...The man is like 82...it's more like a forced retirement, with a free retirement home security package!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tinkerghost (944862)
        If he's convicted, there's a good chance he'll lose his Congressional Pension - given that the charges are essentially bribery & corruption.
  • AHHH No more bridges to no where. I think I am going to cry. I wanted to visit that uninhabitabed ice berg in alaska.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mi (197448)

      We actually saw a little wooden walkway on the side of the road going over some (protected) marsh land. The size of the plaque thanking the Senator for his work in securing financing for the walkway was comparable in size to the structure itself... Who knows, how much that little piece cost the federal government, and how much the grateful contractors have contributed to the guy's campaign, him personally, and those he loves.

      I must admit, he played the dimwits "protecting the wilderness" (without ever set

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        lol yah...our government never ceases to amaze me. Even the senate's most senior republican is dirty. I mean in general not just him. Our entire government spent so much money on pork like "bridges to nowhere", "bike trails", fountains, etc.

        It is just horrible that at a time when the national debt is so high we still throw money around like its nothing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spiffyman (949476)

          I'm sorry, but do you really think bike trails and fountains are pork?

          No, they're not investments in science in engineering - which we surely need more of - but these two contribute to the public's physical and mental health, respectively. No small matter, that.

          • by ZombieRoboNinja (905329) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @03:02PM (#24390887)

            If they're that useful, then local governments can pay for them, unless they're in national parks. I'm no small-government fanatic, but even I don't see why my taxes should help improve the lives of cyclists in Idaho.

            • by x2A (858210) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @07:21PM (#24394227)

              Do people in Idaho not pay those taxes also?

              Does any of those taxes that those in Idaho also pay get funnelled into the state you live in?

              Isn't spending money on real American citizens not actually a decent break from where a huge amount of the fed'gov's spending usually goes?

              Can you really really see no reason why your taxes should go towards improving peoples lives? Are people who live their lives closer to you worth more of your tax dollars? Are your tax dollars different to people who live in further away states such that they must be divided and never mixed?

              I agree that local governments should do what they can, just because it's going to be done more efficiently (smaller body = (reletively) less red tape etc) but fundamentally, where the amount being spent is equal, it hardly matters who does it, as long as you don't get one state funding development in another more than the reverse is also true, above the level of how much the one state needs help over the other.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 45mm (970995)

          It is just horrible that at a time when the national debt is so high we still throw money around like its nothing.

          Except that it IS nothing to them. They'll just make more money and/or sell us out to countries who hate us! What do they care? The American taxpayer is footing the bill for their well-being. And pensions. I say, put them on Social Security like the rest of us, and allow their salaries to be commensurate to their approval rating. We'll get some useful things happening then.

        • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:48PM (#24390635) Homepage

          Power corrupts — I prefer Republicans strongly — but being in power for this long is not healthy.

          This guy, along with a few others (Kennedy-cough-cough), are the "poster children" for term-limits on not just presidency, but other elected offices.

          In a remote state such as Alaska, where residents are paid to live there [yahoo.com] and pay neither income nor sales tax [bankrate.com], his constituents have especially little reason to care for his wasting (and, likely, outright stealing) federal government's money, as long as they get a bit of it too.

  • by Darundal (891860) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:03PM (#24389919) Journal
    ...into people claiming that everything is the fault of one party or the other and that all members of one of the two parties are corrupt.
  • by Oh no, it's Dixie (1332795) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:03PM (#24389923)
    How did he stay in office so long if there was already evidence of corruption in 2003 [pqarchiver.com] and 2004 [thehill.com]?
    • by R2.0 (532027) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:08PM (#24389999)

      "How did he stay in office so long if there was already evidence of corruption in 2003 and 2004?"

      The same way Dan Rostenkowski did and Marion Barry and Murtha after Abscam:

      "He may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he's OUR son-of-a-bitch"

      Also keep in mind that he has brought home a lot of bacon to the residents of Alaska, and they probably view such minor corruption as a cross they just have to bear to get the goodies. Remember, the "bridge to nowhere" ALMOST got approved.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sheldon (2322)

        Or the same way John Mccain did after Keating Five.

        Didn't Rostenkowski go to prison?

    • by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:18PM (#24390151) Journal

      How did he stay in office so long if there was already evidence of corruption in 2003 [pqarchiver.com] and 2004 [thehill.com]?

      The same way that William Jefferson [cnn.com] of New Orleans did (and still is).

      (Who, BTW, in response to the AC that also responded to your post, is NOT white)

  • by DeafDumbBlind (264205) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:07PM (#24389977)

    Yep. crazy.

  • by theCat (36907) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:09PM (#24390001) Journal
  • by jamie (78724) * Works for Slashdot <jamie@slashdot.org> on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:12PM (#24390055) Journal

    text of the indictment [adn.com] is now available.

    It was a part of the scheme that STEVENS, while during that same time period that he was concealing his continuing receipt of things of value from ALLEN and VECO from 1999 to 2006, received and accepted solicitations for multiple official actions from ALLEN and other VECO employees, and knowing that STEVENS could and did use his official position and his office on behalf of VECO during that same time period.

    That sounds like good old-fashioned bribery to me, but with our screwed-up laws it's probably a lot easier to convict a politician for lying about the bribes than for taking the bribes.

  • by 7Prime (871679) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:13PM (#24390071) Homepage Journal

    Let me be the first to shout:

    "Yeee-hawww!!!"

    Good riddence! The coming Alaska senate race is going to be one of the most interesting in history. I suggest everyone look into it. On the democratic front, we've got popular Anchorage city mayor, Mark Beigich, who's taken the election scene by storm in just the last month or so. And Stevens, being a long time incombant, is running virtually unopposed on the republican front.

    In the house, rep. Don ("I'll beat you over the head with a walrus penis") Young is having even more trouble, due to falling public perception and the VICO scandal. This long-time incumbent may be KOed in the primary by our Lt. Governor.

    The republicans only star runners, at this point, are Gov. Sarah Palin and Lt Gov. Sean Parnel. Parnel is running against Young in the house, and Sarah just had a child and is busy fighting some of her own battles.

    Translation: the alaska republican party is FUCKED. Before the year is out, there's a very good chance we'll see our one house seat filled by a Dem, one of our Senate seats filled by a Dem, and the state's electoral votes go to Barak Obama (currently a very close race). AK is one of the most conservative and republican states in the country, btw.

    • by moosesocks (264553) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @03:04PM (#24390941) Homepage

      AK is one of the most conservative and republican states in the country, btw.

      Alaskans love calling themselves conservative. However, when it actually comes down to the issues, they seem to be pretty strong liberals (I'd call them anarcho-socialists, even though the term is somewhat self-contradictory)

      A few observations:
      1) They're pro-gun rights, but more in the "protecting yourself from grizzlies" sense than then the "self defense against unarmed burglar" sense.

      2) Pro-drug-legalization. 20+ hours/day of darkness in the wintertime. 'Nuff said.

      3) Surveillance isn't an issue. (Seriously)

      4) Pro-alternative-energy. Alaskans are among the first to see the real effects of climate change. In places like Fairbanks, the temperature inversion in the winter also causes smog to hang low to the ground, and accumulate over the course of the winter, which has a very noticeable effect.

      5) The bible belt hasn't really infiltrated Alaska nearly as much as it has the other "red states". People actually seem to be vaguely rational regarding social issues.

      6) Pro-military. Tons of military bases in Alaska. Like much of the military, they're also a bit uneasy about the number of dead bodies returning from Iraq.

      7) Pro-small-government. If you enjoy living in the middle of nowhere, you probably don't support a large, overbearing government.

  • For Old Time's Sake (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) * on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:16PM (#24390125) Journal
    Let's revisit what Senator Stevens said, laugh at his imbecility, and shake our heads at the fragility of what little is left of net neutrality, and how it is in the hands of such clueless and ethically challenged people.

    Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) offered up this bizarre explanation for why he voted against net neutrality laws. In it, he explains how the internet works...

    "There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

    But this service isn't going to go through the internet and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

    Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

    I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

    Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

    So you want to talk about the consumer? Let's talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren't using it for commercial purposes.

    We aren't earning anything by going on that internet. Now I'm not saying you have to or you want to discriminate against those people [...]

    The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says "No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet". No, I'm not finished. I want people to understand my position, I'm not going to take a lot of time.

    They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

    It's a series of tubes.

    And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

    Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

    Do you know why?

    Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people.

    [...]

    Now I think these people are arguing whether they should be able to dump all that stuff on the internet ought to consider if they should develop a system themselves.

    Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it's not using what consumers use every day.

    It's not using the messaging service that is essential to small businesses, to our operation of families.

    The whole concept is that we should not go into this until someone shows that there is something that has been done that really is a violation of net neutrality that hits you and me."

    RS

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ivan256 (17499)

      I have no particular fondness for Sen. Stevens, but I hope everybody who made fun of him for calling the internet a series of tubes finds themselves in the same position when they're older.

      The guy hears the younger folks calling it a "pipe", he's got industry insiders telling him confusing, and misleading things about how the system works, and he screws up the analogy when he's talking about it later on. Big deal. Some day when you're not so young, you're going to screw up the jargon when you're talking abo

      • by 77Punker (673758) <spencr04@highp o i nt.edu> on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:51PM (#24390671)

        When I'm too old to understand what the fuck I'm talking about, I'll resign from congress and not try to legislate it.

        If he's too old to get it, it's time to get out. I wouldn't be angry about some other old man not understanding new technology, but he has power over it. That's dangerous.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Alzheimers (467217)

        If this was just my grandfather ranting about the kids today, I'd smile and nod.

        But this is a man who chaired the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation during the 109th Congress, and is still on the committee today. This is someone who is going to be making direct policy decisions about the internet, not some harmless rambling old man.

        Then again, he's also been the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committe. They really know how to pick them, don't they?

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:21PM (#24390203) Homepage

    And when will Dodd and the Democratic senators who got their mortgages personally handed to them by bank CEOs receive the same treatment? I'm not a partisan in this, and I do enjoy seeing Stevens go down, but this guy is just the tip of the iceberg. I suspect that most of Congress would have to be indicted if a sweeping investigation were done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jmichaelg (148257)

      When will it be Reid's Turn? [wsj.com]

      It's credit mobilier [wikipedia.org] all over again except this time it's housing instead of rail roads. Fannie Mae and Mac are schemes to buy votes with tax payer dollars and use more tax payer dollars to fund electoral campaigns.

      Both parties are in it up to their neck.

  • by pnuema (523776) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:21PM (#24390215)
    The Democratic challenger to Steven's seat has actually been out-polling him in the last couple of weeks. The timing of this indictment means it is far more likely that Stevens will lose the primary next month, and Mark Begich will be facing a Republican without all of the baggage.
  • his technological incompetence is the least of anybody's problems (yes, he's on the committee for regulating our future livelihoods and should understand this stuff..)

    He's the guy who wanted the bridge to nowhere.... let's be frank that's a much larger problem than his blustering.

    This is good - maybe the system works? It's too early to see

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moosesocks (264553)

      He's the guy who wanted the bridge to nowhere.... let's be frank that's a much larger problem than his blustering.

      The people on the island that the bridge would have gone to didn't even want the damn bridge. I seriously doubt it'd have ever been built.

      On the other hand, the second "bridge to nowhere" that got struck down would have been fairly useful, even though it was presently uninhabited, as it would have connected directly to the heavily-congested Anchorage metropolitan area, opening new land up for development.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @02:39PM (#24390485)
    So, we've got Tom Delay, William Jefferson, and Ted Stevens (that I can recall off the top of my head) with outstanding indictments. All of these cases have been ongoing for YEARS. It took them 4 years to indict Stevens, and those indictments don't even cover the perjury or bribery charges. William Jefferson was busted red handed and he's still hanging around. These aren't complicated cases. I'd love to know why the wheels seem to grind so slowly for them. Hmmmmmm.....
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @04:29PM (#24392231) Homepage Journal

    The Senate's rules require that Stevens immediately give up his committee chairs or "ranking member" status [msn.com] that gives him privileges in controlling most Senate business:

    Per Republican Senate caucus rules, if a member is indicted, he or she can no longer serve as chairman or ranking member of a committee.

    Stevens is a ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

    Indictments should be a lot more common for that gang of crooks.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @04:29PM (#24392233)
    I may be a conservative, but after watching in disgust when he made his impassioned plea to save his Bridge to Nowhere from the Ax of Excess, and how he'd have to leave the Senate if that piece of governmental waste was cancelled, I was shouting at the TV: "DO IT! DO IT! PLEASE DO IT! GET HIM OUT OF THERE NOW!"

    Unfortunately they bowed to his threat at the time.

    If the Democrats were as hard on their elected politicians as I was on this one, we could have a much better Congress than we have now. Having someone as a member of your own party doesn't make them wonderful. Sometimes they're just embarassing.

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