Senator Stevens found guilty; what does it mean for the election?

Today, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was convicted of seven charges of corruption. He said, “I’m not stepping down,” but what does it mean for the November 4th election, and especially the minor party candidates in that election? It certainly does not bode well for Stevens, who is up for reelection.

The leading minor party candidate, Alaskan Independence Party candidate Bob Bird, was optimistic:

What I no longer need to guess about is that this campaign for the Senate is
going to start gaining attention. I faced three really tough reporters at the
Anchorage Daily News today, and I believe it went well, because the Constitution
gives us a consistent and coherent message if we follow it. When the interview
ended, I was told "Bob, you gave us a lot to ponder" or words to that effect.
The questions were about national security/civil liberties, war, Alaska's lands
and abortion.

My personal analysis is that the charges will decrease Stevens’ numbers at the polls, and those lost votes will go toward all of his opponents. Those who can’t stomach Stevens might turn to the Democrat, but a lot probably won’t tolerate a Democrat either, for any number of reasons. Even if the Democrat comes out victorious – or if Stevens somehow wins – it will probably be a boon for third parties. Some people may even turn to the Libertarian party candidate David Haase because the Libertarian Party is often associated with Republican-like rhetoric. To someone who is only familiar with party names, the Libertarians could offer an alternative to Stevens. To those more familiar with the candidates, anyone running against Stevens could be an option (that is, if a voter is turning away from Stevens because of these corruption charges).

We will be sure to keep you updated over the next week.

10 thoughts on “Senator Stevens found guilty; what does it mean for the election?

  1. LaineRBT

    Well Stevens’ guilty verdict is a good thing and I am glad he will finally be out of office but I am not thrilled by the alternative. Mark Begich supports drilling ANWR and the gas line and in general exploitation of Alaska’s resources.

    I voted for Bird in the primary as a symbolic gesture more than a showing of my actual support. I will probably not vote in the Senate race and will vote Berkowitz for U.S House and Nader for president.

  2. paulie cannoli

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  3. paulie cannoli

    Why would Bird’s percentage go down because of the conviction?

    I think he meant Stevens.

    Bird’s will certainly go up.

    As for Haase, he endorsed Stevens. No cigar.

  4. LaineRBT

    Anyway we need a viable progressive alternative in Alaska. The Green Party of Alaska back in the ninties was so promising but since has faded.

    I am fairly confident that by 2010 or 2014 that we will have a strong independent candidate from the left that will give the Democrats and Republicans something to fear.

  5. Trent Hill

    It seems to me that Alaska is particularly friendly to third-parties. A state-level Progressive Party might do well.

  6. Ross Levin Post author

    Sorry, I meant Steven’s numbers will go down.

    Wow, didn’t realize that he endorsed Stevens. If he’s still on the ballot, though, I stand by what I said.

  7. paulie cannoli

    Full statement from Bird;

    > Today’s verdict on the Ted Stevens trial frankly surprised me. We were in the midst of a huge debate forum in downtown Anchorage, and did not know until the conclusion what had happened.
    >
    > I thought Ted might beat the rap, or at worst, get convicted on maybe 1-2 counts. It shows how really bad I am at guessing.
    >
    > What I no longer need to guess about is that this campaign for the Senate is going to start gaining attention. I faced three really tough reporters at the Anchorage Daily News today, and I believe it went well, because the Constitution gives us a consistent and coherent message if we follow it. When the interview ended, I was told “Bob, you gave us a lot to ponder” or words to that effect. The questions were about national security/civil liberties, war, Alaska’s lands and abortion.
    >
    > The Anchorage Chamber debate was in the breath-taking, enormous and glitzy Dena’ina Center. It was packed. On the dais were the two House candidates, Don Young and Ethan Berkowitz. For the Senate were myself, Begich and Libertarian David Haase. Ted Stevens had prepared video answers recorded the day before.
    >
    > After answering 2 questions where each candidate was given 2:30 to answer, moderator Steve McDonald announced that the following question would only be directed to the major party candidates. I waited to see if this was for only one question, but no . . . Mr. Haase and I remained at the head table for three questions (that’s 60% of those asked) without being given the chance to respond.
    >
    > When concluding remarks were allowed, I gained the strength to keep my response subdued, and said: “I thank the Anchorage Chamber for this invitation, but this is a disservice to Mr. Haase and myself, the people in this room, and really the voters of Alaska. We feel like unwelcome step-children, not being given the opportunity to respond.”
    >
    > And to his credit, earlier in the questioning period, Ethan Berkowitz stated that he felt Mr. Haase and myself ought to be given the chance to answer.
    >
    > I then concluded my remarks about Constitutionality, how my campaign offers authentic change, that I offer short-term loss for long-term gain, rather than the opposite, which is what unconstitutional pork and programs do. I was also asked what book I had recently read that was significant. I said “The Revolution: A Manifesto” by Ron Paul.
    >
    > Please continue to support me and my family in these trying 8 days we have remaining: prayers & material support are gratefully accepted.
    >
    > For Freedom,
    > Bob Bird

  8. paulie cannoli

    Another one from Bird

    To: all media outlets
    From: Bob Bird, Alaskan Independence Party candidate, U.S. Senate
    Subject: Stevens conviction

    As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, I have been only minimally concerned with personal corruption. The corruption of the Constitution is a far more serious problem, for it has led to trillions of dollars stolen from the taxpayer, not hundreds of thousands.

    I have labored in the wilderness for seven months, and been largely ignored. It is my hope that the mainstream media of Alaska will understand now that this is going to be a race between Mark Begich and Bob Bird, not Ted Stevens.

    I offer a consistent and coherent message. Whether or not people agree with it, they have a right to hear it. I ask that the people of Alaska turn towards freedom, not the continued corruption of the Constitution that both “major” parties endlessly promote.

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