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Ted "A Series of Tubes" Stevens Found Guilty 565

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the now-a-series-of-cells dept.
techmuse writes "According to a series of tubes sites, Senator Ted Stevens has been found guilty of lying about free home renovations that he received from an oil contractor. He faces up to 5 years in jail, and the outcome of his current reelection bid is now in doubt. 'The conviction came after a tumultuous week in the jury room. First there were complaints about an unruly juror, then another had to be replaced when she left Washington following the death of her father. Finally, jurors on Monday discovered a discrepancy in the indictment that had been overlooked by prosecutors. Jury deliberations in this historic trial have at times been as contentious as some of the proceedings The Justice Department indicted Stevens on July 29, and the Alaska Republican took a huge legal gamble and asked for a speedy trial in order to resolve the charges before Election Day. Judge Emmet Sullivan complied with Stevens' request, and in less than three months from the time of his indictment, Stevens was found guilty.'"
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Ted "A Series of Tubes" Stevens Found Guilty

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  • Slight correction (Score:5, Informative)

    by kithrup (778358) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:22PM (#25533577)

    He faces up to five years for each count. Although most seem to agree he won't serve anywhere near that much time.

  • Summary Correction (Score:5, Informative)

    by epdp14 (1318641) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:23PM (#25533593) Homepage
    The summary indicates that he faces up to 5 years in jail. This is incorrect. He faces up to 5 years in jail *per count*. Source: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/27/stevens.jurors/index.html [cnn.com]
  • by vil3nr0b (930195) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:24PM (#25533609)
    Another bad apple is fine. We will send him to prison just like Stevens. Eventually America will get pissed enough to start hanging these crooks in the street.....then it will stop.
  • !badsummary (Score:2, Informative)

    by AudioInfecktion (1088677) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:28PM (#25533681)
    Thats 5 years for each count.. and he was found guilty on all of them.
  • by mikael (484) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:32PM (#25533739)

    A total of 35 years:

    The jury found Stevens guilty of "knowingly and willfully" scheming to conceal on Senate disclosure forms more than $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts from an Alaska-based oil industry contractor.

    Stevens faces a maximum sentence of up to to 35 years in prison -- five years for each of the seven counts.

    The contractor is VECO [wikipedia.org], who wanted to build a gas pipeline from Alaska

  • Re:The sad thing (Score:5, Informative)

    by SydShamino (547793) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:32PM (#25533753)

    Shouldn't there be some law to protect the American people from legislators who commit felonies relating to their position?

    if he is reelected

    Didn't you answer your own question? We already have election law and it allows us to choose to replace our criminal legislators, or, if we feel that they are still able to competently serve us, choose to return them to office.

  • WTF?!!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by robinsonne (952701) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:33PM (#25533759)
    Despite being a convicted felon, he is not required to drop out of the race or resign from the Senate. If he wins re-election, he can continue to hold his seat because there is no rule barring felons from serving in Congress. The Senate could vote to expel Stevens on a two-thirds vote. Article here [msn.com]

    WTF?!?! Seriously?

    From same article, when asked about stepping down: "Put this down: That will never happen - ever, OK?" Stevens said in the weeks leading up to his trial. "I am not stepping down. I'm going to run through and I'm going to win this election.

    What an absolutely arrogant bastard! It's good to know what the rule of law really means to the men in charge of this country.
  • Re:The sad thing (Score:5, Informative)

    by kabloom (755503) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:53PM (#25534041) Homepage

    The senate ethics committee can recommend that the he be expelled from senate by a 2/3 vote. The ethics committee has recommended such things before, but nobody's ever been expelled because they all resign first.

    The more likely possibility, however, is that Senator Stevens' close senate race has just gone down a series of tubes because of this.

  • by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:59PM (#25534107) Homepage Journal

    The sad truth is that he'll probably pay a fine and get off scott-free otherwise.

  • Re:The sad thing (Score:3, Informative)

    by Darby (84953) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:14PM (#25534303)

    I would suggest that if you are good enough for the Holy See, you are probably good enough (too good?) to run for the US Senate.

    He was also a Nazi sympathizer who won his position through actively working to subvert justice to prevent prosecution of scumbags who rape little kids.

    You might consider actually developing a set of ethics and morals rather than claiming the magical sanctity of one of the most evil organizations in history.

    Sure, he's perfect for the Church, but let's not pretend that the Church would know a moral if it got bitten on the ass by a pack of them.

  • Re:WTF?!!? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tmack (593755) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:17PM (#25534339) Homepage Journal
    In most states, a felon can be given the right to vote again [wa.gov] by the parole board...

    "Generally, a person must complete all the requirements of all felony sentences before the right to vote may be restored. This also applies to the right to serve on a jury, sign an initiative, or run for office."

    "Each state has its own laws regarding losing the right to vote if convicted of a felony. For example, some states restore the right to vote as soon as the prison term is completed. In Maine and Vermont, a convicted felon does not lose the right to vote. In every other state, persons convicted of a felony lose the right to vote for a period of time."

    So at least in Washington State, he couldn't run for office until AFTER completing his sentence.

    tm

  • by Neon Aardvark (967388) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:19PM (#25534363) Homepage

    Er, he stated that an "internet" that someone sent him didn't arrive because it was blocked in a tube, in that little speech of his.

    He really didn't have a fucking clue what he was talking about. But that didn't stop him thinking he had something important to say, of course.

    He and all others who act like that deserve ridicule.

  • by hax4bux (209237) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:22PM (#25534405)

    That would be Mena, ARKANSAS. And you would be referring to Iran/Contra, which was a Regan affair.

  • The facts (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:28PM (#25534455)
    Before some people go off on how he was an innocent man, here's some of the charges, his response, and the prosecution's point:
    • Prosecution: Part of the $250,000 Bill Allen provided was in furniture. He essentially replaced all the furniture in the Stevens' home.
      Stevens: Allen didn't have permission to remove the furniture, we didn't want it, and it was tasteless furniture.
      Prosecution: After Allen removed the furniture, Stevens didn't get back his old furniture but kept the new furniture, and didn't report Allen to the police. More importantly he didn't report this furniture among other things to the Senate. Also Senator Stevens reportedly wanted to gift this "tasteless" furniture to his newly married son.
    • Prosecution: Bob Persons gave the Stevens a $2,700 massage chair from Brookstone and didn't report this to the Senate.
      Stevens: It was not a gift. It was a loan, and we hardly used it.
      Prosecution: A loan for 7 years, interest free? Also Stevens sent a note thanking Persons for his "gift" and that he (Stevens) used it all the time.
    • Prosecution: An expensive fish statue that was donated to the Stevens memorial foundation somehow ended up not at the foundation headquarters but on his porch. Was this not another gift that isn't a gift?
      Stevens:"Ms. Morris, I have not died yet."
  • Re:WTF?!!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Artifakt (700173) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:32PM (#25534493)

    Felons can have their rights restored by the appropriate legislatures after serving their sentences. One famous example was Johnny Cash. It is not uncommon for the legislature to restore selected rights to a whole group of felons at once - for example Florida restored rights to over 60,000 prior felons in one bill.
    It is also not unusual for some states to make restoration automatic - for example, it became automatic in Maryland for all felons to regain their right to vote as soon as they have finished serving any parole or probation, on July 1st, 2007. There is a single exception for MD, felons convicted of buying or selling votes.
          Usually, the right to bear arms is not restored, but the rights to vote, run for office and petition are. Rights of free association and movement may be limited, most commonly in the case of some sex offenders, even after other rights are restored.

  • by AceofSpades19 (1107875) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:34PM (#25534525)

    Ten movies streaming across that, 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. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

    if you don't think thats funny, then there is something wrong with you, btw that was from the wikipedia page on "Series of tubes"

  • Re:WTF?!!? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:35PM (#25534531)

    In Virginia, oral and anal sex are "crimes against nature" classified as class six felonies.

  • by 2short (466733) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:54PM (#25534733)
    What you read is correct: Only a 2/3 vote of the Senate can expel a member. This might seem unreasonable in the case of a felony conviction fro corruption like this. But the drafters of the constitution (rightly, IMO) wanted to make it very difficult for one branch of government to pull dirty tricks on another, or for anyone to override the will of the voters.

    Based on my moderate understanding of Alaskan politics, the smart money says Stevens will lose the election now. It was already close, and corruption amongst the old-guard republicans is a big campaign issue. Stevens had put a lot on being exonerated here.

    Even if he does win, resignation seems certain. None of his Republican "friends" are going to want him around generating press, and if he decides to ignore them and hang on just because he can, they might get pissed off, which is the only way you'll see 67 votes for expulsion.

    So the election looks like the popular mayor of the states largest city vs. an unspecified Republican to be named by Sarah Palin. Hard to think there won't be an enthusiasm gap there.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:59PM (#25534793)

    Alaska is the only state governor doesn't get to appoint a replacement. There would have to be a special election if Stevens was elected and the Senate voted to kick him out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:10PM (#25534887)

    You owe all of /. an apology for linking to fark.

  • We (or at least, I personally) would cut him a bigger break if he hadn't made that analogy
    A) In a speech justifying his vote against net neutrality
    B) If there hadn't been aspects of said speech that actually SUPPORT net neutrality, which he clearly doesn't understand at all
    C) If he hadn't, in the same speech, complained of one of his aides sending him "an internet" and it getting blocked for days
    D) If the context of that line hadn't been something that even by /. standards would be a ridiculous automotive analogy ("The Internet is not like a big truck..." WTF?)

    So, no, I really don't think he's going to get to live that one down for a while. I think at least half the humor derived from the situation is that the guy CLEARLY had no idea what he was talking about, and by some miracle managed to use *almost* the generally accepted terminology.

  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:39PM (#25535205) Journal

    This alone will not remove Stevens from office. On the (slim) chance that he wins re-election, he will still be a senator, unless the Senate chooses by a 2/3 margin to remove him (which is fairly likely).

  • Re:But Colin Powell! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:54PM (#25535349)

    Colin Powell has a LOOOONG history of doing what he's told. From Wikipedia, one of the more restrained accounts of how Powell "made his bones" in the power structure:

    "Colin Powell, then a 31-year-old Army Major, was charged with investigating the letter [from an American soldier named Glen detailing US atrocities], which did not specifically reference My Lai (Glen had limited knowledge of the events there). In his report Powell wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between Americal(sic) soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Powell's handling of the assignment was later characterized by some observers as "whitewashing" the atrocities of My Lai."

  • by rcw-home (122017) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:46PM (#25535775)

    Dubya won't be president when Ted is sentenced on February 25th. Can he still pardon him? (I don't know - I'm asking).

    Never mind.

    the pardoned person need not yet have been convicted or even formally charged with a crime [wikipedia.org]

  • by lawpoop (604919) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:10PM (#25535951) Homepage Journal
    Oh get off of it. The reason for the economic meltdown has little to do with Freddie and Fannie. It was deregulation, spearheaded by the Bush administration, which allowed financial institutions to create "mortgage-backed securities". Instead of a bank making a 30-year mortgage to someone who was a good risk, and keeping the mortgage for the life of it, now institutions could buy and trade baskets of mortgages. They could buy and sell it at any time, and therefore had little incentive to see how well any individual could pay of their personal mortgage. As the appetite for mortgage backed securities increased, lenders loosened criteria to give subprime mortgages, eventually taking people with no incomes and no assets. This had little to do with Fannie and Freddie, and much more to do with deregulation. In their greed, lenders gave loans to people who could never pay, simply because they wanted to sell another bundle of loans. If banks held individual mortgages for the life of the loan, and therefore had good lending criteria, none of this would have happened.

    Here's a great "This American Life" piece on it. [thislife.org] Banks made loans to people with no money. Banks wouldn't "regulate" themselves, the Bush administration rolled back regulation. The small way that Freddie and Fannie are related to this is because investors foolishly thought that the US gov't would prop them up. That's the investor's mistake. That's the long and short of it.
  • by Nimey (114278) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:29PM (#25536075) Homepage Journal

    This may be news to you, but Bill Clinton hasn't been news or powerful since 20 January 2001, and you only make yourself pathetic by excusing Bush's actions by saying "but Clinton!".

  • by afabbro (33948) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:40PM (#25536185) Homepage

    It was deregulation, spearheaded by the Bush administration, which allowed financial institutions to create "mortgage-backed securities".

    So sad. Read up, sonny - it was the Carter administration.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:49PM (#25536687)
    You're welcome.

    So far as this mess is concerned, a good deal of it can be traced back to the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Now, some argue that this law, by repealing the much-older Steagal-Glass Act, was merely bringing the U.S. banking industry in line with Europe's. Maybe so, but considering that a goodly chunk of Europe is suffering a similar meltdown it probably wasn't such a great idea. I don't really know, I'm not an economist.
  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:56PM (#25536751)

    So, when did it become possible to sell mortgage-backed securities, and why did it go into overdrive around 2002, 2003?

    Modern US incarnations started in 1938 [wikipedia.org] with the creation of Fannie Mae.

    There are a LOT of reasons why they went into overdrive lately. Low interest rates, hedge funds, deregulation, policies [wikipedia.org] to encourage home ownership gone awry, big profits in securitization [wikipedia.org], lack of transparency into exotic securities, inadequate risk management policies at banks, and several other reasons come to mind.

    It isn't a simple situation with a simple solution unfortunately. Any solution that does come however will need to come from regulation requiring disclosure of exotic security positions and limits on the ability to endlessly bundle and transfer risk through securitization. A better term for sub-prime is high risk. But everyone thought they could just transfer the risk to someone else and eventually there was so much high risk debt that it clogged up the credit markets.

  • Re:I predict... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dhalka226 (559740) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:28PM (#25536965)
    They're federal charges, Palin has no authority to affect the sentence regardless of where he serves his time.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:41PM (#25537039)

    If everyone is saving, then someone is willing to pay interest/returns for that saving.

    This is not true. Savings does not have to equate to high returns, or even private companies snatching up the deposited money. Financial markets work the same way consumer markets do. When people save more money than is demanded, the interest rates plummet.

    Otherwise, "everyone" would have no place to invest their savings.

    Who says you have to invest your savings? Some paranoid depression-minded people still use a good old mattress, but there are also government bonds if no private enterprise will take your money.

    It is funny that you accuse me of being a republican, but you are the one making the assumption that bush made after 9/11 when he urged everyone to go spend.

    The assumption he made was that everyone would take his "suggestion" to go spend when it was obvious the market would be volatile and many industries would suffer in the citizens' paranoia, and therefore anyone who had money to spend on non-essentials decided to tighten up.

    Spending or consumption does not create wealth. Increasing productivity does.

    This is not true. Increasing productivity without insuring people have a disposable income with which to buy the goods results in inventory which cannot be moved. This means that businesses will not be keen on simply building more infrastructure just because the government says so. The extra subsidies/tax breaks will be treated like profits and distributed as bonuses to the upper ranks in a manner commensurate with profits.

    Assuming they do decide to increase productivity, though, The potential lower prices from this situation simply will not compensate for the fact that consumers, faced with anti-labor policies (stemming from deregulation under the same philosophy as the subsidies to producers), will slowly lose real purchasing power, see this coming, and not feel as comfortable parting with their money.

    Finally, in the long term, producers will slow down any expansion, or stop all together. As people reproduce, their kids face a rougher job market, and real wages go down further.

    The farmer who consumes all his seed corn may increase consumption, but he does not increase his wealth.

    The farmer who consumes all his seed is actually increasing his production. It's true, he doesn't increase his wealth because he now has a field full of crops which are worth less, and may not be bought at all. (this is one of the reasons why the government pays farmers NOT to plant every few years, and buys up surpluses.. planting all seeds results in greater taxes on everyone) And you've just contradicted your earlier statement about productivity creating wealth.

    The farmer who starves and saves to buy a new tractor is the one who increases wealth. And he does so by saving, not by consuming.

    No, he has not increased wealth, he's shifted wealth into another good with an entirely different set of expenses.

    Here is my analysis:
    Bottom up is preferable to top down in terms of economic and fiscal policy.

    Subsidies given to the bottom are far more likely to be passed up the chain through spending than those given to people and companies who already have plenty of disposable income and available credit. The bottom actually NEED that money, and they will be compelled by their situation to utilize more of it constructively.

    Additionally, subsidizing the bottom produces a better overall quality of life, and provides every potential entrepreneur with a hedge against risk, freeing them from some uncertainty and blessing their efforts with the promise they will at least retain their own shirts if things don't go well.

    The increase in available income for discretionary spending will result in higher demand and higher sales for "the greedy rich", giving them a conside

  • Re:But Colin Powell! (Score:5, Informative)

    by megamerican (1073936) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:42PM (#25537041)

    I got modded down for pointing out that Colin Powell made a 1 hour speech [slashdot.org] of known lies to the UN to make our case for going to war with Iraq? I guess now that he endorsed Obama he must be a great guy again!

    That speech he gave was from a paper written [cpusa.org] by a post-graduate student in 1990. He and others knew it but he gave the speech anyway. Without that speech there would have been a lot more people against the war from the beginning.

    It really is too bad I didn't make i to a +5 troll. that would have made my day :)

  • by malice (82026) on Monday October 27, 2008 @11:12PM (#25537229) Homepage

    The Real Deal on the Current Economic Crisis [factcheck.org]

    So who is to blame? There's plenty of blame to go around, and it doesn't fasten only on one party or even mainly on what Washington did or didn't do. As The Economist magazine noted recently [economist.com], the problem is one of "layered irresponsibility ... with hard-working home owners and billionaire villains each playing a role." Here's a partial list of those alleged to be at fault:

    The Federal Reserve [cch.com], which slashed interest rates after the dot-com bubble burst, making credit cheap.

    Home buyers [upenn.edu], who took advantage of easy credit to bid up the prices of homes excessively.

    Congress [gao.gov], which continues to support a mortgage tax deduction that gives consumers a tax incentive to buy more expensive houses.

    Real estate agents [upenn.edu], most of whom work for the sellers rather than the buyers and who earned higher commissions from selling more expensive homes.

    The Clinton administration [thehill.com], which pushed for less stringent credit and downpayment requirements for working- and middle-class families.

    Mortgage brokers [pbs.org], who offered less-credit-worthy home buyers subprime, adjustable rate loans with low initial payments, but exploding interest rates.

    Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan [federalreserve.gov], who in 2004, near the peak of the housing bubble, encouraged Americans to take out adjustable rate mortgages.

    Wall Street firms [pbs.org], who paid too little attention to the quality of the risky loans that they bundled into Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), and issued bonds using those securities as collateral.

    The Bush administration [iht.com], which failed to provide needed government oversight of the increasingly dicey mortgage-backed securities market.

    An obscure accounting rule [consumeraffairs.com] called mark-to-market, which can have the paradoxical result of making assets be worth less on paper than they are in reality during times of panic.

    Collective delusion [cch.com], or a belief on the part of all parties that home prices would keep rising forever, no matter how high or how fast they had already gone up.

    The U.S. economy is enormously complicated. Screwing it up takes a great deal of cooperation. Claiming that a single piece of legislation was responsible for (or could have averted) is just political grandstanding. We have no advice to offer on how best to solve the financial crisis. But these sorts of partisan caricatures can only make the task more difficult.

  • by BVis (267028) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @08:21AM (#25540135)

    Nixon got pardoned, and as far as I can remember, he never even got indicted.

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