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Ted "A Series of Tubes" Stevens Found Guilty 565

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:21PM (#25533549)

    Prison, it's not like a big building, it's more like a series of cubes.

  • by KnowledgeEngine ( 1225122 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:21PM (#25533553)
    I can forsee the senator saying that his jailtime will be much like living normal life, but behind a series of bars connected together. I look forward to his jailing, so I can enjoy more humorous remarks about the particular "Series of Bars" he is behind at any given time.
    • by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) * <> on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:59PM (#25534107) Homepage Journal

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

      • by GospelHead821 ( 466923 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:41PM (#25534611)

        I can take no pleasure in the thought of an 84-year-old man going to federal prison. Were he a younger man guilty of a more heinous crime, I could see the necessity or prudence of it. As it is, I will do no more than shrug and say "Let justice be served."

        • by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:17PM (#25534937)

          of course they can just make him broke and have to live out his final days in a state-funded nursing home... that's much WORSE than prison!

        • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:21PM (#25534987)

          Comprimising our democracy for money? There can be no more heinous crime. For a member of Congress to take such a bribe should be a death penalty offense.

          • by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:08PM (#25535463) Homepage

            Comprimising our democracy for money? There can be no more heinous crime. For a member of Congress to take such a bribe should be a death penalty offense.

            Well, unless it's in the name of lobbying or campaign "donations". Then it's free speech.

      • by Xaositecte ( 897197 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:22PM (#25535013) Journal

        What do you think are the odds of him getting a pardon?

        I mean, really, why else would he want to have the trial finished before the election?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:21PM (#25533555)

    Dubya will pardon him on his way out

    Scooter will get a full pardon too (in addition to the sentence commutation he already got)

    'pubs will take care of their own, don't you worry

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by snowraver1 ( 1052510 )
      I hope that you are wrong, but fear that you are right.
    • by megamerican ( 1073936 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:43PM (#25533911)

      Yes, because only one party is corrupt!

      Clinton is well known for having pardoned many cocaine traffickers before leaving office. One of the first things Bush did when getting into office was block a congressional investigation into it.

      Whatever you do, don't research Mena, AK []

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Yes, the [other guy] did it, that makes it okay for [your party] to do it. That is hypocrisy at best. Will how about this then: O.J. Simpson got away with murdering 2 people. That gives everyone a pass at a double murder.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hax4bux ( 209237 )

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

      • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:33PM (#25534505) Journal

        What's corrupt about that? These people are performing a valid service to the public and are being persecuted by the government for it. As head of that government, Clinton has the prerogative to right that wrong. The only thing wrong here is that he didn't pardon every drug offender.

      • Not buying it. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by EriDay ( 679359 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:39PM (#25535207)
        Yes there have always been corrupt politicians from all parties. The difference is Tom Delay and the K street project institutionalized corruption. That's why the Republican party is going down so hard in this election.

        Either that or the government is in worse condition than we know and and the republicans want to make sure there are no republicans anywhere near government for the next four years. I don't know how else to explain the terrible campaigns being run by all republicans this year.
      • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:13PM (#25535973) Journal

        Yes, because only one party is corrupt!

        I'm tired of hearing this nonsense over and over again.

        Yes, Democrats have done plenty of wrong, but on the whole, they're absolute choir boys compared to the flagrant, bald-faced corruption of most of the Republican party.

        Of course, pointing the finger in willful ignorance is a typical Republican campaign tactic as well... See the McCain campaign's distribution of tire pressure gauges labeled "Obama's Energy Plan," Bush campaign promises that he was going to do more to combat global warming than Al Gore, and pretty much everything else they whole party has done in the past 20 years.

        It's a bit like a guy driving 110MPH in a 45MPH zone, and complaining to the cops about being singled out for a ticket, single HE wasn't the only one speeding, as everyone else on the road was going 50MPH... So why should HE get singled out and ticketed?

        There's plenty of fuckups on both sides, but pointing out that the Democrats aren't perfect, while the Republicans are widespread and institutionally corrupt, is purely feigned ignorance.

      • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:29PM (#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!".

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Um I can only find one cocaine trafficker they pardoned. While it's not fair that he got pardoned and some others did not, it was well known that Clinton in general opposed the sentencing laws this guy was convicted under. Besides Clinton never took money from that guy; Antonio Villaraigosa is one whose head should've rolled for that. But this is Los Angeles so they just elected him mayor.
  • by Grandiloquence ( 1180099 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:21PM (#25533557)
    I would celebrate, but I know in my heart he'll be replaced by someone just as bad. Our body politic is rotten to the core.
    • by vil3nr0b ( 930195 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:24PM (#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.
      • by eln ( 21727 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:53PM (#25534047)

        232 years and counting, and that still hasn't happened. But sure, the next one will do the trick.

      • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:01PM (#25534135) Homepage

        Corruption is a problem of availability, not so much moral strength.

        Separate temptation from politicians and you will see fewer troubles. It would be far cheaper to grant politicians in key positions generous allowances for the rest of their lives and to clear all expenses over certain through some sort of oversight board forbidden to have any contact with the people they are overseeing. They should be very well taken care of and at the same time, isolated from their keepers. Then let the special interests make their arguments for legislation and let it be balanced against public interest groups and may legislators then make fair and balanced choices, actions and decisions.

        No more revolving doors. No more contributions from special interests. Once a politician enters public service, he should never again need to consider private sector life and would therefore have less tempting him now and in the future.

        • by homer_s ( 799572 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:13PM (#25534293)
          From here []:

          " Among the articles of faith of "progressivism" is the theory - which never yields to experience - that you can fill the sea with enormous quantities of fresh red meat and then, Moses-like, successfully command the sharks not to devour it."

          "As long as Uncle Sam continues to stock the Potomac by ripping from the body politic such enormous quantities of flesh and muscle - now more than three trillion dollars worth annually - sharks and vultures will inevitably swarm throughout Washington in a competitive struggle to gorge themselves on this unfortunate feast."
        • by SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:26PM (#25534441)

          It would be far cheaper to grant politicians in key positions generous allowances for the rest of their lives

          Indeed. Instead, we have many people (including many on Slashdot) advocating for term limits, which force those politicians to immediately start thinking about their income post-service, and what they can do now to ensure it.

          I've always thought that being a lifetime public servant, if your constituents allow it, is far better than being another revolving door politician heading from a law degree into a cushy PR position at a company paying for the laws you gave them.

          Obviously Ted Stevens decided he could keep the office and get the payback, too; he should have retired six years ago, after which time he could have gotten all the house upgrades he desired for the work he'd already performed for the oil industry.

  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headhot ( 137860 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:22PM (#25533567) Homepage

    So your a Senator of one of the largest oil producing states, an you hire an oil services company to renovate your house, instead of say, a home builder.

    Yea that doesn't look odd at all.

  • Slight correction (Score:5, Informative)

    by kithrup ( 778358 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:22PM (#25533577)

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

  • by ( 463190 ) * on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:22PM (#25533583) Homepage

    for his own rape kit?

  • Here is hoping (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sithkhan ( 536425 ) <> on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:23PM (#25533591)
    I hope he does the proper thing and resigns. Although the Republicans cannot afford a single loss of Senate seats, he needs to immediately show respect to the people of Alaska. Of course, I'm still waiting for William Jefferson (D - LA) to do the right thing too ...
  • Summary Correction (Score:5, Informative)

    by epdp14 ( 1318641 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:23PM (#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: []
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If he isn't pardoned he'll probably do 6 months and probation if he behaves himself in the 'joint.
    • by mikael ( 484 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:32PM (#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 [], who wanted to build a gas pipeline from Alaska

  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:23PM (#25533597) Homepage

    A scene a few months from now:

    Hello senator. Congratulations on being reelected dispite being a convicted felon. I hope you enjoy serving your remaining term in PMITA Federal Prsion. Have a nice day.

  • The sad thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by internerdj ( 1319281 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:24PM (#25533599)
    The truely sad thing is that if he is reelected then he can serve. Forgetting there being no law against a felon holding office. Shouldn't there be some law to protect the American people from legislators who commit felonies relating to their position?
    • Re:The sad thing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScoLgo ( 458010 ) <scolgo AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:30PM (#25533701) Homepage

      To win a political race against Stevens, all his opponent needs do is bring this conviction up. That's not saying that I disagree with you but the real world will probably take care of this without the need for more laws.

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

        by eln ( 21727 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:02PM (#25534145)

        Not necessarily. Most people will vote for a long-term Senator because they have a lot of seniority, and seniority in the Senate is everything. A very senior Senator will be able to have much greater influence and be much more successful at getting earmarks passed.

        In short, as long as a Senator is able to bring home the bacon to his district, a little thing like a felony conviction won't necessarily do him in.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by svnt ( 697929 )
        The real world doesn't exist in Alaska. If what you've seen over the last several months hasn't convinced you, wait and see.
      • Re:The sad thing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by winomonkey ( 983062 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:34PM (#25534521)
        As an Alaskan, I would be a little hesitant to put any money on a wager against his being reelected. I know a lot of people who have hated him (or been staunch Democrats) and yet have voted for him. Those who disagree with his ability to be a decent person typically acknowledge that he has gotten our state a ridiculous amount of money and development.

        His being so ridiculously connected, and his serving as the chair of so many committees, has made a lot of people give up a vote to him. It is funny/sad to see people give up their own moral pride to keep the cash flowing in. On another note, for all of his crap and corruption, he has also done some good for the state and its many indigenous peoples.

        While I think that this is going to be a pretty major nail in the coffin of his political life, I am not convinced that it will really lay the issue to rest (it would take either a stake and some garlic or a severed spinal cord, depending on whether you tie his longevity to his being a vampire or one of the undead).
    • Re:The sad thing (Score:5, Informative)

      by SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:32PM (#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.

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

      by kabloom ( 755503 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:53PM (#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 Doug52392 ( 1094585 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:24PM (#25533613)

    This pretty much ruined Ted's shot of being reelected, but will this hurt the image of political figures from Alaska? So close to election day, could this affect Sarah Palin's image? Morality? (Which has already been questioned).

    So what could this do to John McCain's campaign?

    (Probably already missed first post)

    • by rudedog ( 7339 ) <> on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:46PM (#25533957) Homepage

      This pretty much ruined Ted's shot of being reelected

      They're so cute when they're in their young, naive stage. Too bad they grow up so fast.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CodeBuster ( 516420 )

      This pretty much ruined Ted's shot of being reelected

      Don't be so sure, in the Senate seniority is everything, it determines who chairs the powerful committees and who controls the agendas that come before those committees and ultimately how much money goes back to the home state. Now, Alaska is not a very big state population wise and would not get even HALF of the federal money that they currently get if they replaced Stevens and started all over again with a very junior Senator. It would take decades for Alaska to rebuild the influence that they currently h

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:31PM (#25533733) Homepage Journal
    Stevens probably did a lot to help alaska. He probably knows more about the politics than anyone. He was in office for, what, 40 years, only 9 years less than Alaska has been a state. And the charges might be trumped out, and the defense was good. It was essentially what Reagan used in his drug smuggling case. I was not my doing, I don't recall, I don't know. So it is probably an effort to get him out of office. If he should have to office for so long.

    OTOH, one has to think that a guy that can't control his household might be over the edges. That he is so much a part of the Washington Elite, that he might not distinguish between what is done to benefit the country and what is done to enrich himself. It really speaks to the accumulation of power, and the corruption that accompanies it. One can imagine that a dictator might not be such a bad thing, except eventually the accumulated power and privilege ends up warping the sense of reality to a mentally deformed image. It is kind of the story of this election, can a guy with 8 houses and 13 cars and a corporate jet and a young rich second wife really represent the bulk of the people who do not have any of these. I don't know. It will be a change in Alaska, and we will see if they can make it. If they have been broken from their benevolent benefactor, or freed from their father figure. I sure he did good, but perhaps did not get out when the good he did was not overwhelming.

  • WTF?!!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by robinsonne ( 952701 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:33PM (#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 []

    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:WTF?!!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Snowblindeye ( 1085701 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:45PM (#25533943)

      ... there is no rule barring felons from serving in Congress.

      Aren't felons barred from voting? So, they can't be trusted enough to cast one vote in several millions, but they can be trusted enough to be a Senator?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MBCook ( 132727 )

      If felons were barred from serving in the Senate / Congress, then all you'd have to do is get people you don't like convicted of little petty things which may technically be felonies (due to their positions) and you could control who was in charge. It's probably for the best things are this way. The leaders of the Senate can kick him out if they want, as that MSN article says.

      Should a few parking tickets get someone kicked out of congress? I'm not supporting being a scoff-law about them, but would that rea

  • I predict... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cplusplus ( 782679 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:44PM (#25533931) Journal
    ...a presidential pardon in 85 days.
  • by gorehog ( 534288 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:02PM (#25534149)

    Alright, I'm certainly happy to see Ted Stevens convicted. He probably deserves it. I am in fact a far left winger. I'm always happy to see any Republican convicted of anything.

    With that said:

    Give Ted Stevens a break on the "series of tubes" analogy. He was trying to describe saturation of available bandwidth in terms of water going through a pipe. It is a particularly good analogy given that educational metaphor for electrical systems are usually in terms of water in a pipe (or tube). All the snickering about "tubes" makes us look stupid to the community that knows about these things. Among the slashdot community it is just self-degrading. We should know better and attack him with points of merit.

    To sum up...Ted Steven's tubes refer to capacity of bandwidth to carry data. He does not seem to think that the internet is a bunch of vacuum tube technology. To persist with this insult makes the critic look stupid, not the target.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The techies call it pipes anyways. Same damned thing.

      I never saw anything bad about this, except for the idiot techies who laughed at "series of tubes" cause that's what it is.

      But where Im at, I call it fscking dialup.

    • by AceofSpades19 ( 1107875 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:34PM (#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"

    • 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 evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:34PM (#25535673) Journal

      Give Ted Stevens a break on the "series of tubes" analogy. He was trying to describe saturation of available bandwidth in terms of water going through a pipe. It is a particularly good analogy given that educational metaphor for electrical systems are usually in terms of water in a pipe (or tube).

      The "tubes" comment wasn't the ridiculous part... That's just the quickest short-hand for that whole speech he gave.

      While the numerous mis-statements, like calling the internet "tubes", and repeatedly calling an "e-mail" an "internet" where stupid... The fact that he thinks an e-mail from his staff took 4 days to get to his inbox because the "tubes" were "full" of movies downloading is what really demonstrates his woeful ignorance.

      But what really makes it really sad, important, etc., is the fact that he chaired the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, tasked with regulating the internet, and used his overwhelming clear ignorance to justify striking down network neutrality legislation.

      John McCain got similarly criticized for getting the Sunni/Shia thing wrong while making a speech, and failing to correct his own mistake.

      When you have a role of responsibility regulating something, and you demonstrate an utter ignorance of the subject, it's not "snickering" to point out that fact, as often as necessary.

  • by Joe Jordan ( 453607 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:09PM (#25534231) Journal
    This guy has been in office since the late 60's. That's 50 frekin' years in the Senate. With the number of lobbyists in Washington, there's just too much temptation to compromise your beliefs and the needs of your constituents. With term limits, lobbyists can only get their meat hooks so deep into a Senator before they're forced to leave office, having to start the process all over again. It's not a foolproof solution for Washington corruption, but I certainly think it would help.
  • by Rick Bentley ( 988595 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:16PM (#25534331) Homepage
    Congress is a series of tools. Each one 2-4 years long. I guess this one was older and rustier than most.
  • The facts (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:28PM (#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."
  • by NullProg ( 70833 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:13PM (#25535495) Homepage Journal

    This story belongs in the political section at best. Even better, it belongs in the "I hate Republicans and limited government" section.

    I haven't seen YRO articles on Cold Cash Jefferson (URL: or Alcee Hastings (URL: or even recently Tim Mahoney (URL:

    Taco, if I want political BS, I'll visit the DNC/RNC/MOVEON/NRO websites, not slashdot.
    Keep slashdot neutral, or at least keep the articles in the correct forum (which I block).

    My opinion,

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by quantaman ( 517394 )

      This story belongs in the political section at best.

      Perhaps but recall this guy got his nickname during a speech about net neutrality. Stevens has been screwing with my rights online for a while, I don't see any problem with this story being YRO.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dangitman ( 862676 )

      Even better, it belongs in the "I hate Republicans and limited government" section.

      Hang on a minute - Republicans are for "limited government"? Where in the hell did you get that absurd notion from?

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.