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August 11, 2008

Wikipedia: Ted Stevens

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Ted Stevens
Ted Stevens

Senior Senator
from Alaska
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 24, 1968
Serving with Lisa Murkowski
Preceded by Bob Bartlett

106th President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Leader Bill Frist
Preceded by Robert Byrd (D)
Succeeded by Robert Byrd (D)

19th Majority Whip of the United States Senate
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1985
Leader Howard Baker
Preceded by Alan Cranston (D)
Succeeded by Alan Simpson (R)

15th Minority Whip of the United States
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1981
Leader Howard Baker
Preceded by Robert Griffin (R)
Succeeded by Alan Cranston (D)

16th Senate Republican Whip
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1985
Leader Howard Baker
Preceded by Robert Griffin
Succeeded by Alan Simpson

3rd President pro tempore emeritus of the United States Senate
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 4, 2007
President Robert Byrd
Preceded by Robert Byrd

Born November 18, 1923 (1923-11-18) (age 84)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Political party Republican
Spouse 1. Ann Cherrington, deceased
2. Catherine Ann Chandler
Residence Girdwood, Alaska
Alma mater UCLA
Harvard
Occupation attorney
Religion Episcopalian
Website United States Senator Ted Stevens

Theodore Fulton Stevens (born November 18, 1923) is the senior United States Senator from Alaska. As the longest serving Republican in the Senate, Stevens served as President pro tempore from January 3, 2003, to January 3, 2007.

Stevens has had a six-decade career in government, beginning with his service in World War II. In the 1950s, he held senior positions in the Eisenhower Interior Department. He has served continuously in the Senate since December 1968. He played key roles in legislation that shaped Alaska’s economic and social development, including the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. He is also known for his sponsorship of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, which resulted in the establishment of the United States Olympic Committee.

When the 110th Congress convened and Democrats took control of the chamber, he was replaced as President pro tem by Robert Byrd, and thus took Byrd’s previous honorary role of “President pro tempore emeritus”. He is one of three persons, alongside Byrd and Strom Thurmond, who served previously as president pro tem and remained in Senate.

On July 29, 2008 Stevens was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of failing to report gifts received from VECO Corporation and its CEO Bill Allen on his Senate financial disclosure forms. Stevens is specifically charged with violating provisions of the Ethics in Government Act.

Contents

Early life and career

Childhood and youth

Stevens was born November 18, 1923, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the third of four children[1][2], in a small cottage built by his paternal grandfather after the marriage of his father, George A. Stevens, to Gertrude S. Chancellor. The family later lived in Chicago, where George Stevens was an accountant before the stock market crash of 1929 instigated the Great Depression, ending his job.[2][3] Around this time, when Ted Stevens was six years old, his parents divorced, and Stevens and his three siblings went back to Indianapolis to live with their paternal grandparents, followed shortly thereafter by their father, who developed problems with his eyes and went blind for several years. Stevens’ mother moved to California and sent for Stevens’ siblings as she could afford to, but Stevens stayed in Indianapolis helping to care for his father and a mentally retarded cousin, Patricia Acker, who also lived with the family. The only adult in the household with a job was Stevens’ grandfather. Stevens helped to support the family by working as a newsboy, and would later remember selling a lot of newspapers on March 1, 1932, when newspaper headlines blared the news of the Lindbergh kidnapping.[2]

In 1934, Stevens’ grandfather punctured a lung in a fall down a tall flight of stairs, contracted pneumonia, and died.[2] By the time Stevens was fifteen, in 1938, his father had died of cancer.[3] Stevens and his cousin Patricia moved to Manhattan Beach, California to live with Patricia’s mother, Gladys Swindells.[2] Stevens attended Redondo Union High School, participating in extracurricular activities including working on the school newspaper and becoming a member of a student theater group, a service society affiliated with the YMCA, and, during his senior year, the lettermen’s society. Stevens also worked at jobs before and after school,[3] but also had time for surfing with his friend Russell Green, son of the president of Signal Gas and Oil Company, who remained a close friend through Stevens’ life.[2]

Military service

After graduating from high school in 1942, Stevens enrolled at Oregon State University to study engineering,[4] attending for a semester.[2] With World War II in progress, Stevens attempted to join the Navy Air Corps, but failed the vision exam. He corrected his vision through a course of prescribed eye exercises, and in 1943 was accepted for a Army Air Corps Air Cadet program at Montana State College.[2][4] After scoring near the top of an aptitude test for flight training, Stevens was transferred to preflight training in Santa Ana, California and received his wings in early 1944. He went on to Bergstrom Field in Texas, where he trained to fly P-38s, but due to an incident during graduation, in which a graduate booed at the colonel who delivered the graduation address, Stevens never flew a fighter in combat. Instead, Stevens later recalled, “Suddenly we were copilots in a troop carrier squad.”[2]

Stevens served in the China-Burma-India theater with the Fourteenth Air Force Transport Section, which supported the “Flying Tigers,” from 1944 to 1946. He and other pilots in the transport section flew C-46 and C-47 transport planes, often without escort, mostly in support of Chinese units fighting the Japanese.[2] Stevens received the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying behind enemy lines, the Air Medal, and the Yuan Hai medal awarded by the Chinese Nationalist government.[2][5] He was discharged from the Army Air Forces in March 1946.[2]

Higher education and law school

After the war, Stevens attended UCLA, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1947. He applied to law school at Stanford University and the University of Michigan, but on the advice of his friend Russell Green’s father to “look East,” he applied also to Harvard Law School, and ended up attending there. Stevens’ education was partly financed by the G.I. Bill; he made up the difference by borrowing money from an uncle, selling his blood, and working several jobs, including one as a bartender in Boston.[2] During the summer of 1949, Stevens was a research assistant in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, now the Central District of California.[6][7]

While at Harvard, Stevens wrote a paper on maritime law which received honorable mention for the Addison Brown prize, a Harvard Law School award made for the best essay by a student on a subject related to private international law or maritime law.[6] The essay later became a Harvard Law Review article[8] whose scholarship Justice Jay Rabinowitz of the Alaska Supreme Court praised 45 years later, telling the Anchorage Daily News in 1994 that the high court had issued a recent opinion citing the article.[2] Stevens graduated from Harvard Law School in 1950.[2]

Early legal career

After graduation, Stevens went to work in the Washington, D.C. law offices of Northcutt Ely.[6][9] Twenty years previously Ely had been executive assistant to Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur during the Hoover administration,[10] and by 1950 headed a prominent law firm specializing in natural resources issues.[9] One of Ely’s clients, Emil Usibelli, founder of the Usibelli Coal Mine in Healy, Alaska,[11] was trying to sell coal to the military, and Stevens was assigned to handle his legal affairs.[9]

Marriage and family

In early 1952 Stevens married Ann Mary Cherrington. Ann, a Democrat, was the adopted daughter of University of Denver chancellor Ben Mark Cherrington. She had graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and during the Truman administration had worked for the State Department.[9]

On December 4, 1978, Stevens survived the crash of a Lear Jet 25C at Anchorage International Airport. The crash killed five people, including his first wife, Ann.[12] In 2000, the Alaska Legislature voted to rename the airport the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Stevens’ son, Ben Stevens, was appointed to the Alaska Senate in 2001 by Democratic Governor Tony Knowles, and was the Senate President until the fall of 2006.

Aside from Ben, Stevens and his first wife Ann had two daughters, Susan and Beth, and two sons, Walter and Ted. He and his second wife Catherine have a daughter, Lily.

Stevens’ current home in Alaska is in Girdwood.

Early Alaska career

In 1952, while still working for Norcutt Ely, Stevens volunteered for the presidential campaign of Dwight D. Eisenhower, writing position papers for the campaign on western water law and lands. By the time Eisenhower won the election that November, Stevens had acquired contacts who told him, “We want you to come over to Interior.” Stevens left his job with Ely, but a job in the Eisenhower administration didn’t come through[9] as a result of a temporary hiring freeze instituted by Eisenhower in an effort to reduce spending.[7]

Instead, Stevens was offered a job with the Fairbanks, Alaska law firm of Emil Usibelli’s Alaska attorney, Charles Clasby, whose firm, Collins and Clasby, had just lost one of its attorneys.[9][7] Stevens and his wife had met and liked both Usibelli and Clasby, and decided to make the move.[9] They loaded up their 1947 Buick[13] and, traveling on a $600 loan from Clasby, they drove across country from Washington, D.C. and up the Alaska Highway in the dead of winter, arriving in Fairbanks in February 1953. Stevens later recalled kidding Gov. Walter Hickel about the loan. “He likes to say that he came to Alaska with 37 cents in his pocket,” he said of Hickel. “I came $600 in debt.”[9] Ann Stevens recalled in 1968 that they made the move to Alaska “on a six-month trial basis.”[13]

In Fairbanks, Stevens cultivated the city’s Republican establishment. He befriended conservative newspaper publisher C.W. Snedden, who had purchased the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in 1950. Snedden’s wife Helen later recalled that her husband and Stevens were “like father and son.” “The only problem Ted had was that he had a temper,” she told the a reporter in 1994, crediting her husband with helping to steady Stevens “like you would do with your children” and with teaching Stevens the art of diplomacy.[9]

U.S. Attorney

Stevens had been with Charles Clasby’s law firm for six months when Bob McNealy, a Democrat appointed as U.S. Attorney for Fairbanks during the Truman administration,[9] informed U.S. District Judge Harry Pratt that he would be resigning effective August 15, 1953,[14] having already delayed his resignation by several months at the request of Justice Department officials newly appointed by Eisenhower, who asked McNealy to delay his resignation until Eisenhower could appoint a replacement.[13] Despite Stevens’ short tenure as an Alaska resident and his relative lack of trial or criminal law experience, Pratt asked Stevens to serve in the position until Eisenhower acted.[14] Stevens agreed. “I said, ‘Sure, I’d like to do that,’ ” Stevens recalled years later. “Clasby said, ‘It’s not going to pay you as much money, but, if you want to do it, that’s your business.’ He was very pissed that I decided to go.”[9] Most members of the Fairbanks Bar Association were outraged at the appointment of a newcomer, and members in attendance at the association’s meeting that December voted to support Carl Messenger for the permanent appointment, an endorsement seconded by the Alaska Republican Party Committee for the Fairbanks-area judicial division.[14] However, Stevens was favored by Attorney General Herbert Brownell, by Senator William F. Knowland of California, and by the Republican National Committee,[14] (Alaska itself had no Senators at this time, as it was still a territory). Eisenhower sent Stevens’ nomination to the U.S. Senate,[15] which confirmed him on March 30, 1954.[9]

Stevens soon gained a reputation as an active prosecutor who vigorously prosecuted violations of federal and territorial liquor, drug, and prostitution laws,[9] characterized by Fairbanks area homesteader Niilo Koponen (who later served in the Alaska State House of Representatives from 1982-1991) as “this rough tough shorty of a district attorney who was going to crush crime.”[15] Stevens sometimes accompanied U.S. Marshals on raids. As recounted years later by Justice Jay Rabinowitz, “U.S. marshals went in with Tommy guns and Ted led the charge, smoking a stogie and with six guns on his hips.”[9] However, Stevens himself has said the colorful stories spread about him as a pistol-packing D.A. were greatly exaggerated, and recalled only one incident when he carried a gun: on a vice raid to the town of Big Delta about 75 miles (121 km) southeast of Fairbanks, he carried a holstered gun on a marshal’s suggestion.[9]

Stevens also became known for his explosive temper, which was focused particularly on a criminal defense lawyer named Warren A. Taylor[9] who would later go on to become the Alaska Legislature’s first Speaker of the House in the First Alaska State Legislature.[16] “Ted would get red in the face, blow up and stalk out of the courtroom,” a former court clerk later recalled of Stevens’ relationship with Taylor.[9]

In 1956, in a trial which received national headlines, Stevens prosecuted Jack Marler, a former Internal Revenue Service agent accused of failing to file tax returns. Marler’s first trial, which was handled by a different prosecutor, had ended in a deadlocked jury and a mistrial. For the second trial, Stevens was up against Edgar Paul Boyko, a flamboyant Anchorage attorney who built his defense of Marler on the theory of no taxation without representation, citing the Territory of Alaska’s lack of representation in the U.S. Congress. As recalled by Boyko, his closing argument to the jury was a rabble-rousing appeal for the jury to “strike a blow for Alaskan freedom,” claiming that “this case was the jury’s chance to move Alaska toward statehood.” Boyko remembered that “Ted had done a hell of a job in the case,” but Boyko’s tactics paid off, and Marler was acquitted on April 3, 1956. Following the acquittal, Stevens issued a statement saying, “I don’t believe the jury’s verdict is an expression of resistance to taxes or law enforcement or the start of a Boston Tea Party. I do believe, however, that the decision will be a blow to the hopes for Alaska statehood.”[9]

Department of the Interior

Alaska statehood

In March 1956, Stevens’ friend Elmer Bennett, legislative counsel in the Department of the Interior, was promoted by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay to the Secretary’s office. Bennett successfully lobbied McKay to replace him in his old job with Stevens, and Stevens returned to Washington, D.C. to take up the position.[17] By the time he arrived in June 1956, McKay had resigned in order to run for the U.S. Senate from his home state of Oregon[17] and Fred Andrew Seaton had been appointed to replace him.[17][18] Seaton, a newspaper publisher from Nebraska,[17] was a close friend of Fairbanks Daily News-Miner publisher C.W. Snedden, and in common with Snedden was an advocate of Alaska statehood,[18] unlike McKay, who had been lukewarm in his support.[17] Seaton asked Snedden if he knew any Alaskan who could come to Washington, D.C. to work for Alaska statehood; Snedden replied that the man he needed — Stevens — was already there working in the Department of the Interior.[18] The fight for Alaska statehood became Stevens’ principal work at Interior. “He did all the work on statehood,” Roger Ernst, Seaton’s assistant secretary for public land management, later said of Stevens. “He wrote 90 percent of all the speeches. Statehood was his main project.”[18] A sign on Stevens’ door proclaimed his office “Alaskan Headquarters” and Stevens became known at the Department of the Interior as “Mr. Alaska.”[17]

Efforts to make Alaska a state had been going on since 1943, and had nearly come to fruition during the Truman administration in 1950 when a statehood bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, only to die in the Senate.[18] The national Republican Party opposed statehood for Alaska, in part out of fear that Alaska would elect Democrats to Congress.[18] At the time Stevens arrived in the Washington, D.C. to take up his new job, a constitutional convention to write an Alaska constitution had just been concluded on the campus of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.[19] The 55 delegates also elected three unofficial representatives, all Democrats, as unofficial delegates to Congress: Ernest Gruening and William Egan as U.S. “senators” and Ralph Rivers as U.S. “representative.”[18]

President Eisenhower, a Republican, regarded Alaska as too large and sparsely populated to be economically self-sufficient as a state, and furthermore saw statehood as an obstacle to effective defense of Alaska should the Soviet Union seek to invade it.[18] Eisenhower was especially worried about the sparsely populated areas of northern and western Alaska. In March 1954, he had drawn a line on a map indicating his opinion of the portions of Alaska which he felt ought to remain in federal hands even if Alaska were granted statehood.[18]

Seaton and Stevens worked with Gen. Nathan Twining, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had served in Alaska, and Jack L. Stempler, a top Defense Department attorney, to create a compromise that would address Eisenhower’s concerns. Much of their work was conducted in a hospital room at Walter Reed Army Hospital, where Seaton was being treated for back problems.[18] Their work concentrated on refining the line on the map that Eisenhower had drawn in 1954, which became known as the PYK Line after three rivers — the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim — whose courses defined much of the line.[18] The PYK Line was the basis for Section 10 of the Alaska Statehood Act, which Stevens wrote.[18] Under Section 10, the land north and west of the PYK Line — which included the entirety of Alaska’s North Slope, the Seward Peninsula, most of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, the western portions of the Alaska Peninsula, and the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands — would be part of the new state, but the President would be granted emergency powers to establish special national defense withdrawals in those areas if deemed necessary.[20] “It’s still in the law but it’s never been exercised,” Stevens later recollected. “Now that the problem with Russia is gone, it’s surplusage. But it is a special law that only applies to Alaska.”[18]

Stevens also took part — illegally — in lobbying for the statehood bill,[18] working closely with the Alaska Statehood Committee from his office at Interior.[18] Stevens hired Margaret Atwood, daughter of Anchorage Times publisher Robert Atwood,[18] who was chairman of the Alaska Statehood Committee,[21] to work with him in the Interior Department. “We were violating the law,” Stevens told a researcher in an October 1977 oral history interview for the Eisenhower Library. “[W]e were lobbying from the executive branch, and there’s been a statute against that for a long time…. We more or less, I would say, masterminded the House and Senate attack from the executive branch.”[18] Stevens and the younger Atwood created file cards on members of Congress based on “whether they were Rotarians or Kiwanians or Catholics or Baptists and veterans or loggers, the whole thing,” Stevens said in the 1977 interview. “And we’d assigned these Alaskans to go talk to individual members of the Senate and split them down on the basis of people that had something in common with them.”[18] The lobbying campaign extended to presidential press conferences. “We set Ike up quite often at press conferences by planting questions about Alaska statehood,” Stevens said in the 1977 interview. “We never let a press conference go by without getting someone to try to ask him about statehood.”[18] Newspapers were also a targeted, according to Stevens. “We planted editorials in weeklies and dailies and newspapers in the district of people we thought were opposed to us or states where they were opposed to us so that suddenly they were thinking twice about opposing us.”[18]

The Alaska Statehood Act became law with Eisenhower’s signature on July 7, 1958,[20] and Alaska formally was admitted to statehood on January 3, 1959, when Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Proclamation.[22]

Alaska House of Representatives

After returning to Alaska, Stevens practiced law in Anchorage. He was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1964, and became House majority leader in his second term.

U.S. Senator

Senator Stevens (right) with fellow Alaska Senator Mike Gravel

Senator Stevens (right) with fellow Alaska Senator Mike Gravel

Elections

In 1968, Stevens ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, but lost in the primary to Anchorage Mayor Elmer E. Rasmuson. Rasmuson lost the general election to Democrat Mike Gravel. In December 1968, after the death of Democratic Senator Bob Bartlett, Governor Walter Joseph Hickel appointed Stevens to the U.S. Senate.[23]

In a special election in 1970, Stevens was elected to finish the term of Bartlett with 60% of the vote. Stevens has been reelected six times since, in the 1972, 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996 and 2002 elections. His current term will expire in January 2009. Since his first election to a full term in 1972, Stevens has never received less than 66% of the vote.[24]

Stevens has announced he will run again for an Alaska seat in the US Senate in 2008.[25] He will be challenged by Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich,[26] as well as by several candidates in the August Republican primary.

Stevens’ campaign political action committee is called the “Northern Lights PAC.”

Committees

Stevens served as the Assistant Republican Whip from 1977 to 1985. In 1994, Stevens was appointed Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. Stevens became the Senate’s President Ppro Tempore when Republicans regained control of the chamber as a result of the 2002 mid-term elections, during which the previous most senior Republican senator and former President Pro Tempore Strom Thurmond retired.

Stevens chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee from 1997 to 2005, except for the 18 months when Democrats controlled the chamber. The chairmanship gave Stevens considerable influence among fellow Senators, who relied on him for home-state project funds. Due to Republican Party rules that limited committee chairmanships to six years, Stevens gave up the Appropriations gavel at the start of the 109th Congress, in January 2005. He chaired the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation during the 109th Congress. He resigned his ranking member position on the committee due to his indictment.[27]

Stevens also has been Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, the Senate Ethics Committee, the Arms Control Observer Group, and the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress.

Political issues

Internet and network neutrality

Main article: Series of tubes

On June 28, 2006, the Senate commerce committee was in the final day of three days of hearings,[28] during which the Committee members considered over 200 amendments to an omnibus telecommunications bill. Senator Stevens authored the bill, S. 2686[29], the Communications, Consumer’s Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006.

Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) cosponsored and spoke on behalf of an amendment that would have inserted strong network neutrality mandates into the bill. In between speeches by Snowe and Dorgan, Stevens gave an 11 minute speech in which he made several technical and terminological errors while attempting to explain his opposition to the amendment. For example, he referred to the Internet as “not a big truck,” but a “series of tubes” that could be clogged with information. He also complained that “an Internet [sic] was sent by my staff” and that commercial traffic delayed it by five days; it is believed he was referring to an e-mail which was sent by his staff.

Of 22 Senators, 11 voted for the amendment and 11 against. Because it failed to garner majority support, the amendment failed.[28] Soon after, Stevens’ interpretation of how the Internet worked became a topic on the blogosphere, with many writers and commentators derisively citing Stevens’ misunderstanding of Internet technology, arguing that the speech showed that Stevens had apparently formed a strong opinion on a topic which he understood poorly.[30] This Internet phenomenon sparked mainstream media attention, and was prominently featured on several episodes of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. “Series of tubes” has now become an Internet meme.

Logging

Stevens escorts former first lady Nancy Reagan at the Ronald W. Reagan Missile Defense Site dedication ceremony, April 10, 2006

Stevens escorts former first lady Nancy Reagan at the Ronald W. Reagan Missile Defense Site dedication ceremony, April 10, 2006

Stevens has been a long-standing proponent of logging. He championed a plan that would allow 2,400,000 acres (9,700 km²) of roadless old growth forest (a refuge for endangered wildlife), to be clear-cut. Stevens has stated that this would revive Alaska’s timber industry and bring jobs to unemployed loggers; however, the proposal would mean that thousands of miles of roads would be constructed at the expense of the United States Forest Service, judged to cost taxpayers $200,000 per job created.

Abortion

Stevens considers himself “pro-choice”. According to Ontheissues.org[31] and NARAL[32], Ted Stevens has a mildly pro-life voting record, despite some notable pro-choice votes[33].

However, as a former member of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership, Stevens presumably supported human embryonic stem cell research.[34]

Global Warming

Stevens, once an avowed critic of anthropogenic climate change, began actively supporting legislation to combat climate change in early 2007. “Global climate change is a very serious problem for us, becoming more so every day,” he said at a Senate hearing, adding that he was “concerned about the human impacts on our climate.”[35]

However, in September 2007, Stevens said:

We’re at the end of a long, long term of warming. 700 to 900 years of increased temperature, a very slow increase. We think we’re close to the end of that. If we’re close to the end of that, that means that we’ll starting getting cooler gradually, not very rapidly, but cooler once again and stability might come to this region for a period of another 900 years.[36]

Criticism of political positions and actions

Ted Stevens has taken criticism for a wide variety of positions and actions taken in the Senate. He placed a secret hold on a bill that would allow easier accountability and research of all federal funding measures, described the Internet as a “series of tubes” when taking a strong alliance with the telecommunications industry[citation needed] against network neutrality,[37] and supported perceived pork barrel projects such as the Gravina Island Bridge and the Knik Arm Bridge (collectively known as the “Bridges to Nowhere” by their opponents). He threatened to resign from the Senate if Congress targeted only Alaska’s annual transportation funds to help repair Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina damage if not required from every other state proportionally. The funding in consideration would have been redirected from funds restricted by Congress for Alaskan bridges. Citizens Against Government Waste is a frequent critic of Stevens’ affinity for pork and keeps a list of his projects.[38]

Additionally, he received criticism for introducing a bill[39] in January 2007 that would heavily restrict access to social networking sites from public schools and libraries. Sites falling under the language of this bill could include MySpace, Facebook, Digg, Wikipedia and Reddit. [40][41][42]

Ethical issues and federal investigations

In December 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Stevens had taken advantage of lax Senate rules to use his political influence to earn a large amount of his personal wealth.[43] According to the article, while Stevens was already a millionaire “thanks to investments with businessmen who received government contracts or other benefits with his help,” the lawmaker who is in charge of $800 billion a year, writes “preferences he wrote into law” that he benefits from.[43]

Home remodeling and VECO

On May 29, 2007, the Anchorage Daily News reported that the FBI and a federal grand jury were investigating an “extensive” remodeling project at Stevens’ home in Girdwood. The remodeling work, which more than doubled the size of the modest home, public records show that the home is now 2,471 square feet (230 m²) and valued at about $441,000-which means that it was less than 1,200 square feet (110 m²) before the remodel, occurred in the summer and fall of 2000, was organized by VECO Corporation, an oil-field service company that has long been a strong lobbying presence in Juneau. Earlier in May, two top Veco executives pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy, bribery and tax charges.[44] In June, the Anchorage Daily News reported that a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., heard evidence in May about the expansion of Stevens’ Girdwood home and other matters connecting Stevens to Veco.[45] In mid-June, FBI agents questioned several aides who work for Stevens as part of the investigation.[46] In July, Washingtonian magazine reported that Stevens had hired “Washington’s most powerful and expensive lawyer”, Brendan Sullivan Jr., in response to the investigation.[47] Stevens’ Alaska home was raided by the FBI and IRS on July 30, 2007.[48]

Former aide McCabe

The Justice Department is also examining whether federal funds that Stevens steered to the Alaska SeaLife Center may have enriched a former aide.[49] Currently the United States Department of Commerce and the Interior Department’s inspector general are investigating “how millions of dollars that Stevens (R-Alaska) obtained for the nonprofit Alaska SeaLife Center were spent.”[49] According to CNN, “Among the questions is how about $700,000 of nearly $4 million directed to the National Park Service wound up being paid to companies associated with Trevor McCabe, a former legislative director for Stevens.”[49]

Trident Seafoods

In 2007 Stevens added $3.5 million into a Senate spending bill to help finance an airport to serve a remote Alaskan island.[50] The airstrip would connect the roughly 100 permanent residents of Akutan, but the biggest beneficiary is the Seattle-based Trident Seafoods Corp. that operates “one of the world’s largest seafood processing plants on the volcanic island in the Aleutians.”[50] In December 2006 a federal grand jury investigating political corruption in Alaska ordered Trident and other seafood companies to produce documents about ties to the senator’s son, former Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board Chairman Ben Stevens.[50] Trident’s chief executive, Charles Bundrant, is a longtime supporter of Sen. Stevens, and Bundrant with his family contributed $17,300 since 1995 to Ted Stevens’ political campaigns and $10,800 to his leadership PAC while Bundrant also gave $55,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.[50]

Bob Penney

In September, The Hill reported that Stevens had “steered millions of federal dollars to a sportfishing industry group founded by Bob Penney, a longtime friend”. In 1998, Stevens invested $15,000 in Utah land deal managed by Penney; in 2004, Stevens sold his share of the property for $150,000. [51]

Indictment

On July 29, 2008 Stevens was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of falsely reporting gifts. The charges relate to renovations to his home and to more than $250,000 worth of gifts he has allegedly received from VECO Corporation.[52][53] The indictment followed a lengthy investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for possible corruption based on his relationship with Bill Allen, an oil service company executive, who has pled guilty to bribing Alaskan legislators, including Stevens’ son, former State Senator Ben Stevens. The IRS and the FBI had searched Stevens’ home in Alaska on July 30, 2007.[54] On July 31, 2008 Stevens pled not guilty to the charges in a federal district court, and he requested that the trial be done before the 2008 election.[55][56]

Other notes

Stevens was named “Alaskan of the Century” in 2000. In the same year, the Alaska Legislature renamed the largest airport in Alaska to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.[57]

The Ted Stevens Foundation is a charity established to “assist in educating and informing the public about the career of Senator Ted Stevens”. The chairman is Tim McKeever, a lobbyist who was treasurer of Stevens’ 2004 campaign. In May 2006, McKeever said that the charity was “nonpartisan and nonpolitical,” and that Stevens does not raise money for the foundation, although he has attended some fund-raisers.[58]

When he is discussing issues that are especially important to him (such as opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling), Stevens wears a necktie with The Incredible Hulk on it to show his seriousness.[59] Marvel Comics has sent him free Hulk paraphernalia and has thrown a Hulk party for him.[60]

On December 21, 2005, Senator Stevens said that the vote to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge “has been the saddest day of my life,” [61].

In May 2006, the Senate Majority Project, a partisan political organization, nominated Stevens as “Drama Queen of the US Senate” for his “entertaining tactics”.[62]

On April 13, 2007, Senator Stevens was recognized as being the longest serving Republican senator in history with a career spanning over 38 years. His colleague, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), referred to Stevens as ‘The Strom Thurmond of the Arctic Circle’.

November 18, 2003, the senator’s 80th birthday, was declared “Senator Ted Stevens Appreciation Day” by the Governor of Alaska, Frank H. Murkowski.[63]

Stevens delivered a eulogy of Gerald R. Ford at the 38th President’s funeral ceremony on December 30, 2006.

See also

  • Series of Tubes
  • Earmark

Footnotes

  1. ^ Theodore Fulton “Ted” Stevens genealogy. Rootsweb.com. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Whitney, David. (1994-08-08). “Formative years: Stevens’ life wasn’t easy growing up in the depression with a divided family.” Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
  3. ^ a b c Mitchell, Donald Craig. (2001). Take My Land, Take My Life: The Story of Congress’s Historic Settlement of Alaska Native Land Claims, 1960–1971. Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska Press, p. 220.
  4. ^ a b Mitchell, 2001, p. 221.
  5. ^ “About the Committee: Vice Chairman” (biography of Ted Stevens). United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Retrieved on 2007-06-01.
  6. ^ a b c “With the editors…” 64 Harvard Law Review vii (1950).
  7. ^ a b c Mitchell, 2001, p. 222.
  8. ^ Stevens, Theodore F. “Erie R.R. v. Tompkins and the Uniform General Maritime Law.” 64 Harvard Law Review 88–112 (1950).
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Whitney, David. (1994-08-09). “The road north: Needing work, Stevens borrows $600, answers call to Alaska.” Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
  10. ^ Ely, Northcutt. (1994-12-16). “Doctor Ray Lyman Wilbur: Third President of Stanford & Secretary of the Interior.” Paper presented at the Fortnightly Club of Redlands, California, meeting #1530. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  11. ^ Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation. (2006). “Emil Usibelli (1893–1964).” Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  12. ^ Michael Crowley, “In Praise of Ted Stevens, the Senate’s Angriest Man”, New Republic, posted August 31, 2007, print date September 10, 2007
  13. ^ a b c Mitchell, 2001, p. 223.
  14. ^ a b c d Mitchell, 2001, p. 224.
  15. ^ a b Mitchell, 2001, p. 225.
  16. ^ Voice of the Times. (2004-12-31). “Test your legislative knowledge.” Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Mitchell, 2001, p. 226.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Whitney, David. (1994-08-10). “Seeking statehood: Stevens bent rules to bring Alaska into the union.” Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
  19. ^ University of Alaska. (ca. 2004). “Constitutional Convention.” Creating Alaska: The Origins of the 49th State (website). Retrieved on 2007-06-21.
  20. ^ a b Alaska Statehood Act, Pub. L. 85-508, 72 Stat. 339. July 7, 1958. Codified at 48 U.S.C., Chapter 2.
  21. ^ University of Alaska. (ca. 2004). “Alaskans for Statehood: Robert B. Atwood.” Creating Alaska: The Origins of the 49th State (website). Retrieved on 2007-06-21.
  22. ^ University of Alaska. (ca. 2004). “Signing of the Alaska Statehood Proclamation, January 3, 1959.” Creating Alaska: The Origins of the 49th State (website). Retrieved on 2007-06-21.
  23. ^ “About Senator Stevens” (official biography). United States Senator Ted Stevens (official website). Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
  24. ^ Aaron Blake, “Begich’s entry tees up first tough reelection race in Stevens’s career”, TheHill.com, February 27, 2008.
  25. ^ “Ted Stevens — and Senate GOP — In Trouble”, The Nation (2007-07-30). Retrieved on 2007-05-29.
  26. ^ “Senator predicts Democrats will win Alaska Senate race”, Associated Press, Juneau Empire (2008-07-24). Retrieved on 2008-07-26.
  27. ^ http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news-000002929015
  28. ^ a b “Full Committee Markup – Communications Reform Bill.” U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, June 28, 2006. (The audio from the day’s hearing is available at a streaming media file in RealMedia format. Stevens’ speech begins at 1:13:11 and ends at 1:24:19.)
  29. ^ “S.2686. A bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 and for other purposes.”
  30. ^ Singel, Ryan and Kevin Poulsen. (2006-06-30). “Your Own Personal Internet.” 27B Stroke 6, Wired.com. Retrieved on 2006-08-24.
  31. ^ “Ted Stevens on Abortion.” On the Issues: Every Political Leader on Every Issue. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
  32. ^ “Congressional Record on Choice by State” (Alaska). NARAL. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
  33. ^ “U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 108th Congress – 1st Session: On the Amendment (Harkin Amdt. No. 260). Vote date March 12, 2003. United States Senate, Legislation & Records. Retrieved on 2007-05-31
  34. ^ “Congressional Members: 109th Congress”. Republican Main Street Partnership. Archived from the original on 2005-11-24.
  35. ^ Adair, Bill. (2007-02-24). “Senator’s new views on climate surprise foes.” St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
  36. ^ John Tracy, “Shishmaref feels heat of global warming”, KTUU.com, September 3, 2007
  37. ^ “Full Committee Markup – Communications Reform Bill.” June 28, 2006. United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
  38. ^ “Senator Ted Stevens’ Pork Tally.” Citizens Against Government Waste. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
  39. ^ Search Results – THOMAS (Library of Congress)
  40. ^ U.S. senator: It’s time to ban Wikipedia in schools, libraries | Computerworld Blogs
  41. ^ Fear And Loathing on The Anti-Anti-Predator Campaign | Threat Level from Wired.com
  42. ^ DOPA Jr. Is Not A Wikipedia Ban | WebProNews
  43. ^ a b “Senator’s Way to Wealth Was Paved With Favors”, Los Angeles Times (December 17, 2003). Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  44. ^ Richard Mauer (May 29, 2007). “Feds eye Stevens’ home remodeling project”, Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  45. ^ Richard Mauer (June 17, 2007). “Grand jury examines Stevens’ ties to Veco”, Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  46. ^ Matt Apuzzo (June 19, 2007). “Sen. Stevens aides questioned in probe”, Associated Press. Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  47. ^ Kim Eisler, “Sen. Ted Stevens Hires Super-Lawyer Brendan Sullivan”, Washingtonian Magazine, July 1, 2007
  48. ^ “FBI photographs wine in raid of senator’s home”, MSNBC (July 31, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  49. ^ a b c “Probe eyes money Stevens steered to research center”, CNN (August 1, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  50. ^ a b c d “Stevens’ Earmark Funds Airport Project That Benefits One Company”, CQ Politics (August 1, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  51. ^ Manu Raju, “Catching fish, netting earmarks up in Alaska”, The Hill, September 6, 2007
  52. ^ “Grand jury indicts Alaska senator”, CNN (2008-07-29). Retrieved on 2008-07-29.
  53. ^ “Justice Department indicts Sen. Ted Stevens”, MSNBC (2008-07-29). Retrieved on 2008-07-29.
  54. ^ “FBI raids U.S. senator’s home”, Associated Press (2007-07-30). Retrieved on 2007-07-31.
  55. ^ “Stevens pleads not guilty in corruption case”, Associated Press, MSNBC (2008-07-31). Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  56. ^ “Stevens pleads not guilty, seeks early trial”, Anchorage Daily News (2007-07-31). Retrieved on 2007-07-31.
  57. ^ “Stevens biographical timeline”, Anchorage Daily News, July 29, 2008
  58. ^ Michael Kranish, “Limits urged on political charities: Watchdogs target funds legislators helped create”, Boston Globe, May 7, 2006
  59. ^ adn.com | alaska : Senate to vote today on ANWR
  60. ^ AKLegislature.com: Anger management: Stevens meets the Hulk
  61. ^ Senate Rejects Bid for Drilling in Arctic Area – New York Times
  62. ^ http://www.senatemajority.com/node/289
  63. ^ Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Ted Stevens
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Ted Stevens
  • United States Senator Ted Stevens, U.S. Senate site
  • www.TedStevens2008.com, 2008 Re-election site
  • Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Voting record maintained by The Washington Post
  • Campaign finance reports and data at the Federal Election Commission
  • Campaign contributions at OpenSecrets.org
  • Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
  • Issue positions and quotes at On The Issues
  • SourceWatch Congresspedia — Ted Stevens profile
Media
  • “Alaska Political Corruption” Continuing coverage from the Anchorage Daily News
  • Ted Stevens under criminal investigation for corruption
  • NOW on PBS: An inside look into the Alaskan oil gifts scandal.
  • Ted Stevens News from The New York Times
United States Senate
Preceded by
Bob Bartlett
United States Senator (Class 2) from Alaska
December 24, 1968 – present
Served alongside: Ernest Gruening, Mike Gravel, Frank Murkowski, Lisa Murkowski
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert P. Griffin
Senate Minority Whip
1977 – 1981
Succeeded by
Alan Cranston
Preceded by
Alan Cranston
Senate Majority Whip
1981 – 1985
Succeeded by
Alan K. Simpson
Preceded by
Malcolm Wallop
Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee
1983 – 1987
Succeeded by
Howell Heflin
Preceded by
Wendell H. Ford
Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee
1995
Succeeded by
John Warner
Preceded by
William V. Roth, Jr.
Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
1995 – 1997
Succeeded by
Fred Thompson
Preceded by
Mark Hatfield
Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee
1997 – 2001
Succeeded by
Robert Byrd
Preceded by
Robert Byrd
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
2003 – 2007
Succeeded by
Robert Byrd
Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee
2003 – 2005
Succeeded by
Thad Cochran
Preceded by
John McCain
Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee
2005 – 2007
Succeeded by
Daniel Inouye
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bill Brock
Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
1975 – 1977
Succeeded by
Bob Packwood
Preceded by
Robert P. Griffin
Senate Republican Whip
1977 – 1985
Succeeded by
Alan K. Simpson
Order of precedence in the United States of America
Preceded by
Daniel Inouye
United States Senators by seniority
4th
Succeeded by
Pete Domenici
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Robert Byrd
President pro tempore emeritus of the United States Senate
2007 – present
Incumbent

Persondata
NAME Stevens, Ted
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Stevens, Theodore Fulton
SHORT DESCRIPTION senior United States Senator from Alaska
DATE OF BIRTH November 18, 1923
PLACE OF BIRTH Indianapolis, Indiana
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH
This text comes from Wikipedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikipedia.

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