Senator Ted Stevens (Republican-Alaska) is convicted on seven felony counts for hiding more than US$250,000 in gifts received from an oil executive while in office. Stevens is locked in a tight re-election battle that now looks likely to go to the Democrats.
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Stevens maintains his innocence and asks Alaskans to stand with him.
Conviction does not prevent Stevens from serving in the Senate, but oddsmakers find it unlikely he’ll get the chance. Polling is not yet available. A Democratic pickup of a Senate seat in deep red Alaska could play a big role as Democrats fight toward a 60-seat working majority.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin declines to say whether she will vote for Stevens, but may be hinting that he should resign now so she can appoint a new Republican candidate. Senator John McCain skips hinting and calls for Stevens to resign.
For background on the U.S. gift disclosure laws that Stevens broke and the judicial system that convicted him, see the Global Integrity Report: United States.
— Jonathan Werve