Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McCain & Palin Call on Stevens to Resign

Both John McCain and Sarah Palin have called on Alaska Senator Ted Stevens to resign in light of his conviction yesterday on seven counts of failing to properly report gifts.

Now some might say to McCain and Palin, "Yeah, now you call for him to resign."

But the last time I checked everyone, including Republican Senators, are innocent until proven guilty. It would have been improper for McCain, Palin or anyone else to call on Stevens to step down until the jury spoke. Suppose McCain and Palin had called on Stevens to resign and he had been acquitted?

Stevens has stated at this point that he has no intention of abandoning his eighth election to the Senate. Of course, if he is re-elected he could be the only thing that separates the country from a Democratic super majority. Unlike other states, Governor Palin cannot make a temporary appointment as a result of a 2004 ballot initiative. (http://www.elections.alaska.gov/initbal.php)
A special election would have to be held between 60 to 90 days of the vacancy unless the vacancy occurs within 60 days of the primary election for that seat. The primary took place on August 26th. Guess what? The 60 days have already elapsed as of last Saturday. Had he resigned before Saturday then the 60 to 90 day provision would have been waived. Either way, if Stevens resigns then Palin cannot fill the seat with another Republican and if he does resign the advantage goes to the Democrats in the special election given all the negative attention Alaska Republicans have received fair or not.

Of course, Stevens will appeal his conviction. Given all the troubles that occurred with the jury I am surprised it didn't end in a mistrial. No doubt his lawyers will focus their attention on the jury deliberations. Nonetheless, given the jury's verdict McCain and Palin could not do any other than call on Stevens to resign.

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