FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Senator Ted Stevens was the guy behind Alaska's "bridge to nowhere". He might soon be able to use that bridge to cross from the Senate to a federal prison.
The Alaska Republican was indicted on charges of lying about accepting gifts from an oil company, somewhere to the tune of $250,000. That included work on his home like a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing and electrical wiring, along with a gas grill, furniture, tools and a sweetheart deal on a Land Rover.
Stevens insists he's innocent and his office says he'll move "full steam ahead" toward re-election. Nice.
Watch: Cafferty: Stevens hurt GOP?
The six-term Senator will likely face his toughest general-election challenge so far against the mayor of Anchorage, who was already leading in the polls. What is it about politicians who think they can simply continue in office after running afoul of the law. Remember the weasel Larry Craig?
The news probably couldn't come at a worse time for the Republicans. This kind of stuff could help the Democrats reach a 60-seat majority in the Senate, which would let them break Republican filibusters.
Stevens' legal problems could even affect the presidential race. Alaska is a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but Barack Obama has sent staffers there – which likely means he's ready to compete.
Some of Stevens' Republican colleagues are already distancing themselves, donating campaign contributions from Stevens to charity and refusing to comment on whether they support his decision to stay in the Senate.
Here’s my question to you: How will Ted Stevens' indictment affect an already-wounded GOP?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jonathan from Hartford, Connecticut writes:
The GOP does not hurt. They feel nothing but the pleasures of revenge and vindictive vetting. They have survived DeLay, Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, Bush, Rove, LIbby, Cheney, Vitter, Craig and Goodling. Stevens is nothing, get it over with before Christmas and give him a pardon. The American people have short memories and shorter attention spans.
What a surprise! The guy is just living like a Republican. This is the kind of stuff taught at the Republican boot camp. He is just expressing his loyalty to his party's values.
Joe from Arlington, Virginia writes:
The Stevens’ bribery case looks similar to Congressman Duke Cunningham's case in 2006. Even though the "Duke" went to jail, there wasn't much fallout. Bribery is ok. Stevens would have to be hanging with Senator Larry Craig in the Capitol men’s room to affect Republicans.
Eugene from California writes:
Jack, Stevens is just another corrupt politician. It doesn't matter which party they belong to. They're all corrupt.
Steven's indictment adds more fuel to the Republican disgrace. The thing that really bugs me is he will be found guilty, go to prison and still receive his very generous retirement.
Jack, No more than your boy Jefferson who had the 90K in cash in with the frozen hot dogs! Two four-year terms and then get out of Washington.
I doubt it will affect anything. Unfortunately the voters in this country seem to have no memory at election time. That’s why the same idiots serve 6 terms.
Galen from Vancouver writes:
Will Sen. Stevens’ scandal affect the Republicans? Before or after Diebold 'counts' the votes?