Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, was convicted Monday of seven counts of corruption related to gifts he received from an oil services company, according to a report in the New York Times.
In his career as the longest-serving Republican U.S. senator, Stevens became known as a shrewd and ruthless politician who relentless sought federal cash for his state. He was the king of pork, and was referred to as a pillar of the Alaskan economy, so lavish was the federal spending he arranged.
The trial focused on whether Stevens received $250,000 of free work on his house courtesy of VECO, the oil services company that had benefited from the senator's earmarks.
He is unlikely, according to the Times, to receive anything near the 35 years of prison time possible (five for each count).
Alaska is a state with an incestuous relationship with oil, seeing as how its unparalleled wild spaces yield enough oil revenue to keep taxpayers from being, well, taxpayers, at least where incomes taxes are concerned.
Stevens faced a tough re-election bid even before the indictment. Justice, or political expediency, may make the decision for voters.
"Despite being a convicted felon, he is not required to drop out of the race or resign from the Senate," according to the Times. "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."
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