Ted Stevens 1923-2010

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Sen Ted StevensFormer Sen. Ted Stevens was confirmed dead at the site of a plane crash in Alaska. The plane was carrying eight other passengers. Four other people involved in the crash are also confirmed dead.

Here at the Sunlight Foundation we spent some time covering the tail end of Stevens’ career, which was plagued by a series of corruption scandals. Stevens’ career in Congress ended after he was found guilty on seven felony counts of failing to report gifts from an oil services company. Stevens was defeated for reelection in 2008 and, in 2010, found the charges against him thrown out due to gross malfeasance by Justice Department prosecutors.

This was just one aspect to the career of the longest serving Republican in Senate history. While Stevens may have been totally crooked, he is an absolutely fascinating character who nearly single-handedly made Alaska into a state. He was the last pioneer politician and I’m glad that through looking at his finances I got to learn more about an incredibly interesting, soon-to-be artifact of American politics.

Talking Points Memo has a good obit for Stevens. His Wikipedia page also has a nice summary of his career. The Open Congress wiki page also has a good history. Here’s hoping he has a safe trip down that final series of tubes.

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