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Democrat takes lead in Alaska Senate race


Nov 13, 9:18 AM EST


Democrat takes lead in Alaska Senate race

By GENE JOHNSON
Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Just as Sen. Ted Stevens appeared set to return to Congress, felony conviction and all, his re-election bid has faltered. If he loses, it also closes a possible door into the Senate anytime soon for Gov. Sarah Palin.

As counting of early and absentee ballots continued in Stevens' race against Democrat Mark Begich, the contest for Alaska's only House seat was settled Wednesday, with the re-election of Republican incumbent Don Young for his 19th term.

In the Stevens race, Begich jumped to an 814-vote lead, after trailing by 3,200 when the day began. The tally late Wednesday was 132,196 to 131,382, with an estimated 30,000 ballots remaining to be counted, some on Friday and some next week.

"After watching the votes today, I remain cautiously optimistic," Begich, a two-term Anchorage mayor, said in a news release. "We ran an aggressive campaign, especially when it came to early voting and absentee."

Stevens' campaign did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Last month, a federal jury in Washington convicted Stevens of lying on Senate disclosure forms to conceal more than $250,000 in gifts and home renovations from an oil field services company.

That might have spelled quick political doom for a lesser figure, but Stevens is revered here for his decades of public service - and especially for scoring the state enormous sums of federal money.

Begich would be the first Democrat to win a Senate race in Alaska since the mid-1970s, and a victory would put his party one step closer to a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority in the Senate. Democrats are also trying to unseat Republicans in unresolved contests in Georgia and Minnesota.

Fellow senators have called on Stevens to resign if he wins, and he could face expulsion if he declines to step down. In either case a special election would be held to determine his replacement. Palin, fresh from her failed run at the vice presidency, said Wednesday she'd be interested in serving in the Senate.

"My life is in God's hands," Palin said. "If he's got doors open for me, that I believe are in our state's best interest, the nation's best interest, I'm going to go through those doors."

In the House race, The Associated Press declared Young the winner with 50 percent of the vote compared with Democrat Ethan Berkowitz's 45 percent.

Berkowitz campaign spokesman David Shurtleff said the Democrat was not ready to concede, although he acknowledged dim prospects.

Election officials Wednesday counted 57,000 of the estimated 90,000 outstanding ballots, which include absentee, early, questioned and provisional ballots.

Should the Senate results remain close a recount is possible. In Alaska, the losing candidate or a collection of 10 voters has three days to petition for a recount unless the vote was a tie, in which case it would be automatic.

If the difference between the candidates is within 0.5 percent of the total votes cast, the state pays for the recount, to be started within three days of the recount petition. The state Elections Division has 10 days to complete the recount.

If Stevens holds onto his seat, he might remain in the Senate for some time. As a practical matter, Stevens can't be expelled by the full Senate until after an Ethics Committee investigation and a majority vote of that panel. That won't happen until next year at the earliest.

Stevens also plans to appeal his conviction after he's sentenced, in February at the earliest. The appeal could take months or years.

President George W. Bush could also pardon him.
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"Corporations have a ton of cash. The corporate tax rate is not killing big business in America" - Bill Kristol

... "Keep on rockin' in the free world!" ... Neil Young
11/13/2008, 4:23 pm Link to this post Send Email to 3ChordsandtheTruth   Send PM to 3ChordsandtheTruth
 
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Re: Democrat takes lead in Alaska Senate race


[sign in to see URL] like Felony Ted's days are numbered.

I was kind of hoping for a scenario where by Stevens wins, then resigns, triggers a series of events that end up with Palin as a Senator. That way she can finaly be exposed for the fraud that she is. Either that, or the brain dead rednecks of the world unite, support her and she goes on to win the Presidency, which also triggers a mass migration of all Americans with an IQ over 60 to leave the country.
11/13/2008, 4:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to stonesurfdog5   Send PM to stonesurfdog5
 
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Re: Democrat takes lead in Alaska Senate race


I don't know SD, that plays right into Sarah's game plan. She can play is safe in the Senate and still gain national exposure. While if condemned to finish her gubernatorial term, she would have to force herself into the national spot-light ... and that would be a very difficult talk.

---
"Corporations have a ton of cash. The corporate tax rate is not killing big business in America" - Bill Kristol

... "Keep on rockin' in the free world!" ... Neil Young
11/13/2008, 5:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to 3ChordsandtheTruth   Send PM to 3ChordsandtheTruth
 
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Re: Democrat takes lead in Alaska Senate race


Well, I just think that the more exposure Palin gets, the better it is. She was proven to be a massive drag on McCain's campaign, outside the base and much like an onion, the more opportunities that the American public and the media are given to peel back her layers, the more she will stink!
11/13/2008, 5:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to stonesurfdog5   Send PM to stonesurfdog5
 
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Re: Democrat takes lead in Alaska Senate race


4 years is a long time ... and she will only get better with the media ... and smarter on national and foriegn issues. It won't be the same baptism by fire that she just endured.

Remaining governor, handicaps Sarah's message to the country and even to her own party. She already proved she's a much better campaigner than McCain ... keep in mind voters get used to people ... if Palin gets exposure there will be a large sect of the GOP that will forgive any transgretions ... and get back on the Palin snow machine.

Then she's dangerous.

Of course ultimately the ball is in Obama's court. If he does just a good job ... he'll get relected. If he he does a terrific job ... he can hand pretty much pick a successor.

Either way ... WE ... can finally exhale.


---
"Corporations have a ton of cash. The corporate tax rate is not killing big business in America" - Bill Kristol

... "Keep on rockin' in the free world!" ... Neil Young
11/13/2008, 5:50 pm Link to this post Send Email to 3ChordsandtheTruth   Send PM to 3ChordsandtheTruth
 
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Re: Democrat takes lead in Alaska Senate race


Yes, [sign in to see URL] long as Obama does his job, everything else will take care of itself.
11/13/2008, 5:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to stonesurfdog5   Send PM to stonesurfdog5
 


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