Main | Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McCain & Palin Call For Stevens To Quit

Today John McCain and Sarah Palin issued separate calls for convicted Alaska Senator Ted Stevens to resign.
Sarah Palin has told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo that she believes Stevens "needs to step aside and allow our state to elect someone who will be supportive of those ideals of America." On Tuesday morning, John McCain called for Sen. Ted Stevens to step down after the Alaska lawmaker was found guilty on seven counts of corruption charges, while a campaign aide suggested on television that Sarah Palin would not vote for the embattled legislator in his tight reelection race.

"Yesterday, Senator Ted Stevens was found guilty of corruption. It is a sign of the health of our democracy that the people continue to hold their representatives to account for improper or illegal conduct, but this verdict is also a sign of the corruption and insider-dealing that has become so pervasive in our nation's capital," McCain said, adding: "It is clear that Senator Stevens has broken his trust with the people and that he should now step down. I hope that my colleagues in the Senate will be spurred by these events to redouble their efforts to end this kind of corruption once and for all."
Stevens has vowed to appeal his corruption conviction and stay in the race. If he wins, he may be expelled by his fellow Senators for misconduct. If that happens or if he resigns, Palin can appoint an interim Senator until a special election is called. In 2004 Alaska changed the rules on replacing members of Congress. The new rule:
When a vacancy occurs in the office of United States senator or United States representative, the governor shall, by proclamation, call a special election to be held on a date not less than 60, nor more than 90, days after the date the vacancy occurs. However, if the vacancy occurs on a date that is less than 60 days before or is on or after the date of the primary election in the general election year during which a candidate to fill the office is regularly elected, the governor may not call a special election.
The new replacement rule may face a constitutional challenge in Alaska.

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