When Ted Stevens, former senator from Alaska, was convicted on seven felony counts of corruption, I stressed that what I knew about Stevens’s corruption was not what was debated in court but what happened, quite openly, in the U.S. Senate.
Do you remember my verdict? Here’s what I said: “[I]f as many as five or six — or even all seven — of the counts against him are not upheld, his name will still appear dirty in my book, dirty from all the porkbarelling. Senator Ted Stevens is a horrifying example of much that is wrong in government.”
Stevens has always been proud of his porkmeistering, his attempts to transform independent-minded Alaskans into our union’s biggest pork recipients.
Further, Stevens insisted upon his innocence of illegal corruption all through his trial. And in his appeal his lawyers made much of a whistle blower’s leaked information from the prosecution that the office did not fully disclose all the information from a chief witness. At that point, there was almost no possible recourse but to overturn the convictions.
According to Eric Holder, top banana at the Department of Justice, there will be no second prosecution.
I still have no certainty about the DOJ’s case against Stevens. But I do have certainty about my case against Stevens’s politics of pork.
One additional bit of certainty: Corruption is in plentiful supply among prosecutors, including in the U.S. Department of Justice.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.