Ted Stevens Needs Your Vote

October 27, 2008

Upon today’s conviction by a jury of his peers, legendary Senator Ted “Internets” Stevens probably worsened his chances of being re-elected to the U.S. Senate.  He certainly can keep his campaign going to Voting day next week, since neither the Constitution nor Senate rules prevent a convicted felon from serving in the Senate.  There is one thing that Stevens can’t do, however.

He can’t vote for himself.  He can’t vote, period.  Maybe.

The State of Alaska prohibits convicted felons from registering to vote until after they have served their sentence, including probation.  At this moment he is a convicted felon.  Since Stevens is already registered, though, does this mean he can still vote?  I can’t find any Alaska precedent to answer this, but my guess is that if he were an ordinary citizen he would be stripped of his right to vote the moment the jury passed judgment.  Some astute reporter ought to get us an answer to this one before next Tuesday.


The Senate Bailout Bill

October 2, 2008

President Bush’s bailout bill was 3 pages in length.  The one that the House of Representatives defeated was 106.  The Senate bailout bill passed on October 1st is 451 pages.  Historians will note that this is a mental health bill with a few additional provisions.

Only the first 113 pages of the Senate bill are actually related to the bailout.  The remainder are essentially pork barrel provisions attached to get Senators to vote for the plan, including:

  • Renewable energy credits
  • FUTA surtax
  • Alternative minimum tax relief
  • Tax breaks for teachers
  • Investment in Washington, DC
  • Something about wooden arrows and children
  • and on and on

There are 101 energy, tax, mental health, Federal land and disaster provisions – something for everyone.  It has essentially become an energy and tax credit plan with an oh-by-the-way bailout attached to the front of it.  This is how we legislate.

Read it here if you’d like.  It’s a PDF document.

Yet the non-bailout riders in the House plan will wildly top this.  I am wildly disgusted and will torture myself by poring through the House bill as soon as I can find it.