Stevens Happy Expulsion Vote on Ice

Posted November 18, 2008 at 10:46am

Embattled Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said Tuesday that he was happy Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) decided to postpone a vote to expel him from the Republican Conference. DeMint had originally hoped to have a vote on Stevens’ expulsion as punishment for the Alaska lawmaker’s recent seven-count felony conviction, but DeMint announced Tuesday morning that he would put off the vote until after Stevens’ re-election race is decided. Vote-counting in the race that pitted Stevens against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) is expected to be completed Tuesday evening. Begich leads by 1,022 votes. Emerging from a closed-door GOP Conference meeting, Stevens said he had not yet had the opportunity to defend himself because DeMint had pulled the motion. “I haven’t had a chance,” Stevens told reporters. Despite a reputation as a fighter, Stevens, who was celebrating his 85th birthday Tuesday, was visibly worn down. “I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in four months. I’ve been living three lives, so it’s hard to answer your questions,” he said. “I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been going through on anyone.” When asked if he would seek or accept a presidential pardon, Stevens rejected the idea. “No, no, no, no.”