Friday, November 07, 2008

DeMint Calls for Stevens' Expulsion From Senate

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate, is apparently leaning hard on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to give convicted-felon Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska the boot before the 111th Congress even convenes in January.

According to Politico, DeMint is rejecting Stevens' contention that his Senate colleagues should postpone judgment until an appeal is heard on his recent seven felony convictions, while demanding that McConnell show leadership on the issue during November's lame-duck Senate session.

More from Politico:
DeMint, one of the most conservative members of the Senate, is said to be angry with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for tolerating a convicted felon in the GOP caucus.

McConnell called on Stevens to resign last week after the Alaska senator was convicted on seven federal felony counts. McConnell said there was “zero chance” Stevens wouldn’t be expelled from the Senate if he didn’t resign — but he also made it clear that Stevens would have a chance to appeal his conviction first.

Stevens, who has rebuffed calls to quit, claims he has “not been convicted yet” because he still has the right to appeal.
Expulsion of a sitting Senator requires a 67-vote majority and all of this is, of course, predicated on Stevens surviving his election challenge from Democrat Mark Begich -- those votes are still being counted in Alaska.

Maybe I'm just a cruel person, but the only reason I would like to see Stevens return to the Senate is to see Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) immediately refer this to the Senate Ethics Committee. With that committee chaired by one of our favorites, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Stevens might just take himself out rather than have to answer to her.