First, as I mentioned in my earlier post, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he was recommending the judge throw out the felony convictions of former Senator Ted Stevens because of "prosecutorial misconduct."
In their court filing Wednesday, Justice Department lawyer Paul O’Brien told the judge they recently discovered prosecutors’ notes from an April 2008 interview with Bill Allen, a key witness against Stevens.
The notes’ indicate that Allen said he did not recall talking to a specific person about giving a bill to Ted Steven.
Yet when he testified at the trial, Allen claimed he had such a conversation. Under trial rules, such contradictory statements are supposed to be given to the defense team, and they weren’t.
It's only common sense to believe that the prosecutors should be severely punished. Though there is no evidence it was intentional, they made a grave error on top of other errors which may have effected the outcome of this trial.
However, there was plenty of evidence that Senator Ted Stevens was receiving unreported gifts.
Today was one of those weird days where Governor Palin and I actually agreed on something. It was only one thing, but it was something.
Her press people stated that the reason she had this "turkey-pardoning" was to highlight Wasilla's Triple D Farm, the premier poultry farm and hatchery in Alaska.
I'm a huge proponent of the "Locavore" philosophy (eating locally) and I'm all for supporting local farms. I especially support them when the meat-producers (like most of the farms in Alaska) grow their animals without use of hormones or antibiotics.
And I was quite impressed with the Triple D turkeys. I put in an order for one next week.
John Vezina and Meg Simonian with the Begich Campaign, alongside Randy Reudrich, Republican Party leader, waiting for the questioned ballot count
I left the Division of Elections over an hour ago and there were just small pockets of ballots to count. It looks like they finished as they posted the totals on the website and he has a lead of 3724 votes!
I love Rachel Maddow...I really do. However, in the case of the Alaska election she was definitely getting her information from folks who were not directly hands-on with the process. The Begich Campaign has had boots-on-the-ground since long before Election Day. They have had people all over the state the entire time. No one was more frustrated by the early conspiracy-theory panic than they were...because the folks who were spreading it weren't talking to them. It also seemed like there were folks out there with a lack-of-understanding of Alaska's unique challenges, transportation and otherwise, who turned this into something it was not. At the very least, they sounded the alarm bell rather prematurely.
Looking through the window as DoE employees count Anchorage absentee ballots
Watching paint dry...that's what it's like looking on through a window as people count early and absentee ballots. However, it's probably the most important example there is of our Alaska Democracy in action!
Each Dept. of Election worker doing the counting goes through one state house district at a time, grabbing stacks of ballots in huge, white envelopes (frequently, there are more than one...district 28 had four). The counter completes the district than turns the tape that's running on their machine into the supervisor sitting at a tall table. The results are checked and then two tapes are run of each district's and brought to the door...one for the Republican representative and one for the Democratic rep.
She had on a very nice black dress and necklace while stirring the family's moose chili and cooking their moose cheese dogs...not props, they swear. Piper Palin was also wearing an apron and running around taking drink orders for the media. I figure she was practicing for her future career in the service industries. She's missed so much school lately (and let's face it, education does NOT seem to be a Palin family value) that might be all she's qualified to do when she grows up.
Right off the bat, Sean Cockerham of the Anchorage Daily News asked the question I've wanted to ask. Her answer left my jaw on the floor and steam coming out of my ears.
:One of the things that came up during the campaign was that you charged the State per diem for time spent here in Wasilla. Is that something that you are going to continue to do.
Many people are shocked that convicted felon Ted Stevens could possibly be ahead of Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich in the fight for his US Senate seat, or that under-investigation Congressman Don Young has probably held on to his seat against Ethan Berkowitz. This seems especially dubious as polls that were correct in every other state were seemingly way off in Alaska. An article in the Anchorage Daily News titled "The Pollsters missed the mark" discusses this:
I believe the Alaska Congressional Delegation truly wants Stevens to get reelected in hopes that the conviction would be overturned upon appeal (newsflash: any judge would be loathe to overturn such a decisive jury). However, the rest of the Alaska Republicans seem to be hoping to get Sen. Stevens elected for what they are calling their "Plan 'B'." Per KTUU:
Leaders of Alaska's Republican party, who believe Stevens is innocent, are asking voters to consider what might be called "Plan B" -- vote for Stevens next week, even if he later decides to resign.
From a political strategy standpoint, a Stevens victory next week keeps the door open for the state GOP in the future
"If you don't vote for Ted Stevens now, you don't have an option in the future to have a conservative candidate," McHugh Pierre of the Alaska Republican Party said "You're stuck. You're stuck with a liberal who does not represent your views and beliefs."
I found the exchange regarding abortion between McCain and Obama during the debate to be enlightening. This past summer, I posted that the changes on the Democratic Party Platform were an important step, in the words of Progressive Evangelical Leader Jim Wallis: "...in affirming those whose moral convictions lead them to make a different decision than abortion."
The Platform states:
"The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman's decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs."
So in a previous post I explored the right-wing religious bias of the lawyers and law firm representing Sarah Palin's interest in quashing the Troopergate Investigation, now through the Alaska Supreme Court.
In this post, on the day of the arguments before the Court, we'll explore who the legal scholars are behind "The Amicus Brief."
An "Amicus Brief" ("Friend of the Court") is filed with the Supreme Court in conjuction with a pending decision. It's supposed to be written by legal scholars and it supports one side or the other.
The Amicus Brief in the Troopergate case is in favor of Liberty Legal Institute, representing the pro-Palin legislators filing the suit to quash the investigation. I was sent this brief and decided to do some casual research into the identities of these "legal scholars." However, the research was so interesting I kept working on it. I looked up 6 out of 15 of the lawyers...feel free to look up more and post on my blog.