Theodore Fulton "Ted" Stevens
) - Alaska
Served in Senate from 1968-2009
President pro tempore
of the United States Senate
(2nd highest rank in Senate body) 2007-2009
Third in rank of Presidential Succession
: After the Vice President
, and Speaker of the House of Representatives
, but before the Secretary of State
Ted Stevens, there's just something about him that makes me wonder how some people manage to stay in Congress. I think he acts quite cantankerous on the public floor. The Daily Show loved to poke fun at him for it.
Let's go over some of the things he's done since September 2005 to November 2005 alone. Stevens managed to add a massive piece of pork barrel legislation, where he managed to appropriate around $453 million to build two miles-long suspension bridges in Alaska; one in order to connect an island with only 50 inhabitants to the mainland; the nicknamed "bridge to nowhere." After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, a bill was put forward to cancel that piece of pork and divert the funds to hurricane relief. Stevens threw a literal tantrum on the Senate floor; When he was asked if he would allow the change, he roared "NO!... If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state . . . I will resign from this body," he angrily declared, threatening to resign if that piece of pork was cut from the bill. It became enough of an embarrassment that actually drew the Left and Right in America together to fight his spending. It's perhaps his most famous moment noted in Congress.
In 2005, he also raised eyebrows as being one of the 9 senators who voted against an anti-torture bill in Congress.
As chair of the Senate committee, Stevens in November 2005 prevented oil executives from being placed under oath when they spoke before the committee hearing on rising gas prices. At least two members on the committee protested, but he as chair ignored them. His later claim was that it would be a degrading pose for the media to pick up of the executives, (but it also left them free to lie.)
In 2008 he was indicted under bribery/corruption charges when he failed to report lobbyist gifts, mainly the free renovation work done to expand his Alaska home. He requested the trial be moved up so as to be concluded before the 2008 election, of which he was running for re-election. Days before Election day, he was found guilty, and subsequently lost the re-election.