After Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska was found guilty on seven counts of corruption charges today, Alaska governor, and McCain running mate, Sarah Palin put out a statement distancing her from Stevens. The problem is that Palin headed up an organization dedicated to raising corporate money for Ted Stevens.
According to a September 1 Washington Post story in The Trail,the 2003 incorporation papers for the group “Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.,” Palin is listed as one of three directors. As one of the directors, she was able to raise money without limits for Stevens. She served in this capacity until June 2005. She built her political reputation as a reformer, but she probably would not have been elected governor of Alaska without Stevens’s help. Late in the campaign, Stevens was very active with endorsements for Palin.
Then there is this campaign commercial:
In her statement today, Palin stayed in her character as a faux reformer, “This is a sad day for Alaska and for Senator Stevens and his family. The verdict shines a light on the corrupting influence of the big oil service company that was allowed to control too much of our state. That control was part of the culture of corruption I was elected to fight. And that fight must always move forward regardless of party or seniority or even past service.”
This is just about the very last thing that the McCain campaign, Sarah Palin, and the Republican Party needed right now. I would not be surprised if Stevens has his conviction overturned on appeal if some of the stories about the prosecution’s conduct in the trial are true, but this doesn’t do a whole lot for their prospects in this election, or Palin’s reputation. It seems that Sarah isn’t quite the pure as snow reformer that the campaign has been selling her as. I would say that this could damage Palin’s reputation, but things couldn’t get much worse from where they already are.