Sen. Murkowski won't abandon Sen. Stevens

Unlike many of her Republican colleagues, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the vice chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, won't abandon Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) even though he was convicted in a corruption case.

Murkowski campaigned with Stevens, who returned to Alaska yesterday for the first time since being found guilty for making false statements. She criticized party members for calling on Stevens to resign.

"For all of them, it's a very close election. I think they're looking to their own political skin. If it helps them in their effort to gain re-election, they will, unfortunately, throw Ted under the bus," Murkowski told the editorial board of The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the Associated Press reported.

Even though he was found guilty by a jury in federal court in Washington, D.C., Stevens is insisting he hasn't been "convicted" and won't be considered a felon until all of his appeals are exhausted.

Murkowski is the first Alaska to serve as vice chair of the Indian Affairs Committee. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), a long-serving member of the committee and its former chairman, testified for Stevens, one of his closest friends in the Senate.

Get the Story:
Ted Stevens Receives a Hero’s Welcome in Alaska (The New York Times 10/31)
Stevens says he hasn't yet been convicted (AP 10/31)

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