Alaska editorial: Calls for new vote in Senate contest are partisan griping

Posted: Friday, April 10, 2009

Would Ted Stevens have been re-elected to the U.S. Senate if he had gotten a fair shake from federal prosecutors? Alaskans will never know.

But we do know this: The man who defeated Sen. Stevens, Mark Begich, has no reason to resign. He is not accused of any wrongdoing. He is not accused of any underhanded campaign tactics - fraud, intimidation, vote-buying - that might otherwise argue for re-doing a closely won election.

It was a Republican federal administration that prosecuted Republican Sen. Stevens. It was a Democratic administration that dropped the charges against him. The case was not a partisan attack.

Alaskans can't say the same about some of the most prominent calls for Democratic Sen. Begich to step down.

One such call comes from Randy Ruedrich, the ethically challenged leader of the Republican Party of Alaska. He was forced out of his high-paying state job and fined for doing party business on state time.

The other notable call for Begich to face voters again comes from Alaska's Republican governor, who seems eager to remain in national headlines as she gears up to run for president.

The knee-jerk partisan reaction from the highly partisan Ruedrich is to be expected. What's surprising is that a governor who is supposedly above partisan gamesmanship would echo Ruedrich's transparently political attack on the senator Alaskans elected in November.

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