To the People

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sen. Ted Stevens and his BFF

It is hard to tell what is more annoying about this AP story: the facts it reports or the irritating isn't-bipartisanship-wonderful attitude it presents them in.

Here's the story. Senator Daniel Inouye, 83, of Hawaii hosted a fundraiser Wednesday for the reelection bid of Senator Ted Stevens, 84, of Alaska. That's unusual because Inouye is a Democrat and Stevens is a Republican. The AP says:

It's fair to say Inouye would like his Democratic Party to control the Senate by a greater margin. But not at the expense of Stevens, his friend and ally in the increasingly rough-and-tumble Senate.

So Inouye held a fundraising lunch for his friend on Wednesday to help Stevens with what promises to be his most difficult campaign in almost four decades.
***
Stevens' campaign hoped the noontime lunch just a block from the Capitol would net $50,000 or so from the anticipated 60-70 guests, said campaign treasurer Tim McKeever in Alaska.

Anchorage Democratic Mayor Mark Begich is running to defeat Stevens, and the hard-fought race is essential to Democrats' goal of padding the chamber with enough Democrats to roll over GOP delaying tactics.

So why did Inouye do it? Was it just because he and Stevens are long-time buds? That's what the AP story suggests:

But to Senate old-timers like Inouye, 83, and Stevens, 84 — each of whom has served in the chamber since the 1960s — friendship comes before party. In the increasingly bitter world of Washington, the friendship of Inouye and Stevens stands out. They call each other "brother." Both served with honor in World War II.


Heartwarming, isn't it? But there is another reason Inouye hosted the fundraiser, a little fact mentioned towards the end of the story:

The two have traveled the world together are the top two senators on the panel controlling the Pentagon budget. For years, they've used the post to deliver federal money to their states. They are also the chairman and top Republican on the powerful Commerce Committee.


Well isn't that special? These two old farts bonded over years and years of traveling the world on the taxpayers' dime and shoveling yet more of those taxpayer dollars into their home states. Good times, good times.

Oh, and by the way, Stevens is the focus of a federal corruption probe. That's why his re-election bid will be so "difficult." There is a good chance the guy will go to federal prison soon.

Still, doesn't it just make you feel great to know that these senators look out for each other, regardless of party?

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