Washington, D.C. — Campaign Money Watch, the campaign finance group that led the call for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) to resign from Congress, today issued a similar demand of indicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK).
"Sadly, we have been down this road before. This road to scandal, like so many before it, begins with the relationship between elected officials and their political donors," said Campaign Money Watch Director David Donnelly.
"With seven felony indictments stemming from his failure to disclose $250,000 in gifts from campaign donors, Campaign Money Watch believes that Sen. Ted Stevens ought to resign his office immediately. While every American should be afforded due process that presumes innocence, a central feature of our political system is the trust that citizens place in their elected officials. Sen. Stevens' actions have severed the bond of trust between him and the people of Alaska. He ought to recognize that his time to leave is now.
"Sen. Stevens has a clear choice ahead of him: He can do what's right and resign, or he can drag Alaskans through what is likely to become a personal struggle for political survival. What he should not do is play the same political game Tom DeLay did under similar circumstances in Texas in 2006. If he follows DeLay's example and waits until after winning the August 26th primary to resign from public office, Stevens would further disgrace his legacy.
"If he rejects the calls for his resignation and remains an active candidate, Alaska voters ought to demand that Sen. Stevens make a commitment to remain in the race until the end. If he knows now that he intends to resign, the honorable step to take would be for him to withdraw from the race and resign immediately. To do otherwise would be to disenfranchise Alaska primary voters, allow political insiders and Stevens to choose his replacement after the primary and further erode public trust."