Payback Time for Meanest Man in Congress

Stevens bullied his way into power, and now maybe to disgrace
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2008 7:29 AM CDT
Ted Stevens answers question in Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday, May 28, 2008.    (AP Photo/Al Grillo)
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(Newser) – Few tears were shed on Capital Hill when Ted Stevens was indicted yesterday. Alaska’s celebrated senator spent 4 decades bullying Congress, writes Michael Crowley in the Washington Post, rising ever higher in the ranks by making politics personal. “I'm a mean, miserable SOB,” he’d boast, sporting his trademark Incredible Hulk tie. The message was clear: You wouldn’t like Stevens when he's angry.

Stevens hit the peak of his powers just as Tom Delay was giving committee chairman free rein to pile on the pork. Stevens obliged, pumping billions into such dubious projects as the “Bridge to Nowhere.” Along the way, if the allegations are true, he shoveled $250,000 into his own coffers. Crowley speculates everyone was afraid to tell him he was headed for disaster; it’d be “a fitting reward for the meanest man in Washington.”