Senator Ted Stevens Was King Of Earmarks, Pork To Alaska
Over the years, Stevens became a political legend in Alaska. Affectionately nicknamed “Uncle Ted,” he was named “Alaskan of the Century” in 2000 by the state legislature and the airport in Anchorage bears his name. Thanks to Stevens’ long tenure and clout on Capitol Hill, Alaska earned substantial influence in national politics well beyond its small population.
However, Stevens is also known for his fiery temper, the career-ending corruption trial and championing the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere,” a $400 million pork transportation project designed to link two remote islands.
Stevens, a moderate Republican, began his political career in 1964 when he was elected as a state representative, then served as House Majority Leader two years later. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1968 to fill a vacant seat caused by the death Sen. Bob Bartlett. Two years later, Stevens won the seat in a special election, setting the stage for a four-decade run in the Senate.
In 2003, he rose to the office of president pro tempore, making him third in line for the presidency. However, he was replaced four years later by Robert Byrd after Democrats took back control of the Senate.
But Stevens’ career would unravel in 2008, when he was convicted of lying on Senate forms about home renovations and gifts he received from wealthy friends.