In TV Ad, Stevens Tries to Salvage 40-Year Career

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), fighting for his political career after being convicted of corruption-related charges last week, took to Alaska's airwaves in a two-minute political commercial to plead for Alaskans' votes.

"These past few months have been difficult for all Alaskans, including my family. I deeply regret that," Stevens said, addressing the camera for almost the entirety of the ad.

Stevens said that he is innocent, and asked for voters' support as he readies appeals. "Everyone has the right to a fair trial and an appeal, because sometimes innocent men are found guilty. This is one of those times," he said.

The ad also quoted former U.S. Attorney Wev Shea to support Stevens's claim that prosecutors in the case had unfairly targeted him.

Since being convicted last Monday of felony charges of making false statements to federal investigators in a corruption-related probe, Stevens's campaign has faltered, trailing in the poll and facing calls from Republican colleagues to resign.

John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican presidential ticket, called on Stevens to step down.

Stevens faces a difficult challenge from Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D), the first serious challenge to the longest-serving Republican senator, and a challenge that could end Stevens's 40-year political career.

"When you vote tomorrow, ask yourself: who will fight for Alaskans to provide affordable access to healthcare, lower energy costs, and work hard to ensure a bright future during these uncertain economic times?" Stevens said. "Experience counts, and empty promises just don't cut it."

Watch a video of the ad here:



-Michael O'Brien