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Down the ballot: Supporting Stevens

ALASKA: "Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye provided a campaign boost Saturday to embattled Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, predicting that his colleague from Alaska will win re-election and overturn his conviction on appeal. 'I am absolutely confident that Ted Stevens will be sworn into the Senate while he appeals this unjust verdict,' said Inouye, D-Hawaii, a longtime friend of Stevens. 'I am certain that this decision in Washington, D.C., will be overturned on appeal.'" …
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released this statement in response to Inouye: "While I respect the opinion of Senator Daniel Inoyue, the reality is that a convicted felon is not going to be able to serve in the United States Senate. And as precedent shows us, Senator Stevens will face an ethics committee investigation and expulsion, regardless of his appeals process. This is not a partisan issue and it is unfortunate that Senator Stevens has used his long time friendship with Senator Inouye for partisan political gain."

MINNESOTA: On Thursday, MSNBC.com's Tom Curry reported that Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken told the crowd at a St. Paul NARAL event that "being a racist and a sexist was a good calling card for the Reagan Administration." (Franken was noting Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's one-time membership in a group called "Concerned Alumni of Princeton," which questioned the elite university's affirmative action policies.) Now, the Reagan Administration is firing back. Nine former Reagan officials (including AB Culvahouse, tapped to lead McCain's VP selection early this summer) have issued a scathing response to Franken's comments. "Those of us who served Ronald Reagan and the nation find these outrageous comments to be highly offensive and hateful," reads the lengthy press release, which calls upon Franken to apologize for the remark. "Al Franken also owes an apology to all of us who dutifully served our nation in the Reagan Administration and don't deserve to be subjected to Al Franken's vile and malicious slurs."