Dan Sullivan prevails

In the department of today’s good news, the AP reports that Republican challenger Dan Sullivan has defeated Democratic incumbent Mark Begich in last week’s midterm elections. Among other things, Dan Sullivan is a Marine combat veteran. He is now another member of the strong entering class of Republican members that stands to make an important contribution to our country in the next Congress.

Sullivan’s victory bumps up the Senate Republican membership in the Senate that will convene in January to 53, with the Louisiana race yet to be determined in next month’s runoff between Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy. The outcome of the Landrieu-Cassidy race holds the prospect of affecting the Democrats’ chances of retaking the majority in 2016; I trust Republicans are treating that race with the appropriate seriousness.

Sullivan’s victory in Alaska does not correct the monumental injustice of Begich’s election in 2008. Let us recall that the Department of Justice had helped secure the defeat of Ted Stevens in 2008 by prosecuting Stevens for lying on Senate Ethics forms. Stevens’s conviction just before the election in November in 2008 was tainted and ultimately set aside by Judge Emmet Sullivan as a result of prosecutorial misconduct by the Department of Justice — in April 2009, after Stevens’s defeat.

The corruption revealed by Stevens’s prosecution lay within the heart of the Department of Justice rather than in Stevens’s Ethics forms. “In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case,” Judge Sullivan said.

If you want to raise your blood pressure, read CNN’s straight news account of the post-conviction proceedings. And if you are willing to subject yourself to high risk, read attorney Brendan Sullivan’s 2012 Washington Post column, “Where’s the punishment after Justice Department misconduct?” Sullivan represented Stevens at trial; please take a walk on the wild side and read Sullivan’s devastating column.