It won't likely be crowed the flashiest ad of the season, but the latest television spot produced by Democrats fighting the reelection of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is potent anyway.
With Stevens under investigation for several months -- and currently on trial -- for lying on his Senate disclosure forms about gifts possibly worth as much as $250,000, new information has leaked out that requires little finessing from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is trying to put Anchorage Mayor Marc Begich's campaign over the hump.
As the Anchorage Daily News reported last week, the FBI wiretapped several of Stevens's communications with the CEO of the company that performed extensive, unreported renovations on the Senator's home.
"You know, they're not going to shoot us. It's not Iraq. What the hell? The worst that can be done, the worst that can happen to us is we round up a bunch of legal fees and might lose and we might have to pay a fine, might have to serve a little time in jail," Stevens told Veco CEO Bill Allen in 2006. I hope to Christ it never gets to that, and I don't think it will. But I'm developing the attitude that I don't think I did anything wrong so I'm going to go right through my life and keep doing what I think is right."
It's rare, when running an attack ad, to have the benefit of an opponent talking about the possibility of going to jail -- but that's just what Democrats have on their side this time around.
Still, the Senate race in Alaska is far from a slam-dunk for Democrats. According to the Pollster.com best-fit line of recent surveys, it's even tightened a bit in recent weeks. With Stevens's trial expected to conclude this week, however, there is still plenty of time for a few more twists and turns in the race.