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Ted Stevens is 'Going Down the Tubes' (and I Don't Mean the Internet!)

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The Tuesday news that longtime Alaska senator Ted Stevens has just been indicted by federal prosecutors on seven counts of corruption is welcome and overdue.

It seems an Anchorage oil services contractor -- who received tens of millions in federal tax dollar contracts over the years thanks to Stevens -- secretly and illegally paid to remodel the senator's house for hundreds of thousands of dollars, doubling its size. A classic quid pro quo between benefactor and benefactee.

The businessman actually 'fessed up a year ago to this and other bribery charges, so Ted's been toast waiting to be buttered for some time.

Good riddance, but here's my question: who's going to pay for changing all the signage when they turn "Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport" back into plain 'ol Anchorage International Airport, its name before 2000?

As I've previously noted, many places have rules saying a person must be dead for a while before stuff gets renamed for them, and for good reason. A community can get egg on its face for rushing to honor someone before sleazoid details about them bubble up.

With baseball season in full swing, I'm reminded of Cincinnati, Ohio. They had such a rule but waived it in 1985, at the urging of a city councilman, when Pete Rose retired from the baseball Reds. Why? So that a local road could be immediately renamed in his honor. As fate would have it, Rose would soon be banned for life from the sport for gambling. He also did some time for tax evasion, as I recall.

And the city councilman who led the charge to honor Pete back then? That would be Ken Blackwell, who went on to build his own brand of infamy as Ohio's Republican Secretary of State during the 2004 presidential election.

Funny how things work out. Some of that roadway named after Pete is no more, having fallen victim to development and civic embarrassment. Many call the remaining stretch the "Cooperstown Bypass." Meanwhile, Blackwell got trounced as the Republican nominee in the 2006 Ohio governor's race, 60% to 38%.

Oh, look: Here comes Ted Stevens now, sliding toward home plate. "'re OUT!"