Ted Stevens’ precarious future

TED STEVENS’ PRECARIOUS FUTURE…. South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R) was pressing the party leadership on when Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) would face an expulsion vote. Unsatisfied with the response — GOP leaders want to see what happens with Stevens’ appeals — DeMint is now pushing a new tack.

Senate Republican Conference leaders have received notice that Sen. Jim DeMint plans to call for a vote next week on ejecting convicted Sen. Ted Stevens from the caucus.

To be ejected from the GOP Conference is not the same as being expelled from the Senate. Stevens, R-Alaska, would remain a senator and retain his floor voting rights, but he would not be able to participate in Republicans-only decisions, such as picking party leaders, and he would lose his committee assignments.

A GOP leadership aide said DeMint, R-S.C., notified Senate GOP leaders Monday that he plans to make a motion to remove Stevens from the Senate Republican Conference during a Nov. 18 closed-door meeting. During that meeting, Senate Republicans are scheduled to elect their party leaders for the 111th Congress.

“The GOP leadership should be the first to act on this by expelling Stevens from the Republican conference and not assigning him any committee seats,” said DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton. “We should clean our own house.”

DeMint’s motion would need a second. It’s unclear if he’d get one.

I can’t speak to DeMint’s motivations, but I have to admit, it’s reassuring to know there’s at least one conservative lawmaker who finds it embarrassing to have a convicted felon serving in the Senate Republican caucus.