Update: This is now a story on the ADN homepage. Among the developments:
> Gov. Palin is with Ruedrich. “I absolutely agree,” she said in a written statement through a spokeswoman.
> Sen. Begich said he's not resigning.
> Sen. Murkowski said, “In light of the good news yesterday, I am sure many of us wish we could turn the clock back to last November. Unfortunately, that is not an option.”
From David Hulen in Anchorage --
In an overnight e-mail, Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich calls for Sen. Mark Begich to step down and that a special election be held. Here's the e-mail (as it was sent):
Alaska Republican Party Hails Stevens Inocence
Anchorage, Alaska - The Alaska Republican Party has supported Senator Ted Stevens for more than 40 years and the party hailed the news today that the federal Department of Justice is dropping all charges against our former Senator.
"I am delighted to see justice moving forward. The position that the Alaska Republican Party took after the trial was that Alaskans needed to support the senator, and now we have further information to support our position," Randy Ruedrich, ARP Chairman, said.
The Alaska Republican Party further believes that current Senator Mark Begich should resign his position to allow for a new, special election, so Alaskans may have the chance to vote for a Senator without the improper influence of the corrupt Department of Justice.
The only reason Mark Begich won the election in November is because a few thousand Alaskans thought that Senator Ted Stevens was guilty of seven felonies. Senator Stevens has maintained his innocence and now, even the Department of Justice acknowedges it's wrong doing.
A special election will allow Alaskans to have a real, non-biased, credible process where the most qualified person could win, without the manipulation of the Department of Justice.
"We'll look forward to the complete story presenting itself and clearing Senator Stevens name.," Ruedrich said.