McCain Calls on Stevens to Hang it Up

The Palin-Stevens connection another blow to Team Maverick

A day after Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska was found guilty of seven felonies, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain called for his longtime colleague to step down, saying the senator "has broken his trust with the people."

"It is clear that Sen. Stevens has broken his trust with the people and that he should now step down," McCain said. "I hope that my colleagues in the Senate will be spurred by these events to redouble their efforts to end this kind of corruption once and for all."

Calling it a "sad day for Alaska," McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Stevens was part of "the culture of corruption that I was elected to fight. And that fight must always move forward, regardless of party affiliation or seniority of even past service."

Stevens' conviction is particularly awkward for the McCain Camp. In July, when McCain chose Palin as his veep candidate, Stevens -- a mentor to the governor -- was already under indictment for failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts and services.

In 2005 Palin served as director of "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service," a 527 group helping his re-election bid.

And in the weeks before Palin's ascension to the national ticket, the pair held a press conference in which they touted "The Sarah and Ted Show," reports Rolling Stone.

The close association to Stevens certainly takes a little of the shine off of McCain-Palin's claim to be the reform ticket.

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