The trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) on corruption charges is now in the hands of a jury. He had asked for an expedited trial in order to complete it in advance of Election Day, where he is trying to fend off a challenge from Anchorage mayor Mark Begich (D-AK) in a race made tight by the very corruption charges detailed in the trial. Stevens is Ranking Member/Co-Chairman of the key Commerce Committee, which has oversight over most Capitol Hill matters of interest to broadcasters. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has been filling in for him as he dealt with charges of failure to report value received back in Alaska.
RBR/TVBR observation: Although broadcast issues tend to defy strict party-line voting, Stevens and Hutchison generally seem vote the same way more often than not. In other words, the outcome of the trial will have a great impact on Stevens, but likely not on the future of broadcast legislation in the Senate.