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'Series of tubes' senator indicted for false statements

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Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the US Senate, was indicted today for making false statements to federal prosecutors.

These statements do not include his claim that the internet is "a series of tubes."

As the Associated Press reports, Stevens is accused of falsifying his annual Senate financial disclosure reports. Prosecutors say (PDF) that between May 1999 and August 2007, the senator from Alaska hid "his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation."

That would be oil services contractor VECO Corp., which was lobbying Stevens at the time. According to prosecutors, VECO did extensive renovations on Stevens' Alaskan home, gave him a gas grill, some furniture, and some tools, and swapped his aging Ford for a brand new Land Rover.

Stevens says he's innocent. But not even a guilty verdict could overshadow his 2006 anti-net neutrality speech. "The internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes," he said - over and over again on web pages everywhere.

You can relive the magic here and here. ®

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