Monthly Archives: November 2013

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin makes Gov. Parnell look progressive

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, when sworn into office, promised to “offend the Constitution of the United States.” She’s offending all right:

“In September, Fallin vowed to prohibit Oklahoma’s National Guard from providing benefits to married same-sex couples, directly violating a Pentagon directive and a presidential decree. Now, after a Pentagon pushback, Fallin has doubled down, cutting spousal benefits for the entire Oklahoma National Guard, including straight couples. The Republican governor, in other words, would rather deny every soldier benefits than grant a few gay ones the rights they have been federally guaranteed.” Read more here.


Ad of the day: The governor wishes himself a happy birthday

Gov. Sean Parnell celebrated his 51st  birthday on Tuesday. Earlier on Tuesday, I emailed the governor’s spokesperson, asking what he got for his birthday, if his staff or anybody in the building had a party for him, and what kind of cake he liked. Everyone deserves a nice story on their birthday. I was told that Parnell had been traveling a lot lately. That was it. Later in the evening, someone called my attention to the ad below that the governor’s campaign released.

Happy birthday Parnell


Super-PACs: will they play in the governor’s race?

Citizens United, the seminal Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates for so-called super PACs to raise unlimited campaign funds, has been associated with corporate greed and everything else that the political left considers evil. Indeed, in Alaska’s state elections in 2012, the narrative that big oil was going to buy itself a Republican-controlled state Senate as a result of the decision was repeated so often, including by this writer, that it turned into an unassailable truth.

But when the numbers were crunched after the election, it turned out that unions raised twice as much as the combined amount of the two main business oriented super PACs in Alaska.

The narrative has similarly been flipped in the rest of the country. An analysis conducted by the Center for Public Integrity found that during the last election cycle, pro-Democratic groups, many associated with unions, outspent their Republican counterparts by more than $8 million in 38 states.

Gov. Sean Parnell, who is running for reelection in 2014, should take note. Word is that he’s working hard at fundraising and having success at doing so. However, Alaska’s campaign contribution limits dictate that individuals are only allowed to give $500 to a candidate in a calendar year. per election cycle. In a state as small as Alaska, that makes it nearly impossible to raise the kind of money you need to raise to run a competitive campaign.

Enter super PACs. Though it’s too early to say who, and which ones will get involved, they likely will. And unions will likely take part.

The Parnell administration has never been considered a friend of labor. But neither has it gone out of its way to antagonize it. Parnell might have done so recently, however. Earlier this fall, when he was considering appointment to the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., many thought that he would appoint a representative of labor to one of the seats. Whatever you think about unions, they will be involved in the building of the pipeline and having them involved in the groundwork would only make the project go more smoothly. Too, it was the politically smart thing to do. Two labor leaders who submitted expressions of interest were Joey Merrick of the Laborers Union and Rick Boyles from the Teamsters. Either would have made a strong statement to labor. Neither got the nod.

And if it looks like Mayor Dan Sullivan, who is no friend of the unions, is going to be added to the ticket as lieutenant governor, you have the dynamic and motivation for labor to fund a super PAC.

Parnell also hasn’t made friends recently with another potentially politically powerful force in Alaska: the Alaska Native community. His administration seems to have gone after tribal sovereignty with a vengeance. Most recently, the state announced that it is seeking to overturn a decision regarding subsistence made recently by the Interior Department that involves the landmark Katie John case. The state is fighting the feds, and the Alaska Natives, over who controls navigable waterways.

The Alaska Federation of Natives co-chair, Tara Sweeney, called the state’s action “an assault upon the people of Alaska who depend upon hunting, fishing and gathering to feed their families.”

Those are words not spoken lightly and they shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Then there was Parnell’s decision not to expand Medicaid. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium lobbied hard for Medicaid expansion, which would have provided much needed funds to the Alaska tribal health systems at a time of sequestration and federal budget cuts.

That he decided not to accept the funds was seen as yet another slap.

The Alaska Native community, along with its moneyed corporations, were able to rally around a politician only one time in recent memory. In 2010, when Joe Miller beat Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, the corporations got together to form a super PAC to support Murkowski’s write-in ticket. It was the first one in the country to test the Citizens United decision, and it won. So did she.

Democrat Byron Mallott is running against Gov. Sean Parnell. Mallott is an Alaska Native leader, and is union friendly compared to Parnell. He also has deep ties to the business community in Alaska, notwithstanding his support to repeal SB 21, the oil tax reform bill. And, his lieutenant governor will likely be Alaska state Sen. Hollis French, a good friend to the unions.

It’s unclear if Mallott is making efforts to rally unions and the Alaska Native community.

If those two interests end up combining, they’d provide the foundations for a formidable super PAC force.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


Anti-Obamacare websites mislead Alaskans

True and liesTo the extent that anything related to ObamaCare is fun, it’s kind of fun to take the quiz on Know the Facts Alaska, the anti-ObamaCare website that’s been set up in Alaska by Outsiders to try to derail ObamaCare.

No matter how you answer one of the five questions about your health care preferences, you’re told that you should either not sign up for ObamaCare on the health exchange at all, or that you should wait and see how others like it.

The folks behind Know the Facts, and its apparent sister site, Don’t Enroll Alaska, are funded by the Foundation for Government Accountability, one of the tentacles of the ever expanding network of Koch brothers’ think-tanks across the country.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow featured the sites on her show Monday night.

Alaska Commons, a local website, broke the story of the two sites, which were formed nearly simultaneously. Both sites offer misleading information about health care reform, something that isn’t sitting well with Enroll Alaska, an affiliate of Northrim Bank and a broker that’s working to sign people up for ObamaCare.

Tyann Boling, chief operating officer at Enroll Alaska, told the Alaska Dispatch that some of the facts on the sites are “very misleading.” Among other things, Boling takes issue with the quiz. She takes issue with the statement on Know Your Facts that “there is no trial period for the exchange plans.” It’s true, as far it goes, but the insurance bought through the exchanges is insurance bought through the private market. And no private health insurance plan, whether bought through the exchange or not, allows for trial periods.

Boling chalks the misleading information up to “charged” politics. Northrim Bank is one of the most conservative businesses in the state, and has not been shy in supporting pro-business Republican candidates.

Neither the Alaska Division of Insurance or the consumer protection division of Alaska’s Department of Law has done anything to warn consumers of the misleading information.

Bret Kolb, the director of the Division of Insurance, has said that it’s up to the federal government to inform consumers about ObamaCare.

According to sources in the insurance industry, Kolb submitted his resignation on Monday.

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Legislators can breath easy: Redistricting is finally a go

Some Alaska legislators had been waiting with bated breath to learn whether or not they were going to be able to keep their districts. As of Monday, many of them can now let that breath out. Alaska Superior Court Judge Michael McConahy ruled that the state’s latest redistricting plan, one in a long list of them, is good to go. As it has in the past, it can be appealed, but in any case, this one will likely stick.

Most legislators will keep the districts that they currently have. It does, however, pit North Pole Republican Reps. Tammy Willson and Doug Isaacson against each other. It also opens up another Senate seat in the Mat-Su Valley. Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Ron Arvin has filed to run for that seat as a Republican. However, it’s likely Rep. Bill Stoltze’s for the taking, if he wants it.

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Quote of the day: The Cheney family feuds over gay marriage

“Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 — she didn’t hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us. To have her say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least.”

From Heather Poe’s Facebook page. Poe is Liz Cheney’s sister in law and is married to Liz’s sister Mary. On Sunday, Liz told Fox News that she supports traditional marriage. Liz is running for incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Enzi’s seat in Wyoming.


New study gives guidance for female political candidates

We all know that women are held to a different standard than men, and this is no more true than in politics. The proof in Alaska is in the numbers. Only three women — Lt Governor Fran Ulmer, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Gov. Sarah Palin—have held statewide office. According to the 2010 census data, women make up 48.3 percent of Alaska’s population, yet out of 60 state legislators, only 17 are women.

So far, the only female candidate running for statewide office in 2014 is Alaska state Sen. Lesil McGuire. She is running for lieutenant governor. Depending on how redistricting plays out in the courts, nearly all of the current female legislators may have to run again for their seats.

And new research might help them with their campaign ads. Over the years, the Barbara Lee Family Foundation has done an incredible amount of research on women’s campaigns. One of its findings was that women candidates pay a higher price than their male counterparts for running negative ads.

Given that, how do women draw a contrast with their opponents without paying a higher price at the polls?

The foundation put that question to a team led by Chesapeake Beach Consulting and Lake Research Partners, which is run by Celinda Lake, the pollster and key campaign strategist for U. S. Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign.

The new research, developed through a series of focus groups, offers evidence-based guidance. Key findings include:

  • It works for a woman candidate to represent herself in an ad. Voters react more favorably to a woman candidate confidently speaking for herself and her positions.

  • Voters respond well to negative ads when they feel the negative message is subtle and is delivered by a real person, as opposed to the candidate.

  • Flipping conventional wisdom on its head, voters appreciate humor from a woman in a negative ad. Humor also added an element of the unexpected, which helped voters remember the ad.

  • Voters want to hear what a candidate will do for them. Voters respond more favorably to negative ads if the candidate offers them a positive message about her plans, in addition to contrasting with her opponent.

  • Women voters, especially, want to see and hear from a woman candidate because they “hoped” and “expected” more from women candidates.

  • The most convincing ads are those in which a real person shares his or her story. Voters feel this helps the candidate’s platform become more relatable and authentic and makes the negativity of the ad seem more subtle. This seems particularly powerful from women candidates whom voters believed would be more likely to bring the voice of real people to the dialogue and would be more in touch with real people’s lives.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


Reactions from across the state to Parnell’s decision not to expand Medicaid

Following are excerpts of reactions from politicians and others across the state to Gov. Sean Parnell’s decision not to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid, the joint federal/state program that provides health insurance to the poor. Parnell said that expanding the program would simply be adding to the “hot mess” that is ObamaCare and though it would insure more Alaskans, “it’s not my intention to create an economy based on federal dependence,” he said. In denying the funds, the state will also deny as many as 41,500 low income Alaskans access to insurance, and turn down as much as $2.5 billion in federal dollars, as well as 4,000 new jobs.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott:

Today Governor Parnell made a calculated political decision to reject calls for Medicaid expansion – hurting some 41,000 Alaskans who will remain without affordable, quality health care. Medicaid expansion should never have become a partisan issue. Despite the Governor’s claims, this was a clear and immediate way to help our economy grow, create new jobs, and lower heath care costs for all of us. That’s why I joined with many state leaders and business organizations in urging him to change his stance on Medicaid expansion. It’s disappointing that Parnell continues to stand in the way of what is best for our state and Alaskans.

Rachael Petro, president and CEO of the Alaska Chamber of Commerce:

Our approach to Medicaid expansion was a pragmatic one and it is unfortunate that the Governor decided to reject the concept as a whole without considering our idea of limiting expansion based on actual federal funding. However, the Governor did say that he is committed to addressing the cost of healthcare for all Alaskans, and is willing to work with legislators and groups like ours to find solutions which provide care for Alaskans in need. Ultimately, the Alaska Chamber is committed to supporting solutions which improve Alaskan’s business climate and will continue toward that goal.

Alaska state Sen. John Coghill:

Considering the failure of the Affordable Care Act, the Governor is wise to refuse Medicaid expansion at this time. It’s a matter of dollars and cents – America can’t afford it.  They don’t have the money to pay for this and they’ll take it from future generations.  I applaud the Governor’s decision.

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich:

Governor Parnell’s announcement today means he is denying health insurance to as many as 40,000 Alaskans, which at the start is free to the state and eventually would cost no more than 10 cents on the dollar…Without the expansion, people who cannot afford insurance will continue to get their health care needs met in hospital emergency rooms across the state—the most expensive way to get health care. Those costs will continue to be passed on to all other Alaskans.

Andy Teuber, chairman and president of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium:

We look forward to seeing what other solutions the Governor may offer. But in the meantime, 40,000 Alaskans are left without any kind of health care coverage. They cannot afford to buy it. For most of these people, there is no other source of assistance to get coverage. When someone is sick, they have to choose between getting health care and feeding their family.

Republican Rep. Pete Higgins:

I support the Governor’s decision not to expand Medicaid at this time. We owe it to our children not to put the burden of this on them and our future generations. I look forward to working with the various entities and the Administration as they put together their Advisory Group.

The Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association:

ASHNHA is disappointed in the Governor’s decision today. We remain concerned about the thousands of Alaskans who are too poor to buy health insurance and as a result of this decision will not get coverage. We see Alaskans daily in our hospitals who critically need health care services. We serve them regardless of their insurance status and we will continue to do so.

Zack Fields, press secretary for the Alaska Democrats:

Parnell refused to crack down on insurance companies cancelling coverage for Alaskans, in contrast to other states that protected consumers…Despite touting them on the State’s website, Parnell is now calling for repeal of the (Affordable Care Act) that outlaws insurance abuses like annual limits, gender discrimination, and price gouging based on pre-existing conditions. While insurance companies have cancelled thousands of Alaskans’ health policies, Parnell has taken no action to defend consumers…

Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins:

You might think Obamacare is the worst thing to happen to the healthcare system since the bubonic plague. You might think (as I do) that the roll-out of has been so abominable it’s practically seditious. But that’s irrelevant to the question of Medicaid expansion, which would change the lives of tens of thousands of people for the better. Morally: Our status quo healthcare system is not working super well. 45,000 Americans die every year because they can’t afford treatment for preventable disease. This is a simple, morally repugnant statistic… Medicaid expansion insures the uninsured and offers a glimmer of humanity in our rough-and-tumble world.

The Anchorage chapter of the NAACP:

The governor decided to provide favor to the insurance industry by not allowing provisions in the ACA that would dramatically change health insurance coverage in Alaska when it is fully implemented in 2014. These provisions include reforming the individual insurance markets by eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions, guaranteeing coverage and renewability of coverage, establishing Health Benefit Exchanges, an individual mandate, subsidizing health insurance for people between 100 and 400 percent of FPL, and a mandate for large employers to offer health insurance.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


Parnell turns his back on Medicaid expansion and Alaska’s uninsured

Gov. Sean Parnell announced at a press conference that he would for the time being decline federal funds that could provide more than 40,000 Alaskans health insurance.

That’s more people than live in Fairbanks, the state’s second largest city.

He said that although those who currently don’t have insurance are “real people and their health matters,” providing them such would only create a “culture of federal dependency.” Too, and this seemed his larger point, he did not want to be part of a system that could be viewed as supporting ObamaCare, which he called a “hot mess.”

Although it’s hard to argue that it’s not a “hot mess,” it’s also pretty clear that it’s going to be a hot mess with or without Alaska’s involvement. In fact, the money that we would receive from the feds –about $2.5 billion in additional economic activity and 4,000 new jobs in the next seven years –will just go to other states.

There will not be any savings to our federal treasury.

As the Alaska Chamber of Commerce, which supported expansion, put it:  “As taxpayers, all Alaskans are subject to the increased federal taxes established to fund the new national healthcare law. If Alaska does not expand Medicaid, Alaskan’s taxes will pay for the uninsured in other states.”

Then again, not accepting the funds might make a nice campaign slogan as Parnell eyes a future federal office and as he knocks on the door of conservative political groups like Club for Growth, as he did in 2008.

Perhaps I’m being too hard on the governor. Perhaps he denied as many as 40,000 Alaskans health insurance out of real conviction and of real fear for Alaska’s financial future and for increasing government dependence. But if that’s the case, then I would challenge him to refuse other federal funds, like money for highways that will continue to be upgraded, or any number of other federal dollars that pour into the state.

Or, perhaps, he could take a hard look at the increasing number of state workers he’s hired since being elected, and the more than $700 million the state is paying for those health care costs.

Alaska is one of only four states where many of its state workers, including the governor and the legislators, don’t have to pay any monthly premiums, premiums that cost about $1400 per person a month. I’ve not once heard Parnell address this issue.

During the press conference, Parnell promised to work on solutions to address the healthcare needs of the poor. One of those solutions was to convene a commission to study the issue. That commission has a year to report back. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, which has also supported expansion, said that it was “skeptical that the Governor’s promised solutions can be developed and implemented soon enough to avoid further suffering for uninsured Alaskans.”

Aside from this, and a few other releases It’s unclear if the groups that have advocated expanding Medicaid, have any fight in them aside from issuing press releases expressing “disappointment.” The hospitals, the Alaska Chamber of Commerce, and numerous other groups, including Alaska Native groups, have all lobbied hard to expand the program, and I’ve been told that many of them feel defeated.

It’s also unclear which, if any, politicians are going to make this a serious issue in their campaigns. Sen. Mark Begich sent out a release that seemed to lack any fire. Bill Walker, who is running as an independent against Parnell, was reading the state issued report when I called and wasn’t ready for comment. No word yet from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallot, who has been for expansion, though his campaign said he is working on it.

I’ll be publishing responses to Parnell’s decision later this evening.

So far, the only very clear voice of condemnation belongs to the chair of the Democratic Party, Mike Wenstrup, who called the decision “unconscionable.”

Then again, Wenstrup has nothing to lose.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


Quote the day: Healthcare and the cowardice of the Democrats

Andrew Sullivan on the Dems and healthcare:

“The great flaw of Democrats is their cowardice, which they sometimes mistake for caution…The assumption was you could not make the case that there will be winners and losers in this reform – and still pass the law. If you mentioned the losers, you’d be dead in the water. If you acknowledged the risks, you’d be done for. And so the Democrats have long been on the defensive – and their utter lack of conviction couldn’t be better illustrated by their sudden flight for the hills this week.” Read on.


Parnell to make announcement on Medicaid expansion

Gov. Sean Parnell is having a press conference on Friday morning to make an announcement on accepting federal funds to expand the state’s Medicaid program, which could provide insurance for about 40,000 more low-income Alaskans. As part of the new health care bill, the federal government would pay the expansion’s entire cost for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.

It’s likely that he will either announce that he won’t accept those, or that he’s still considering it. He did, however, meet on Wednesday with various health care stakeholder groups, all of whom supported expansion. According to sources, he seemed very concerned about the negative effects that expansion, as well as the new health care act, will have on the insurance industry.

Parnell has also continually said that he is worried that the feds will renege on the deal and will eventually leave Alaskans paying the bill. However, the state has at various times cut Medicaid  for its residents, and there is nothing that would preclude it from doing so in the future.

Republican governors and Republican led legislatures across the country have wrestled with whether or not to expand their states’ program. In late October, Ohio became the 25th state plus the District of Columbia to expand Medicaid. Nearly a dozen Republican governors have moved to do so. In justifying his decision, Ohio governor, Republican John R. Kasich, said that it makes financial and moral sense. Not accepting the money, he said, “would make a bad situation far worse,” and said that without it, the federal funds and subsequent jobs would just go to other states.

Others, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott, have made similar arguments.

According to a study conducted by the Alaska Native Health Consortium, accepting the federal funds would cost the state $23.4 million over the next seven years, but would result in:

  • $1.1 billion in new federal revenue for Alaska
  • 4,000 new jobs
  • $1.2 billion more in wages and salaries paid to Alaskans
  • $2.49 billion in increased economic activity throughout the state

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services commissioned another study by a private company which was completed in April. DHSS and Parnell have refused to release the study.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


Miller hits Begich where it hurts

19189265_mlNearly every day lately, I’ve been getting press releases from one of the Republican candidates running for U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s seat about the failures of ObamaCare and about Begich’s yes vote on the bill. Frankly, the attacks are not only getting boring, but are possibly shortsighted. This is because the health care law will likely get more popular as more people who have been living without insurance are able to buy into the market for the first time in their lives, and as they do so, the public will be continually reminded of the unjust system that the act is trying to address.

But Joe Miller sent out a press release today that sows the seed of an issue that will likely grow: drilling in ANWR, that festering wound that has eaten at most Alaskans since Congress voted to lock it and its gobs of oil up in 1980.

Begich campaigned on opening ANWR in 2008, when he ran against the late Sen. Ted Stevens. His claim then was that it would be more effective to have at least one Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation to fight to open the refuge.

That was five years ago. The area is still closed to drilling and it looks like nothing is going to change soon. On Oct. 31, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell spoke at the National Press Club, where she renewed calls for protecting areas that are “too special to develop,” such as ANWR. She also said that the Obama administration would consider taking unilateral action to “protect” certain lands.

Begich wrote a letter to Jewell in response, warning that he would “fight any effort by the Obama Administration to make ANWR off limits.”

Begich voted to confirm Jewell, a fact that isn’t lost on Miller.

“I think it is worth noting that Mark Begich’s way of fighting for ANWR development includes voting to confirm Sally Jewell as Secretary of Interior.” Miller said. “It is a mystery to me how Mr. Begich can imagine that he has any credibility on this issue when he is, at least in part, personally responsible for elevating the very people to power who are blocking access to Alaska’s resources.”

Ouch. Though I don’t have a crystal ball, I’m willing to bet that this vote will likely hurt Begich as much, if not more, than his healthcare vote.

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Quote of the day: Sarah Palin talks to Matt Lauer about healthcare reform

“The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health-care system in America that certainly does need more help so that there’s more competition, there’s less tort reform threat, there’s less trajectory of the cost increases, and those plans have been proposed over and over again. And what thwarts those plans? It’s the far left. It’s President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor-patient relationship links to reform health care. “

Sarah Palin speaking to Matt Lauer on Monday’s “Today” show. Only one thing’s clear: Pain did none of these things while she was a governor.


Is Dan Sullivan willing to fight to be elected to U.S. Senate?

Former Commissioner Dan Sullivan, who is running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, sent out a Veterans Day message outlining his plans for, among other things, better health care for vets, reducing the backlog of veterans’ benefits, and creating more jobs for vets. (Read the plan here.)

If it were sent in a timely manner, his plan and his candidacy might have gotten some attention. As it was, it arrived in my inbox at 11 p.m. on Monday night, though the campaign says they sent it out earlier that day. In any case, it missed deadlines and was a missed opportunity. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is also running in the primary, has not listed veterans’ issues as a priority on his website. To mark the day, he only put out a cursory thanks to vets message on Facebook. Sullivan’s other opponent, Joe Miller, is an Iraq war veteran, but he didn’t himself make mention of vets on Monday.

The country is hungry for stories about vets on Veterans Day, and Sullivan has a good one. He is a former active Marine and is still in the reserves. As a reservist, he was sent to Afghanistan on a counter-terrorism mission as recently as July.

According to the Washington Post, there will be only 12 U.S. senators who have been in active duty in the Congress. During the Cold War, 70 percent of the U.S. Congress were veterans, and in 1977, 80 percent had been in active duty.

The Post highlights some research suggesting why it might matter for policy making:

— On issues that concern the use of force and the acceptance of casualties, the opinions of veterans track more closely with those of active military officers than with civilians.
— The U.S. initiates fewer military disputes when there are more veterans in the U.S. political elite (the cabinet and the Congress).
— The U.S. uses more force in the disputes it initiates when there are more veterans in the U.S. political elite.
— Veterans are less likely to accept U.S. casualties for interventionist uses of force than for “realpolitik” uses of force.

I’ve been told that Sullivan has been reticent to turn his military service into a campaign issue. If true, it’s understandable and if he’s doing it in fear of staining the honor of his uniform, then it’s even admirable. But there’s a fine line between being admirable and being lofty. Politics is its own war and it’s one fought in the mud. If Sullivan is truly hungry to be senator for the right reasons, like those vets, then he’ll get down from his perch with the rest of the pile and use whatever he has to fight.

Or he can continue to go to fancy D.C. fundraisers and send out plans and policy initiatives that nobody reads.

CLARIFICATION: The text has been changed to reflect that the campaign said that the release was sent earlier that day.

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