New American Crossroads ad attacks Begich over taking undue credit

Below is an American Crossroads ad attacking U.S. Sen. Mark Begich for taking credit for things that the ad claims he shouldn’t take credit for. The ad continues a theme that has been playing out between the campaigns of GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan and Begich for weeks now. (See the ads here, here and here.)

As expected, it quotes Rep. Don Young, who recently told a camera crew during a recent campaign shoot in Fairbanks, that he was tired of Begich’s claims about his accomplishments. “Don’t take credit for something you did not do,” Young said in an impromptu interview by a camera crew that regularly works for Young and for Art Hackney, an Anchorage based ad-man and strategists for American Crossroads.

Among other things, Young was referring to a road that was recently built in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, that was an effort by the whole delegation. Also both Young and American Crossroads questions Begich’s claims of his role in building the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Here, they are on less solid ground. Begich worked tirelessly on that project when he was Anchorage’s mayor. It was one of his major accomplishments.

The ad then goes on to make the often stated claim that Begich voted with Obama 97 percent of the time. It’s a claim that comes from a study conducted by Congressional Quarterly which has Begich voting 97 percent of the time with the president on 108 bills that Congressional Quarterly identified as having the president’s support. Sixty five of the 108 were nominations. (See the total vote count here.)

According to the study, Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted with the president 72 percent of the time, and Rep. Don Young voted with the president 22 percent of the time.

Here’s Art Hackney’s statement about the ad:

Give Mark Begich credit where it’s due: he’s the only member of the Alaska congressional delegation who votes with Barack Obama 97% of the time, The fact is that the record Begich touts in Alaska is far removed from his real record in Washington. While Begich wants to take credit in Alaska for things he did not do, he’s hoping Alaskans will look the other way when it comes to his record of voting with President Obama.

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22 thoughts on “New American Crossroads ad attacks Begich over taking undue credit

  1. All I Saw

    Here’s a freebie Amanda…

    On page 108 of the recently released Ethics Committee documents on Don Young..

    Karl Rove’s (now) wife, (but then estranged girlfriend with a lover) makes an appearance:

    Karen Johnson and (her boy-toy ranch hand) Rhett Hard (no, that’s not made up) are joining the Congressman for All Alaska on one of his not-very-legal “hunting” trips.

    A longtime relationship between Karl Rove and Texas lobbyist Karen Johnson may be in jeopardy, Radar Online reported. Rove, President Bush’s right-hand man, faces a possible federal grand jury’s indictment for his involvement in releasing the identity of CIA covert operative Valerie Plame. Johnson and Rove have been friends for more than a decade, but a source told Radar Online “she’s sick of it,” not specifying if it was the relationship or the potential charges. Johnson bought a cattle ranch two years ago, fulfilling a lifelong dream, and she has been dating Rhett Hard, a foreman she hired to manage the ranch.

    One Austin observer questions the relationship, noting, “If Rhett hasn’t married her by now, he never will. Karen has never been married. She’s what I call a serial dater.”

    Alas, Karen and Karl got hitched a year or two ago according to the Washington Post.

    And they lived happily ever after so Karl could buy stupid ads in Alaska with other rich peoples’ money.

    The End.

  2. Anonymous

    Are you the genius who thought Mayor Dan Sullivan was running for Senate? The same guy who lost to Sen. McGuire?

  3. mwinters

    Yea, and Vic Kohring will join him down at the hardware store giving out samples of Dan Sullivan’s celebrity house paint color: Lower 48 Shades of Gray.

  4. Jeff Landrum

    You (or someone working at the same social media spam agency) has copied and pasted this same comment back on June 18th in response to the “job killer” ad.

    After you’ve injected a talking point into a blog, you’re supposed to mark it so your fellow sock puppets know not to use the same one twice. Because Google.

  5. Jim Bob

    I hear Pete Kott will be starring in a series of hard hitting social media ads for the Sullivan 4 Senate campaign.

  6. Michele

    Dear Mae,

    No one with two brain cells in their head to rub together will ever take you and your flimsy, illogical arguments seriously when you disparage Don Young and Dan Sullivan with your disrespectful name-calling, such as “Coconut Don” and “L48 Dan.” If you can’t argue against them based on principle or policies, but, instead resort to name-calling, you are the playground bully and you lose all ground. Others have also posted that you don’t — or can’t — dismantle an argument with logic so you go right to mocking. I take issues with you calling Dan Sullivan “L48 Dan” because it is disrespectful and arrogant. If you have never left the state to pursue an education, a profession, military service or travel abroad, then I feel sorry for you but don’t mock or denigrate those Alaskans who have. Are you that insular or jealous of his accomplishments? I am an Alaskan, whether I was raised here or not. Who are you to decide who is an Alaskan and who is not? You continuously ignore the facts and ignore the practice of making a sound argument. You are one of the ignorant people I addressed in my comment last week. I suspect you didn’t read it. But, it is below. Try to have an open mind and read the thoughts and perspective of someone with other experiences than you have. You might learn something. Imagine that. Isn’t that the point of these discussions anyway?

    When Mead Treadwell said that he had a jar of mayonnaise in his refrigerator that had been there longer than Dan Sullivan had been in Alaska, I immediately supported Dan Sullivan. Dan Sullivan handled Treadwell’s condescending comment with grace and humor. It was brilliant.

    But, his criticism of Sullivan, echoed by many of the posts on this page, is indicative of a larger issue. There is an arrogant, insular and elitist mentality among some Alaskans — not all — toward fellow Alaskans who happened to move here from somewhere else. Calling Dan Sullivan “Ohio Dan,” or “L48 Dan” is so petty and mean-spirited. And what’s the point? To say that he is insignificant or beneath them? Where is the kindness and fairness in that?

    The worst kind of Alaskan is a hyphenated one. I moved to Alaska — like many others before and after me — to fulfill a lifelong dream to live here. I lived in several states and in Europe twice before moving to Alaska and I had never heard anyone say that they were a “lifelong Californian,” a “lifelong New Yorker,” a “lifelong Missourian,” etc. That’s because that isn’t relevant to most people who live anywhere else in this country. What those with this elitist, insular mentality of deifying “lifelong Alaskans” do is, they create a second-class citizenry, dubbing themselves the aristocracy — the only ones who matter and have anything significant to contribute — and alienate everyone else who is not a lifelong Alaskan, but an Alaskan nonetheless. It is an inherently insular and ignorant way of thinking.

    There are two points missing from this discussion and I am incredulous that I haven’t heard them or read them anywhere. First, the only real Alaskans are the native Alaskans. Everyone else is a transplant — whether it’s first, second or third generation. It’s insulting and alienating for anyone to think they’re more Alaskan than native Alaskans, or more Alaskan than anyone, as if that were possible. Moreover, these “lifelong Alaskans” have parents who were born in the lower 48, or other countries, and moved here. They didn’t have a choice in where they were born. Alaskans who moved here because they wanted to move here, did so at a great price. It is a huge investment to pick up your life and move to Alaska from the lower 48 and build a new life — especially when you’re labeled an “outsider” as soon as you arrive.

    The second point that this elitist group fails to see is that great ideas and worthy contributions can actually come from people outside of Alaska. The pipeline — an unprecedented engineering feat — was built by those whom the “life-longers” would call “outsiders.” And yet, it paved the way for them all to cash their PFD checks every year.

    Alaskans who moved here from outside of the state have much to offer to the state that the elitists are missing. We, as “outsiders,” appreciate Alaska in ways that those who were blessed to live their whole lives here, do not. It’s human nature. We see things in the context of a broader, more worldly world view, because of where we lived before coming here. And because we have a different perspective, we have different ways of problem-solving. We know how to relate to people outside of our home. We adapt to and embrace different ways of life from one region to the next, even within the United States. We chose to live here and made enormous sacrifices to make it happen. We left behind family and friends and a familiar way of life, old neighborhoods and greater access to the comforts of life. If you’re from the east coast, like I am, living in Alaska is analogous to living in Europe in terms of the distance and cost of traveling for visits. And if there is ever a family emergency, you are that much farther way to help and support your loved ones. But, we moved here because we wanted to live the Alaskan dream. We wanted to play in the most beautiful and wonderful outdoor playground in the United States. We wanted to be surrounded by God’s beautiful creation. We wanted a simpler, cleaner, quieter life for our families. We wanted to be among like-minded adventurous and free-spirited people. We certainly did not want to be alienated by people who believe they are better than we are because they were born and raised here by no choice of their own.

    Dan Sullivan is constantly barraged with criticism because he is what some call an “outsider.” When Hillary Clinton ran for the U.S. Senate in New York, which was not her home state, New Yorkers elected her, based on what they considered to be her qualifications, not her birth certificate. I never heard negative ads about Clinton being an “outsider,” or “Arkansas Clinton.” Hollis French and Ethan Berkowitz have served this state for years and they came to Alaska from the lower 48. Why do Alaskans do this to Dan Sullivan? I believe that Dan Sullivan is the best person to represent Alaska for a myriad of reasons, not least of which is his devotion to Alaska. His experience in the Bush Administration equipped him with invaluable experience and knowledge that will serve him well as a U.S. Senator for Alaska. If he simply carried Condoleeza Rice’s coffee every day, he would have a incredible world perspective that no one here has. But, he did so much more than that. Why is his experience dismissed rather than being discussed? And while the insular elitists are impugning Sullivan for leaving Alaska, they forgot that he served our nation as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan. Need I say more about his experience? And he served as our Attorney General and Natural Resources Commissioner. But, on top of all of this, Dan Sullivan will be the best senator for Alaska because he is from outside of Alaska. He has a different perspective, shaped by all of his experiences, which would make him a better — not lesser — servant and representative of the state. Based on his response to Treadwell’s mayonnaise jab, he is more of a gentleman than Treadwell.

    To Dan Sullivan, I say: when the negative nay-sayers criticize you for not being a “lifelong Alaskan,” I encourage you to turn the conversation around. The pipeline, the oil fields, and consequently, the state were all built by “outsiders.” The Permanent Fund Dividend, enjoyed by every Alaskan, would not exist if not for the pipeline built by “lower 48″ hands. Why not have a U.S. Senator who has lived here and elsewhere? He has that much more to bring to the table. He has that many more intellectual tools to do his job representing us. And at the end of the day, whether we were born and raised here or whether we moved here, we are all Alaskans.

  7. John Smith

    It Mae’s responsibility to prove herself correct, not for us to prove her wrong. Have you ever heard the phrase, “have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

  8. Anonymous

    Right! He won’t take a stand on SB 2 because that’s what politicians do when they want to everyone’s friend and get re-elected. He knows he is on shaky ground and he won’t take a position either way to lose any more ground in a conservative state.

  9. Anonymous


    I agree wholehearedly and for that reason, I ignore all of Mae’s posts. You cannot reason with the unreasonable or argue with the illogical. She can’t pick apart a sound argument and she won’t look at the facts about Begich. She is one of the ignorant few in the usually intelligent comments.

  10. John Smith

    Step one to responding to a political criticism: vilify the messenger.

    If the messages against Begich are so “funny”, then they should be fairly easily disproved. Someone making a point based upon anger, ideology, stupidity, etc. (as you seem to suggest) would naturally be making a flimsy argument. So why can’t you simply take apart the argument rather that speak to the messengers perceived motives or personal delivery style? Why evade debating the point of the message through such childish retorts? It appears to me that your evasions and diversions point to an inability to defend the point or make a reasonable counter argument. It is neither impressive or enlightening.

  11. Mae

    It’s pretty easy to keep track of Coconut Don Young’s voting record, considering he rarely does.

    And Hack Artney, if your undies are in a wad about Begich taking credit for Uncle Ted’s earmarks, well darn, at least those earmarks were used for their intended purpose AND completed. Unlike sooo many other earmarks driven into the mud and/or used for washed up, barely sobered up Alaskan republican salaries.

    I think its outright funny so many republicans are attacking Begich. I wonder when they’ll find a new meme. The worn out, dullish meme of voting with Obama so much of the time, is getting old.

  12. Michael Chambers

    Mark Begich took a bold stance on SJR9 which would allow the citizens of Alaska a vote to amend our constitution so future decisions might be made which would give parents and children more personal educational options going forward. He clearly stated that parents and children should not have this right and they need to be locked up in failing schools without any options of parole.

  13. Juneau Jack

    I liked the ad. Begich has always been the ultimate politician by claiming and takingg credit for everything. He’s the kind of person who walked through a room where a decision was being made and will walk out and announce that he was responsible for the decision being made. Begich us the master of deceit and illusion too. Next time you see him ask where he stands on SB21. Every candidate for US Senate has taken a stand except him. Every member of our congressional delegation except him has also taken a position on SB 21. Begich isn’t a leader, he’s a political coward that lies regularly and doesn’t have the guts to be honest with Alaskans. I’m sick of him.

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