GOP Senate candidate Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell continued the attack against fellow Republican candidate Dan Sullivan over Sullivan’s support on ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislation. Sullivan has said that he supported the legislation, and helped pass it while he was the state’s attorney general. Treadwell, and the other candidate in the campaign, Joe Miller, as well as Sen. Mark Begich’s allies, and one political fact-checking organization, have all questioned Sullivan’s support for ‘Stand Your Ground.’
Treadwell, who said it was important to be honest, went so far as to issue a challenge: “Produce one piece of credible, time-stamped evidence that proves you fought to pass Stand your Ground during your tenure as Attorney General, and I’ll put up one of your campaign signs in my yard,” Treadwell wrote in a release on Wednesday.
Sullivan’s campaign spokesman Mike Anderson fired back: “In 2010 as Attorney General, Dan’s office worked with the bill’s sponsors to craft the current law which eventually passed in 2013. Rep. Mark Neuman confirmed this in writing and the record on this issue is very clear. It’s clearly Mead’s prerogative if he insists on calling Rep. Mark Neuman a liar, but it’ll mean he will have to wait until August 20th to put one of Dan’s signs in his yard.”
Let’s summarize: A bill was introduced by Rep. Mark Neuman in the 2009-10 legislative session when Sullivan was the attorney general. The bill broadened the state’s self -defense laws by saying that someone who is in danger doesn’t have a “duty to retreat” from a place that they have a legal right to be in. Shortly after it was introduced, an assistant AG wrote a letter--which was leaked to the media, including to this reporter, without Sullivan’s knowledge or consent—claiming that the bill was dangerous.
It had Sullivan’s name on it, which is where the accusations that he doesn’t support ‘stand your ground’ have originated. Assistant Attorney General John Skidmore signed the letter, which is standard practice in the Department.
Skidmore confirmed that as far as he knew, Sullivan was unaware of the letter, and that suggest otherwise was “unfair” and “taking liberties with the facts.”
Neuman said that he worked with the Department of Law in 2010 to amend the bill to address some of the concerns in it. Sullivan was attorney general until December 2010, when he then became Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources. Neuman didn’t work directly with Sullivan, but he assumed that Sullivan was kept abreast of the discussions, he told this reporter. In another interview, he was more firm about Sullivan’s position on the issue and the help that he provided.
The heart of the issue is whether or not Sullivan, a Marine, is soft on Second Amendment rights.
Contact Amanda Coyne at email@example.com
Correction: The piece said that Ben Sparks was Sullivan’s campaign spokesperson. He’s the manager. Mike Anderson is the spokesperson. I regret that error.