Tag Archives: gun control

Treadwell goes after Begich for lack of enthusiasm to end oil export ban

partisanshipU.S. Senate candidate Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s campaign has been churning out the press releases in the past few days, most of them attacking Sen. Mark Begich for being both soft on energy and for taking money from the national Democratic Party, which is taking money from former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is fighting for stricter gun control.

Both charges are a stretch, but the last one is particularly elastic. Begich was one of a handful of Democratic senators who broke with the party to vote against gun control, incurring the wrath of gun control groups everywhere, including one funded by Bloomberg.

On energy, Treadwell accused Begich of failing to lend his enthusiastic support for Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s fight to end the 1970-era oil export ban.

Murkowski is leading the charge to do away with ban, with the support of the American Petroleum Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The ban was issued in 1975, following the Arab oil embargo, and was meant to protect American consumers from an unstable market and widely vacillating gasoline prices.

It does not apply to all oil produced in Alaska. However, demand has been high enough that no Alaska oil has been exported since 2004, according to the Energy Information Administration.

As more domestic oil is produced, it’s likely to be one of the biggest energy issues in the coming years.

Although Begich considers a higher priority making sure that Alaska can sell its natural gas to Asia, he does support lifting the ban.

“Alaskans know Mark Begich’s strong record of supporting Alaska’s energy industry and his work to create quality energy jobs for middle class families including his support of exporting Alaska crude oil and natural gas,” a Begich campaign press spokesperson said.

But some top Democrats say that because oil companies will try to sell oil more expensively to other countries, lifting the ban will translate into higher prices for consumers at the pump. Refiners, such as Valero Energy Corp., the largest U.S. refiner by capacity, also opposes lifting the ban, according to Bloomberg News.

“Yesterday, Mark Begich had the opportunity to enthusiastically support Alaskan energy by supporting Lisa Murkowski’s bid to end the oil export ban but he failed to do so. Mark Begich and the Obama Administration cannot claim to support free trade in energy on one hand without reversing policies to produce Alaska energy on the other,” Treadwell said.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is willing to consider lifting the ban.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com

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Model for Mark Begich and gun control vote

Sen. Mark Pryor, Democrat from Arkansas, is responding to an ad from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which is criticizing Pryor’s gun control vote. Pryor was one of four U.S. senators to buck the Dems and vote against gun control. Bloomberg’s group reportedly has spent $350,000 on the ad

In his counter, Pryor takes on Bloomberg, which is likely a winning strategy in Arkansas as it would be in Alaska. Watch here:

Sen. Mark Begich also voted against gun control, and Bloomberg’s mayors are also eyeing  Begich’s vote. I haven’t seen any Bloomberg commercials yet, but they are said to becoming and Begich is likely salivating over notion. He’s already responding with radio ads, using his vote on gun control as a positive. Which, despite a ridiculously flawed PPP poll, it will likely be.

PPP also came out with a poll on the Arkansas race. It describes its findings: “Mark Pryor’s chances for reelection next year would be enhanced if he supported a background check bill when it comes back up in the Senate.”

I don’t know if the Arkansas poll was as flawed as the poll in Alaska. If it is, then Pryor’s team should just ignore it. The PPP poll done on gun control in Alaska showed that only 35 percent of Alaskans opposed background checks, a notion that’s so absurd that I dug a little deeper into the poll. Among the poll’s many flaws:

  • Gender: Alaska is roughly 50 percent male to female, but the firm sampled 56 percent women to 44 percent men.
  • Party affiliation: Of the total registered voters in Alaska, only 14 percent are registered Democrats. About 27 percent are registered Republicans. The sample size that PPP used was 25 percent Democrats and 30 percent Republicans.
  • “Independents/other.” About 53 percent of registered voters are registered “undeclared,” and “nonpartisan.” Then there’s the Alaska Independence Party, which is a whole other breed of people, and the Libertarians.  The two of them make up about 6 percent of voters. The PPP’s sample lumps them all together, calls them “Independent/other,” and only uses a 45 percent sample size.

As I wrote before, I’d chalk that poll up, as I have other PPP polls, to the kind of crackpot tool that you find on both sides of the political spectrum intent on spreading propaganda and false narratives if it weren’t for the fact that the media dutifully reports on the polls.

There’s a healthy debate to have over Begich’s gun control vote. But it won’t happen through distortions and fabrications.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com.

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