Tag Archives: mark begich

Leading up to GOP primary, Put Alaska First puts its money into going after Sullivan

Here’s the latest attack ad against U.S. Sen. candidate Dan Sullivan by the pro-Mark Begich super-PAC Put Alaska First, entitled “Decisions.” The ad is part of a new $439,000 media buy, which runs from August 1-10. This one, like the previous Put Alaska First ads, focuses on Sullivan’s role in HB77, a highly controversial bill that died in the Legislature last session amid public outcry. The bill would have cut through the permitting process to develop Alaska’s lands, and would have cut some Alaskans out of the process.

The ad is a compilation of the others that have gone before it. The kicker is when former Democratic lawmaker Sam Cotten says, “This idea was absolutely cooked up from someone who wasn’t from here,”  which continues the theme of Sullivan not being from the state. It should be noted, however, that although Sullivan had a hand in drafting the bill, many Alaskan Republican lawmakers, as well as Gov. Sean Parnell, and many in the Department of Natural Resources including the current commissioner, supported the bill.

Put Alaska First has spent at least $3.5 million going after Sullivan, with some success, according to polls, which show Sullivan having higher negatives than would be normal for someone who has never held elected office. So far, the PAC has left the other candidates, Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller largely alone. Expect more ads against Sullivan leading up to the primary.

Anchorage-based political consultant Marc Hellenthal said that you can tell who Begich and his supporters are most threatened by based on those ads. They’d love to see Miller win, he said. But that’s likely too much of a long-shot. So they’ve settled on Treadwell.

“Begich wants Treadwell to win, or he’d be attacking him,” Hellenthal said. “They don’t want to run against Sullivan.”



Begich continues to use Murkowski in new ad despite her objections

When U.S. Sen. Mark Begich told Politico that “maybe” he would stop using Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s name against her will in his campaign ads, it appears that his “maybe” means, ‘Heck no.’ The campaign on Tuesday released a television ad that corresponds with a recent radio ad featuring Republican pilot Skip Nelson, touting what a great team Begich and Murkowski make and how they vote together as often as “80 percent” of the time. The claim, it should be noted, is only true for 2014. Since 2009, when Begich was elected, the two have voted together about 60 percent of the time. The issues where they deviated, Murkowski has pointed out, were significant.

In any case, the ad is not likely to help soothe tensions between Begich and Murkowski, tensions that have been simmering beneath the surface for years since Begich stumped for Democratic Senate candidate Scott McAdams in 2010, Continue reading


Treadwell cites controversial internet survey as proof of surge

The New York Times and CBS News, in partnership with YouGov, released the results of a controversial survey that shows if the election were held today, GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan would lose to Mark Begich by 12 points, and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell would lose by only two points. The survey provided fodder for Treadwell’s campaign to claim momentum.

“This new nationally-recognized poll and the recent attacks we’ve seen from Mark Begich and his liberal allies show we’re surging and that we’re best positioned to make Begich a one-term Senator,” Treadwell said in a release.

The poll, however, lends little credibility to his claim.

The survey interviewed 452 Alaskans as part of a national project that asked 100,000 voters nation-wide questions about every Senate race in the country. The survey says that Republicans have a 60 percent chance of winning the Senate back. Continue reading


RNC #FireReid robocall coming to a phone near you

Below is the script to the robocall that will be played in Alaska as part of the Republican National Committee’s new “Fire Harry Reid” campaign.

President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have blocked hundreds of bills that would spur job creation. Their partisan agenda has caused our healthcare costs to skyrocket. Their environmentalist billionaire backers won’t let the Keystone pipeline bring affordable energy to our state. A vote for Senator Mark Begich is just another rubber stamp on their failed agenda. It’s time to Fire Harry Reid. It’s time to vote against Senator Mark Begich.

Variations of the script Continue reading


Murkowski one of three Republicans to vote to advance anti-Hobby Lobby bill

As she’s done in the past, particularly on social issues, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski bucked her party and voted to advance a bill that would have reversed a recent Supreme Court ruling that allows closely held corporations to decline to provide employees insurance coverage for some forms of birth control based on religious objections. The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Begich. As expected, it failed.

In addition to Murkowski, two other Republican senators voted to advance it: Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Susan Collins of Maine, both of whom, like Murkowski, are known for being moderate Republicans.

Murkowski’s vote is consistent with what she said in 2012 after she supported a measure called the Blunt amendment that would have done through Congress what the Supreme Court eventually did. Continue reading


Bipartisan sportsman bill dies in U.S. Senate, a.k.a. ‘Camp Gridlock’

A bipartisan bill that would have opened up more public lands for hunting and fishing got trapped in partisan muck on Thursday as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lost Republican support for the bill by not allowing it to be amended, which has become a pattern for Reid.

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act was sponsored by 26 Republicans and 20 Democrats and had the support of the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, the American Sportfishing Association, Ducks Unlimited, the National Wildlife Federation, and Trout Unlimited.

Because Reid refused to allow amendments, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the prime sponsors of the bill, voted to allow it be filibustered, which basically killed it. Continue reading


Begich’s new ad features three Fairbanks mayors

Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign released a new ad today featuring three mayors from Fairbanks. Fairbanks Mayor John Eberhart, Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins, and former North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker, all say in the ad that they’re voting for Begich. Whitaker says he’s doing so even though he’s a Republican. Mentioned in the ad are things that Begich himself has touted: keeping the F16s at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, and taking on the EPA and keeping the coal fired power plant in Fairbanks open. “It’s why we know he’s against a carbon tax,” Whitaker says, addressing an issue that’s been used as an attack against Begich and one that appears increasingly ambiguous. Whitaker also says that Begich has proven that he has “clout.” Eberhart says that Alaska “can’t afford to lose that.”


Cue the campaign music videos

As far as I know, Forrest Dunbar, the Democrat running for Rep. Don Young’s seat, is the first candidate of this season to use a music video as a campaign tool. Even though “Your Love,” the song that he remixed, brought back certain mixed memories for some of us–peach schnapps, Izod shirts with upturned collars, the Iran-Contra scandal — it worked to get him some attention. And who can forget this faux-folk song from Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in race?  The one below is aimed at Sen. Mark Begich. I don’t know who it came from or whether it will stick. But some of it is a little clever.



New poll shows Senate hopeful Sullivan leads in primary, tied with Begich

A poll conducted for GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s campaign released on Thursday shows that Sullivan has a 9 point lead over Lt. Gov. Treadwell among all primary voters, and a 23 percent lead over Joe Miller. Among “likely” voters, Sullivan leads by 18 percentage points over Treadwell and about 28 percent over Miller. Among “very likely” voters, Sullivan is at 46 percent, Treadwell is at 23 percent and Joe Miller is at 13 percent.

Still, 24 percent of all primary voters are undecided. And about 17 percent of likely and very likely primary voters are undecided as well, the poll finds.

The poll was conducted by Portland-based Moore Information, Continue reading


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 Continue reading


Wash Post lowers Begich’s chances of winning, still betting on Sullivan in primary

The Washington Posts’ Election Lab, a joint effort between the Post and a group of political scientists, now only gives Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich a 43 percent chance of retaining his seat in the upcoming election. That’s a six-point drop since May, when the Lab gave Begich a 49 percent chance of keeping his seat.

What’s changed? Campaign contributions, said political scientist Eric McGhee, who is a contributor to the project. The group has yet to include polls in its model, and unlike other people and organizations that predict races, its model doesn’t include subjective information, Continue reading


New ad features Sullivan as job creator, Begich as job killer

GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan released another ad on Wednesday. This one features Richard Faulkner, president of Anchorage-based Steelfab, and Peter Macksey, head of customer relations at Steelfab, the steel plant that U.S. Sen. Mark Begich featured in one of his own recent ads.  In that ad, Begich boasts that he got Steelfab “more business because I got the administration to allow more drilling.” When reached on the phone, however, Faulker called Begich’s claim “totally false” and was “upset,”  to put it politely, when he saw it.

The Sullivan ad says that as DNR commissioner, Sullivan got results, “1200 jobs worth of results,” Macksey says.

Macksey is referring to the North Slope’s Point Thomson, an oil and gas field about 60 miles east of Prudhoe Bay. The field was originally discovered in 1977 Continue reading


Crossroads GPS runs new Begich attack ad

Bill Vivlamore, the president of the Frontier Supply Company in Fairbanks, is featured in a new Begich attack ad by Crossroads GPS. “Mark Begich doesn’t understand what voting 97 percent of the time with Obama is doing to businesses in Alaska,” says Vivlamore, who focuses in the ad on Begich’s vote for ObamaCare. The ad will run statewide and is backed by $450,000. Unlike American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS isn’t a super-PAC, and runs issue ads instead of ads advocating for a candidate. As such, it’s not required to disclose its donors.


New York Times digs into V.A. scandal in Alaska

The national media has done some great investigative reporting about problems plaguing the V.A. health system nationwide. Until now, Alaska, which has the largest population of vets per capita in the U.S., has largely remained out of the headlines, save for the issue being used as political fodder by both sides in the Senate race.  As such, it’s largely been assumed that the problems in Alaska, compared to V.A. systems in the rest of the country, have been relatively benign.  Continue reading


Begich fires back at VA allegations

Below is the response from U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign to the American Crossroads ad released earlier this week, accusing Begich of not taking enough action on veterans’ healthcare. It’s a powerful response, as is the radio spot that goes along with it. Although there are problems, the veterans system here has largely avoided being plagued with the problems that the facilities are plagued with in the Lower 48. That’s in large part due to the work of Begich, along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who fought to allow some vets in rural Alaska to go to local clinics.