Tag Archives: mark fish

Treadwell surprises crowd, Miller wins crowd at conservative Senate debate

Not surprisingly, GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller won a very unscientific exit poll conducted after Wednesday night’s U.S Senate debate sponsored by the Conservative Patriots Group and United for Liberty, two groups associated with the tea party and the libertarians, respectively. What is surprising is that Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is also running in the Republican primary, came in second, in front of Libertarian candidate Mark Fish, who, if nothing else, proved that not all Libertarians are fringe thinkers.

Though Treadwell appeared to have the most volunteers there, the crowd that packed the Wilda Marston Theater in Anchorage was not Treadwell’s crowd. But he seemed to be getting points for showing up and answering the questions as best as he could. From the audience’s reaction, he also probably got points for hammering away on the fact that the supposed front-runner in the race, Dan Sullivan, wasn’t there.

Sullivan had a long-standing commitment in Fairbanks with a group of veterans. Democratic Sen .Mark Begich also wasn’t there. But he was only invited a week before, and his campaign immediately locked down began working on locking down a date for a debate with the two groups in August.

The results were tallied by Mike Chambers, co-founder of United for Liberty. Chambers is also the chair of the Libertarian Party, which under his leadership appears to be experiencing a renaissance. Dave Cuddy moderated the debate. Cuddy is from the First National Bank of Alaska family. Along with Chambers, he co-founded United for Liberty, and he ran against Ted Stevens for Senate in 2008.

The questions came mostly from the audience, and ranged from support for 1) Law of the Sea Treaty, to 2) support for voter ID, to 3) amnesty for illegal aliens.

Treadwell’s answers: 1) Yes with modifications. 2) No. 3) Yes, under some circumstances.

Miller and Fish’s answers: 1) No. 2) Yes. 3) No.

Those were only some of the tricky questions for Treadwell, and have been since elected in 2010 for lieutenant governor. He claims to have been an active conservative in Alaska for 40 years. Most Alaskans know him, however, as a moderate Republican, and many have been surprised that he’s framed himself a tea party conservative.

Treadwell handled the questions well, though, and spoke with conviction. Conservative firebrand Eddie Burke, who ran against Treadwell in 2010, and who now works for the Veterans Administration, and who ironically enough now belongs to a union, said that Treadwell was “excellent.”

“By doing excellent it means that he did good,” Burke said. “When I walked in I thought Mead would have a tough night. But I was impressed by Mead’s ability to relate to the crowd.”

Cean Stevens, who’s running for state House in East Anchorage as a Libertarian also had good things to say about Treadwell. “I had never heard him speak before and I was very impressed,” she said.

Miller did win most of the applause lines of the night though. One of the most well received lines was when he differentiated himself from Treadwell.

“I genuinely like Mead Treadwell,” he said. “He’s a nice guy. He’s a nicer guy than I am. But I’m not going to vote for Mead because we don’t need nice guys in Washington D.C…Ted Cruz is not a go-along-get-along nice guy.”

But probably the real winner of the night was the two groups that put the event on. It was well attended, lively and well organized, all of which flies in the face of pre-conceived notions about third party groups and the tea party.

Below is what Chambers sent out on Thursday morning:

It was a weighted poll. Each card had the three candidates name and instructions to prioritize choices.  1st place was awarded 3 points. 2nd place was awarded 2 points and third place was awarded 1 point. Additionally, there were ballots that were marked with just one selection (nonconformists ) Each candidate checked received 3 points. The results were:

Joe Miller….221

Mead Treadwell….207

Mark Fish……115

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Alaska Libertarian Mark Fish runs for U.S. Senate seat

In a move that has the potential to affect Alaska’s U.S. Senate race, Mark Fish filed on Wednesday with the Alaska Division of Elections to run for the U.S. Senate seat as a Libertarian.

Fish has long been a Libertarian, and is well known in those circles, but worked as both a Sarah Palin and GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller staffer and remains close to the Miller campaign.

There’s been speculation that Fish is running in order to save a spot on the ticket for Miller were Miller to lose the Republican primary and chose to run as a Libertarian. It would be a move that would all but ensure a win for U.S. Sen. Mark Begich. However, in an interview, Fish said that he has never talked with Miller about that scenario.

“We’ve had conversations about a lot of things, but never about that,” Fish said.

He said that he is running so that Libertarians have a viable candidate to vote for in an open primary. The Republican primary has a closed ballot, meaning that those in other parties don’t get to vote for their candidate. The Democratic primary, however, allows for other parties.

“I want to give the registered Libertarians and people who choose an open ballot a choice other than Begich,” he said. After the primary, he said that he’ll reassess the situation. If he does stay in the race, he’ll likely draw away from the Republican candidate.

Anchorage-based Republican pollster and consultant Marc Hellenthal said that Fish would likely pick up about 5 percentage points if he stays in the race past the primary. “That could easily cost the Republican nominee the vote,” he said.

Another libertarian, Thom Walker, has filed to run for the seat, but Walker is an unknown and until recently was a registered Republican and has not been involved in the Libertarian Party. Numerous people, including this reporter, have tried to contact him in the last days but he can’t be reached.

“He’s not a viable candidate if he can’t answer his phone,” said Libertarian Party Chair Mike Chambers.

Fish is a longtime Alaskan. He spent 20 years in the National Guard. He ran for Anchorage Assembly in 2003 and for state House in 2008. He spent five years on the Human Rights Commission, until a controversial comment that he wrote on a blog about a “radical feminist” was unearthed.

Fish and Miller agree on more things than they disagree on, said Fish. However, Miller is “much more socially conservative than I am,” he said.

For instance, Fish, unlike Miller, doesn’t believe that the state should be involved in marriage at all. And also believes that abortion should be a societal, rather than legal decision.

GOP candidate Dan Sullivan’s campaign declined comment. Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller’s spokespeople didn’t return calls requesting comment.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Joe Miller’s praise of libertarians has politicos speculating

U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller sent out a press release on Thursday, applauding the libertarians for “schooling Begich on liberty.” Miller was referring to Alaska Libertarian Party Chair Mike Chambers scolding Begich for telling CBS News that Alaskans are “very libertarian.” Chambers lays out what most libertarians believe, and according to Chambers, it’s not what Begich believes. Read the release in full below.

Miller has continually said that he’s running as a Republican and plans to stay a Republican. However, the release and his embrace of the Libertarian Party has caused further speculation that he’s setting the stage to join that party’s ticket, perhaps after the primary, were he to fail to get his party’s nomination.

In an interview, Chambers denied that he’s involved in some sort of scheme to get Miller on the ticket. In fact, he said that someone from the party is planning to file to run for the seat. He declined to say who, however. But he also said that if Miller loses the primary, the Republican Party will get what it deserves “for not taking responsibility” for whom it elects, he said.

Libertarian Mark Fish, who worked on Miller’s campaign in 2010, and is still close to it, said that he wouldn’t discourage a switch. “If Joe wants to come over to the Libertarian Party, I welcome him,” he said.

What’s clear is that if Miller joins another ticket after the primary, it will make it all that much harder for Republicans to beat Begich in the Fall.

Here’s Miller’s release in full:

Republican US Senate Candidate Joe Miller today responded to a recent statement from Alaska Libertarian Party Chair Michael Chambers regarding Senator Mark Begich’s recent mischaracterization of the libertarian movement in an interview with CBS News.

“I appreciate the fact that the Alaska Libertarian Party is speaking out on the important issues facing our state and nation,” Miller said. “What we don’t need more of is Mark Begich’s progressive ideology masquerading under the banner of liberty. True libertarianism is grounded in Constitutional liberty, and I am proud to share those values with the Alaska Libertarian Party.”

Begich attempted to align himself with libertarianism by suggesting that as Alaskans “we’re very libertarian . . . and we don’t think that government should be interfering in our personal and private lives.”

Alaska Libertarian Party Chair Michael Chambers responded with the following:

“Senator Begich, allow me to define the vast majority of libertarians for your educational benefit, as you seem to be confused:

1. I know of no Alaskan libertarian who would remotely support the government takeover of our healthcare industry.

2. I know of no Alaskan libertarian who would vote to confirm:
•    Eric Holder – anti-gun
•    Elena Kagan – anti-gun
•    Sonia Sotomayor – anti-gun

3. I know of no Alaskan libertarian who supports:
•    Common Core
•    Federal Department of Education
•    suppression of parental rights in education

4. I know of no Alaskan libertarian who would vote to support and advocate:
•    The IRS in any malignant manifestation
•    NDAA and the suspension of habeas corpus
•    NSA invasion of our personal effects
•    The Patriot Act

5. No Alaskan libertarian I know would advocate globalist policies like:
•    The United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty
•    TPP – Trans Pacific Partnerships
•    UN Treaties having any jurisdiction or precedence over the US Constitution.

Certainly, there are a few libertarians who may support the socialist policies you advocate, but to infer that you are ‘libertarian’ in any of your political representations is to vacate any measure of truth.”

Miller concluded, “These are momentous times, and it is imperative that we transcend partisan frames of reference. The only way we can push back federal tyranny is for all Alaskans of good will to unite under the banner of Constitutional Liberty.”

Joe Miller is a husband, father, combat veteran, and advocate of Constitutional liberty who believes in individual rights, private property, free markets and the sanctity of human life.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com