Tag Archives: mead treadwell

Tensions mount between Miller and Treadwell at GOP candidates forum

Except for a few heated exchanges between Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell, which spilled over onto twitter (see below), the GOP Senate candidates pretty much stuck to their already-public statements on women’s rights and gay marriage at the “social issues” forum on Monday afternoon. The forum was sponsored by the Alaska Family Action, the political arm of the Alaska Family Council.

In advance of the event, the candidates filled out a survey that outlined their position on social issues. All of them are against gay marriage and all of them are pro-life and want to see abortion outlawed in most cases. Continue reading


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.”



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


Treadwell and Sullivan trade barbs over ‘Stand Your Ground’

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: Continue reading


Controversial blogger has sights set on Alaska Senate race

Below are some recent tweets from the controversial blogger Charles C. Johnson, who has worked for Senate candidate Mead Treadwell’s campaign and who is currently at the center of the Mississippi Senate race mess. As I wrote earlier, Johnson worked on Treadwell’s campaign to help prepare him for the debates this summer. I also wrote that it’s unclear how much more Johnson would be involved. From his tweets, it’s clear that he intends to be very involved, particularly if he continues to raise money. Read some of those tweets below:

Continue reading


New poll shows a tightening in Senate race, oil tax repeal winning

Anchorage-based pollster and political consultant Mark Hellenthal released a wide-ranging poll on Wednesday, which shows, among other things, that if the election were held today, SB 21, or the oil tax legislation that was passed by the Legislature, would likely be repealed by a slim margin. It also showed that while Dan Sullivan has the lead in the U.S. Senate primary, it might not be as wide a lead between Sullivan and Mead Treadwell — the two leading candidates — as Sullivan’s internal polling has suggested. Continue reading


GOP Senate candidate Treadwell begins ‘True Alaskan Conservative’ theme

Here’s Republican candidate Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s first widespread radio ad of the campaign season. The spot is airing along with a television ad introducing the theme, “The True Alaskan Conservative.” (I’ll post the TV ad when I get it, but it’s basically a cut version of this one.) What makes him more conservative than the other GOP challengers in the race –Joe Miller or Dan Sullivan — is anyone’s guess. But that likely won’t matter. Treadwell’s message is clear and to the point, and is one that the public will likely remember if Treadwell has the money to be able to disseminate the ads widely enough. Whether they’ll believe it is another story.


Three GOP Senate hopefuls take to the stage for first debate

On Thursday night, the three Republican Senate candidates—Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell, and Dan Sullivan—took to the stage for the first primary debate that featured all three. The lead-up to the debate was not without drama, which culminated with the former chair of the Republican Party, Randy Ruedrich, filing a complaint with APOC against the Anchorage Women’s Republican Club, which organized it.

But all that drama, as these things do, fell away as the candidates stepped on stage, where for two hours–without a break–they answered questions from the organizers, 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


Treadwell’s new web ad: ‘The True Alaskan Conservative’

On Thursday, GOP Senate candidate Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell released an ad today, entitled “The True Alaskan Conservative.”

The theme of the commercial is that Treadwell is the true conservative who will fight the federal government for Alaska. It feels a little uninspired, say nothing of jumpy, but maybe I’m already inured to political ads. I liked his old ones better, when he hesitated and stuttered some, like a wise professor you want to drink tea with. This one feels a little like he’s been shoved in a suit and told to play a role. The message, however, might resonate with primary voters.

His spokesperson Tom Intorcio, tweeted that it was a TV ad, but it’s not. It’s a web ad.


New poll shows GOP Senate candidates Treadwell and Sullivan neck and neck

Anchorage-based Dittman Research released a poll today that shows that GOP Senate candidates Dan Sullivan and Lieutenant Gov. Mead Treadwell running neck and neck. The poll, paid for by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, surveyed 500 likely GOP primary voters May 27 – 29. It showed Mead Treadwell with 35 percent of the vote, Dan Sullivan with 37 percent, and Joe Miller with 12 percent. The margin of error is 4.4 percent.

The poll also showed Treadwell with a 74 percent favorable approval rating, Sullivan with a 62 percent, and Miller with a 35 percent favorable rating. Because Independents and nonpartisans are allowed to vote in the Republican primary, Dittman’s sample included 60 percent registered Republicans, Matt Larkin, who owns Dittman, said.

Larkin said that he wasn’t authorized to release the full poll, which also surveyed the lieutenant governor’s race.

Treadwell, naturally, appears happy with the numbers. “Washington, DC power brokers may have made a decision on who the GOP candidate should be, but Alaskans didn’t get the memo,” Treadwell said in a statement. He was referring to Sullivan, who has by far raised the most money in the race and has been considered the frontrunner.

Sullivan’s spokesperson said that it was hard to respond without seeing the full poll. However, he said “one thing is clear, Dan Sullivan is the only candidate that Mark Begich is afraid to take on in the fall.” He said that’s why Begich and those who support him are attacking Sullivan

A poll conducted by Portland-based Moore Research showed that at the end of April, Sullivan had a 16 percent lead over Mead Treadwell and a 26 percentage point lead over Joe Miller with 38 percent of primary voters still undecided.

Moore, like Dittman, is long-associated with Republicans and has a long history for polling for Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young. Both firms also polled for the late Sen. Ted Stevens.

Only one thing is for sure: There will be lots of conflicting poll numbers in the coming months.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


U.S. Senate candidate Mead Treadwell hires communications director

It appears that despite rumors that he was going to drop out of the primary, Republican Lt. Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Mead Treadwell is digging in. On Tuesday, Treadwell announced that his campaign has hired Tom Intorcio to serve as communications director.

Intorcio is no novice. He’s worked for Republican congressmen, was an Iowa field rep for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, and a field coordinator for President Bush’s 2004 campaign. He’s also been affiliated with a Patriot Voices, a grassroots group devoted to “liberty.” Watch him here talking about the group. Word is that the hire has been in the works for awhile.

According to two recent polls, Treadwell’s numbers have been falling while Dan Sullivan’s have been rising. A PPP poll released on Tuesday shows that among 313 Republican primary voters surveyed, Sullivan has a 14 point lead over Treadwell: 40 percent for Sullivan and 26 percent for Treadwell. Joe Miller, the other challenger, is falling in the polls with only 14 percent of GOP primary voters saying that they’d vote for him in August.

All of them lose to Sen. Mark Begich in the general, however. The poll, which surveyed 582 general election voters, has Sullivan losing by 5 points, Treadwell losing by 8 and Miller by 16 percentage points.

PPP is a Democratic leaning firm, and uses robo-calls to conduct its polls and has been suspect in the past. However, the numbers are fairly consistent with a poll paid for by Sullivan released in early May that used live interviewers.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Alaska Republican candidates make questionable remarks related to race

Republican candidates have made questionable remarks related to race at two different candidate forums in the last few days, including comparing union membership to slavery.

The first one was after a GOP Senate forum on Saturday, when candidate Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell used the widely disavowed Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy as a symbol for government overreach. He told Anchorage Daily News reporter Nat Hertz that although Bundy was problematic, he was “like Joe the Plumber.”

For a short time, Bundy was a hero among those who have fought against such overreach. When the federal government tried to make him pay for the 20 years that his cattle had been grazing on federal land, his supporters rode in on horses and brought guns. Fox News loved him. Right wing radio sang his praises. Then he began talking about his world view, including of race, and people didn’t love him much anymore. This is where he got “problematic.”

This is a truncated version of what he told a New York Times reporter about “the Negro:”

And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.

Hertz asked Treadwell about Bundy because of an allusion that Treadwell made about him in a speech at the forum. The racist comments got bigger headlines than Bundy’s original war against the feds. However, Treadwell, who had been following the story, told the ADN reporter that he wasn’t aware of the racist comments. “I don’t know what he said about race issues, and I don’t support that,” he told Hertz.

In a follow-up interview, Treadwell again said that he didn’t know about Bundy’s comments about race before referring to him, and that he didn’t support the rancher, but that he was nonetheless a symbol of a “sage brush rebellion” that’s brewing in the country over federal control of lands. If he were elected to the Senate, Treadwell said, wresting that control from the feds and putting it back into the hands of the state would be one of his top priorities.

Then, on Monday at a lieutenant governor’s forum, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan compared being in a union to slavery.

In response to an audience question about right-to-work legislation, Sullivan said that he adamantly supported it. “We ended slavery a long time ago,” he said.

In an interview after the debate, Sullivan clarified his remarks. He said that when someone has to pay to get a job, referring to union dues, it’s “economic slavery.”

Right-to-work laws vary in the 24 states that have such laws, but they generally mean that employees can’t be required to join a labor union and pay dues to get a job that has been negotiated through labor agreements.

None of the three other candidates in the forum—Republican state Sen. Lesil McGuire, Democratic state Sen. Hollis French, and Wasilla teacher Bob Williams—support the legislation.

In the past few years, conservatives have likened slavery from everything to affirmative action, to abortion to social security. And they often get reminded that it’s an offensive comparison. Most recently Sarah Palin made headlines for comparing the national debt to slavery.

In any case, the comment indicates that Sullivan plans to take his battle with the unions with him on his statewide campaign. Anchorage-based Republican consultant Marc Hellenthal said that it’s a battle that will likely help him in the Republican primary, but could hurt him and Gov. Sean Parnell in the general.

As the Alaska Democratic Party pointed out in a press release, Alaska has the second-highest rate of union participation in the country.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Senate poll: GOP candidate Sullivan ahead of primary pack, even with Begich

A new poll, first released at the Alaska Republican Party annual convention in Juneau, shows that GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan has a double-digit lead against the two other GOP contenders in the race, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller, with a large percent still undecided. It also finds that Alaska’s view of Sen. Mark Begich’s positive image has “tumbled” over the past months. As of the end of April when the poll was conducted, Begich was only two percentage points ahead of Sullivan in a general election.

The poll was conducted by Portland-based Moore Information, and was paid for by Sullivan.  It was conducted April 27-28, in 500 live interviews on both landline and cell phone. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. Moore is associated with Republicans and has a long history for polling for Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young. The firm also polled for the late Sen. Ted Stevens.

The last time the firm polled early this year, Sullivan polled two percentage points behind Treadwell and ten points ahead of Joe Miller. By the end of April, however, 38 percent of primary voters were going to vote for Sullivan, while Treadwell would get 22 percent and Miller 12 percent. However, 29 percent of primary voters are still undecided, leaving lots of room for Treadwell and Miller to pick up support.

According to the poll, Begich’s positive image went from a net +17 positive to a net +5 today. “The more voters learn about Mark Begich and his ties to the Obama agenda, the less likely they are to hold a favorable impression of him and, conversely, the more likely to hold a negative opinion of him,” Moore’s Senior Vice President Hans Kaiser wrote in a narrative accompanying the poll.

Kaiser wrote that Begich’s vote on ObamaCare appears to be his most serious liability. Among undecided voters, 56 percent are less likely to vote for a candidate who supported Obamacare. More bad news for Begich: only 24 percent had a positive view of Obama while 63 percent had a negative view.

However, it’s impossible to say what those numbers really mean as the chart accompanying the poll didn’t show the total percentage points of undecided voters in the general election.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


State-wide candidates try to connect with kids and seniors at forum

AARP Alaska, along with Anchorage middle schools, hosted both a gubernatorial and senatorial forum on Wednesday. About 100 people showed, most of whom were middle school students and the questions were written by them.  First up: The three candidates for governor—Democrat Byron Mallott, independent Bill Walker, and incumbent Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, who answered about 45 minutes worth of questions ranging from education, resource development, social security and healthcare. Many of the students were engaged, at least initially and were trying to understand. Others weren’t and couldn’t,

This was the second gubernatorial forum of the week. On Monday, the event was hosted by the Anchorage Chamber, and allowed for more back and forth, along with slight tension between Walker and Parnell, mostly over the natural gas pipeline. Walker doesn’t believe that the current plan in the works will get a gasline built. At the forum on Wednesday, Walker again lamented all the wasted years and hundreds of millions of dollars studying the gasline, and Parnell again said that the state is closer than ever.

But there was no heat in the exchanges. The candidates were limited to 60 second answers. Of all the candidates, the format suited Mallott the best, who has so far focused on generalities and platitudes and has shied far from specifics. About as specific as he got was when he said that his first act as governor would be to accept federal money to expand Medicaid, something that Parnell rejected. Walker said he would also expand the program, as long as he was assured that the feds would pick up 100 percent of the tab.

Parnell told the crowd, that those who would qualify for Medicaid already get access to primary care and emergency rooms “free of charge.”

If they hadn’t before, this is probably where they lost the children.

The group of 10 or so that I talked to after said that they didn’t understand a lot. One of them said they liked that Mallott talked more than the others about education. A few of them said that Walker seemed confident. Most of them said that they liked Parnell and felt more comfortable with him than with the others.

Up next was the GOP Senate forum, featuring Joe Miller, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, and Dan Sullivan. This, too, was this group’s second time meeting. The last, moderated by KTUU Channel 2’s Steve MacDonald, wasn’t live, and lacked energy, at least the kind of energy that Sullivan appears to feed on. This one also contained few fireworks. The candidates spoke about federal government overreach, about honoring our vets, and about social security.

Miller said that he would work to privatize the program for those under 50 years old, which likely didn’t go well with the seniors in the group. The two others talked around the issue, but didn’t, like Miller, address it head on. Treadwell said that we’ve got to be “flexible,” when thinking about how to save social security. Sullivan said that when the country elects “serious leaders” there’s an “opportunity for serious reform.” He didn’t elaborate.

All three candidates oppose federal government overreach. All said they would focus on the youth. And all agreed that the minimum wage hike that’s being debated in Congress should be left up to individual states.

After it was over, the kids didn’t remember much of what they said, and were mostly stymied when I asked which one they thought did the best job. One said that they thought Treadwell’s experience was important. A few of the more outspoken ones said that Sullivan connected most with the audience. All of them remembered when Sullivan asked for a show of hands of all those who had done their homework the night before.

After about half the room raised them, he said that the passing of ObamaCare was a great example of legislators not doing their homework. “It was legislative malpractice,” he said. “Not healthcare form.”

One of the students after said she was surprised how few of her peers didn’t do their homework. She also said that she had wished social issues, like gay marriage, had been discussed.

Another said that he had heard a lot about ObamaCare. Then again, he was U.S. Rep. Don Young’s grandchild. His grandfather comes over for dinner a lot, he said, and talks a lot.

“About politics?” I asked.

Yes, the boy said. A lot about ObamaCare.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com