D.C. publications focus on Alaska Senate race

On Sunday, two inside-the-beltway publications, Roll Call and The Hill, featured stories focusing on the 2014 Alaska Senate race.

Roll Call headlined its article as one of its 12 “Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Alaska Senate.” The publication announces what Alaskans had known for years: Democratic Sen. Mark Begich is vulnerable. According to the article, the race is currently rated a Tossup/Tilt-Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Roll Call said the fight between the top two Republican candidates —  Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan —  is less about ideology and more about who can beat Begich, which is kind of true. However, Treadwell has increasingly positioned himself to the right, particularly on social issues, while Sullivan has steadfastly refused to go there.

In any case, the first real fundraising test is coming up. FEC financial disclosures are due on Jan. 30.

Enter the money game.

The Hill’s article, “Five Fundraising Numbers To Watch,” focuses on the importance of former Alaska DNR commissioner Dan Sullivan’s year-end campaign cash totals as a number to watch:

Republican strategists have been predicting a big fundraising quarter from Sullivan, a former Bush appointee with close ties to a number of national Republicans. His brother is a top fundraiser for Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).Sullivan’s main primary opponent, Alaska Lieutenant Gov. Mead Treadwell (R), has struggled so far with fundraising, bringing in just $200,000 last quarter. If Sullivan can post a huge fundraising quarter, it could help establish him as the clear front-runner on the GOP side. But if he fails to live up to the hype, the primary could turn into a slugfest.

If nothing else, the article suggests that Sullivan’s D.C. Republican squirrels have been chirping into the ears of reporters, which I suppose is indicative of a campaign that’s capable of raising money. But it’s also worthy of note that those chirpers likely themselves have a financial interest in Sullivan’s fundraising prowess.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


6 thoughts on “D.C. publications focus on Alaska Senate race

  1. TJ

    I think Alaskans are looking for a candidate who lknows who he is and what he believes. Not someone pretending to be something they aren’t. Too many pols today say things for expediency sake. Treadwell and Begich are peas in a pod in terms of trying to position themselves for the sake of votes. So wish they were just honest with the electorate. I get the impression that Joe Miller knows what he believes and why but is way too estreme for my tastes. I don’t know enough about Dan Sullivan yet but am hoping he has the courage and integrity to tell us, the voters, what he really believes. If not, I don’t know who I’ll vote for.
    Amanda Coyne, you are doing an awesome job. Your blog is a real service to the community.

  2. Anonymous

    The Republicans had better offer something more than fear and loathing of Begich. I want to hear more from a candidate other than he or she has those “God given, rock solid, conservative family values”. What about issues like attainable health care; sustained affordable energy for electricity, mobility, space heating, industrial use and export; spending within our means, creation of transportation corridors within Alaska; value added processing of our resources within Alaska to create jobs and create local economies; enviornmental protection of our lands in balance with development of our resources; and lastly, an adult approach to resolving issues with the federal government such as the Isenbeck corridor issue. .
    I would suggest that at home the Republicans steer away from any more outside ALEC “model legislation”. We have a population about the size of Memphis Tennessee spread out over a state more than twice the size of Texas. We require independent thinking legisaltors who can focus on our local problems before implementing the agenda of an outside group. Remember last legislative session when, while ignoring the pending Alaska fiscal crisis, major Republican issues included being able to arrest Alaskans who are federal officials so as to support the concept of constitutional nullification: stand your ground law (which was opposed by local prosecutors), demanding voter photo I.D. in a village of fifty people to somehow deter voter fraud, and lastly having the state DMV enforce immigration law – all ALEC “model legislation” brought home by those who pander to the ALEC folks perhaps for a little something in the campaign chest.
    Please stay independent. Listen closely to the candidate not to his or her party spokesperson. Also, be extremely wary of purchased speech. A good public relations firm can make a cement block appear to be either Al Capone or Abraham Lincoln.

  3. AlaskaCodPiece

    Treadwell has made an unpopular and misguided move by hiring all Outsiders to run his campaign. That never goes over well in Alaska.

    On the other hand, DNR Dan Sullivan’s “all Alaska campaign” crew is from Anchorage and they ring of “back to the future” — campaign manager Ben Mohr has worked the past six years for the (now defunct) Pebble Partnership. Robyn Engibous is finance director and in charge of fundraising. She worked on the 2012 Romney campaign, SarahPac and the 2008 Republican National Convention. Mike Anderson is Sullivan’s communications director, a former press secretary for both Don Young and Lisa Murkowski.

    DNR Dan has some ‘splainin’ to do regarding his pro-Pebble Mine stance and the way he and Parnell sided with Pebble to try and stop people from the Lake & Pen from voting on a “Save our Salmon” ballot initiative … Why he has dragged his feet on the Chuitna Citizen’s petitions for salmon protections from a massive coal mine and gotten slapped down by a Superior Court judge for not following the state’s own rules …. Why he and Parnell sneaked changes to the mission statements of both the DNR and Governor, removing words like “future generations” and “conservation” … Why he and Emperor Parnell are hell bent on changing Alaska’s land and water laws to fast track development permitting, and at the same time, take away the public’s right to have any say in the matter or to appeal. Cruise ships dumping crap, ending the coastal management protection program, the list goes on …

    DNR Dan should grab a line from the old Joni Mitchell song for his campaign slogan: Let’s pave paradise and put up a parking lot!

    The big guns from far away will dump loads of money into DNR Dan’s campaign but Alaskans are not likely to buy it. Especially as he travels around and talks with rural Alaskans (assuming he will – he doesn’t mix much with ‘the people’). I’ll wager his comments and answers will be stock phrases and phony platitudes and ‘talking points.’

    Hopefully, we will soon find out –especially those Alaskans who live on or near the natural resources DNR Dan is so intent on handing over to foreign mega-corporations. Dan Sullivan sure has been playing it safe and scripted -and at a distance – so far.

  4. KR

    Thanks for sharing these articles. Your blog is a must read for anyone interested in politics in Alaska. Can’t imagine the void of coverage if you ever quit. Keep up the great work. You’re awesome.

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