GOP Senate candidates fill out AFA survey on abortion, gay marriage, other social issues

John Aronno with the Alaska Commons does the work of unpacking the recent survey released by the Alaska Family Action (AFA) group in preparation for the group’s GOP Senate candidate “family values” debate on Aug. 4. The Alaska Family Action is the political arm of the Alaska Family Council. Run by Jim Minnery, it is commonly considered a right-wing force in the state, though how much force he actually has is debatable. After all, the group supported now-Gov. Sean Parnell over Rep. Don Young in 2008, and Young trounced beat Parnell in the primary.

As Aronno puts it, the survey is “narrowly honed in on views surrounding abortion, abortion, abortion, marriage equality, and abortion.” (Wouldn’t it be interesting if such surveys about family values included at least one question about the working poor, maybe, or affordable childcare?).

There’s also a question about federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, which all three Republican candidates — Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell, and Dan Sullivan — say they are against, and which puts them to the right of even Young. Indeed, on social issues, all three candidates are to the right of most of the state. They want to overturn Roe v. Wade. They want to ban abortions after 20 weeks. They want to leave marriage up to the states AND support a federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, an inconsistency which they’ll have to answer to at some point. They want school choice and they say that they’ll vote for judges that “embrace a philosophy of judicial restraint.” This is a dog-whistle question that basically means that the candidates would only support those judges whose idea of judicial constraint means agreeing with their views on social issues, even at the expense of that pesky, 10th state’s rights Amendment.

Both Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller have made social issues central to their campaign. Both, in fact, have gone further than the questionnaire by coming out for a federal “personhood” bill, which would effectively make all abortion murder. Sullivan, who appears to be the more moderate of the bunch, has kept these issues in the background. Now, however, he’s on record And if he wins, Sen. Mark Begich will likely bring them to the front. Begich has always been unabashedly pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. As Begich knows, and Aronno points out, the center is where most Alaskans, and most in the country live.

Correction: Initially I had written that Young “trounced” Parnell in the primary. That’s not at all true. I was thinking of the general. Young actually only beat Parnell by 304 votes.

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10 thoughts on “GOP Senate candidates fill out AFA survey on abortion, gay marriage, other social issues

  1. admin

    @Sandy. You’re totally right. I was thinking about the general when I wrote that. I wrote a correction: “Initially I had written that Young “trounced” Parnell in the primary. That’s not at all true. I was thinking of the general. Young actually only beat Parnell by 304 votes.”

  2. sandy D

    Young “trounced” Parnell? Parnell took the high road and conceded a race in which the two candidates were around 500 votes apart. In a statewide race, even in a state as small as ours, that hardly constitutes a trouncing.

  3. Brownie

    Truth Teller is right. TREADWELL is a FAKE. Until 4 years ago when he decided to seek public office, he was a LIBERAL republican. Back then he supported GAY RIGHTS and was PRO-CHOICE. Now, he is reconfiguring his image and pretending to be a conservative. Sorry Mead, for those of us who have been around for awhile, we see right thru you.

  4. Truth Teller

    You mentioned that Mead expanded on his answers. I find this all so laughable that Treadwell is trying to pull off “I’m Mr. Conservative”.
    Do youv think Treadwell told Minnery that he contributed to Matt Claman while Claman was advocating for gay rights? Or Councilwoman Sellkregg when she was advocating for planned parenthood and pro-choice related iissues? Of course he didn’t.

  5. akmom

    YES, it would be nice if these kinds of surveys actually asked questions about affordable childcare or the working poor but with, largely white males drafting the surveys, I will not hold my breath.

  6. Northern Observer

    Filling out a survey is tantaamount to a waste of time. Character is the real factor and that can’t be nailed down with a survey. Dan Sullivan and Joe Miller are the two GOP candidaates that have character. In my estimation, both would be good senators. Practically speaking, Dan Sullivan is the only one that can beat Begich. Please consider voting for Dan to get back the seat. Joe Miller is doing well rehabilitating a reputation that was wrongly smeared. Let’s work togetjer and win.

  7. Lynn Willis

    The lesson of Don Young over Parnell should not be forgotten. I believe we Alaskans are still mostly a tolerant bunch who likes to be left alone.
    I am very wary of the Alaskan intolerant “modern conservative” movement as promulgated by Jim Minnery et al. These “modern conservatives” seem to be all for “liberty and freedom” right up until their liberty and freedom is threatened by yours. If they feel the least bit inconvenienced or uncomfortable they become very supportive of laws telling you exactly what to do as exemplified by their desire for state control of marriage (unless, of course, the state was to allow same sex marriage). They feign hate of “big government” unless government exempts them from taxes or grants other special privilege to them.
    These modern “conservatives” seem to have no regard for stewardship of the government wealth as long as the use of that wealth benefits them; however, if it benefits you then it is “out of control liberal spending”.
    Lately we have seen the reemergence of the “states rights” movement by these “modern conservatives”. This is the concept of allowing the individual states to obey or ignore the US Constitution based on each state’s interpretation of the US Constitution. The last time that idea was floated during the mid-1800s America lost about 600,000 people in the “War of the Rebellion” also known as the American Civil War.

  8. Arctic Urbanophile

    Barf to everything the AFA does and says. They want to force families to have children they can’t afford and then advocate for the slashing of all support systems. Minnery is a toad if there ever was one and won’t be happy until women are pregnant and barefoot Michelle Duggar style. Let’s not forget the AFA’s unsuccessful smear campaign to politicize the well-regarded Judge Tan’s retention race. Hopefully after Sullivan wins the primary he’ll track away from social issues and rid himself of Minnery and his ilk.

  9. Dave

    Dan & Mead are slippy snakes without any real stances. i’m glad that somebody finally pegged them down on social issues. Those’ll be a problem for them if they won they general because neither one believes that they’re saying. Joe on the other hand would be just fine taking on begich’s morals. GO JOE MILLER!

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