Koch-brothers funded group goes after Begich on attendance

Americans for Prosperity, a Koch brothers funded group, released an ad today featuring Steve Perrin, the owner of Rainy Pass Lodge in Skwentna, Alaska, about 50 miles north of Wasilla. The lodge is well-known in Alaska, and was the subject of a reality show. The AFP buy is about $1 million.

In the ad, Perrin talks about the Alaska “value of hard work, taking care of yourself and your family.” He claims that U.S Sen. Mark Begich “hasn’t been showing up for work” and that he missed more votes last year than more than 80 percent of his colleagues. According to the tracking site that’s featured on the ad, Begich missed 4.5 percent of total votes in his career. He missed a total of 12 votes in 2013. This year, he’s missed 46. In April through June alone, he missed 22 votes. That said, his over-all total voting attendance record is higher than Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s record. Also, keep in mind that because of the distance between Alaska, and D.C., the state’s congressional delegation always misses more votes than most other federal officials in other states.

Further, the message of self-sufficiency in the ad is muddled by the fact that like many small businesses in Alaska, Perrins’ lodgehas been the recipient of state funds. In this case, the agency that paid the lodge these funds was the Department of Natural Resources. All told, beginning in 2010, when Sullivan became commissioner of DNR, the agency paid the lodge $75,797 for state workers to stay at Rainy Pass Lodge for official business. The bulk of that money–$54,494–was paid in July, 2013, when a group of state geologists used the lodge for a month as a camp for geological mapping. Dan Sullivan was not part of the trips the state workers took, his former assistant at DNR said. The state’s head geologist, Steve Masterman, said that the area has gold, copper, and strategic critical minerals.

Perrin did not immediately return a call.

Skwentna is relatively isolated and there are few places to stay.



6 thoughts on “Koch-brothers funded group goes after Begich on attendance

  1. Kathryn Werdal

    I probably shouldn’t pile on, but what the hell, I will. I failed to mention another cheap shot explicit in the statement, “Perrin did not immediately return a call.” Steve Perrins is a registered Master Guide and I imagine he is unreachable by phone at the moment ad he is probably hunting with clients. I wonder if that possibility was considered.

  2. Kathryn Werdal

    Thank you for making my points for me Jim. I was seething and incredulous over the cheap shots as well. Amanda, you make it sound like the Lodge was receiving government payola, when in fact they were receiving compensation for contracted services. They welcome all comers for a fee.

    Secondly, the name is Perrins. It’s my grandson’s last name. Steve is Shane’s beloved Papa and an all-around great guy with a wonderful and productive family.

  3. Phil

    I liked this ad. We send them to do a job, not to focus on their reelections. I don’t like Begich or Murkowski. It’s time for new blood.

  4. Lynn Willis

    A hardworking lodge owner in remote Skwentna monitors congressional voting records. Did Mr. Perrin complain to the Koch Brothers/Americans for Prosperity and they shared his concern enough to film his testimony? Are there also now going to be videos on the voting records of Don Young and Lisa Murkowski so Alaskans can benefit from Mr. Perrin’s efforts?
    I thank Mr. Perrin for his concern about this important issue and the Koch Brothers and AFP for their financial/technical support to get this important message to Alaskans. I now look forward to those video reports on Young and Murkowski.

  5. admin

    @Jim. I’ll wear that dunce hat for sure about those misspellings. Thanks for pointing them out to me. Argggh.

  6. Jim wilke

    Congrats, you win the hat trick! – You spelled Perrins’ name three different ways. Further, you take the cheapest of shots regarding his business. Rainy Pass Lodge is the only place to stay for miles and miles. If you’re going to Rainy Pass or Ptarmigan Pass or the upper reaches of the Skwentna River, you stay at Rainy Pass Lodge. There is no option.

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