I wasn’t there, but from what I’ve been told, things weren’t nearly as exciting this year at the Republican Party’s convention as they have been in the past. This is good for the party faithful but not necessarily for writers. Nonetheless, here are few highlights:
- Judy Eledge, pictured, was resplendent.
- With the exception of the vice chair, all of the party officials were elected by unanimous consent. Peter Goldberg was reelected as chair. Frank McQueary got a birthday present in the form of being elected vice chair over Christina Hill. The secretary is Deborah Klebs and the assistant secretary is the Anchorage Daily News columnist Lynn Curry.
- Probably the most buzz-worthy moment at the convention was when Joe Miller said that he refused to commit to support the Republican nominee if it weren’t him. The crowd gasped.
- Convention delegates found an executive summary of a poll on their chairs Friday morning when they arrived for the GOP U.S. Senate candidates’ forum. The poll results showed Senate candidate Dan Sullivan with a 16 percent lead over Mead Treadwell and a 26 percentage point lead over Joe Miller. The idea, of course, was to deflate the other candidates before the start of the forum and let the party faithful know who the clear GOP leader appeared to be. However, 38 percent of primary voters were still undecided. The poll also showed Sullivan within the margin of error but down against U.S. Sen. Mark Begich by 2 percentage points.
- The guy who works for the Democratic group American Bridge 21st Century was asked to leave the convention. The guy, who declined to give me his name last time I saw him, follows Dan Sullivan around like a pilot fish, camcorder in hand, just waiting for him to say something that will go viral and make the Rachel Maddow show. And we wonder why political discourse had been reduced to sound bites.
- All but seven of the GOP conventioneers voted yes to the following question: “Do you want to take back OUR seat from Mark ‘Baggage’ Begich?” This led Alaska Public Media reporter Alexandra Gutierrez to wonder on twitter: Who are those seven people?
- There goes the youth vote: About 70 percent of the GOP delegates voted against an amendment to strike anti-gay language from the party’s platform. Likewise, a resolution to come out against the marijuana ballot initiative passed with 75 percent of the delegates supporting it.
- Opposition to repealing SB 21 and support for school choice were also rallying cries. They were mum on minimum wage and on the Pebble initiative.
- In the wake of Art Hackney’s Super pac’s mention of erectile dysfunction, the Republican Party convention’s auction Friday evening netted $1,400 for Don Young’s calcified walrus penis. A pair of Ted Steven’s 1972 cuff links went for $2,500.
- Lite gov candiates Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and state Sen. Lesil McGuire both were reported to have done very well at their forum. Mayor Dan was funny and McGuire smart.
- As Republicans were getting along in Juneau, Begich’s campaign had a party for the opening of his Anchorage office. About 100 people came and went. Many, presumably, were volunteers and supporters, but some were likely there for the free hotdogs and burgers, which were served up by Begich himself. Begich volunteers also gathered in five other communities across the state, and were video-conferenced in.
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