Treadwell surprises crowd, Miller wins crowd at conservative Senate debate

Not surprisingly, GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller won a very unscientific exit poll conducted after Wednesday night’s U.S Senate debate sponsored by the Conservative Patriots Group and United for Liberty, two groups associated with the tea party and the libertarians, respectively. What is surprising is that Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is also running in the Republican primary, came in second, in front of Libertarian candidate Mark Fish, who, if nothing else, proved that not all Libertarians are fringe thinkers.

Though Treadwell appeared to have the most volunteers there, the crowd that packed the Wilda Marston Theater in Anchorage was not Treadwell’s crowd. But he seemed to be getting points for showing up and answering the questions as best as he could. From the audience’s reaction, he also probably got points for hammering away on the fact that the supposed front-runner in the race, Dan Sullivan, wasn’t there.

Sullivan had a long-standing commitment in Fairbanks with a group of veterans. Democratic Sen .Mark Begich also wasn’t there. But he was only invited a week before, and his campaign immediately locked down began working on locking down a date for a debate with the two groups in August.

The results were tallied by Mike Chambers, co-founder of United for Liberty. Chambers is also the chair of the Libertarian Party, which under his leadership appears to be experiencing a renaissance. Dave Cuddy moderated the debate. Cuddy is from the First National Bank of Alaska family. Along with Chambers, he co-founded United for Liberty, and he ran against Ted Stevens for Senate in 2008.

The questions came mostly from the audience, and ranged from support for 1) Law of the Sea Treaty, to 2) support for voter ID, to 3) amnesty for illegal aliens.

Treadwell’s answers: 1) Yes with modifications. 2) No. 3) Yes, under some circumstances.

Miller and Fish’s answers: 1) No. 2) Yes. 3) No.

Those were only some of the tricky questions for Treadwell, and have been since elected in 2010 for lieutenant governor. He claims to have been an active conservative in Alaska for 40 years. Most Alaskans know him, however, as a moderate Republican, and many have been surprised that he’s framed himself a tea party conservative.

Treadwell handled the questions well, though, and spoke with conviction. Conservative firebrand Eddie Burke, who ran against Treadwell in 2010, and who now works for the Veterans Administration, and who ironically enough now belongs to a union, said that Treadwell was “excellent.”

“By doing excellent it means that he did good,” Burke said. “When I walked in I thought Mead would have a tough night. But I was impressed by Mead’s ability to relate to the crowd.”

Cean Stevens, who’s running for state House in East Anchorage as a Libertarian also had good things to say about Treadwell. “I had never heard him speak before and I was very impressed,” she said.

Miller did win most of the applause lines of the night though. One of the most well received lines was when he differentiated himself from Treadwell.

“I genuinely like Mead Treadwell,” he said. “He’s a nice guy. He’s a nicer guy than I am. But I’m not going to vote for Mead because we don’t need nice guys in Washington D.C…Ted Cruz is not a go-along-get-along nice guy.”

But probably the real winner of the night was the two groups that put the event on. It was well attended, lively and well organized, all of which flies in the face of pre-conceived notions about third party groups and the tea party.

Below is what Chambers sent out on Thursday morning:

It was a weighted poll. Each card had the three candidates name and instructions to prioritize choices.  1st place was awarded 3 points. 2nd place was awarded 2 points and third place was awarded 1 point. Additionally, there were ballots that were marked with just one selection (nonconformists ) Each candidate checked received 3 points. The results were:

Joe Miller….221

Mead Treadwell….207

Mark Fish……115

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13 thoughts on “Treadwell surprises crowd, Miller wins crowd at conservative Senate debate

  1. Kathleen

    Hear, hear. Does Disqus charge? I often don’t comment because I don’t want to try to keep track of replies.

  2. AKsmithy

    Us conservatives cannot be to careful. I consider myself to be a very conservative person .I am a life member of the NRA. I am a Ronald Reagan ,Glen Beck, Thomas Sowell conservative. I have lived in Anchorage Alaska for over 30 years and have known many people here. In all these years I have only met one person here that I could truly say was a scoundrel. How does Eddie Burke remain in the grace of the conservative movement? I have seen and dealt with his worst side. I would consider him the modern day Alaskan Soapy Smith. He could be your friend one minute and the next he is a thief and a liar (personal experiences). Then you find out he is a “John Edwards” multiple times, no surprise there. I don’t know how he got into the conservative movement but this person could destroy it. He only says the things he does for his own benefit not for the country or for moral beliefs. He belongs more in the democratic party. He would fit right into their slime. I don’t like to and never have written a letter about someone like this before but I am very worried about my state and my country and a person like Eddie Burke does not belong in the company of good people. His wife is a lovely person. We don’t need a cancer destroying us from within. If you think he is a good person then you need to reexamine people a little closer. You can check court records at . Click on CourtView and use Ed Burke for the name search. This place is only a start to what you can find. Know the truth and it will set you free. The John Edwards stuff you will have to find out from his inner circle of family and friends. His evilness has him morally and financially bankrupt. This man is a piece of trash and has a big mouth and an overzealous libido and it doesn’t end there. Be wise and careful in the friends you keep and the politicians you vote for (see what’s happened already by the fools that voted for BHO)!!!! , what he says sounds good but watch the person.
    And now eddie is sucking money from taxpayers working for the Veterans Administration? Who could of guessed? Now I know why they are in such big trouble!
    The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

  3. Brandon Wall

    Amanda – you should really move to a real comment section in which commentors have to stand by their comments or you should moderate and not allow insinuations like this. This kind of comment could come from anyone, anywhere and based on everything I’ve heard today is probably BS. It makes your website lose credibility as a legitimate source of news and information.

  4. Alex

    Are you serious? Even Dan doesn’t claim to have been here for more that 9 years, and that is generous at best. How many PFD’s has he been eligible to collect? 3?

  5. anonymous from Fairbanks

    If you are going to continue to write about Treadwell, why don’t you write the “real story”. Reporters know about it, talk about it but never write abouit it. Why is that? I think the few Alaskans that support him would be surprised.

  6. Steve H.

    I’m excited about Mark Fish’s candidacy. He is likely the brightest guy running for Mark Begich’s seat. I hope that forums, like this one, allows Fish to get his message out.

  7. 357

    If Mead Treadwell surprised the audience, I would suggest that it was because expectations of him are always so low. I find his presentations to be extremely boring, self-absorbed and full of crap.
    I was at a Sullivan event recently and was pleased to see that some of Mead’s early and big supporters were now supporting Sullivan.

  8. Brad

    Well I can tell you that Mead wasn’t half of what Dan would have been at the Debate. Dan knows the issues and fought everyday for the last 24 years for Alaskans. Treadwell’s a sham, like, wow. And it’s definitely not Miller time.

  9. Robin

    Sorry I missed this event. Would have loved to see Treadwell put on his conservative act again. He claims to be a conservative in Alaska for 40 years. Was Wally Hickel a conservative? Treadwell followed him around like a puppy dog. When he gave money to Assembly person Selkregg, was she a conservative? I don’t think so.
    Joe Miller is a true conservative. Treadwell is a fraud.

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