Tag Archives: american crossroads

New American Crossroads ad attacks Begich over taking undue credit

Below is an American Crossroads ad attacking U.S. Sen. Mark Begich for taking credit for things that the ad claims he shouldn’t take credit for. The ad continues a theme that has been playing out between the campaigns of GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan and Begich for weeks now. (See the ads here, here and here.)

As expected, it quotes Rep. Don Young, who recently told a camera crew during a recent campaign shoot in Fairbanks, that he was tired of Begich’s claims about his accomplishments. “Don’t take credit for something you did not do,” Young said in an impromptu interview by a camera crew that regularly works for Young and for Art Hackney, an Anchorage based ad-man and strategists for American Crossroads.

Among other things, Young was referring to a road that was recently built in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, that was an effort by Continue reading


Begich fires back at VA allegations

Below is the response from U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign to the American Crossroads ad released earlier this week, accusing Begich of not taking enough action on veterans’ healthcare. It’s a powerful response, as is the radio spot that goes along with it. Although there are problems, the veterans system here has largely avoided being plagued with the problems that the facilities are plagued with in the Lower 48. That’s in large part due to the work of Begich, along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who fought to allow some vets in rural Alaska to go to local clinics.


American Crossroads attacks Begich’s commitment to veterans

A day after U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan called for Sen. Mark Begich to agree to try to put an end to third-party ads, American Crossroads released the following ad, accusing Begich of not taking enough action on veterans healthcare. The new ad will air statewide for a total buy of $450,000. It started on Wednesday.

“Begich likes to use his position on the Veterans Affairs Committee to score political points when he’s in Alaska, but he continues to sit on the sidelines when it comes to holding President Obama and the VA leadership accountable in Washington,” said Art Hackney, well known Anchorage-based adman and strategist for Crossroads.

Begich’s campaign responded:

Begich has widespread support from the Alaska veteran community. Begich also sits on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee where he successfully facilitated an agreement between the VA and tribal health facilities to allow veterans to receive care closer to home, helping to significantly cut down on VA wait times in Alaska.

The Senate passed a $50 billion VA health care bill on Wednesday night, largely mirroring similar proposals from the House. Begich was in D.C. and voted for the bill.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Condoleezza Rice defends Senate candidate Sullivan in new American Crossroads ad

On Saturday, American Crossroads, the super-PAC founded by Karl Rove, released an ad defending Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan against questions about his Alaska residency. The commercial is narrated by his former boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that Sullivan’s time away from the state, for which he is being questioned, was spent in the service of his country.

“Dan Sullivan is tireless in the defense of his country,” Rice says. “He showed that in his service in the military and his service in the White House and the State Department.”

On Saturday, American Crossroads filed a $191,757 expenditure on the Alaska race with the FEC. It’s unclear how much of that money is going to this ad.

A pro-Mark Begich super-PAC has aired two ads questioning Sullivan’s residency. The last one called his claims “fishy.” Sullivan, a Marine, moved to Alaska in 1997 before moving to D.C. in 2002 to work in the White House and the State Department under Rice. While in D.C., he bought a house in Maryland and said that it was his primary residence. He was called to active duty from 2004 to 2006. He came back to the state full time in 2009 to become Alaska’s Attorney General and then the state’s Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.

That same year he claimed he was a non-resident when he applied for a fishing license because he had not lived in the state for the previous 12 consecutive months. Hence the title of the attack ad.

A group of veterans gathered in Anchorage last week in defense of Sullivan. Many of them said that they too had to travel while serving and they feel that an attack on Sullivan is an attack on them.

Sullivan himself has not yet himself released an ad responding.

The fact that American Crossroads has entered the race is significant because Sullivan is in a three-way contested primary and is not yet the party nominee. Two other candidates, Joe Miller and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, are still running for that spot.

Meantime, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has released a rather dramatic ad, tying recent comments by Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor about his opponent to the pro-Begich super-PAC ads. “From Arkansas to Alaska Democrats are attacking a noble act: military service,” the ad says.

To be clear, nobody has outright attacked Sullivan for being in the military.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Crossroads bashes Begich over missing unemployment vote. AFL-CIO comes to his defense.

Karl Rove’s group, Crossroads GPS, is airing a radio ad in Alaska, bringing up a month’s-old story about U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s trip to Hawaii when the Senate was voting on an unemployment extension. Begich missed the procedural vote on Jan. 7 to deliver a speech to the American Aviation group, to meet Hawaii’s governor and to attend fund raisers. The missed vote was well covered when it happened. Begich said at the time that the Hawaii trip was planned well in advance of the procedural vote. (Listen to the ad here: Hawaii radio ad.)

In the ad, a narrator berates Begich for missing work to go to Hawaii. To the backdrop of Hawaiian music, the voice of a young man exclaims, “Surf’s up dude. Cowabunga!” And in a bit of irony, Crossroads, a group that supports Republicans, tells listeners to call Begich’s office to tell him we need a “fully funded unemployment extension,” an extension that Senate Republicans have been repeatedly blocking. Begich has voted repeatedly to extend unemployment benefits.

Alaska AFL-CIO issued a press release, defending Begich over the ad. “The hypocrisy of this ad is thick. Karl Rove attacking Mark Begich for not supporting working families is akin to me giving a lecture on hair styling and beauty products,” AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami said.

Beltrami, it should be noted, is bald.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 


American Crossroads targets Begich on health insurance claim

American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-backed super PAC, has begun web ads that target Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, along with two other vulnerable incumbent Democratic senators who are running in 2014. The video takes aim at the claim that under the new healthcare law, you can keep your insurance if you like it, which has kind-of-sort-of been debunked.

The situation is more complicated than what the ad would have you believe. In Alaska anyway, the truth is that you can keep the exact insurance policy, but you’ll pay more. Or you can go onto the exchanges, and in many cases get the same or better healthcare and pay less, a fact that Premera Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the largest provider of individual insurance policies, hasn’t pointed out when it sent Alaskans cancellation letters.

However, as they say in politics, he who has to explain the most loses.

In addition to Begich, the videos are also targeting Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.).

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com