Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Hard Facts

The Alaskan Review

Lisa Murkowski announced yesterday that she will run for re-election as a write-in candidate. In her speech last night she quoted the late Sen. Ted Stevens saying, ""She's a fighter who stands up for what is right. I trust her commitment to do what's best for Alaska." And so today, my friends, my campaign for Alaska's future begins."

Fox News, on the Gretta Van Susteren show, had a reaction from Joe Miller immediately after the speech was over, and he also opened with a quote from the late senator: "I do hope that we can avoid electing people who would destroy another Republican in order to bring about personal success." Miller went on to say that Murkowski had said the Friday before the primary election that she would support the will of the electorate as demonstrated in the primary.

Gretta then asked whether or not Miller had spoken to Murkowski, and he replied that not only had he, but that Murkowski had left him a "fairly nasty voicemail". Miller then refused to get in to the details of the voicemail just saying it was "inappropriate" His words left a feeling as though he either didn't want to stoop to that level, or that he might be saving it for ammunition for later in the campaign. When Pressed on the contents of the voicemail he said, "I think that when somebody accuses somebody of (lack of) integrity, and then they go back on their own word later... that's what that was about."

Transcript source here

Scott McAdams had this to say: “Now it’s a three-way race... We’ve got the extreme, radical views of the Tea Party Express, and what they bring to the table. We’ve got Lisa Murkowski, some of her corporate views, and her experience in really doing the bidding of multinational corporations, and then we’ve got myself: A Democrat, a small town mayor, an Alaskan, someone who’s served 8 years in elected office to Lisa’s 12. I take issue with her comment about our experience. We’re very experienced and understand our communities well. So this thing is wide open.”

Now the facts:
Very little polling has been done here in Alaska but there was one poll done by Public Policy Polling: here are the full results(PDF, pops up).

"Miller leads Democratic nominee Scott McAdams 47-39. McAdams benefits from a more united party, getting 81% of the Democratic vote to Miller’s 73% of the
Republicans. The candidates split even with independents at 42%, a good number for Democrats in a year where their candidates are largely getting blown out with that group of voters.

In a three way race with Murkowski running as a Libertarian Miller would still lead but with only 38% to 34% for Murkowski and 22% for McAdams. The folks who go for Murkowski favor McAdams 47-23 in a two way contest so somewhat counterintuitively she would actually hurt Democratic chances even though she’d de facto make it a race with 2 Republicans and a Democrat."
Public Policy Polling Raleigh, NC

Friday, September 17, 2010

*Breaking News*

The Alaskan Review

There are strong rumors that Murkowski will try to be the next Strom Thurmond, the last senator to run a successful write-in campaign in 1954.


Bonnie Jack, an elections observer for the Murkowski campaign sent out an email today that invited supporters to the "kickoff of Sen. Lisa Murkowski's campaign." and to: "Write in her name and fill in the oval. We plan to make history." 

"She's our senior senator. She is the best thing that Alaska has had for years and years, not taking anything away from Ted Stevens. She knows what Alaska needs, she knows what Alaska wants, and she works her hardest to get it done..." Jack also stated.

Senator Murkowski will make an official announcement at 5PM local time.

more as info becomes available...

*Breaking News*

The Alaskan Review reports today that staffers of the Tea Party Express were ferried around the state on a Holland America cruise ship. The tickets for the cruise were $1,499, but the group maintains that it was cheaper than buying plane tickets, paying for hotel rooms, and feeding the staffers.

The cruise allowed the staffers to attend and organize events at every port that the ship stopped at, according to Tea Party Express political director Bryan Shroyer. The group was founded last year in Sacramento by several veteran GOP operatives to take in the resurgence in grassroots support, known as the Tea Party movement.

"Employees would regularly run up bar tabs of more than $1,000 a week and charge it to Russo, Marsh or King Media, which would then bill TPE for the expense under a concocted fee." said Kelly Eustis, a consultant who worked for Tea Party Express. She left in October 2009 according to the Daily Caller.

This is interesting since Joe Miller didn't  even file paperwork to run against Murkowski until 4 months ago.

more to come....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When will it end?

The Alaskan Review

Senator Murkowski says now that she plans to announce Friday whether or not she will run a write-in campaign. In the past few days there were rumblings and official talk of her running on the Libertarian ticket. this would have required the candidate elect to voluntarily step aside after he had won his own primary, and the blessing of the higher-ups of the Libertarian party.

Monday both sides were tripping over themselves to give statements and get press coverage about how things really were. David Haase, the libertarian candidate, said that he would not be stepping aside, while the Murkowski said that she couldn't "in good faith" run on the libertarian ticket. She also stated: "(I) will not wrap myself in the flag of another political party for the sake of election at any cost" even though she admitted publicly that she was in talks with party leadership.

Other notable quotes include this gem: "As disappointed as I am in the outcome of the primary and my belief that the Alaska Republican Party was hijacked by the Tea Party Express, an Outside extremist group, I am not going to quit my party". That "extremist" group got two thousand more votes than she did on the day that matters most, election day.


Prediction time:

Will Sen Murkowski run a write-in campaign?

Does she have a realistic chance of winning if she does?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Take A Hike!

The Alaskan Review

The National Park Service has recently proposed raising the rate to climb Mount McKinley by 250%, going from $200 to $500 for the 2011 climbing season. Also included in the proposal was a 60% raise in the cost of a permit to climb Mount Rainer. The fee, which is officially called the climbing cost recovery fee, is used to train climbing park rangers.

Both parks have separate funds for search and rescue that are federally funded and do not receive money from the climbing fees.

In a letter to park service Director Jon Jarvis, three climbing activist groups protested the increase at Mt. Rainer and the proposal to raise the climbing fee for Mount McKinley in Alaska's Denali National Park to $500.

In  the letter from the Access Fund, American Alpine Club and American Alpine Guides Association states the increases are "unnecessary and unfair."

The letter also states: "We fear that these added costs will make the unique mountaineering opportunities available at Denali and Rainier too expensive for many Americans..." the letter also argues that the Park Service is raising rates without an appropriate amount of public comment.


So how much is too much?

Are there other options?
Required climbers insurance to cover rescue costs?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week-ending Update:

The Alaskan Review

Week-ending update:

Glenn Beck was in the state today, and along with Sarah Palin held an event. It was small by either ones standards, only 4500 tickets, and all but 700 of those have been sold. ticket ranged in price from $74 - $225. It was interesting to note though, the AP devoted a full 124 words of 382 to the subject of the 60 protesters outside. thats a full third of the story(32%).

edit: looks like the story over at the AP has changed! The story is now 122 words longer with the caption: "THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below."

More Rumblings that Murkowski could run on a separate ticket or as a write-in candidate. The Wall-Street Journal reports that the Libertarian Party is in talks with Murkowski. Steve Wackowski, Murkowski's spokesman, said a decision could come by next week. Look for it early in the week if it does come... press releases from campaigns tend to be that way.... :) The Miller campaign points to a conversation with the Murkowski campaign that both candidates would come together after the primary "so the Republicans would have a unified front". Interestingly, and very intelligently, Scott McAdams is keeping his mouth shut and not saying much recently. His plan of letting the GOP hang themselves may just work if Murkowski stays in the race and divides the vote.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

State suing over drilling moratorium

The Alaskan Review

The State of Alaska has filed a law suit against the federal government in reference to the recent offshore drilling moratorium. The moratorium, which has negatively affect the drilling in Alaska's outer continental shelf, was announced in a joint press conference between Governor Sean Parnell and Attorney General Dan Sullivan.

The Governor's office have asked the government to vacate any moratorium involving Alaska because they didn't consult with the state before any such moratorium was put in place, which is required by law. Parnell also claims that the feds didn't consider the economic ramifications of any such ban on the local and state economies.

The mere existence of the drilling moratorium is in question though, and critics of the governor were quick to point out that there is no specific arctic offshore drilling moratorium. They reference a visit two weeks ago when Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, who told reporters at a press conference in Anchorage, that there is no Arctic moratorium.

Nevertheless, his boss U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar felt the need to confuse matters when, last week, he said that in "essence" there was a ban on arctic drilling even though Alaska was not mentioned specifically, and that his office has decided to not issue any new drilling permits until more reviews were completed. The ban only has an effect on deep-water drilling, so shallow arctic drilling should not be effected.

Parnell also stated that he tried to meet last week with the Interior secretary when he was visiting last week, but that he refused. Salazzar held several public events in Barrow and other locations which the Govenor did not attend.

Shell claims that the ban has already cost over 600 jobs and has issued this statement:
"We believe the State of Alaska is fully justified in filing this lawsuit, given the actions of the Department of Interior and the importance of offshore development to Alaska. Unfortunately, our progress in Alaska has been severely compromised by unforeseen events that are not related to our specific program in the Alaska offshore. Our inability to drill is not only costly to Shell, but also to a state that is working hard to create jobs and find new oil supplies for the Trans Alaska Pipeline by promoting responsible offshore development."