Monday, November 1, 2010

Alaska politics-as low down and dirty

as you might expect to find in Illinois, Louisiana, and Washington, DC itself.

I swear, it's enough to give anyone heartburn.....especially every one who is planning on voting!

First, Lisa Murkowski. Lisa refused all but one very short debate during her whole campaign in the primary. She spent a lot of time seemingly raising money, but not much responding to questions about her voting record. I know, I emailed about that record and did not get a response. In fact, whenever I have contact Senator Lisa Murkowski about anything, nothing meaningful ever resulted. The best I got was a "cut and paste" by some aide, which quoted the administration selling points. Period. I was feeling pretty much ignored as a constituent going into the race to begin with, and her behavior during the primary didn't help me get all "warm and fuzzy" either.

Then, Joe Miller. I had never heard of Joe Miller before, but I did manage to catch him on a local radio show one afternoon-and I thought-wow, this guy gets it! Smaller government, states' rights and responsibilities, rein in out of control spending, and so forth. The message resonated deeply with me, because I had come to the realization that the standard of living I have managed to provide my son, will never be enjoyed by his children or grandchildren. No matter what the pundits say, we are in a depression-it is just the printing of fiat that is slowing the slide. Once inflation takes hold, you'll all see what I mean.

Joe Miller beat out Lisa Murkowski, becoming the Republican nominee for the general election tomorrow. Lisa promptly went back on her promise to support the nominee (so disconnected from her constituency that she evidently decided she didn't need to work hard for the nomination) and announced a write in campaign.

Right about that time, the gloves came off. And boy has it been a bare knuckle slug fest since!

Neither of these candidates is without warts. Joe Miller has lied about fiddling with computers at work, and then got caught at it. People beat him up over farm subsidies he got on farmland in Kansas-foolish, since much farm property gets the same. I also heard >insert appropriate breathless outrage here< that his wife actually got unemployment! Oh noes! She worked, she got laid off, she collected unemployment bennies! Stop the presses! Oh my gawd, I was laughing, but feeling a little riled up over it. The whole mess came to light after the Murkowski campaign filed suit to open the Fairbanks North Star Borough personnel records belonging to Joe Miller. Interesting side note: The *retired* judge who said it was okay, was appointed by Lisa's father-former Governor Frank "The Bank" Murkowski. So this lingering question has not been addressed by anyone: Does a judge retain judicial powers after retiring? And if so, can anyone bring a matter to any retired judge on a weekend?

So things really heated up here the last week or so. Lisa is not answering questions at all....the standard MO she exhibited throughout the primary. She is now trying to snag the Democratic vote, and peel off as many Miller supporters as she can, however she can. Security hired by Joe Miller handcuffed someone who turned out to be a "member of the press" and that caused a huge uproar too. Both sides have been trading barbs back and forth and things are complicated with various groups buying air time. I am personally annoyed with the tone of a group calling itself "Alaskans Standing Together". Composed of primarily native corporations, this group has aired some very inflammatory ads against Joe Miller. These are now being met head on by ads from the TEA Party Express and the Republican committee.

Last Thursday, Alaska's number one talk radio host evidently ran afoul of "The powers that be" when he urged listeners to register as write in candidates in the senate race. A passionate conservative, Dan Fagan is wholeheartedly behind Joe Miller and makes no apologies for it. It was a moment of civil disobedience to some degree, with many people signing up in protest over an action taken by the Department of Elections and the Alaska Supreme Court's ruling on that matter. That they acted in direct conflict with the law, seems to have escaped them-but not, of course, the political powerhouse that is the Murkowski campaign.

Mr Fagan was punished (and his audience and advertisers, of course) when he was not allowed to host a Friday show. Speculation ran crazy, but it came to light the decision was reached when John Tracey, with Bradly Reed Communications, complained to the Morris Communications station managed that Dan Fagan was "electioneering". In short, Mr Tracey threatened the station. Mr Tracey represents a whole lot of advertising revenue for 750KFQD.....and Bradly Reed's highest profile client?

Why, it's Lisa Murkowski, of course.

Then the brown sticky stuff hit the oscillating object yet again, when an accidental call was made to a Joe Miller staffer. The recording seemed to prove that a CBS affiliate's reporters were looking for dirt on Joe Miller. It made the national press of course....and so it goes.

Now here we are, one day away from the election, and at least a few polls are showing that Miller has a substantial lead over Murkowski.

And what can a person take away from all this? That no candidate is squeaky clean. They all have their warts (including Democratic candidate Scott McAdams who has been basically ignored in his run for a senate seat by the press) and that none of them has a lock on the election.

But mostly I learned that the media here in Alaska, is no better than media any other place in the US these days-biased and with an agenda. I mean, I knew that the Anchorage Daily News is about as left leaning as they can get-they even scrub comments on their website-that's how little they have to do these days. The Alaska Dispatch isn't much better-most of their coverage consists of negative pieces about Joe Miller.

In the end, what has surprised me the most, was learning just how much juice Mr Tracey has to influence our state. He has stifled the most popular radio talk show host in the state with one phone call.......

What else has he done, or could he do, should he chose?