So earlier this morning, I read a comment thread regarding the Alaska GOP, on a conservative Facebook page. I am sure there are quite likely dozens of such pages, just for Alaska, but this one happened to show up in my newsfeed, and I read it with some curiosity.
I may be getting old, but I have a pretty good memory when it comes to the recent machinations of the Alaska GOP. Heck, I even remember Sarah Palin and Randy Ruedrich going rounds on the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission, way back when. For those that don't know, RR was chair of the party since...well, since forever. He's the kingmaker, the architect of the party here, and those that presume otherwise are quickly enough outright disgraced, hog tied, and run out on a rail. Or tarred and feathered. Or left campaigning with an army of operatives working against you, whichever.
From a distance, I watched the debacle that was the Miller/Murkowski race for senate. I watched the AKGOP fragment a growing, passionate faction of the conservative movement. Better a candidate that will give away Alaska's future, than risk losing power, is the result. In short, the powerful clique that runs Republican (not to be confused with conservative, mind you) politics in Alaska, exerted that power in new and extensive ways-even as legitimate, legal actions were taken to rein them in.
And you can't win here, unless you pledge allegiance to them, and their henchmen. Period end. They'll subvert their constituents elected representatives, muddy the waters over district boundaries, vacate duly elected officers, drum out dissenters, and treat everyone who does not buy their brand of "moderate Republicanism" as dirt...and rub their noses in it to make sure the lesson sticks. Any change of the officials must be sanctioned, vetted, and approved-or you're out.
So what is the casual Alaskan Republican minded voter to take away from the above?
Why, it's obvious. To run for public office here, you must sign on to their tactics, their platform, their way of doing business. After all, you need their money and influence, their expertise and their base, to mount a successful campaign against the likes of Mark Begich. So while the candidates are carefully chosen, the Party itself plays fast and loose with their own laws and the laws of the state, and does whatever is necessary to see that approved (by the party elite) person get into office. That's how it is, and how it's always been.
I don't like it. Not only are candidates offered very weak constitutionally, so is the entire state party. They'll compromise anything to stay "in power" and to stay relevant, and to preserve their own status quo. The fact that they permanently alienated thousands of independents, and republicans such as myself, do not matter to them.
So I have a party that does not represent my best interests, and is at heart a corrupt organization. A person has no recourse through the party ranks. And to make matters worse, those elected into office, do not feel any obligation to their constituents. And why should they? The AKGOP makes it happen for them, not the voter ranks, not really. We're just the peons who trudge to the polls when needed, counted upon to be there for them, and otherwise ignored. And ignored we are, all of us.
Now, if I had a large, fancy home in Turnagain, and a hefty checkbook balance, I might be able to move into the periphery of importance within the Party. Attend enough meetings, get my face seen, carefully make contact with the movers and shakers, start hosting fundraisers and generally get used (and abused) and they might take my views seriously. Well, maybe not my views, but definitely my checkbook.
Truthfully, they are no different than Washington, DC.