Dan Fagan: Is Lisa Murkowski pulling Dan Sullivan to the left?



It stung recently when Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan announced his endorsement of his Senate colleague Lisa Murkowski if she chooses to run for re-election next year. Sullivan even upped the ante when he told Alaskans he considered he and Murkowski a good team. 

For most conservatives who had long been fans of Sullivan, it was like having the wind knocked out of us. How could Sullivan characterize as a good team member someone who had single handily saved Obamacare, refused to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, voted to impeach President Donald Trump, and is one of the most pro-abortion legislators in the history of our republic?

If Sullivan is glad to have Murkowski on his team, the question must be asked: Whose team is he on? 

Does Sullivan understand the devastating grip the D.C. Swamp has on our nation? Does he understand the ever-growing power shift away from the average American and the private sector working class toward the D.C. insiders and connected elite? Does Sullivan get that when he describes he and Murkowski as a good team, he incriminates himself as someone loyal to the Swamp? 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a Republican who’s more of a Swamp creature than Murkowski. 

In Sullivan’s defense, he endorsed Murkowski before conservative candidate Kelly Tshibaka announced her intent to challenge Alaska’s senior senator next year. 

On my show Friday, I asked Tshibaka why she thought Sullivan endorsed Murkowski.  

“It’s typical for U.S. Senators to stick together,” said Tshibaka. “A lot of them (U.S. senators) are donating to Lisa Murkowski’s campaign. That’s what D.C. does. That doesn’t surprise me. They have to work together. I’m not so concerned about what people in D.C. do for people in D.C.” 

If Tshibaka is correct and state senate delegations typically work together, would it not stand to reason Murkowski is pulling Sullivan her way politically? 

The publication Conservative Review rates senators based on their votes. Murkowski comes in second to last among Republicans with a liberty score of only 29%. Only Maine’s Susan Collins was lower with 12%. 

Conservative Review gave Sullivan a liberty score of 53%. Higher than Murkowski’s 29% but lower than 28 of Sullivan’s fellow Senate Republicans.

Compare Sullivan’s 53% liberty rating to conservative warriors like Marsha Blackburn 89%, Tommy Tuberville 90% Rand Paul 94% and Mike Lee 94%. Sullivan is clearly not at the forefront of fighting the cold civil war engulfing our nation. 

Another conservative group, Heritage Action for America, gives Sullivan even lower marks. The group’s ranking system gives Sullivan a lower conservative rating than even Utah’s Mitt Romney among Republican senators. 

Only two other Republican senators have a lower conservative rating than Sullivan according to Heritage Action for America: Collins and Murkowski. Murkowski earned the group’s lowest ranking among Republican senators when it comes to voting to uphold liberty. 

If Murkowski is pulling Sullivan left and increasing his loyalty to the D.C. Swamp, it would give yet another reason for Alaska conservatives to vote for Tshibaka. 

Or it could be Sullivan isn’t quite the conservative he campaigns to be. It’s no secret many of Sullivan’s D.C. staffers and top advisors lean left. That’s always raised a red flag. 

Sullivan voted to confirm rabid anti-oil and gas development nominee Deb Haaland to Interior Secretary. One of the first things Haaland did on the job was suspend oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  

Think of all the years the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens spent fighting to get ANWR open. It’s finally open and yet Alaska’s two U.S. Senators voted to approve the nomination of the very person who for all practical purposes closed it again. 

And then there’s Sullivan’s vote to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Sullivan was one of only six Senate Republicans to confirm Mayorkas. 

Mayorkas has long been a vocal proponent of open borders and amnesty for illegals breaking into America. Mayorkas may be one of the most radical members of Joe Biden’s cabinet. 

The appointment of Mayorkas was a big win for the Mexican drug cartels making millions smuggling illegals in our nation now that our Southern border is for all practical purposes wide open.

The Heritage Foundation estimates the appointment of Mayorkas will add a quarter of a million new illegal aliens to our nation in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

One perk U.S. senators have is they only run every six years. That’s a long time and allows for considerable forgetfulness among some voters.  

Murkowski has masterfully used this to her advantage running as a conservative every six years in hopes voters will forget her record. 

But times are different, and many Americans have awakened to the self-serving agenda and the destruction caused by the ruling elites. It’s not as easy to say one thing during a campaign and do another after elected. Voters are watching now more than ever. 

Sullivan would be wise to remember that. Hitching his wagon to Murkowski, who has an 87% disapproval rating among Republicans in the state, is not something most will forget. 

Dan Fagan hosts the number one rated morning drive radio show in Alaska on Newsradio 650 KENI. 


  1. For the past 47 years I look at the ballot presented to me at the voting booth, and I hold my nose and cast my vote for the lesser of the offered evils……..with one glaring exception: after Ross Perot helped elect Bill Clinton in 1992, I’ve tragically voted almost exclusively for the Republican candidate simply because the Democrat is unacceptable due to the power he/she will lend to their party, and voting third candidate is simply too dangerous anymore.

    Considering what I know about Dan Sullivan, I’ll likely vote for him over the other offered evils as long as he appears on my ballot, because his opponents will likely be unthinkable. This is the sad truth of life; perfection is not attainable. All that said, at this point, I would vote for a Democrat over Lisa Murkowski. She simply has to go away. She makes Daddy look like an excellent candidate.

  2. I think Gov. Parnell and his Attorney General Sullivan have always been somewhere in the middle between Republicans and Democrats with a preference toward Republican interests. I think he hasn’t changed. It’s just that people hoped he be an independent thinker and they are disappointed.

  3. Reggie, “offered”? Therein lies the problem. You should run. I hear it’s like winning the lottery.

  4. Why should Sullivan’s endorsement of Lisa surprise you? How much would you bet that Sullivan and Lisa work for you or the voters as opposed to interests that fun re-elections? Michels’ Iron Law of Oligarchy has been alive and well for generations. It ain’t likely to become passé.

  5. Folks, history says politics is the art of negotiation. It seems counter productive for Senator Sullivan to be a bombastic opponent of Ms. Murkowski. But look at his votes. Did he vote for Trump impeachment? Did he vote for boys in girl’s sports? Did he vote for obamacare? No he did not. Negotiate to get something good into bills, but vote right. Senator Sullivan does both well. Being bombastic has its limits.

  6. Murkowski’s mentor Stevens was a liberal financially and pro abortion. Sullivan is not and never was a true conservative. Joe Miller was the candidate closest to being a true conservative.

  7. Of course she’s not pulling Sullivan to the Left! Dan Sullivan is the most conservative Senator ever and no one could tell me any different. Not even Joe Miller. ??

  8. Read the Heritage ratings if you don’t believe us. Number one worst was Collins from Maine. Number two worst was Murkowski from Alaska and who do you think is Number 3 ? None other than your favorite senator Dan Sullivan from Alaska.

  9. Sullivan has been decidedly leaning left since his re election. New administration, so does he lean left or right depending on which party is in power?
    I just know I will never vote for him again. He has been a huge letdown this go around.

  10. “A good team” Good Cop, Bad Cop? When Dan starts referring to himself in the plural (like Lisa does) then we’re in trouble.

  11. Dan, why not ask the Senator himself?
    Invite him on your morning show… don’t sandbag the guy… give him a heads-up, what you want to ask and why you want to ask it…
    You can do this…

  12. Reggie
    Vote for Kelly over Lisa or just don’t vote. Don’t give the Democrats that extra vote.

    Vote out the swamp creature.
    Dan, you’re next.

  13. Dan Fagan, I disagree with your numbers, I disagree with your assessment of Dan Sullivan, and I’m appalled at your lack of understanding of pragmatic coalition building and compromise to get things done in a divided government. When one starts from the right, all movement goes left (ugh…). Dan has become a very effective Senator. He has not compromised his principles – he’s just getting the best he can for Alaska. Lisa has sold her soul it appears to Planned non-Parenthood and lefty social experimentation. Do Dan and Lisa speak and get along with one another? Of course – since they are both representing Alaska – but that does not mean Dan is in her pocket. With Republican majorities in both houses and an R in the Presidency, Dan’s priciples would shine forth and yo would be singing an entirely different tune. Please stop erroneous bashing.

  14. I am almost sure that these corrupt DC swamp creatures have dirt on Sullivan. That is how they control these people and get them to join the dark side. Is Sullivan on the dark side?…He sure isn’t standing up to the fight for freedom like some of the other hard hitters in the Senate like Rand Paul. Sullivan is a extremely lukewarm when it comes to standing for freedom. So the question needs to be asked what is Sullivan afraid of and hiding that is making him cave to these anti American swamp creatures? Every person alive has a secret to some degree, but he must have a big one for him to be such a slouch and supporting these anti American stooges like Murkowski. No one that is part of the D.C. club of swamp creatures is innocent. After all, it looks more and more as if these creatures were not elected all but selected. The corruption is rooted far, wide, deep and has been festering for decades right under our noses as we slept in comfortable lies and apathy. Remember America, this horrific corruption festered and grew under our watch. Now it’s time to wake up and be the watchmen on the walls and say, “NO MORE” to this evil scourge of corruption tearing through the nations of the world. We must stand together and let these DC creatures know that, “We are mad as hell and we aren’t going to tolerate this anymore!”

  15. I don’t like this stock footage of her since she’s gone blonde. Probably trying to reinvent her image the bad thing is she still using that damn aqua net hairspray out of the can. The woman turns my stomach. I hugged her once in the Dillingham airport. She and her bodyguard were flying up from Cold Bay and they diverted her plane into Dillingham to pick us up. I was young and dumb back then, but I was shocked to feel her ribs poking through her back. The woman probably has a 18 or 20 inch waist. It can’t be healthy.

  16. Mr. Bickford, the price of negotiation means the Left gets their way……. Again.
    In the world of equalibrium, true negotiation means both sides walk away with something. Here, Lefties pump up their agenda and try ramming it down the Conservative’s throats, with little lateral movement. Not anymore! Things are being walked back because common sense requires it. It’s the damn lobbyists who seek negotiation for their own benefit, NOT for the benefit of the economy and the well-being of the citizenry. Lobbyist interference accelerates the process of moral turpitude and pads the pockets for themselves. Go play golf on your own dime, but let the duly elected fight it out amongst each other, so the public doesn’t have to.

  17. Murkowski responsible for Sullivan’s leftism??? Heck no! He can and should own it himself and voters should show this carpetbagger the door at the earliest opportunity if we can’t boot him sooner than 2026.

    And we should also be willing to take good close look at Kelly Tshibaka’s resume before we get saddled with another lefty goofball from the swamp just because she isn’t Lisa.

  18. A pull to the left, a pull to the right, up or down, even sideways. Malleability works for Dan. He’s not a real Alaskan, but rather a guy who skated through on thick ice that was tailor-made for him by others. His stars aligned perfectly while he was polishing his college degrees. Getting yanked around is what made Dan Sullivan.
    Lisa Murkowski, on the other hand, was busy taking the state bar exam a dozen or so times and finally yanked her dad enough so that he would install her into high office without him knowing of her political leanings. The King trying to please his otherwise helpless daughter.
    So, can Lisa tug Dan to the Left? It depends. Dan is easy to yank around, so probably, yes. But Lisa is not bright enough to always know her left from her right, unless she has Feinstein, Pelosi, Obama and Joe to show her. So, I’d say it’s about 50/50. Always easiest to go for the middle.

  19. “Reggie, “offered”? Therein lies the problem. You should run. I hear it’s like winning the lottery.”

    No way, Jay. Nor do I buy lottery tickets or pull tabs. I just don’t fit.

  20. People write to Sullivan and tell him to grow a pair. Think they all need to go. Where is young? Murkowski is a rino and Sullivan gets more wish washy everyday.

  21. This isn’t Murkowski pulling Sullivan to the left, this is Tshibaka pulling the Alaska GOP further to the right, to the edge of the earth, and, eventually, into the abyss.

  22. I have been noticing this from Dan Sullivan. He has been contaminated by the swamp. He is all talk but little action when standing up for conservative values and Alaska’s future. If Alaska’s politicians are just representing lobbyists and not “We the people”, they need to find another job!

Comments are closed.