By DAN FAGAN
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.