Fagan: Outsiders manipulate Alaska elections, benefit Democrats - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, December 6, 2020
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Fagan: Outsiders manipulate Alaska elections, benefit Democrats

By DAN FAGAN

Lower-48 purveyors of dark money dumped close to $50 million into Alaska this election cycle hoping to accomplish three things: Buy a seat in the U.S. Senate, another in the U.S. House and upend our election process making it easier for Lisa Murkowski to keep her place in the D.C. Swamp two years from now.

These big money fat cats are swamp creatures. They’re all about keeping the swamp viable, strong, and healthy. 

Swampy dark money peddlers spent $35 million to buy a Senate seat for Al Gross. They ended up spending $250 per vote in a losing effort. Outside interests also spent millions trying to unseat long-time incumbent Don Young.

Those wanting Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a swamp creature if there ever was one, to return to the Senate spent $7 million promoting Ballot Measure Two.

Of the close to $50 million spent, the Outside donors were only able to get Ballot Measure Two passed.

But the infusion of swamp cash wasn’t a complete waste. Several Alaska ad agencies got a big cut of the dough. Radio, television, newspapers, and websites made a killing in advertising revenue. 

And the dark-money kingpins hired a bunch of people to ballot harvest. One Anchorage Craigslist ad read: “Canvas a neighborhood for Al Gross, pays $25 per hour.” 

House District H candidate Madeleine Gaiser reports she confronted one of the ballot harvesters as they were canvassing her district. The ballot harvester told Gaiser he was brought in from out of state. 

Republican Party activist Judy Eledge told me the small group of volunteers working with her to get the vote out was no match for the army of people all the outside money pouring into the state hired from left-wing outside big donors. 

Alaska Democrat legislators were also big winners from the $50 million in pallets of cash shipped in from out of state. Had the outside Leftists not targeted Alaska with their millions, Republicans would have likely had firm control of the state legislature.

Now it appears Gov. Mike Dunleavy could once again have a Democrat-controlled House to deal with.  

Republicans dominated in legislative races on Nov. 3. But once the ballot harvesting votes funded by Outside money were tallied, many Democrats overcame their considerable deficits and ended up on top. I doubt the Lower-48 big donors are very happy with that as a consolation prize. Alaska state lawmakers can do little for the D.C. swamp. 

Big-name Democrats like State Sen. Bill Wielechowski, Rep. Matt Claman, and Rep. Chris Tuck should write thank you notes to those Lower-48 donors for spending so much money on ballot harvesting.

It brought those into the process who would have otherwise sat things out — mostly easily manipulated low information voters. More people voted in this year’s election in Alaska than any other in the state’s history. 

Wielechowski, Claman, and Tuck all trailed election day. But once those harvested ballots began to be slowly tallied, their opponent’s leads vanished. 

How one-sided were the harvested ballots for Democrats? Matt Claman was down to his challenger, Lynette Largent by 2% the day of the election. After the harvested ballots came in, Claman was up 23%. 

The ballot harvesting funded by outsiders didn’t just benefit incumbent Democrats. Republican Mel Gillis had an 18% lead on election day against his Democrat opponent, Calvin Schrage. After the harvested ballots came in, the race made a dramatic 22.5% swing, giving Schrage an 18% lead. 

Whatever happened to the idea of showing up at a polling place on election day, showing an id, an election official matches your id with the voter roll, and into the booth you go. 

Democrats have worked tirelessly to weaken rules guarding against fraud during elections. Why? They cheat. That’s why. 

Many a man and woman in uniform laid down their lives to preserve our right to vote. We should hold the act sacred and do everything we can to uphold the integrity of the election process. 

In Texas, ballot harvesting is illegal. The absentee ballot must be submitted by the voter. 

In Montana, a ballot harvester is limited to six. In Colorado, the most ballots you can harvest is ten. 

Arizona banned ballot harvesting in 2016, other than by family members or caregivers. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a challenge to the ban. If the High Court upholds the ban, Alaska’s legislature should move quickly and outlaw ballot harvesting.  

Outside money donors determined the makeup of the Alaska legislature by invading our state with millions. Alaskans are known for their independence.

You would think allowing Lower-48 swamp creatures to play such a major role in our election process might be something we’re not too happy about. You would think. 

Dan Fagan hosts the number one rated morning drive radio show on Newsradio 650 KENI. Dan splits his time between Anchorage and New Orleans. 

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Latest comments

  • Dan do you know of a single poll worker that contacted the Chinese Virus from their work at the polls on Nov. 03..??

    • Excellent question! I know my polling place in the Taku-Campbell area had over 250 votes when I voted around 5:30 PM! I was so proud of my precinct! Poll workers were courteous, professional, masked and gloved. Hand sanitizer was avaliable, pens were being sanitized, and the gym was not over crowded because social distancing was being practiced. I would be very surprised to learn that a case of Covid-19 could be traced back to this prescient. There was no reason for the AK Supreme Court to relax the rules for absentee voting. They are just as much to blame for the liberal votes coming in along with the ballot harvesting that went on. We can only hope that enough legislatures will work to stop ballot harvesting.

  • No Ballot harvesting should be allowed. Requested Mail-in votes need to be counted on election day otherwise they and all others, should be disqualified. Demand a re-count!

  • A 22.5% swing in the Mel Gillis against the idiot Schrage guarantee if they were to go back and look there are illegal votes in that count

  • I’m a Republican, have been all my life. I support the right to vote and applaud the significant increase in participation of Alaskans. The Republican candidate in my district won by a large margin. He is a centrist and has the support of my Democratic neighbors. While I don’t like all of the Prop 2 measures, it has more positive than negative changes. I am hopeful that in the future we find the best candidates for positions as opposed to those that simply spout the party line, use the right buzz words, but in end get nothing done.

    • Prop. 2 can never be implemented. When California attempted to pass a similar proposition (Prop. 198) in 1996 it was challenged to the Supreme Court, who held in California Democratic Party v. Jones, 530 U.S. 567 (2000) that it violated the Freedom of Association of the First Amendment. Only the political parties are allowed to determine who is permitted to vote in their primary elections. It cannot be determined by the people through a proposition or initiative, or by the State.

      Which makes Prop. 2 very effectively dead.

  • While I agree it was disgusting the way the Democrats brought in hired guns to troll the vote, the bigger question is:

    When will the GOP decide to fight fire with fire? Nothing stops them, except the GOP themselves.

    Face it. The left is winning because they outwork the morons running the GOP.

  • I find it ironic and hypocritical that outside money was used to finance the campaign for Ballot Measure 2 to stop “outside money” from influencing our elections.

    • Oh the irony. lol

  • Because of the use of already documented irregularities in Dominion voting machines, the State Court’s unconstitutional meddling in election law and ballot harvesting, I don’t believe a mandatory state voting audit is not reasonable. Hell, for that matter, the whole freaking country should undergo a voting audit!

  • What gains the Dems made couldn’t have happened without the base of Dem party voters. Vote harvesting, outright cheating, dead voters, etc. can swing an election only by a small enough percentage that it doesn’t trigger a full scale investigation.
    It’s called brinkmanship. Push it to the brink, but don’t step off the edge. This game needs enough cover, enough legit votes, to be masked from triggering a full inquiry.
    Seems the Dems have mastered this tactic.

  • “DITTO…!!!”

  • I was involved in helping run several AK State House races. All of our candidates were winning by handsome margins on election night. Then, came the avalanche of absentee votes counted one week later. I’ve never witnessed so many absentee votes in my 40 years of election work in this state. Nearly everyone of those Republican wins on election night flipped a week later. In my opinion, each of those House seats has been taken by an illegitimate Democrat. How can we have a State Legislature run by a bunch of frauds?

    • Answer to Judie’s question above:
      SCOTT KENDALL.
      .
      He was disgraced, former Gov. Walker’s Chief of Staff and architect of the Recall Dunleavy campaign. Also involved in creating and advancing Ballot Measures 1 and 2.
      .
      Kendall was also involved in the ballot harvesting operations in Alaska, particularily in Anchorage and up in Fairbanks. The targets were the State House seats that were originally held by Democrats, but in tight political races by Republican competition. The election fix occured in each of those House races through the absentee vote, which were counted one week after the election. This included House District 4 up in Fairbanks, held by Kendall’s brother, Grier Hopkins. Virtually every Democrat who lost on election night was saved one week later by an unprecedented avalanche of absentee (harvested) votes.
      .
      And now you know.

      • I wouldn’t be a bit surprised over this claim about Kendall. His entire miserable life has been spent making trouble. The guy’s a pure loser. Hope he gets caught in his own crap and gets it good.

        • Kendall is one of the most hated individuals in Alaska.

  • Dan’s a little bit behind the times with this article. Alaska has been bought and paid for by the oil companies for the last, hmm, 45 years.

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