How many have voted? At 36,126 ballots recieved, it it looks like close to 7% of the ballots have been voted and returned to Division of Elections, as of Wednesday evening. The last midterm turnout was about 20%, and with mail-in for this one, Alaskans might expect 30% turnout in this special primary election. Given that, the votes in so far total between 25% and 35% of the election. This special election ends on June 11 — that is the day the ballot must be postmarked by.
Correction: Not that Ben Stevens. MRAK reported that Ben Stevens of ConocoPhillips was endorsing Mary Peltola for Congress but evidently there is some other Ben Stevens out there, and this publication apologizes to the one we thought was the Ben Stevens mentioned on Peltola’s website.
Fundraisers: The fundraiser for Gov. Mike Dunleavy at Orso’s in Anchorage had some big names in attendance: Joe Balash of Oil Search/Santos, Lisa Herrington (real estate), Ben Stevens and Erec Isaacson of ConocoPhillips, Chuck Schuman (Pacific Data Port), Dana Pruhs (AEA), Albert Fogle (Moda Health), Kim Gerondale (Construction Machinery Inc.), and Curtis Thayer (AEA), to name a few.
Notes from forum: At the AOGA/Mining/Alliance forum, question was asked of the congressional candidates: “Would you have voted for the PRO Act?” Josh Revak was the only Republican who held up a “Yes” paddle in the lightning round for favoring the PRO Act. (Only five Republicans voted for the PRO Act, which is an anti-business piece of legislation also known as “Protecting the Right to Organize Act.” It’s a deal-killer for small business owners.) Probably Revak just lost the Jim Jansen endorsement with that.
When asked, “Would you have voted for the infrastructure bill?” Nick Begich and Sarah Palin were the only ones who said no, they would not. Only 13 Republicans in Congress voted in favor of Biden’s infrastructure bill in Congress.
250 tickets were sold for the event and the place was filled. Candidates attending were Nick Begich, Chris Constant, Jeff Lowenfels, Sarah Palin, Al Gross, Tara Sweeney, John Coghill, and Mary Peltola. The most progressive answers of the morning came from Peltola. Later on Twitter, she took 10 tweets to clarify her comments on drilling in the Arctic. It was quite the backpedaling essay.
Grand opening: Nick Begich for Congress opened campaign headquarters on Northern Lights, next to Once Upon a Child. About 50 people were in attendance. Introducing him at the event were … wait for it …. Jim and Faye Palin.
Palin heads to Soldotna: Sarah Palin will have a meet and greet in Soldotna on Saturday, 3:30-5:30 pm, at Ginger’s Restaurant. Ginger’s is owned by Margaret Ward’s sister Mary Lou Diamond. Margaret and Jerry Ward are campaign coordinators for Sarah for Alaska.
The DOM Team economy: Congressional candidate Chris Constant posted a white paper for how he would fix Alaska’s economy. Number one on the list was to support unions. Then he would spend infrastructure money, you know, taxes from working people. Then move everything to the green economy with renewable energy, and after that he would work on affordable housing, and more money for education. Not a GDP to be found anywhere in his paper. Read the paper here.
(Must Read Alaska is still trying to figure out the meaning of the “DOM Team” in the byline on the Chris Constant white paper. “Dirty Old Man?” Dominatrix? Is it Tom Sconce? Blue Alaskan? Who will confess to writing this stuff for him?)