Notes from the trail: KINY candidate forum, calm on surface, filled with back drama, body language


Notes from the forum: At a KINY radio forum in Juneau on Monday, the three Alaska congressional candidates on the special general election ballot were asked about everything from the economy to ranked choice voting. For an hour they took turns answering questions from two reporters seated on the other side of a small studio table.

Mary Peltola, the Democrat, said she was optimistic about ranked choice voting weeding out the more extreme candidates. Neither Sarah Palin nor Nick Begich were favorable to the new system, which passed by a very narrow margin in 2020 via Ballot Measure 2.

Polling shows that Peltola will probably win the first round of voting on the ranked choice ballot, and has an actual path to win, but only if Palin edges out Begich for second place. Polling shows Palin, with her high disapproval rating, can’t beat Peltola, which would hand the victory to the Democrat in the second round of counting.

Forum watchers noted both Palin and Peltola studied their notes continuously during the hour and that Palin often read her answers from her notes. Begich did not have notes for the forum.

Peltola appeared better prepared and was more relaxed than Palin; Palin was nervous and scribbling on her notes during much of the hour. Peltola was observed in the video of the forum taking a surreptitious photo of Palin’s notes, which were covered with Palin scribbles. Palin would not make eye contact with either of her opponents, and was seated between them at the table.

In the outer office of the studio was Palin’s boyfriend, Ron Duguay, the retired Florida hockey player formerly with the New York Rangers, who was visibly stressed, rubbing his brows, and keeping his eyes closed during most of the forum as it went down in the other room. Palin’s entourage of three included her campaign manager Chris Perry and Perry’s husband. Peltola arrived alone, and Begich arrived with his campaign manager Truman Reed.

Watch the body language during the forum at YouTube:

Juneau fundraisers: A fundraiser for Sarah Palin on July 31 and a fundraiser meet-and-greet for Nick Begich both brought out crowds. The candidates are running for Congress.

Palin’s boyfriend Ron Duguay puts his arm around her shoulder, lower left, during a fundraiser at the Rie Munoz Gallery in Juneau. Photo: Palin campaign, via Facebook.

Shining Path: Bill Walker says he has a clear pathway for winning the governor’s race in November. He’s redefining “clear pathway” in the way President Joe Biden is redefining recession.

His poll logic boils down to this: His poll by Hays Research Group says that he is within the margin of error if you just test Walker against Gov. Dunleavy. It says Les Gara, the Democrat in the race for governor, is doing a lot less well against Dunleavy than Walker is doing.

But he doesn’t show the numbers for how any of the three do in the three- or four-way race. In other words, in the real world of ranked choice voting, Walker is hiding the numbers, which must indicate that he is the spoiler that hands the win to Dunleavy.

From the way-back machine, Walker’s last race, and his last poll:

Endorsements: The Sealaska Board of Directors on Monday endorsed Bill Walker and Heidi Drygas for Alaska Governor and lieutenant governor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the race for U.S. Senate, and the directors will oppose the ballot measure that would initiate a constitutional convention in Alaska.  Last week the board endorsed Mary Peltola for Congress.

Yupiit Nation Chief Mike Williams of Akiak has endorsed Sen. Lisa Murkowski for reelection.


  1. The points in this article will not be news to most who follow Must Read Alaska. The challenge is getting the thousands of low-resolution voters in Alaska to understand the main point. That is, Nick Begich is far and away the best candidate in his race.

  2. Sarah’s new squeeze was goaltending outside the studio. This demonstrates her timidity and low functioning ability to think off the cuff. She’s a very nervous woman and her self-esteem is muttled in one-liners and attaboys. I’m no longer one of her attaboys. She’s on her own with Ronnie. I’m voting for NB3.

    • Todd, I may need you as my advisor. She’s now running my life 24/7. I hate Juneau. The grub in Wasilla wasn’t so great either. You game for a bro’s night out?

  3. You don’t have to pick the candidate that the media and the parties have selected for you. Chris Bye is a fantastic choice, and he is running a write in campaign. is his website. Or we can keep picking the same people who gave us 30t debt and 20 years+ of war ?

  4. Two things to remember about Queen Sarah.

    1-ACES and nearly killing the oil industry.
    2-She supported Bill Walker.

    But the Palinheads will vote for her if she performed an abortion on C street at rush hour.

  5. Are these really the most important notes from the trail? Begich did not have notes, Peltola had notes, Palin had notes and her boyfriend rubbed his brow and his eyes were closed but not for all of it. Nothing about the regular primary also occurring on the 16th, nothing of the other 19 candidates running for the general primary. Out of 19 others none of them have done anything notable enough to be reported on? Not one of them did anything more important then scribble on some notes? Do they and their supporters not matter? There are 19 other candidates and the seating arrangements was more important. Take some time to tell Alaskans about everyone that is running, even if they don’t have the media’s support they might have some good ideas. Maybe you have already decided that they dont matter, maybe you feel that their views and their supporters don’t matter. If we want the best candidate representing Alaska then everyone should have a voice no mattet how small. As alaskans we can do better, must read alaska can do better. We need to do better for the future of alaska. I would like to challenge the readers to look up atleast one other candidate, find something that you agree with, and have a conversation. Talk with your neighbors, listen to each other and enjoy some civil discourse you may realize that your not so different after all. Most importantly don’t let one website decided who you are voting for, think for yourself, you actually have choices this year and each vote can make a difference for Alaska.

  6. My speculation… Peltola wins due to the republicans splitting votes for their candidate. Al Gross pulled a fast one, allowing the democrats to combine all their votes while the republicans will squander among themselves. Sneaky sneaky.

    • If both Republicans list their second preference as the other Republican, then one of the two should win. You don’t really ‘split the vote’ with ranked choice voting.

  7. I am disgusted at the complexity of this despicable ranked choice travesty. So complicated one actually has to take ‘classes’ to understand how to vote. How in the world is that ‘fair’, equitable and inclusive? Of course we know it is not, and the entire mess was forced upon us by ‘smoke and mirrors’ as well as insecure voting allowing for fraud and th ushering in of much undesirable. Now we expect people to actually show up? Many are simply befuddled, or even terrified. I just keep telling people to ‘rank the red’. Leave it at that. The left have zero scruples, ethics, honesty – all they care about is power and the hope they will be among the elite, using lies, corruption and dishonesty to make the gullible believe they, the leftist powers that be, actually care, and will make sure the gullible will ‘have what the need’ as long as they vote. Repulsive.

  8. Here is the GLARING reality. None of these candidates have a bona-fide track record to call upon. This election is based on a gut feeling.

    What is your gut feeling?

    What I see, looking in from the outside is that there is a Huge amount of competition and extreme dedication by all candidates to be hired by the Alaska Citizens.

    That in itself is awesome to witness.

    That being said, as much as I am pissed at Donny Jr and his wanna be interjection and one-sided junket to Alaska that swayed his fathers decision to stop a public process in gold mining, BEFORE the public process had its research to conclude…I would ve eemiss in reminding folks that

    President Trump is the single President ever in history that ever allocated billions of dollars to Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations WITHOUT strings attached.

    Historically that money goes from the Treasury to a Department- then Tribes and Tribal Corporations are required to write grants to receive the money.

    Every agency and/or entity takes their cut of the pie first “on behalf of the people”.

    PRESIDENT Trump changed that. He put the person first and the government and the NGO’s last.

    I have witnessed this firsthand.

    As a statewide advocate and the former President/CEO of the Alaska Native Health Board my job was to advocate for authorization and appropriations from congress.

    There are two ways to fo that.

    1. By keeping the people in a desperate state of existence to justify the never-ending need for federal appropriations. And/or..

    2. By demonstrating the victory and increasing quality of life of the people who benefactor from said authorization and appropriations.

    This is where we are in the crosshairs of self-sufficiency, false need and exasperated dependency.

    Do not get me wrong.

    Or right.

    I am neither and both.

    But dig deeper.

    What is your gut feeling?

    How do you want to spend your vote ?

    Because what you give away today, your children’s children will pay for tomorrow.

    I do not care how you vote.

    But know that your vote is equal to how you decide to spend a dollar, earn a dollar, borrow a dollar, and especially how you are willing to pay back a dollar.

    Vote – but if you do not know which way to vote. Then do not vote.

    Right now in our time in this particular history, I am not sure I am willing to assign my name to vote.

    Maybe there should be quorum requirements to validate an election.

    • Native Tribes and Native corporations already have too much influence in Alaska. Bragging about it isn’t going to convince anyone to do anything. Funny you should mention children. My kids have already left. No opportunities here.

  9. Peltola will win. This was all set up. Get several Republicans going, maybe even some feuding. Al Gross got the boot so Peltola has no competition. She is the new face of the Democrats following Deb Haaland.

  10. I will not vote for the ex-Governor. She is not a Republican. She has few skills and her endorsement by the narcissistic former President is a huge negative. NB3.

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