Notes from the trail: Peltola to be sworn in on Tuesday

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With 59 days to go until the general election, Congresswoman-elect Mary Peltola of Bethel is on a flight to Washington, D.C. this morning, where she will be sworn in on Tuesday as the first Alaska Native member of Congress and the first new congressional representative Alaska has had since 1973. She is filling out the term of Congressman Don Young and she will be working hard to flip the seat blue in November. She’ll have help from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while the Republican Party itself has pretty much given it up to her by staying on the sidelines:

Trivia Saturday: There are no living prior members of the U.S. House from Alaska.

A list of prior House members for Alaska since 1906:

  • – Don Young – March 6, 1973 – March 18, 2022
  • – Nicholas Begich – January 3, 1971 – December 29, 1972
  • – Howard Pollock – January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971
  • – Ralph Rivers – January 3, 1959 – December 30, 1966
  • – Bob Bartlett – January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1959
  • – Anthony Dimond – March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1945
  • – James Wickersham – March 4, 1931 – March 3, 1933
  • – Daniel Sutherland – March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1931
  • – James Wickersham – March 1, 1921 – March 3, 1921
  • – George Grigsby – June 3, 1920 – March 1, 1921
  • – Charles Sulzer – March 4, 1919 – April 28, 1919
  • – James Wickersham – January 7, 1919 – March 3, 1919
  • – Charles Sulzer – March 4, 1917 – January 7, 1919
  • – James Wickersham – March 4, 1909 – March 3, 1917
  • – Thomas Cale – March 4, 1907 – March 3, 1909
  • – Frank Wacksey – August 14, 1906 – March 3, 1907

Media:

The Federalist: Alaska’s ranked-choice voting scheme was a plot to save Murkowski, but it also doomed Palin

Election officials called Alaska’s special election House race for Democrat Mary Peltola over 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin last week. Peltola’s victory, despite nearly 60 percent of votes cast for a Republican on all first-choice ballots, will mark the first time since 1973 that a Democrat will represent the state in the lower chamber. 

Whether the August contest was Palin’s race or Republican Nick Begich’s race to lose is an open question. Whether the Republicans’ loss was a consequence of Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system, however, is no doubt, and GOP Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the one to blame.

In 2010, Sen. Murkowski captured re-election through a triumphant write-in campaign after losing the Republican primary to a former federal magistrate who was backed by Palin. Murkowski comfortably won a third full term in 2016 but continued to antagonize the state’s Republican base with votes to oppose restrictions on abortion, preserve Obamacare, and convict President Donald Trump in his second impeachment. Murkowski also voted “present” in the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and she upset constituents when last year she served as the tie-breaker to move forward the nomination of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who has shut down state development projects. 

In other words, Murkowski did not strive to win over Republicans in a state that went for Trump by 10 points in 2020. To save her seat, Murkowski operatives devised a plan to avoid a primary by radically transforming the state’s election system. The answer became ranked-choice voting, a ballot system to rig elections in favor of the incumbent. Read the story at this link.

Washington Post says Palin lost the seat for the GOP

Sarah Palin has made no secret since her loss in the Alaska special congressional election last week that she doesn’t appreciate the state’s new ranked-choice voting system, which she and other prominent conservatives have blamed for her loss.

They should blame Sarah Palin.

Whatever you think about ranked-choice voting, one of its benefits is that it can show you just how good each candidate was at appealing to the broader electorate — the stated purpose of the system. And new data confirms something that seemed pretty evident last week: Palin cost her party a House seat it otherwise very likely would have won.

The state Division of Elections has put out new data on how the election went down. And the data suggest that the other Republican in the race, Nick Begich, would have defeated Rep.-elect Mary Peltola (D) if the race had boiled down to the two of them. Story is at this link.

Business Insider: Palin floats voter fraud concept

Sarah Palin, a former GOP vice-presidential candidate and the former Republican Governor of Alaska, has leaned into a popular Trumpworld tactic — baselessly alleging fraud after an election loss. 

In an appearance on Steve Bannon’s “War Room: Pandemic” podcast, Palin complained about ranked-choice voting in the state, claiming without substantiation that there could have been voter fraud.

Ranked-choice voting involves voters ranking candidates on the ballots by preference. The system was used in the state’s recent special House election in which Palin lost to Mary Peltola, a Democrat. Story is at this link.

Politico: How Mary Peltola beat Sarah Palin

Congresswoman-elect Mary Peltola did what many thought was the unthinkable.

She defeated a pair of Republican challengers – a former governor with near universal name recognition and another who is part of a political dynasty – to become the first Democrat in almost 50 years to become Alaska’s lone U.S. representative.

She also made history.

An Alaska Yupik, Peltola will be the first Indigenous person to represent the state when she’s sworn in later this month.

Her victory though is not without controversy.

Republicans, including those thought to have eyes on a White House run in 2024, railed against the election results, characterizing Alaska’s newly implemented ranked-choice voting as “a scam to rig elections” and a process that “disenfranchises voters.”

There is no evidence to back this up. Read the story here.

Endorsements: Kelly Tshibaka for Senate was endorsed by Edgar Blatchford, Alaska educator who was eliminated from the race during the primary. He is the Democrat whom the Democrats did not endorse, as they favored Pat Chesbro. Lisa Murkowski released a long list of endorsements from Native leaders. That list is here.

Jesse Booth of Metlakatla, and David Mead of Anchorage endorsed Nick Begich for Congress.

Events:

37 COMMENTS

  1. Princess is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Palin is rapidly cementing a legacy as the worst political thing to ever happen to Alaska.
    -she bailed as governor
    -she crippled the oil industry
    -she gave us Bill Walker
    -she helped lose a House seat
    -she has fractured the AK republicans
    -now insinuating voter fraud.
    Smooth, baby, smooth.

    There was no voter fraud here. Massive voter stupidity but no voter fraud. Mary won the seat fairly by outplaying the GOP is a stupid voter approved Ponzi scheme.

    Wanna lay blame? Lay it where it belongs.
    -Tuckerman Babcock for years of leading the AK GOP into a swamp and failing to find and develop good candidates.
    -Mike Porcaro for lending his voice, support, and PR machine to this voting abomination.
    -The Alaska GOP for not seeing this coming. The Democrats sure did.
    -The Alaska voters who approved this “system”
    -The Alaska voters who refused to learn how it worked.
    -The GOP (again) for not having state wide workshops on how RVC works and ranking the red.
    -The voters who flatly refused to rank red.
    -Palin and Begich for running really crappy campaigns.
    -Queen Sarah for not encouraging her voters to rank red, and choosing Mary in slot 2.
    -the vast majority of voters who didn’t bother to vote.

    The result here is easily explained. The GOP does what it does best. Nothing of substance. The Democrats did what they do best. Make complete and utter fools out of the GOP.

    Alaska played a very, very stupid game. It’s won a very, very stupid prize.

    • Begich has run a hell of a campaign. He is fighting his last name, Palin, a Trump endorsement, and the Democrats all at once. Seems to be the only one standing who can actually beat Peltola.

      • “Begich has run a hell of a campaign.”
        The only ads he’s running all year were aimed at Palin. He accomplished his goal, let anyone but Palin win. Peltola will win again this November…

        • Dear Masked Avenger:
          What you say about Palin is true. She should really be running for Congress from a different state ……maybe Texas or Arizona where she could have a shot. But her time has expired here in Alaska, where she has no chance. Democrats want her to keep running as the spoiler in an open primary process. But you are incorrect about Begich.
          He is the conservative’s Republican choice. Maybe a bit naive, but trustworthy and has the potential to really be around for the 2024 showdown. The Begich last name is just as recognized as Palin. Nick gets my vote and the cross ballot will remain blank.

          • “But you are incorrect about Begich. He is the conservative’s Republican choice.”

            Peltola is going to win again… Begich won’t even come close to 2nd as he is no conservative

    • Yes, the Republican party is fractured, but not in the way you imply.
      This isn’t anything new. Essentially ‘Lincoln Project’ Republicans making alliances with Democrats to turf out more socially conservative candidates.

      -Rick Mystrom sabotaged Wuerch and gave Anchorage Mark Begich.
      -Every AK Legislature for the last 7-8 years had these types of R defectors, leaving it in paralysis.
      -Walker was a moderate-left Republican that sold out to Democrats because he couldn’t win a primary, and then he promptly appoints an Obama loving chief-of-staff.
      -Murkowski has been pulling the same trick since 2010, first with a write-in, then flooding the R primary with cooperative ‘moderates’ while Democrats actively sabotaged their own candidate.

      Palin ‘supported’ Peltola? Don’t make me laugh. Palin’s ‘support’ for Peltola was clearly an election troll tactic vs Begich because she’s running as if this is a traditional primary.

      Begich’s vote for Ethan Berkowitz, on the other hand – was freely given, and only regretted once he wanted to further his political ambitions.

      I’m sorry – leftists have absolutely hated Palin since she called out ‘The Magic Negro’ in 2008. Amateurishly trying to paint her as the ‘RINO-moderate’ simply isn’t going to fly with any Trump supporter that pays attention.

    • As Trump would say, Jen, post yourself in your birthday suit, and he’d vote three or four times for you regardless of what you’d be running for! He’d even encourage you to slip on a pair of black high heels if it tickles your fancy!

  2. Suzanne and her bots I bet when you was a young wench you had to make up your friends also. Suzanne the masked clown. We seen you at the trump rally you were exposed then. As you are now the masked rino Suzanne. Sara Sara Sara has more class.

  3. Must read was at the trump rally at least you had fatties in must read gear. and what you did to the republicans is sad Suzanne. If you can’t take the heat ma’am get out the Alaska. Bot on Suzanne. Sara has more accomplishments & class ma’am and is fair not a two faced rino.

    • Integ, AlaskansRiseUp suggested that you either take meds or grow up. Look, I don’t know if he’s a part-time psychiatrist or just another run-of-the-mill psychologists, but skip the meds and hit the harder stuff: if you’re lucky you won’t have to grow up! Besides, reality is no place for a sane man to hang out in. Hell, even those who just to cry in their beer are able to stay ahead of themselves!

    • What’s your point? You’re not making any sense. If Suzanne’s supporters were there, big wup. You’re not putting out any heat at all. No one can figure you out. I suspect your a troll from New York.

  4. If the radical Left Washington Post says that Palin was responsible for Peltola’s victory, you can bet your last nickel that Begich was the cause!

  5. Oath, you have NO Integrity. If you want to berate Suzanne, do it once and then leave MRAK. To stick around shows you have no class, and certainly no integrity. A classless hypocrite who uses this site for your own selfish purposes. A full-on loser. Now we all know.

  6. You clowns started it with all the trashing of governor Sara. I will stand for oath integrity and Sara has it. Suzanne can defend herself and I have much respect for Suzanne of must read. Alaskans rise up and chrissaryB it’s past your bedtime children. Suzanne Suzanne Suzanne. Now you all know how Sara felt with your vicious slander of our governor. Oath integrity or die ALL

  7. Peltola says she is “pro-choice.” What choice is she talking about? Killing a baby up to the minute before he/she is born? That’s the official position of Biden/Pelosi’s democrat party. Is that what she supports? It would have been nice if she told us that’s what she supports. How about choice of schools? Does she support that? How about choice to buy health insurance or not? Does she support that? How about choice to not get a Covid shot? Does she support that? How about choice to not wear a useless face mask? Does she support that?

    Peltola has benefited greatly from not having to talk about or defend her extreme radical positions because the only thing the media and the candidates are talking about is Palin.

    It’s time to start talking about Peltola.

  8. Thank you Suzanne your the best ma’am. President trump did so so much for Alaska all he asked was for Kelly and Sara. I hope its not the voters and it’s dominion and oath breakers causing election problems. Suzanne of must read is miss awesome.

    • Integ, like everybody else, your politics is your business, but to win folks over and get further down the tracks you have to stay on the rails. Continue on: this is democracy in action, and it can get a little messy!

  9. Peltola will win again. As I stated months ago, she is the new face of the Democrats. She is Deb Haaland jr. No more green hair, glasses, or crazy pharmaceutical induced crazy eyes. Just very plain, generic looking native females who could be he/she or she/he.

  10. Jim, you could be right, the National Democrat Party is going to Backing her all the way. The General election is going to see thousands of new voters, who will be voting on their Standard of Living rather than Party. They tend to be Non Partizan or Independent. The Old saying “Are you better off than you where 2 years ago.” Could have a big effect, Rank the Red, Blue RINO’S Please sit this one out.

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