A PETITION EMERGES AT MOVEON.ORG TO FORCE HIM OUT
Even before the primary is over, the liberal power brokers of Alaska have signed onto a letter that asks Mark Begich to drop from the race for Alaska governor.
More than 100 well-known liberals had done so as of Friday, even while Begich burnishes his working class credentials with regular Alaskans on the campaign trail — Alaskans who have probably never heard of MoveOn.org, and many who are just scraping by.
In a letter/petition that appears at the MoveOn.org web site, the signing Democrats tell Begich that they don’t want him to be a spoiler: Willie Hensley, Bruce Botelho, Rep. David Guttenberg, Al Kookesh, Commissioner of Natural Resources Andy Mack, Commissioner of Commerce Mike Navarre, and Commissioner of Labor Heidi Drygas all signed the letter. See the entire list below.
Is it a desperate move on Walker’s part to have his very own cabinet and functionaries begging Begich to drop out? Are they simply trying to preserve their jobs?
Most of the signers of the Walker petition are making at least six-figure salaries and many of them hold elite jobs at Native Corporations or in the Walker Administration.
In fact, Begich could have as many as 40,000 votes locked in going into the General Election. But he obviously won’t have this band of 100 Walker supporters.
The letter, linked here, is dated Aug. 16, and will be delivered to Begich at some undetermined time.
THE LETTER, AND THE SIGNERS
“The undersigned Alaskans respectfully ask you to withdraw from the governor’s race. We appreciate your service and many contributions to Alaska, both as mayor of Anchorage and as our U.S. senator.
Many of us have supported you in the past and believe you have a continued future serving Alaskans. Now is not the time for you to run for governor.
The numbers do not support both you and Governor Walker running. We believe you would essentially serve as a “spoiler,” paving the way for Republican Mike Dunleavy to be elected governor. This is not in Alaska’s best interest.
Walker and Mallott are the incumbents. They truly care about Alaska. They have displayed strong leadership and have made difficult decisions. They have been responsive to issues important to us and have earned our respect, and we see no reason not to support them.
This is not personal – it’s about doing what’s right for Alaska. We respectfully ask you to do the right thing and step aside.
Sincerely, Your Fellow Alaskans [names annotated by Must Read Alaska with known associations]:
- Aaron Plikat, Anchorage
- Adam Wool, Fairbanks, a Democratic legislator
- AJ Sutton, Fairbanks, carpenters union
- Albert Kookesh, Juneau, a Democratic special assistant to the governor
- Amanda Mallott, Juneau, daughter of the lieutenant governor
- Andy Holleman, Anchorage, school board member
- Andy Mack, Anchorage, DNR commissioner
- Andy Mezirow, Homer, charter captain
- Anthony Mallott, Juneau, son of the lieutenant governor
- April Ferguson, Anchorage, formed an illegal political action committee in 2014 to elect Walker.
- Arlene Simpler, Kodiak Democratic Party
- Barbara Blake, Juneau, Governor’s Senior Advisor, Tribal Affairs, Fish & Game, Marine Resources
- Barbara Donatelli, Anchorage, is the head of a political money group to elect Walker in 2018.
- Bill Tatsuda, Ketchikan, supermarket owner
- Bob Hubbard, Fairbanks, plumbers and steamfitters union
- Brenda L. Tolman, Whittier
- Bruce Botelho, Juneau, some call the shadow government of the Walker administration.
- Buck Laukitis, Homer
- Carl Marrs, Old Harbor
- Carpenters Local 1234, Fairbanks
- Chris Dimond, Juneau, head of the carpenters union and Democratic House candidate, District 33
- Cindy Roberts, Anchorage, long-time Walker friend
- Claudia Anderson, Kodiak
- Cordelia Kellie, Palmer
- David Guttenberg, Fairbanks
- David McCabe, Anchorage
- Don Gray, Fairbanks, retired
- Donny Olson, Golovin, Democratic senator
- Dorli McWayne, Fairbanks, University of Alaska Fairbanks
- Earl Krygier, Anchorage
- Emily Edenshaw, Juneau, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
- Eric Jordan, Sitka, troller
- Freddie Olin, Anchorage, Special Projects Coordinator for village corporation for Galena, Koyukuk
- Gail Schubert, Bering Straits, long-time ally of the governor
- Geron Bruce, Juneau
- Gordon Glaser, Anchorage
- Greg Razo, Anchorage, CIRI
- Greg Wakefield, Anchorage
- Heather Flynn, Anchorage, retired
- Heidi Drygas, Juneau/Fairbanks, Commissioner of Labor
- Ian Fisk, Juneau, lobbyist
- Ira Perman, Anchorage, political activist
- Jack Hebert, Fairbanks, President, CEO, and founder of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center
- Jaeleen Kookesh, Juneau, Sealaska vice president and general counsel
- Jamie Kenworthy, Anchorage
- Jan Carolyn Hardy, Anchorage
- Janet McCabe, Anchorage
- Jason Grenn, Anchorage
- Jeanette Wakefield, Anchorage
- Jodie Gatti, Ketchikan
- Joe Nelson, Yakutat
- John Lincoln, Kotzebue, Democratic legislator
- Karl Kassel, Fairbanks
- Kate Wool, Fairbanks, married to Rep. Adam Wool
- Kathryn Scribner, Juneau
- Kati Ward, Anchorage
- Kes Woodward, Fairbanks
- Linda Behnken, Sitka
- Lindy Jones, Juneau
- Liz Medicine Crow, Anchorage
- Malcolm Roberts, Anchorage, friend of the governor
- Marc Wheeler, Juneau, political activist
- Margy K. Johnson, Anchorage, former vice president, Alaska Dispatch News
- Mark Schneiter, Anchorage, tax accountant
- Marlene Johnson, Juneau/Hoonah, Tlingit leader
- Marna Sanford, Fairbanks, Tanana Chiefs Conference
- Mary Hakala, Juneau, legislative staff
- Mary Hilcoske, Anchorage, executive director Manley and Brautigam
- Mary Jo Robinson, Anchorage
- Mary Schulz, Ketchikan
- Matt Hunter, Sitka, mayor
- Meera Kohler, Anchorage, chief executive officer of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative
- Melissa Borton, Kodiak, tribal administrator
- Mike Gallagher, Anchorage
- Mike Kenny, Anchorage, retired Teamster administrator
- Mike Navarre, Kenai, Commissioner of Commerce
- Mim McConnell, Sitka, community land trust
- Minoo Minaei, Anchorage/Homer, teacher
- Miriam Aarons, Anchorage, director of communications, Bering Straits Native Corp.
- Myra Munson, Juneau, Native rights attorney
- Nancy Barnes, Anchorage, president Eyak Corp.
- Pat Branson, Kodiak, mayor
- Paula DeLaiarro, Anchorage, works for Ship Creek Group political consultancy
- Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 375, Fairbanks
- Raina Thiele, Anchorage, former Obama staff official
- Reid Magdanz, Kotzebue
- Richard Peterson, Juneau, Tlingit Haida Central Council
- Robert Gottstein, Anchorage, business person
- Sarah McCabe, Anchorage
- Scott Eickholt, Fairbanks, Laborers 942
- Sheri Buretta, Anchorage, University of Alaska Board of Regents
- Steve Hovenden, Fairbanks, Teamsters
- Stosh Anderson, Kodiak, Kodiak Fisheries Development Association
- Tim Sharp, Fairbanks
- Tom Panamaroff, Kodiak, Regional and Legislative Affairs Executive at Koniag
- Tom Schulz, Ketchikan
- Tom Simpler, Kodiak
- Tom Wescott, Eagle River
- Vicki Otte, Anchorage, founder of an illegally operating political group that helped Walker get elected in 2014, found to be a money-laundering operation
- Willie Hensley, Anchorage, former Native legislator
Noticeably missing from the list are former staffers, such as former Deputy Chief of Staff Marcia Davis, former Attorney General Craig Richards, and former Commissioner of Natural Resources Mark Myers. Former rural advisor Gerad Godfrey didn’t sign the petition either and has decided to co-chair the Treadwell for Governor race. Another former top aide, Amanda Price, is now running Edie Grunwald for Lt. Governor’s campaign.