LETTER OF ‘INTENT’
Mark Begich stepped back into the political ring in Alaska. The Democrat and superlobbyist is making a big play — not only for governor, but for Alaska’s largest newspaper.
In the same week when Gov. Bill Walker filed his letter of intent for the governor’s race, Begich filed his own version of a letter of intent: He sent a dog-whistle email to leading Democrats who might be planning to write checks to Walker’s campaign at Walker’s Sept. 5 fundraiser, warning them off: “I ask you to keep your powder dry,” Begich wrote.
The fundraiser is being held at the home of Walker’s cabinet member and oil adviser John Hendrix. Chances are, all the commissioners and deputy commissioners will attend with their $500 checks, but no Republicans. And now, no Democrats.
Walker is an unaligned candidate once again and earlier this week Democrat Party Chair Casey Steinau cautioned party faithful that the party is still determined to elect a Democrat. Unlike in 2014, when they backed Walker.
At the same time, former Sen. Begich is behind a group of liberal investors putting together a possible bid to purchase the Alaska Dispatch News. These investors are said to have been combing the financials of the Anchorage-based newspaper in a “due diligence” fashion. They are working with a major Democratic fundraiser: Ultra-left, environmentalist, and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer of San Francisco. Steyer contributed more than $87 million exclusively to liberal candidates during the 2016 election cycle. He’s the George Soros of the West Coast.
Whether the Begich group can be successful in bidding on the Alaska Dispatch News will be seen on Sept. 11, the date of the bankruptcy hearing.
The letter that Begich sent to supporters was leaked to the media early today. It asked for help and he mentioned not a word about the deal he is trying to put together with a group of investors to outbid the Binkley Company when the Alaska Dispatch News goes up for auction:
As I travel around the state working on many issues, I have heard from so many of you wondering what is next in my political future. So, I wanted to send this quick update and ask for your help.
First, Deborah and Jacob are doing great. Jacob just started his sophomore year at West High and Deborah is busy running her successful businesses here in Anchorage. We had another great Alaska summer filled with friends, family, and plenty of fish!
As many of you have heard, I love what I am doing now. We are busier than ever at Northern Compass Group solving problems and building businesses for Alaska and I am enjoying the extra time at home with my family.
Meanwhile, it seems the election season has already started for some and so it comes back to the question everyone is asking are you running for Governor? My passion is and always will be public policy and I love working with Alaskans to solve the many challenges we face as a State. Alaska is at a crossroads and you can be sure that no matter where I am I will do my part to help build a stronger, more secure future for all Alaskans.
I wanted to let you know that in response to many urging me to run, I am considering it, but Deborah and I have not made a decision yet. I hope to make a decision and share that with you in the next few months. In the meantime, I ask that you keep your powder dry.
As I think about this decision, I’d love to hear from you. Should I or shouldn’t I run for Governor? Do you think Alaska is on the right path? What are your biggest hopes and concerns for our future?
Begich has penned two opinion pieces in the Alaska Dispatch News in recent weeks, and has been raising his profile around Alaska “working on many issues.” He has been making a six-figure salary as a superlobbyist, and some observers say he’s happy with his lifestyle, but many who know him say his political aspirations are baked into his DNA.
Pundits contacted Must Read Alaska, saying they are wagering he’ll wait until 2018 wait to get into the governor’s race, and he’ll bring a lot of funds with him, and maybe a compliant liberal-branded newspaper.
Anyone wishing to send Begich advice about whether he should run for office may reach him at [email protected].