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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/15/2014

ANCHORAGE — After months of telling Alaska’s working families he doesn’t support an increase in the minimum wage because it would “kill a half a million jobs” U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is desperately attempting to create distance from his own radical beliefs. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sullivan is claiming he will support an Alaska ballot measure to increase the minimum wage, a claim that conflicts with his promise to vote against the proposition just one month ago.

“From the minimum wage to the Violence Against Women Act, Dan Sullivan won’t be honest with Alaskans about what he believes on core issues. Dan Sullivan has always dismissed the needs of Alaska’s working families who would benefit from a increase in the federal minimum wage and his most recent attempt to flip-flop proves he’ll say or do anything in an attempt to deceive Alaskans. Mark Begich knows the importance of paying workers a fair living wage and remains the only candidate in this election that supports raising the minimum wage and equal pay for equal work,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Examples of Dan Sullivan’s opposition to raising the minimum wage:

“Simply raising the minimum wage isn’t an answer; it’s an acknowledgement of President Obama’s broken promises and failed economic policies.” Dan Sullivan [AP, 1/18/14].

“Sullivan said 24 percent of teens are unemployed as it is and that a Congressional Budget Office study found that the proposed federal boost would ‘probably kill a half million jobs.’ He didn’t mention the other main point in the report, that more than 16 million Americans would see wages rise.” Anchorage Daily News [Anchorage Daily News, 4/30/14].

Sullivan’s confusing flip-flop follows numerous examples of Sullivan’s shaky stances on core issues such as support for the Violence Against Women Act, his residency, Alaska’s fisheries and whether or not he claimed tax credits while declaring his million dollar home in Maryland his “principal residence” but voting in Alaska.

Sullivan never lifted a finger as DNR commissioner or attorney general to raise the minimum wage which would raise 5,000 Alaskans out of poverty and increase incomes for 49,000 Alaskans in minimum wage jobs. Sullivan’s refuses to support a federal increase.

Also, Sullivan continues to receive millions of dollars in backing from anti-minimum wage, anti-worker groups like the Koch brothers and the Club for Growth. Sullivan received the Club for Growth’s endorsement after a secret interview where he pledged to support the organization’s agenda, like opposing an increase to the minimum wage.

Raising the minimum wage would raise incomes for 1,700 Alaskan veterans. Of the 49,000 Alaskans who will see increased incomes, 56 percent are women. Sullivan’s belief that raising the minimum wage would kill jobs puts him in direct opposition to common sense as well as the majority of Alaskans who support the measure, further ignoring 16 million Americans who would see wages rise.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/15/2014

ANCHORAGE — Alaska veterans are pushing back on false claims made by U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan and his Outside supporters. Sullivan is once again stooping to attacks on Mark Begich’s record of fighting for Alaska veterans, active duty service members, and their families, even accusing Begich of not respecting military service.

Alaska veterans are setting the record straight:

“Mark was instrumental in getting health care and services out to Rural Alaska. His work on the Hero’s Health card brought affordable access to hundreds and thousands of veterans in Alaska,” said Willard Jackson, a military veteran from Ketchikan.

“Senator Mark Begich respects every member of our armed services. He will stand up and go the extra mile to honor and thank those of us who served in the past and our young men and women in service today. I am proud to have Mark as my Senator because of the work he has done for our nation’s military members and their families,” said Troy Bouffard, a military veteran from Fairbanks.

Sullivan previously attempted to turn the Arizona VA scandal into a political attack in Alaska. The attacks were called “false” and “not true” by independent fact check groups. Sullivan’s most recent false attacks come on the heels of an investigation by Maryland tax officials into tax breaks he received on a million dollar Maryland home while serving as a poitical appointee in the Bush White House.

Begich is the only member of Alaska’s delegation to serve on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, giving Alaska a powerful and influential voice in Washington. Alaska has more veterans per capita than any other state.

Last week the U.S. Senate passed a Begich bill to increase cost of living adjustments (COLA) to veterans receiving disability compensation, mirroring the COLA adjustments for Social Security. The legislation will benefit 4.5 million veterans as early as 2015.

Begich is also credited with historic agreements between the VA and tribal health facilities, to allow veterans in Alaska to get care in their community, without having to travel to Anchorage or Seattle. Begich stood up for Alaska veterans by writing and championing the Alaska Hero’s Card Act of 2011which VA officials mirrored in their agreement with Alaska Native tribes. Begich’s leadership and effectiveness in pushing for  solutions for rural veterans gave way to the negotiations between the VA and rural clinics. Begich’s plan is now being implemented across the country. The agreements have helped reduce wait lists at Alaska’s VA from over 900 to almost zero

  • Alaska Territorial Guard – In 2009, Senator Begich successfully secured reinstatement of pension payments for members of the WWII-era Alaska Territorial Guard.
  • “Significant legislative victory for veterans” – The Disabled American Veterans called Begich’s push to establish advanced appropriation for veterans health programs “the most significant legislative victory of veterans in a generation.”
  • Extended TRICARE for Military Dependents – In 2011, Begich helped extend TRICARE services for dependent children of military members to the age of 26.
  • Waived Telehealth Copays – In 2012, Begich and Sen. Grassley’s proposal to waive copays for telehealth and telemedicine visits for veterans was signed into law.
  • Historic Rural Care Access – Begich followed through on campaign promise to help veterans access care closer to home by allowing rural veterans access to Native health facilities.
  • Recognition from Combat Veterans’ Organization - In March, Begich received an Inspirational Leadership Award from the Military Order of the Purple Heart for his work on behalf of veterans.
  • Secured access to Space-A for Guard Members - Begich pushed to allow members of the National Guard or Guard Reserve to gain access to Space-A seats on military planes, previously limited to active-duty soldiers.
  • Advocated for victims of military sexual assault – Begich sponsored legislation to change the chain of command in military sexual assault prosecutions.
  • Restored benefits for military retirees – Begich passed legislation to restore benefits to military retirees affected by a 2013 budget.
  • Fought against military commissary price increases – Begich staunchly opposes price increases at military commissaries which would have a devastating effect on Alaska’s military families.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/15/2014

ANCHORAGE — Last week, Mark Begich continued his commitment to fighting the flawed Supreme Court Citizens United ruling when he voted in support of a constitutional amendment to reign in secret campaign spending from billionaires like the Koch brothers. Unfortunately, the measure was blocked in the U.S. Senate.

Mark Begich has released a detailed plan for how he will work to address campaign finance issues in a second term, including adopting Alaska’s campaign finance requirement of identifying the top three donors in ads.

In stark contrast, Dan Sullivan continues to support unlimited secret campaign contributions.

Read the Associated Press story below:

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

September 12, 2014 – 8:14 pm EDT

JUNEAU, Alaska — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is proposing changes to campaign finance laws, including requiring the top three contributors to candidates or third-party groups be identified in ads.

In laying out his plans to address the issue if re-elected, Begich also proposed that all candidates electronically file and post their federal fundraising reports. He called for contribution limits and said he would continue to support a constitutional amendment, similar to one that failed in the Senate Thursday, that would allow Congress and the states to better regulate election spending.

Begich’s GOP rival, Dan Sullivan, has called on Begich to sign an agreement aimed at limiting outside money in their race. Begich said he’s signed a separate agreement striking at the idea of corporate personhood and is proposing legislation in line with that.

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ANCHORAGE — Mark Begich is calling on the nation to adopt Alaska law requiring political candidates or groups to disclose their top three donors in any campaign ad. The proposal is part of Mark Begich’s campaign finance reform platform which includes specific steps and recommendations to increase transparency and correct the influence of billionaires and corporations after the flawed Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case.

U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan supports unlimited spending by secret Outside groups, billionaires and corporations.

The billionaire Koch brothers have spent millions in Alaska while killing Alaska jobs at the Flint Hills refinery and spending millions in support of his candidacy. The Koch brothers and Outside groups like them are spending $12 million on attack ads in Alaska in support of Dan Sullivan. The Kochs were mocked for using a Maryland actress in an Alaska TV ad and their operatives showed an lack of knowledge about Alaska by awkwardly calling Alaska a “peninsular” state in a secret meeting. The meeting, leaked to the media, revealed the Kochs intent to buy Alaska’s senate seat by dumping millions on to the airwaves.

“Alaska is a model for increased campaign contribution transparency. The federal government could really learn a few things from our campaign laws which require disclosure of who’s paying for advertisements and contributing to campaigns, both for politicians and independent expenditures.  If an Outside group can’t disclose their top three contributors in an advertisement then they shouldn’t be spending money on it,” said Senator Mark Begich.

View MARK BEGICH’S CAMPAIGN FINANCE PLAN HERE

Mark Begich supports a constitutional amendment to permanently overturn the Citizens United ruling and has signed the We The People Alaska pledge stating his belief that corporations are not people.

Mark Begich has supported transparency efforts such as the DISCLOSE Act, legislation Dan Sullivan does not support, and supports Alaska state law which requires ads to disclose top donors.

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ANCHORAGE — Dan Sullivan is unleashing more of the same desperate attacks he’s been pushing for months at the instruction of Outside groups, all while telling Alaskans he’s focused on a positive campaign.

Dan Sullivan’s attacks against Mark Begich’s record of supporting Alaska’s military and veterans have been called “false” and “twisted.” With the blessing of Karl Rove Sullivan previously attempted to turn the Arizona VA scandal into a political attack in Alaska. Sullivan’s attempt backfired because Alaskans are familiar with Mark Begich’s record of delivering for Alaska veterans and reducing VA wait times.

Sullivan’s latest attack comes during a pending Maryland investigation into tax breaks he received on a Maryland home he declared his “principal residence” when he was political appointee at the State Department.

“Dan Sullivan will say anything to try and draw attention from a pending investigation about tax breaks he received on a million dollar Maryland home while voting in Alaska. Sullivan continues to dodge legitimate questions from Alaskans about why he claimed Maryland as a ‘principal residence’ for tax breaks while continuing to vote in Alaska. Months ago Sullivan received backlash for attempting to turn the tragic death of veterans in Arizona into a political attack in Alaska, his latest attacks on Mark Begich’s commitment to Alaska’s veterans and military families are nothing but a disappointing political smokescreen,” said Max Croes, Alaskans for Begich Communications Director.

Last week the U.S. Senate passed Mark Begich’s legislation to increase veterans benefits by pegging compensation increases to annual cost of living increases. The legislation will benefit 4.5 million veterans nationwide as early as 2015.

In the U.S. Senate, Begich has built a record of fighting and delivering for Alaska’s veterans:

  • Alaska Territorial Guard – In 2009, Senator Begich successfully secured reinstatement of pension payments for members of the WWII-era Alaska Territorial Guard.
  • “Significant legislative victory for veterans” – The Disabled American Veterans called Begich’s push to establish advanced appropriation for veterans health programs “the most significant legislative victory of veterans in a generation.”
  • Extended TRICARE for Military Dependents – In 2011, Begich helped extend TRICARE services for dependent children of military members to the age of 26.
  • Waived Telehealth Copays – In 2012, Begich and Sen. Grassley’s proposal to waive copays for telehealth and telemedicine visits for veterans was signed into law.
  • Historic Rural Care Access – Begich followed through on campaign promise to help veterans access care closer to home by allowing rural veterans access to Native health facilities.
  • Recognition from Combat Veterans’ Organization – In March, Begich received an Inspirational Leadership Award from the Military Order of the Purple Heart for his work on behalf of veterans.
  • Secured access to Space-A for Guard Members - Begich pushed to allow members of the National Guard or Guard Reserve to gain access to Space-A seats on military planes, previously limited to active-duty soldiers.
  • Advocated for victims of military sexual assault — Begich sponsored legislation to change the chain of command in military sexual assault prosecutions.
  • Restored benefits for military retirees — Begich passed legislation to restore benefits to military retirees affected by a 2013 budget.
  • Fought against military commissary price increases — Begich staunchly opposes price increases at military commissaries which would have a devastating affect on Alaska’s military families.

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ANCHORAGE — U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s newest ad doesn’t tell the truth about his record as Alaska’s attorney general where he not only sued to prevent tribes from protecting at risk children, but also refused to support the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

“Dan Sullivan’s latest ad doesn’t tell the truth about where he stands on women’s issues including his refusal to support the Violence Against Women Act and the fact that rates of rape and sexual assault remained dangerously high during his tenure as attorney general. Alaskans need to know the truth and they should be outraged that Dan Sullivan refuses to support common sense, landmark legislation that has already received broad, bipartisan support,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Alaskans for Begich Campaign Manager.

Sullivan

Watch Sullivan Refuse To Support the Violence Against Women Act

Sullivan has still refused to share with Alaskans what he thinks about a proposal to remove the “Alaska exemption” from the VAWA.

Additional information you didn’t see in Dan Sullivan’s latest ad:

Sullivan’s Office Defended The Practice Of Letting Sex Offenders Off With Light Sentences. “While he served as Attorney General, it was revealed that AG Sullivan’s prosecutors were reducing charges against convicted sex offenders. His office defended this practice by saying the Department had limited resources and this was not a priority. Has the Party examined Dan’s apparent “softness” on issues regarding domestic violence when he was in a position to come down hard on these types of crimes?” [Former Alaska Speaker of the House Gail Phillips, Peninsula Clarion, 4/23/2014]

Department of Law Had to Reform Sentencing Policy After Sullivan’s Tenure, Said Prosecutors Would Not Negotiate Plea Deals For Serious Crimes and Domestic Violence. As reported by the Anchorage Daily News, “State prosecutors will no longer negotiate plea deals for lesser sentences for Alaskans accused of serious crimes and domestic violence, the Alaska Department of Law said Tuesday. The change of policy, which took effect Tuesday, bars plea bargains involving sentences for the most serious classes of felony cases, as well as all cases involving sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor and domestic violence, said deputy attorney general Richard Svobodny.” [Anchorage Daily News, 7/23/13]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/12/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes – 907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE – After a week of refusing to attend the Kodiak fisheries debate and offending Alaska’s fishermen – and Alaska’s largest private sector employer – Dan Sullivan today conceded he had made a mistake and said he will in fact attend the longstanding traditional debate.

In addition to changing his mind, Sullivan’s campaign was forced to admit that Sullivan “did not have a prior commitment keeping him from the fisheries debate.”

“Brushing off Alaska’s largest private sector employer and a multi-billion dollar industry is just another reminder that Dan Sullivan is focused on his billionaire Outside supporters – not Alaskans . Mark Begich is still waiting for Dan Sullivan to accept six additional debate invitations, but we’re not holding our breath after the public shaming it took for Sullivan to commit to the fisheries debate which is a longstanding tradition in Alaska,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Dan Sullivan has only committed to four out of the ten debates Mark Begich has committed to.

Sullivan’s agreement to attend the fish debate comes after consecutive bad headlines and pressure for failing to commit to the debate. The debate is considered an Alaska tradition for gubernatorial and senatorial candidates going back to 1990.

Begich and his GOP opponent Dan Sullivan faced off in a debate hosted by United For Liberty on August 27. Since then, Sullivan has refused to commit to more than four events with Begich.

The only debates Sullivan has confirmed for are: Kodiak Fisheries Debate, Kenai Chamber of Commerce, Alaska Federation of Natives and the KTUU Debate

Begich Forum and Debate Schedule

Tuesday, September 2, Alaska Native Brotherhood Debate  - NO SHOW
(Juneau)

Sunday, September 28, Shiloh Community Development, Inc. Forum – NOT COMMITTED
(Anchorage)

Wednesday, October 1, Kodiak Chamber of Commerce 
(Kodiak)

Tuesday, October 21, Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum
(Soldotna)

Thursday, October 23, Resource Development Council Candidate Forum – NOT COMMITTED
(Anchorage)

Friday, October 24, Alaska Federation of Native Candidate Forum
(Anchorage)

Sunday, October 26, KTVA Ch. 11 and Alaska Dispatch Debte – NOT COMMITTED
(Anchorage)

Monday, October 27, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum – NOT COMMITTED
(Anchorage)

Tuesday, October 28, Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Forum – NOT COMMITTED 
(Fairbanks)

Wednesday, October 29, KTUU Channel 2 Debate
(Anchorage)

Thursday, October 30, Debate for the State  - Alaska Public Media – NOT COMMITTED 

(Anchorage)

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ANCHORAGE — Senator Mark Begich is announcing a new plan for campaign finance reform and how he would fight Citizens United and unlimited spending by Outside billionaires and corporations with a second term in the U.S. Senate. Yesterday, the United States Senate voted on a constitutional amendment that would have given congress and states the authority to put reasonable limits on campaign spending.

“After the Supreme Court’s flawed Citizens United ruling billionaires and corporations are spending unlimited anonymous amounts to buy elections across the country and it needs to stop. In a second term I will continue to fight to overturn Citizens United while introducing legislation to institute Alaska’s campaign disclosure laws on a national level. The rest of the country can learn a lot from Alaska common sense,” said Senator Mark Begich.

Mark Begich’s opposition to the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling stands in stark contrast to his opponent, Dan Sullivan, who supports unlimited secret money from outside groups.

DOWNLOAD MARK’S PLAN HERE

Alaskans don’t always agree on the best way to tackle a problem, but they know that our biggest accomplishments are achieved when everyone has a chance to participate in the discussion. Right now, it’s too easy for big spenders to drown out the voices of everyday Alaskans who don’t have millions of dollars to spend blanketing TV and radio with their views. Mark knows we need commonsense limits on campaign donations and spending, so that everyone has a chance to be heard. That’s why he voted this week to reverse the Supreme Court and give that power back to the people.

In a second term, Mark Begich will:

  • Continue to push for passage of a constitutional amendment he’s cosponsored to restore authority to Congress, the states, and the American people to regulate campaign finance. Voters and elected officials must have the power to set commonsense limits on fundraising and campaign spending so that our representatives listen to voters, not donors.
  • Fight to overturn Citizens United, so that corporations have to follow the same rules as real people.
  • Oppose the nomination of anyone responsible for enforcing our campaign finance laws, no matter who nominates them or what political party they’re from, who isn’t fully committed to limiting money in politics and strongly punishing lawbreakers.

Increasing Transparency in Our Elections

The federal government could learn a few things from our campaign laws here in Alaska, which require more disclosure of who’s paying for advertisements and contributing to campaigns, both for politicians and independent expenditures. Voters want to know the sources of the information they’re getting so they can make better-informed decisions.

In a second term, Mark Begich will:

  • Introduce and champion legislation requiring candidates to electronically file and post their Federal Election Commission (FEC) fundraising reports, as Begich has voluntarily done. Citizens should be able to instantly access and easily search this important information, and there’s no good reason to not require this commonsense step.
  • Bring Alaska’s smart transparency requirements to the rest of the country;
  • Candidates and independent expenditures must identify their top three contributors in their ads;
  • Full reporting of all contributions over $50 for candidates or $100 for initiatives, including the donor’s name and who they work for;
  • Strict contribution limits so that candidates have to appeal to as many constituents as possible.
  • Fight to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which he has strongly supported since it was introduced. It’s a smart bill that would prohibit foreign influence in our elections and make it illegal for government contractors to spend money on elections, a clear opportunity for corruption.

Putting Teeth Into Campaign Finance Enforcement

Today, our campaign finance laws are in turmoil after the Supreme Court’s decisions removed many of the safeguards and anti-corruption measures established over decades. The Court is wrong: money isn’t speech, and corporations aren’t people. But even before these major changes, our laws simply weren’t up to the task of keeping politicians from constantly breaking the rules – penalties for campaign finance violations were, and still are, shockingly mild. A $100,000 fine from the FEC, sometimes years after a candidate breaks the law, is a slap on the wrist when the election has already been decided and there are millions in the bank.

In a second term, Mark Begich will:

  • Introduce and push for legislation to crack down on violations of our election law. Drastically larger fines, swifter enforcement and decision-making from regulators, and criminal penalties for serious or repeated lawbreakers will make sure candidates take our laws seriously.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/12/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes – 907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE  – Fishing industry leaders are speaking out against U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s refusal to attend a debate hosted by the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce. Sullivan’s campaign admitted “Sullivan does not have a prior commitment keeping him from the fisheries debate.” The debate is an Alaska tradition for statewide candidates dating back to 1990.

Alaska’s commercial fisheries are worth billions of dollars and are Alaska’s largest private employer. Sullivan’s unwillingness to debate raises serious questions about his understanding of a unique Alaska industry vital to life in Alaska’s coastal communities.

Dan Sullivan’s refusal to debate Mark Begich at the Kodiak fisheries debate just proves he wants to represent the Koch brothers agenda, not the needs of Alaska’s coastal communities where fishing is the driving economic force and a way of life,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Robin Samuelsen, Chairman of Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation and a lifelong commercial fishermen:

“Personally, I am extremely disappointed that Dan Sullivan has decided to skip the Kodiak Fish Debate. How can fishermen trust Dan Sullivan if he won’t tell us where he stands on the issue that impact our jobs and our families.”

Chip Treinen, Vice President of United Fishermen of Alaska and a commercial fishermen:

“Mark Begich understands Alaskan fishermen, and has gone out of his way the past 6 years to listen to our concerns. Whether it’s re-authorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or Frankenfish, Mark Begich listens to Alaskans. That’s why it’s disappointing that Dan Sullivan won’t even debate.”

Begich to Participate in 10 Debates and Forums Before November 4

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/11/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes – 907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE — Despite a refusal to participate in Kodiak’s fisheries debate by U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, Mark Begich remains committed to participating in 10 more debates and forums he announced prior to Alaska’s primary election.

Dan Sullivan has only committed to two of these events.

“Mark Begich committed to thirteen debates and forums before the primary, it’s a shame Dan Sullivan is too busy for these events and has canceled several of them. It’s our hope that Dan will stop dragging his feet and publicly take a stand on important issues by agreeing to participate in more debates. Mark Begich remains committed to being accountable and transparent to Alaskans and debating all candidates for the Senate. Begich will attend these events with or without his opponents,” said Max Croes, Communications Director forAlaskans for Begich.

Sullivan has recently made headlines for failing to commit to the fish debate, a move referred to as a “Senate candidate from Iowa, say, skipping a debate on corn.”

Begich and his GOP opponent Dan Sullivan faced off in a debate hosted by United For Liberty on August 27. Since then, Sullivan has refused to commit to more than two events with Begich, one hosted by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and one hosted by the Alaska Federation of Natives.

Alaska has a long and independent history that has given voice to candidates from all political affiliations and leanings. Continuing that tradition, Begich has asked that each host invite every candidate participating in this year’s Senate election who has earned ballot privileges, like Mark Fish, Libertarian candidate for Senate.

 

Begich Forum and Debate Schedule

Sunday, September 28,  Shiloh Community Development, Inc. Forum
(Anchorage)

Wednesday, October 1, Kodiak Chamber of Commerce
(Kodiak)

Tuesday, October 21, Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum
(Soldotna)

Thursday, October 23, Resource Development Council Candidate Forum
(Anchorage)

Friday, October 24, Alaska Federation of Native Candidate Forum
(Anchorage)

Sunday, October 26, KTVA Ch. 11 and Alaska Dispatch Debate
(Anchorage)

Monday, October 27, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum
(Anchorage)

Tuesday, October 28, Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Forum
(Fairbanks)

Wednesday, October 29, KTUU Channel 2 Debate
(Anchorage)

Thursday, October 30, Debate for the State  - Alaska Public Media
(Anchorage)

 

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