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Calls in favors from old friends in the Lower 48, but keeps Alaskans in the dark on what he stands for

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/25/2014

ANCHORAGE — U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is extending open arms to Karl Rove and his American Crossroads super PAC. Sullivan’s campaign touted ads featuring Rove political ally Condoleezza Rice in a press release on Monday, a forthright endorsement of the super PAC’s presence in Alaska and Outside spending supporting his campaign.

“Dan Sullivan is putting out the welcome mat for Outside ads from Karl Rove and the Koch brothers but continues to dodge questions from Alaskans on issues important to Alaska families,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Alaskans for Begich Campaign Manager.

Sullivan has yet to run more than a single radio ad, instead allowing the Koch brothers, Karl Rove and national Republican organizations to speak for him with their dangerous anti-Alaska agenda. Sullivan recently went 11 days without any announced campaign appearances in Alaska.

Meanwhile, Alaskans still don’t know where Dan Sullivan and his primary opponent Mead Treadwell stand on every day Alaska issues:

  • Sullivan and Treadwell have refused to comment on Koch brothers closure of the Flint Hills refinery in North Pole. 80 Alaska jobs were eliminated and the state of Alaska is currently suing the refinery operators over contaminated drinking water.
  • Sullivan and Treadwell have refused to condemn Alaska State Senator Pete Kelly’s proposal to put state-funded pregnancy tests in bar and restaurant bathrooms or Senator Fred Dyson’s comments about Alaska women needing to stop buying lattes to pay for birth control.
  • Sullivan and Treadwell have refused to elaborate on the future of Social Security. Do they support the Club for Growth’s agenda to privatize Social Security and end Medicare as we know it?

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Begich travels the Last Frontier to listen to Alaskans & deliver results

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/20/2014

ANCHORAGE: For U.S. Senator Mark Begich, representing Alaska means traveling thousands of miles across the Last Frontier by any means necessary to listen to Alaskans and deliver results.

Nothing stops Begich from traveling to Alaska cities, hubs and villages to hear from fellow Alaskans about their needs and concerns, a fact shared in Begich’s new ad.

 

 

The new ad highlights Begich’s deep roots in Alaska and successful fights for Alaska families and communities, including:

  • His fight with Washington D.C. to open the Arctic Ocean to energy development.
  • Strengthening Alaska’s Coast Guard.
  • Protecting jobs of Alaska’s fishermen.
  • A refusal to take a pay raise.
  • Supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Begich is a born-and-raised Alaskan and the son of former U.S. Representative Nick Begich. Congressman Nick Begich disappeared in 1972 while traveling in a small aircraft from Anchorage to Southeast Alaska. The plane was never found.

The ad’s story is told by Begich’s wife, Deborah Bonito, and features 11-year-old son Jacob.

This is the first 60 second TV commercial from Alaskans for Begich.

Ad Transcript:

Deborah Bonito: In Alaska, you go as far as it takes to see the people. And while we love having Mark at home … we know we share him with every Alaskan.

Like his father before him…

1970s campaign ad announcer: “Begich goes to the people, wherever they are to properly understand individual problems.”

Deborah: Mark was ten when he lost his father …

Walter Cronkite: “In Alaska, bad weather again hampered efforts …”

Deborah: We’ve lost too many Alaskans this way … But Mark is clearly his father’s son. And there’s nowhere he won’t go to listen and stand up for Alaskans. He forced Washington to open up the Arctic Ocean to oil drilling … Strengthened our Coast Guard … Stood with our fishermen to protect their jobs … And has refused a pay raise until the budget is balanced. I love my husband.  But I’m prouder still of him as a father. And what he learned … from his own.

Mark Begich: I’m Mark Begich and I approved this message.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/18/2014

ANCHORAGE –  As a member of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee since 2009 U.S. Senator Mark Begich has fought to improve care and services offered to Alaska’s veterans with his unique understanding of rural and urban Alaska.

Begich’s record includes:

  • 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 extended 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.
  • U.S. Navy Award – In February 2013, Begich was given the highest civilian award from the U.S. Navy, the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, for outstanding service and work on behalf of the Navy.

Gene Horner, Alaska veteran, agrees with Begich’s record of accomplishment and today lauded his efforts in the U.S. Senate:

Gene Horner – Retired Army Vietnam Veteran:

“Mark has personally been there for Alaska’s military families, from fighting in Congress, to working with the VA, when veterans need him he answers the call. He’s fought for Alaska’s military past and present including those who served our country before statehood. He listens to us both as veterans and fellow Alaskans and recognizes the sacrifices we have made. Mark has always been a fighter for Alaskans in uniform.”

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Anti-Alaska organization wants to privatize Social Security & dismantle Medicare

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/13/2014

ANCHORAGE: Alaska’s seniors are on notice after Dan Sullivan cruised through a clandestine interview with the Anti-Alaska Club for Growth and passed their test on privatizing Social Security and dismantling Medicare.

Sullivan sat down with the Club for Growth for a secret candidate interview described as a “policy murder board” by Time Magazine:

“An endorsement requires an interview, which generally involves three or four Club staffers peppering candidates about topics ranging from farm subsidies and free trade to student loans and flood insurance. Acing the policy murder board is requisite…”

Sullivan passed the test with flying colors and is now “honored” to accept the endorsement of the organization and its controversial beliefs.

“Dan Sullivan won’t talk to Alaskans, but has no problem giving secret answers to an Anti-Alaska organization that has tried to defeat Senator Murkowski and Congressman Young while advocating for the privatization of Social Security and the voucherization of Medicare,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Alaskans for Begich Campaign Manager.

Despite being forthcoming in secret Washington D.C. interviews, in Alaska Sullivan continues to dodge questions from Alaskans and ignore the closure of the Flint Hills refinery.

The billionaire Koch brothers announced the closure of the Flint Hills refinery five weeks ago and Sullivan has refused to comment on the decision while being the beneficiary of over $1 million of ads attacking Mark Begich from the Kochs.

Don Young has called the Club for Growth “one of the most extreme groups in Washington D.C.” who wants to cut funding for veterans, seniors and Alaska Natives.

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The Club for Growth is “one of the most extreme groups in Washington D.C.” ~ Congressman Don Young

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/12/2014

ANCHORAGE: The anti-Alaska Club for Growth is once again trying to tell Alaskans what’s best for them. Alaskans rejected the organization’s 2008 opposition to Congressman Don Young who they told Alaskans to ‘show the door to‘ and the group’s 2010 endorsement of Joe Miller when the Club demanded donors of Senator Lisa Murkowski seek refunds.

“By seeking and accepting an endorsement from the anti-Alaska Club for Growth Dan Sullivan is finally telling Alaskans his positions on privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and its not good news for our seniors,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Alaskans for Begich Campaign Manager. “Congressman Young may have said it best, this is ‘one of the most extreme groups in Washington D.C.,’ Alaskans already know their dangerous agenda and have rejected it twice at the ballot box.”

The Club For Growth spent over $300,000 on an ad campaign attacking Congressman Don Young while also bundling over $400,000 for the failed effort.

According to Congressman Young the Club for Growth is “one of the most extreme groups in Washington D.C.” with an Anti-Alaska agenda of cutting funding for veterans, seniors and Alaska Native education.

Club for Growth Record in Alaska:

  • In 2008 the Club for Growth opposed Congressman Don Young in the U.S. House primary.
  • In 2010 the Club for Growth endorsed Joe Miller in the U.S. Senate race and spent over $300,000 against Senator Lisa Murkowski.
  • The Club for Growth fought for the ban on earmarks, a practice that has helped Alaska build critical roads, hospitals, military infrastructure, and ports.

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Alaskans decry Kochs’ closure of Alaska refinery and false political attacks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/10/2014

ANCHORAGE: Residents of Fairbanks and North Pole fight back against the Outsider billionaire Koch brothers’ “false” political attack ads, closure of the Flint Hills refinery, laying off 80 Alaskans and stalling cleanup of contaminated groundwater in a new TV ad.

“No DC actresses or false attacks, this is just Alaskans telling the truth – and I hope the Koch brothers finally get that Alaskans don’t need them telling us what to do,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Alaskans for Begich Campaign Manager.  “Spending millions on attack ads doesn’t keep a refinery open and it won’t overshadow Mark Begich’s record of fighting for new oil and gas projects, our military bases, and veterans care.”

View The Ad Here

The most recent Koch-funded attacks against Mark Begich have been called “false” and “not true” by independent fact check organizations. The Kochs’ have spent nearly $1 million in Alaska attacking Mark Begich, starting last September.

The closure of the Flint Hills refinery and firing of 80 Alaskans has drawn bipartisan condemnation from Alaskans. The Koch-owned Flint Hill Resources is currently being sued by the State of Alaska over groundwater pollution in North Pole.

Alaskans for Begich has run 14 radio ads on Mark Begich’s record of fighting the Obama administration for expanded Alaska oil and gas development, keeping the F-16 fighter jets at Eielson Air Force Base, and supporting Alaska’s veterans.

Ad Text:

Mark Begich: I’m Mark Begich and I approve this message.

Narrator: First it was a DC actress pretending to be an Alaskan. Now, ads attacking Mark Begich on a carbon tax have been called “false” and “not true.”Who’s behind the attacks?

Man 1: The Koch brothers.

Woman 1: The billionaire Koch brothers.

Man 2: I do not believe it.

Man 3: They come into our town, buy our refinery.

Man 4: Just running it into the ground.

Man 5: Leaving a mess.

Woman 2: A lot of Alaskans are losing jobs and I’m definitely concerned about the drinking water.

Man 6: I don’t go down to tell them what to do, I expect them not to come up to Alaska and tell us what to do.

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Fights for Alaska oil and gas development in CNN interview

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/29/2014

ICYMI: U.S. Senator Mark Begich called out President Obama last night for his lack of Alaska issues in his State of the Union speech. Begich called on President Obama to promote Alaska’s oil and gas interests as a way to grow our economy, move towards energy independence and create thousands of Alaska jobs.

Begich pushed for President Obama to unlock Alaska’s energy potential and create thousands of jobs by moving forward on Alaska oil and gas development:

“What I’d like [President Obama] to do is see why his policies are wrong on ANWR for example. He opposes oil and gas development. I’d like to show him why it’s the right move to move that forward and create jobs in oil and gas. He talked about energy a little bit tonight. But we have it right there, a storehouse of energy. I’d like to be able to show him some of the issues that we’ve battled with the federal government on and try to get his policies changed that directly affect us.”

Begich called on President Obama to drop threats to Alaska’s oil and gas industry and find common ground on an energy package:

“I heard it over and over again for the last five years on oil and gas tax incentives. [President Obama] wants to deal with that again. He wants to eliminate them. In Alaska, we’re not interested in that. That’s been played for the last five years. Let’s figure out if he wants to work on an energy package where the common ground is and let’s move forward.”

Begich outlined his successful fight with President Obama to allow Shell to move forward with plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer:

“We’ve had our differences as you know on oil and gas and arctic oil exploration. We’ve had some tug of war. We’ve had to really had to push him a long ways to get him to agree to move forward on what we think is an incredible oil and gas discovery opportunity, thousands of jobs coming for Alaska.”

Begich expressed a serious concern with the President’s desire to govern with executive orders to avoid finding common ground with Congress:

“You’ve gotta be very careful about how far you extend those executive powers… you’ve gotta come down and work with us.”

The full interview is available here.

With the race to the Arctic well under way, increasing the polar-icebreaker fleet is wise.

Alaska’s and Washington state’s U.S. senators have proposed that the nation build four heavy-duty icebreakers. The proposal appears in the National Defense Authorization Act currently being considered in the Senate.