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Mark Begich: Throw out No Child Left Behind

ANCHORAGE– After dodging questions from high school students at a public forum hosted by the Anchorage School District, Dan Sullivan continues to maintain a strict silence on education issues, leaving Alaska students, teachers and administrators with few ideas about what radical policies he would force on Alaska’s schools. Even Sullivan’s campaign website refuses to address education.

Sullivan’s extreme Outside backers of billionaires like the Koch brothers and U.S. Chamber of Commerce are filling the silence with their support for policies Alaskans oppose, like No Child Left Behind and vouchers that would drain public dollars out of public schools. 

The Chamber of Commerce has spent millions on Alaska’s Senate race in support of Dan Sullivan while slamming Alaska teachers by giving them a “D” grade.

“Alaska parents have no idea what Dan Sullivan’s education priorities are since he allows his extreme supporters like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce do the talking for him – letting Outside groups slam Alaska educators and students. Alaska families don’t know what policies Sullivan would force on Alaska schools, but they do know Mark Begich opposes the No Child Left Behind Act. Mark Begich has stood up to the Obama Administration to oppose this flawed policy and will continue to fight for Alaska families and children and common sense education policies,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Alaska educators, students and parents know Begich fought the one size fits all model of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and used his clout on the Senate Appropriations Committee to bring increased funding for Title I schools. Begich also pushed legislation to providefor housing in rural areas to help recruit teachers to underserved communities, provide for early education programs, and advocated forcomprehensive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) programs in Alaska schools.

During the 2008 U.S. Senate campaign, Mark Begich promised to work to help Alaska get out from under NCLB. During his first term he kept his promise and worked with the State of Alaska and the Department of Education to help get a waiver from the strict regulations imposed by NCLB. 

Begich released his Women and Families plan this week which highlights his priorities for improving education in Alaska:

  • Recruit more early education teachers and offset the cost of their education
  • Provide up to $3,000 in tax credits to families so they can put their children in quality early childhood education programs
  • Expand after school and summer programs so working families have a safe and supportive place for children while school is not in session

 

 

ANCHORAGE — Another Outside group is attacking Mark Begich with a misleading attack ad piggybacking on attacks from Senate candidate Dan Sullivan that have been proven false by an independent fact check organization.

 

What’s worse, the attack ad from Numbers USA failed to even include Alaska on a graphic of the United States, like the U.S. Chamber has in their graphics of the U.S. on their website.

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“It’s bad enough that Dan Sullivan, the Koch brothers and his Outside parents have dumped millions of dollars on Alaska’s airwaves with negative attack ads, but now they don’t even have the decency to include Alaska in their false cut and paste attack ads. These Outside groups don’t understand or share Alaska’s values and, just like Dan Sullivan, they want to buy power in Washington for themselves,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Senators Begich and Murkowski voted for comprehensive immigration reform that would secure America’s borders and fix our broken immigration system. Begich has long said he is opposed to amnesty.

Calls on Sullivan to disclose secret money with Counter PAC pledge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/10/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE–  Senator Mark Begich is joining Alaskans to call on all groups spending in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race to disclose the sources of their funding and end the secret attack ads flooding Alaska’s TVs. Doing so will end much of the negative campaigning and allow Alaskans to focus on the candidates and issues in the final weeks of the U.S. Senate race, not the flood of attack ads.

The Alaska Public Interest Research Group called on candidates to sign a pledge from Counter PAC to bring accountability to Alaska’s Senate race and end the practice of “dark money” in Alaska’s most expensive campaign.
Begich has signed the pledge requiring the sources of Outside money in Alaska’s Senate election to be disclosed. Failure by Outside groups to disclose the sources of their funding will require either campaign to contribute a pre-determined amount of money to a charity.
Begich has long been an advocate of increased transparency in elections and just recently announced his plan to permanently reform campaign finance by calling for a reversal of Citizens United, passage of the DISCLOSE Act and the adoption of Alaska law requiring groups to state their top three donors in ads. Mark Begich will continue to work to permanently end the existence of secret money in our elections. Begich has supported these efforts since the Supreme Court’s ruling and called on Dan Sullivan to support them as well.
“Mark Begich agrees with Alaskans that all voters deserve to know where campaign dollars and attack ads are coming from. Alaska requires contributions to be public and for any group to disclose their top three donors in their commercials, that’s Alaska common sense and it should be adopted nationally. The recent attempt by Dan Sullivan’s parents to conceal $300,000 made clear Sullivan doesn’t want to be honest about the millions he’s getting from Outside forces like the Koch brothers and Alaskans deserve to know where this money is coming from,” said Max Croes, Alaskans for Begich Communications Director.
Begich has also signed the We The People Alaska pledge, proposed by Alaskans and stating that corporations are not people.
The pledge would require the following organizations to disclose their donors:
Americans for Prosperity
Freedom Partners
Crossroads GPS
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
**Read Mark Begich’s pledge below**

 

The Candidates reject outside “expenditures,” as defined below, unless the funding source of the expenditure is clearly disclosed and can be traced back entirely to one or more of the following “transparent sources”:

  • An individual or source that is permitted to make direct contributions to candidates and party committees under the Federal Election Campaign Act, of 1971, as amended (the “Act”);
  • a well known corporation with revenue from trade or commerce of at least $50 million for each of the past five years;
  • a nonprofit that has more than one million members, has been in existence for more than 10 years, has members in all 50 states and raises 15 percent or less of its funds from corporations; or
  • An entity registered and filing reports as a “political committee” with the Federal Election Commission that has not accepted more than $10,000 from a corporation or nonprofit failing to meet the criteria described above.

Rejected Expenditures. The Candidates reject the following types of expenditures that fail to meet the criteria described above (the “expenditures”):

·       “independent expenditures,” as defined under the Act via television, radio, cable, satellite, or paid online advertising by a third party expressly advocating for or against a named, referenced (including by title), or otherwise identified Candidate; and
·       “electioneering communications, “ as defined under the Act, via any television, radio, cable, or satellite advertising by a third party that refers to an identified Candidate.

Proof of Qualification. Any entity making rejected “expenditures” concerning the Candidates must provide proof through press release or other public statement, wherever it does not already exist in the public domain, that it is a transparent source itself (as defined above), or that it is using transparent sources to fund its “expenditures,” through a specific segregated bank account, or otherwise.

Countering Rejected Expenditures.  If any rejected expenditure is made between October 14th and November 4th, 2014, the campaign committee of the Candidate that is advantaged by the rejected expenditure must, within three days of the expenditure, donate 50% of the cost of the rejected expenditure to a non-political, non-partisan, public charity of the opposing Candidate’s choice.

Resolution of Disputes. If any dispute arises with regard to whether a rejected expenditure has been made, which Candidate has been advantaged by a rejected expenditure, the amount of a rejected expenditure, whether the rejected expenditure has been countered as described in this Agreement, or any other question about the terms of this Agreement, either Candidate may seek a determination from CounterPAC, an independent, nonpartisan political organization dedicated to challenging and offsetting the effects of outside organizations on congressional campaigns. CounterPAC’s determination will be binding on the Candidates’ campaigns.

Further Cooperation of the Candidates. The Candidates will work together to limit the influence of third-party rejected expenditures in the campaign and to close any loopholes that may be discovered in this agreement during the course of the campaign.

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Sullivan Will Address Grand Camp After Snubbing ANB Debate Invitation

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/10/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes907-570-2065

 

ANCHORAGE– After refusing an invite from Juneau’s Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) to debate Senator Mark Begich, U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is expected to try and defend his record of suing Alaska Native peoples and tribes at the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp meeting in Petersburg.

“Dan Sullivan refused to put his record of ignoring rural Alaska and suing Alaska Native tribes on display at September’s Alaska Native Brotherhood debate in Juneau in September, but he won’t be able to run from his attacks on Alaska Native and rural communities when he addresses ANB and ANS Grand Camp today. Dan Sullivan sued Alaska Native elder Katie John in an attempt to restrict subsistence rights and he sued Alaska tribes in his bid to curtail Alaska Native tribal authority. Sullivan’s dangerous record on these issues shows an astounding lack of respect for land rights, tribal sovereignty and the rich tradition of subsistence that exists in Alaska,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Campaign Manager for Alaskans for Begich.
Sullivan has a pattern of avoiding debates with Begich. He initially declined to participate in the Kodiak fish debate, an Alaska tradition, only later caving to pressure and agreeing to attend. At the debate, Sullivan dodged critical questions on whether he would support the Pebble Mine, a project opposed by fishermen and subsistence users. As Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, he defended the Pebble Mine in court and advocated for its advancement.
Sullivan has avoided questions about his role in re-opening the Katie John case, undermining her subsistence rights and access to her family’s centuries old fish camp, as well as his role in suing the Kaltag tribe to assert state control over a tribe’s ability to adopt their own children – even if the child is in danger.

 

Katie John’s Son Speaks out Against Dan Sullivan

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/09/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE– Fred John Jr., son of Athabascan Alaska Native elder Katie John, is speaking out against Dan Sullivan’s anti-subsistence record and his litigation of Alaska Native subsistence rights. Sullivan filed a lawsuit against Fred’s mother in an attempt to restrict their family’s access to their traditional fish camp.

The Alaska Dispatch News published an op-ed by Fred John stating he is “deeply uncomfortable” with the idea of Dan Sullivan as a U.S. Senator, calling Sullivan’s lawsuit against his mother “misguided and wrong.” Sullivan pursued the case even though it had been overturned multiple times, with the 9th circuit ultimately rejecting Sullivan’s lawsuit.

“The final state official to sue was Dan Sullivan.” Fred John Jr.
Fred John Jr.
October 7, 2014
My mother was Katie John. Her name has become symbolic across the state of Alaska for her life-long legal battle to protect traditional rights. The state views her as a threat while her supporters view her as a hero. But to me, Katie John is simply “Mom,” a warm and loving woman who took care of me and my numerous siblings making sure we were clothed, fed and kept warm. Katie John took on the state of Alaska for the right to take care and feed her family the only way she knew how — the same way her ancestors had survived and existed for thousands of years.
Katie’s legal battles begin in 1987 after the state closed our family’s upriver traditional fish camp that had existed and fed our family for centuries. I have many happy memories of summers spent preparing for the cold months ahead by gathering and hunting food in this small area. My mother’s commitment to ensuring her children had a way to practice their traditional rights ran so deep that she spent the rest of her life in litigation against the state.
There were times that it seemed like my mother might finally win and be able to live the rest of her life in peace. But the state kept fighting her, even when the District Court ruled in her favor repeatedly. The final state official to sue was Dan Sullivan. When he was attorney general in 2010 he dug up awful history by taking the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Today, I can openly and honestly state that I am deeply uncomfortable with the reality that the man who re-opened my mom’s case could be Alaska’s next senator. Sullivan litigated against our family’s subsistence and traditional rights. It was misguided and wrong. Tony Knowles was in that same position at one time. Before making any bold decisions, he chose to visit our family’s fish camp, meet my mother and learn about the core reason for the Katie John case. Sullivan could have followed Knowles’ example. Instead, he chose to continue litigating against my mother.
Sullivan cannot represent Alaska, and he cannot represent subsistence rights in the U.S. Senate after suing my mother.
A year after my mother passed away at age 97, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to accept the state’s petition to overturn the lower court’s decision in her favor. This was another huge victory in the fight forsubsistence rights, at least on federal waters. We still have a long way to go in making sure those rights are protected on all lands and waters across the state.
I am hopeful that one day we will no longer have to struggle against the state for the right to take care of our families in the manner my mother and past ancestors survived. I am hopeful because of leaders like Sen. Mark Begich. Despite my reluctance to trust the state, I feel Begich has supported and advocated forsubsistence rights. I have watched him carefully from his first day in office — he has consistently made sure our voices are heard when making critical legislative decisions that affect our way of life. Forexample, the re-authorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Subsistence users are being included in the act for the first time in the bill’s history. Begich also introduced and passed the Traditional Foods Nourishment Act that has helped protect subsistence rights. This legislation stopped the federal government from prohibiting the serving of traditional foods in schools, hospitals, and elder-care facilities.
Begich’s actions prove the state does not have to be at war with our traditional and subsistence rights. After decades of battling the state at every turn, it’s a relief to have a politician who not only says he supports us but has also proven himself by fighting to defend and help us build on the progress my mother made.
My mother worked too hard during her lifetime to protect myself, my family and all future Alaska generations who depend on subsistence and traditional rights to survive. We need to elect Begich this coming election. We need him in the Senate to help us continue the Katie John legacy. May her life’s work survive and may she rest in peace.
Fred John Jr. (Ahtna Athabascan) grew up in Mentasta Lake. Last May, the 71-year-old and his brother walked 375 miles from Dot Lake to Anchorage to raise awareness for subsistence rights and carry on his mother Katie John’s legacy of bringing attention to the needs of Alaska Native people.

 

 

 

Failed Efforts Cost the State Thousands of Dollars

 

ANCHORAGE– Dan Sullivan continues to run from his record of undermining the rights of Alaska Natives and tribal sovereignty by suing tribes as attorney general.

Sullivan tried to restrict the rights and tribal authority of Alaska Natives and tribes by pursuing suits against the Kaltag tribe and Village of Tanana,  who sought to protect young children from dangerous situations through adoption. Sullivan fought against the tribal authority to care for and take custody of at risk children without state approval.

Sullivan’s failed lawsuits cost the state thousands of dollars and damaged Sullivan and the state’s relationship with tribes, with Alaska Native leaders calling Sullivan’s actions “extreme.”

Kaltag Suit:

 

Kaltag Tribe Took Emergency Custody Of Member Child Due To Allegations Of Abuse And Neglect, But The State Refused To Recognize The Adoptive Parents. “The Kaltag Tribal Council had taken emergency custody of one of its member children due to allegations of abuse and neglect and, after conducting hearings and finding a suitable home, it terminated the rights of the birth parents and issued an order of adoption to the adoptive parents in Huslia. Kaltag then notified the State of Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics about the adoption and requested a new birth certificate reflecting the names of the adoptive parents and the new last name of the child. The State refused, claiming that it did not owe full faith and credit to the decision of the Kaltag Tribal Court because Kaltag did not have jurisdiction to initiate the case at all.” [Native American Rights Fund pressrelease10/4/10]

Sullivan Argued The State Needed To Take Kaltag Case To The U.S. Supreme Court Because “We Need Clarity” On Tribal Adoption Issue. As reported by the Juneau Empire, “Legislators used Attorney General Dan Sullivan’s confirmation hearing Wednesday to question the Parnell administration’s actions on a ground-breaking child welfare case concerning tribal court rights. The state lost in lower courts but hired a Washington, D.C., law firm to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.” [Juneau Empire3/11/10]

Sullivan Had Poor Record on Tribal Sovereignty, Hired D.C. Law Firm At Over $1,000/Hour to Review Kaltag Tribal Court Authority Case. “Sullivan’s track record on Native rights fares just as poorly when it comes to tribal sovereignty. As Attorney General, Sullivan hired a high-powered Washington, D.C. law firm at over $1,000 per hour to secure U.S. Supreme Court review of a case that had recognized tribal court authority over member children. At issue was the State’s refusal to give full faith and credit to a tribal court order in a tribal adoption case heard by the Kaltag Tribal Court. Sullivan and his hired gun made the extreme argument that the Tribal Court had no jurisdiction to protect its own village children. Fortunately, not only did Alaska lose that case; the state was later forced to pay Kaltag’s attorneys fees. Sullivan’s hostility to tribal sovereignty was palpable in the state’s brief, even when the welfare of a small child hung in the balance.” [Bristol Bay Times, Native American Lawyers Heather Kendall-Miller & Lloyd Miller Op-Ed ,8/29/14]

June 1, 2009 To December 30, 2009: Kaltag Adoption Case Challenges Cost State Over $200,000. [PRA, Department of Law Letter, 1/28/14]

Tanana Villages:
Sullivan Announced He Had Petitioned Supreme Court in Tanana Case to Challenge Tribal Court Jurisdiction Over Non-Members. According to minutes from the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission, “Dan Sullivan has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court in the Tanana case, which is indirectly related to the Kaltag litigation, and which challenges tribal court jurisdiction over non-members. The State is merely seeking clarity from the Supreme Court on an area that they believe is confused – tribal jurisdiction over non-members. They are not challenging the legitimacy of the tribes’ status as tribes. The Solicitor General has been asked to provide guidance on this case. Loretta inquired re the final ICWA MOU draft, Dan responded that it will be a final draft soon.” [Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission Meeting, Minutes, 9/16/10]

Tanana Case Challenge Cost State of Alaska Over $37,000. According to a public records response letter from the Department of Law, “In the Village of Tanana case, from June 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010, the Department incurred in fees and costs – including fees for Department attorneys and paralegals – a total of $37,514.19. (The State retained no outside counsel.) [PRA, Department of Law Letter, 1/28/14]

Refuses to Back Additional Protections for Alaska Native and Rural Communities

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/08/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE– Dan Sullivan refuses to give his full backing to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) while continuing to run TV and radio ads claiming a record of working to stop sexual assault and domestic violence.

Sullivan continues to remain silent on the  “Alaska exclusion” and the efforts of Senators Begich and Murkowski to provide tribes authority to enforce laws against sexual assault or domestic violence.

Previously, when asked in an interview if he would support the reauthorization of VAWA – a historic, bipartisan bill that has given law enforcement essential tools to help reduce domestic violence across Alaska – Sullivan stumbled and said he’d have to “read the bill.” Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young both voted in favor of the bill in 2013.

Sullivan’s inability to answer questions from Alaskans has already gathered concern from local media outlets.

“Domestic violence in Alaska is occurring at alarmingly high rates – with many worried about how to protect their families, yet Dan Sullivan still refuses to say whether he supports the most central federal law in history to combatting sexual assault and domestic abuse, especially in rural Alaska. Alaskans deserve better than a politician who refuses to answer questions about issues important to Alaska’s tribes and rural communities,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Campaign Manager for Alaskans for Begich.

Sullivan has established an aggressively anti-rural Alaska and anti-Alaska Native record that includes re-opening the Katie John case, directly undermining subsistence rights for Alaska Natives. Sullivan also pursued the Kaltag court case, which involved a one year old child who was removed from her parents by the Kaltag tribe after she was found to be in a dangerous situation. Sullivan sued the Kaltag tribe in a move that undermined tribal sovereignty and has been called “a slap in the face.”

 

Begich Shares Alaskans’ Frustration, Focused on Bringing Alaskans Together, Fixing Problems

“Alaskans are not afraid to take on tough challenges” 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/07/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes — 907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE – Alaskans for Begich released a new radio ad today titled “Fix It.” The ad, which started airing today, is narrated by Mark Begich and tells the story of the challenges Alaskans have faced when it comes to accessing quality health care.

As Begich explains, before the Affordable Care Act, one third of Alaskans trying to access individual policies were denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions and other unfair reasons.  Before health care reform, being a woman was considered a pre-existing condition, sick children were denied coverage, and families were unsure of whether their basic health needs would be met.

“To me this is a critical core issue for Alaskans. When I think about the health care law, frustrated, disappointed, you can put a lot of words towards it, but everyday I work to try to fix it because the way Alaskans operate, we come together to learn how to solve the problems and move forward. We are not afraid to take on tough challenges,” says Begich.

As Begich notes that he shares Alaskans’ “frustration” and “disappointment” with how the Administration has handled the transition to the new health care law, he also highlights his relentless efforts to fix the law so it works better for Alaska families and small businesses.

Begich continues to fight for critical fixes to the health care law.

Begich Introduced the Copper Plan Which Could Reduce Premiums By 18%:  An Independent study by the Council forAffordable Health Coverage has said that Begich’s Copper Plan could reduce premiums by 18% and save taxpayers nearly $6 billion.

Begich Eliminated Burdensome Regulations to Ease the Transition for Small Businesses: Begich led the charge to fight the Administration and eliminate the 1099 regulation which placed unnecessary filing requirements on small businesses.

Begich Introduced Legislation to Provide More Tax Credits for Small Businesses for a Longer Period of  Time:Begich’s bill, The Small Business Tax Credits Accessibility Act, improves access to small business tax credits and extends the number of years small businesses are eligible to receive these credits.

Begich Eliminated Unnecessary Loophole That Unfairly Targeted Volunteer Firefighters: Begich successfully fought the Administration and won in his efforts to exempt volunteer fire departments from being required to count their volunteers as full-time employees.

Begich Stood up to Administration to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence and Their Access to Health Care Subsidies: Begich successfully pushed back on the Administration and eliminated a loophole that could have required victims of domestic violence face unfair barriers in receiving the tax credits they are owed for their health care costs.

Transcript of “Fix It:”

Senator Mark Begich: I’m Mark Begich running for U.S Senate, and I approved this message. Before the health care law was passed one third of Alaskans who tried to get individual policies were denied for preexisting conditions and other reasons. It was incredible stress that families faced. To me this is a critical core issue for Alaskans. When I think about the health care law, frustrated, disappointed, you can put a lot of words towards it, but everyday I work to try to fix it because the way Alaskans operate, we come together to learn how to solve the problems and move forward. We are not afraid to take on tough challenges. That is why I have introduced the Copper Plan that lowers premiums by another 18%. I also got rid of this burdensome paperwork put on small businesses and now I have introduced legislation to give small businesses more tax credits so they can afford to pay for their insurance for their employees. Everyday I am working to fix it, make it better for every Alaskan. That is what I have spent my life doing, trying to solve problems, getting things done, and that is what I am going to continue to do.

Narrator: Paid for by Alaskans for Begich.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/07/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE– Mark Begich is announcing a new policy plan to empower and protect Alaska Native and rural communities by protecting Native culture, making communities safer to live in, and providing our rural areas with the tools and resources they need to grow and strengthen their communities.

“In the U.S. Senate I have fought to provide for and protect Alaska Native communities and rural Alaska. From delivering hundreds of millions for infrastructure in rural Alaska to fighting forimproved public safety to standing up for subsistence rights, I will continue to be an ally of rural Alaska in the Senate. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished for rural Alaska in my first term, but there’s more work to be done and rural Alaska needs a fighter who understands the unique needs of our communities, not someone who’s going to learn on the job,” said Senator Mark Begich.

DOWNLOAD BEGICH’S PLAN TO STRENGTHEN RURAL ALASKA AND ALASKA NATIVE COMMUNITIES HERE

Protecting and Strengthening Subsistence Rights
Mark strongly supports subsistence rights for Alaska Native people and has fought hard to preserve them during his first term. He recognizes the essential role subsistence plays in the food security and cultural well being of our rural communities and has forced the federal government to increase its understanding and acceptance of this traditional way of life.
Promoting Sustainable Rural Economic Opportunity
For rural Alaska to thrive, we must continue to invest in the foundations of economic success: infrastructure, affordable transportation, job training programs, and social services. Mark knows there is no more pressing infrastructure issue for rural Alaska than addressing energy costs, which are among the highest in the nation. These prices place a heavy burden on rural Alaskans, taking up about 40 percent of a family’s budget on average. To provide rural Alaskans with the opportunities they deserve, they must be fully connected to high-speed broadband.  At the same time, we need to increase job-training programs so that all Alaskans can be prepared for in-demand jobs that pay more. Finally, Mark will make sure that the federal government keeps up its end of the bargain by cleaning up the contaminated lands returned to our tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, and communities.
Empowering and Protecting Alaska Native and Rural Communities
Mark is confident that rural and tribal communities know what they need to protect their people and address problems. Preventing substance abuse, and domestic violence are keys to strengthening our communities. Mark has strongly supported increased resources fortribal courts to make sure communities have the tools they need to protect their women and children. In addition to respecting tribal jurisdiction, we must also respect Alaska Native language and culture, including at the ballot box. This is why Mark has been fighting to make sure Alaska Natives have equal access to vote – whether they speak Yup’ik, Gwich’in, English, or other languages.
Expanding Educational Opportunity
For Alaska Native and rural students to excel, Mark knows they need culturally relevant education.  Learning their traditional languages and incorporating Native ways of knowing are vital to well-rounded learning.  Tribes and rural schools need the flexibility to be innovative in how they teach their students, not be stifled by one-size-fits-all federal mandates.  Mark also knows that rural Alaska needs skilled workers, which requires strong early learning programs and technical education.  Rural economies need skilled workers, and Alaska students can become that workforce to strengthen our communities and create more home-grown jobs.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/07/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes — 907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE– Despite serving as Alaska’s top law enforcement officer and claiming to defend the rights of Alaska Natives, Dan Sullivan refuses to share his thoughts on the Voting Rights Act. Another in a list of simple questions Sullivan refuses to answer, including how much money he has received from the Koch brothers and whether he supports the Violence Against Women Act.

Sullivan “would not say” how he felt about the Voting Rights Act and the protections it offered for Alaska Natives when asked by the Associated Press. Sullivan only stated that his record would “speak for itself.”

“Dan Sullivan wants his record to ‘speak for itself,’ that’s exactly the problem for Alaska Natives and rural Alaska. Dan Sullivan’s anti-subsistence and anti-tribal sovereignty lawsuits show Sullivan won’t ever stand up for rural Alaska. All Alaskans deserve equal access to ballot boxes and voting, if Dan Sullivan doesn’t believe that, he should come out and say it,” said Max Croes Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

A candidate comparison from the Associated Press:

BEGICH:

“Begich has introduced legislation aimed at protecting voting rights for Alaska Natives and American Indians. It was meant to complement legislation that would rewrite a formula for special protections under the federal Voting Rights Act after the previous formula was thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.”

SULLIVAN:

“Sullivan would not say if he thought there should be a requirement that states with a history of discrimination against voters be required to get federal approval before making election changes, saying he would let his record speak for itself. Alaska fell into that category before the high court’s ruling and in 2012 had sued over the formula.”