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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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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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/10/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes – 907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE  – Alaskans and pension fund beneficiaries spoke out today against U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s decision to settle a $2.8 billion dollar lawsuit for twenty cents on the dollar and contribute to a shortfall – leaving billions of dollars on the table and potentially threatening the Permanent Fund

“Dan Sullivan talked a big game about bringing home billions for Alaskans, but the numbers speak for themselves: Sullivan cut Alaskans a bad deal and left billions of dollars on the table, leaving the bill with Alaskans and leaving the door open for a raid on the Permanent Fund,” said Max Croes Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

The Numbers:

What the damages were: $2.8 BILLION

What the state actually got:  $403 million

What Sullivan paid out to a New York Law Firm: $91 million

What Dan Sullivan left on the table: $2.3 billion

By comparison other lawsuits netted: $.45 cents on the dollar

What Alaskan’s received: $.20 cents on the dollar

Dan Sullivan assured Alaskans an all but certain victory against an Outside firm, Mercer Investment Company, that he said committed fraud.  Sullivan called the case “amazing” and told Alaskans he expected to win, but instead delivered a quarter of what Alaskans were owed. Description: https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

The claim check by the Alaska Dispatch News recently confirmed that “Sullivan signed the settlement agreement for billions less than had been sought.”

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

ANCHORAGE — U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan had no defense for the tax credit investigation announced in Maryland last week. Sullivan declared his $1.3 million Maryland home his “principal residence” in 2006, an act a Maryland tax assessor says was done “under the penalty of perjury.”

Sullivan’s residency declaration conflicts with pending claims to have been a 17 year resident of Alaska who voted in Alaska while declaring his principal residence in Maryland.

“Alaskans can’t trust Dan Sullivan to be straight with them about who he is – let alone answer questions about his taxes and what he would do as a senator. If Dan Sullivan can’t be honest with Alaskans about where he lived, voted or paid taxes what can he be honest about?,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Sullivan has made five differing declarations about his residency since 2009 including a claim of 17 years of continuous Alaska residency. In private communications Sullivan has acknowledged that he did not live in Alaska between 2002 and 2009. A fact he affirmed when applying for a non-resident Alaska fishing license in 2009.

An interview with Maryland tax assessor Robert Young by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is drawing attention to these complications:

When the Sullivans bought the house in 2006, he and his wife, Julie, signed a sworn statement — under penalty of perjury — that the home would be their primary residence, according to documents provided by the Begich campaign.

Young, the Maryland tax assessment director, said that document supported granting of a tax credit that year and subsequent other credits in 2007 and 2008. There was also a change in state law making the requirements stricter and the application process less ambiguous, Young said.

Alaskans for Begich recently released a memo outlining Dan Sullivan’s Maryland problems. A KTUU fact check echoed similar concerns about conflicting claims Dan Sullivan has made about his residency, asking: “So how long has Sullivan been in Alaska? It’s tough to say exactly.”

“They’re not from Alaska, but they’re trying to buy Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat.”

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

ANCHORAGE – Alaskans for Begich has released a Buzzfeed list underlining the Koch Brothers efforts to buy Alaska’s senate seat by highlighting their decidedly anti-Alaska history of shuttering a refinery, slashing 80 jobs, driving up the price of asphalt and spending millions on attack ads that could have been used to keep the refinery open.

 

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.

 

“History shows that since 1990, no candidate who has skipped the Kodiak fisheries debate has gone on to win their election.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/08/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes – 907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE  – Despite the tens of thousands of jobs Alaska’s fisheries provide, U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan will be “too busy” to participate in the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce’s fisheries debate, an Alaska tradition for statewide candidates dating back to 1990. Sullivan has no standing commitments on the day of the October 1 debate.

“It is the second time this year that Sullivan has declined to participate in the Chamber of Commerce event that has been an election year tradition since 1990.” [Welch, Alaska Dispatch News, 9/8/2014]

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.

“I can’t recall a time that a candidate has not participated in the Kodiak debate. It’s a must-do for statewide candidates. It’s not an option. It’s clear he doesn’t have the same Alaska values as we do when it comes to our fisheries, and I think he is doing an incredible disservice to Alaskans,” said Senator Mark Begich.

Republican primary opponent Mead Treadwell regularly raised concerns about Sullivan’s knowledge of Alaska fisheries and the need for a U.S. Senator who has a full understanding of the industry and diverse fishing interests.

Senator Begich continues to amass support from the fishing industry, touting a rare endorsement just this week from the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association (PSVOA), whose Executive Director praised Begich for his “deep interest in the commercial fishery and its importance in maintaining sustainable coastal communities.” Begich is also endorsed by the United Fishermen of Alaska.

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, which has jurisdiction over federal fisheries management, Mark Begich is proud to play a leading role in reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act which will help protect and strengthen Alaska’s fishing industry.

Read Laine Welch’s article below:

 

Laine Welch: Sullivan will miss Kodiak fisheries debate

September 8, 2014

“Surprised and disappointed” was the reaction by Sen. Mark Begich upon learning that his opponent Dan Sullivan has bowed out of an Oct. 1 fisheries debate in Kodiak. It is the second time this year that Sullivan has declined to participate in the Chamber of Commerce event that has been an election year tradition since 1990.

“I can’t recall a time that a candidate has not participated in the Kodiak debate,” Begich said as he readied to head back to Washington, D.C., on Friday. “It’s a must-do for statewide candidates. It’s not an option. It’s clear he doesn’t have the same Alaska values as we do when it comes to our fisheries, and I think he is doing an incredible disservice to Alaskans. But that is his MO. He avoids issues, only shows up at very controlled settings, and talks in bumper stickers and applause lines, and that’s all he likes to do.”

Sullivan campaign manager Ben Sparks told debate organizers that Sullivan does not have a prior commitment keeping him from the fisheries debate, but that “he is just too busy with all the traveling he is doing.” The two-hour debate is broadcast live to over 330 Alaska communities.

“I think it’s a shame because Alaskans will miss out on a forum that focuses on the largest employer in the state,” Begich added. “Seafood is our biggest export by far and nearly 85 percent of all the fish caught in Alaska comes from waters that are under federal jurisdiction. If you can’t even have a debate, how do Alaskans know where he stands?”

Sullivan already has a reputation for shunning Alaska media and was criticized last week for avoiding a debate on Native rights issues in Juneau.

“The Alaska way is to debate fiercely, discuss, find solutions to challenges, and move forward. It is not to abandon, run, hide and not talk to people who might disagree with you,” Begich retorted. “You have to show up in order to work together. He is unwilling to talk about issues that are important to Alaska, and leaving thousands of Alaskans wondering where he stands.”

The fisheries debate will go on, said Trevor Brown, executive director of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce.

“We have pre-sold lots of sponsorships and lined up all the radio stations. Sen. Begich will be there, and hopefully, other third party U.S. Senate candidates. We also are talking about adding an hour for U.S. House candidates Don Young and Forrest Dunbar if both can make it,” Brown said.

History shows that since 1990, no candidate who has skipped the Kodiak fisheries debate has gone on to win their election. Case in point: Sean Parnell vs. Don Young in 2008.

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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