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“Sullivan hasn’t made it [to Bethel] in Person”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/21/2014

ANCHORAGE — KDLG aired a story from KYUK’s Ben Matheson regarding the strong ground game Mark Begich’s Senate campaign is running in Bethel, where volunteers are reaching out to their friends and neighbors. The story includes Mark Begich’s travel to rural Alaska to meet directly with voters to meet and hear their concerns. In the story, Dan Sullivan’s campaign admits it has no offices in rural Alaska and that Sullivan has not traveled to Bethel during his campaign.

As Alaska’s attorney general and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner, Dan Sullivan traveled to Bethel and Paris, France using state resources the same number of times, once.

From KYUK’s Ben Matheson story (beginning at 10:34):

“This door to door effort is a key part of Begich’s strategy for reaching the rural vote. The campaign has 13 field offices across the state, double that of his efforts in 2008. They have staff in Bethel for the first time in decades….Sullivan has five offices, but none in rural Alaska…Both campaigns say nothing replaces having candidates meet with voters in person. Begich visited in July to open the Bethel office and travel down river a few miles to the village of Napaskiak. Sullivan has not made it in person.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/21/2014

ANCHORAGE — Mark Begich is committed to growing and strengthening Alaska’s military infrastructure and missions. In the U.S. Senate Begich has used his clout to bring increased military construction projects and resources to Alaska’s military installations. In a second term, Begich is committed to delivering for Alaska’s military bases and military families to keep them both strong.

“Mark Begich knows thousands of Alaska jobs depend on our military installations and he’s proud of his record of delivering for Alaska’s military bases, which are an integral part of Alaska’s communities. Mark Begich has worked to bring major investments to Alaska’s military installations and will always fight to make sure our bases and military members have the resources and support they need to accomplish their missions,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Some Examples of Mark Begich Delivering for Alaska:

Statewide Military Construction Funding:

Department Of Defense Spending Bill Brings Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To Alaska’s Military Bases. “Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, announced more riches may be coming to Alaska in the Defense Department spending bill. Awaiting the president’s signature, it includes hundreds of millions of dollars for Alaska bases.” [Alaska Dispatch, 12/16/11]

Begich, Murkowski ‘Landed More Than $200 Million’ In New Military Spending From 2014 Omnibus Spending Bill. The Fairbanks Daily Newsminer reported, “Interior Alaska military installations landed more than $200 million in new spending in a 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that was unveiled by congressional leaders late Monday… Both of Alaska’s senators are on the Appropriations Committee. Sen. Mark Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski both issued news releases Tuesday touting Alaska’s success in the process.” [Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, 1/15/14]

Joint Base Elemendorf Richardson (JBER):

JBER Received Over $200 Million For Four Construction Projects Through The Department Of Defense Spending Bill. The Anchorage Daily Newsreported,  “Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, announced more riches may be coming to Alaska in the Defense Department spending bill. Joint-Base Elmendorf Richardson: $74 million for the Brigade Complex, $3.6 million for organizational parking, $26 million for a physical fitness facility, $97 million for the Brigade Combat Team (Light) Complex” . [Alaska Dispatch, 12/16/11]

Begich Secured $97 Million For The Construction Of The JBER Brigade Combat Team Complex. The Anchorage Daily News reported,  “Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, announced more riches may be coming to Alaska in the Defense Department spending bill. Awaiting the president’s signature, it includes hundreds of millions of dollars for Alaska bases. Highlights include: $97 million for the Brigade Combat Team (Light) Complex.” [Anchorage Daily News, 12/16/11]

The Barracks Renewal Would House 72 Soldiers For Fort Richardson Personnel. JBER reported, “New Barracks Facility (Barracks) Purpose: The projects would provide new and substantially improved living quarters for approximately 60 enlisted personnel with a maximum utilization of 72 soldiers. New housing facilitates would meet USARAK and Army requirements for improved quality of life for military personnel, enhance the capabilities to perform military activities in military operations and be compatible with current standards and criteria. Need: This project is required to help fill a housing shortage due to the proposed transformation of the 172nd Brigade to a SBCT. Stationing requirements of SBCT would increase soldier populations at FRA. Adequate housing is not currently available. Inadequate, substandard and crowded military housing increase maintenance and operational costs, energy use and decreased quality of life for military personnel, which results in low retention rates for highly trained and skilled soldiers.” [JBER, accessed 8/28/14]

Fort Wainwright:

Department Of Defense Spending Bill Gave Fort Wainwright $114 Million For The New Aviation Complex. [Alaska Dispatch, 12/16/11]

Air Force Received Over $17 Million Through The Recovery Act To Put Wind Generators Near Point Hope And For Energy Improvements To Fort Wainwright The Anchorage Daily News reported, “In other stimulus money for the Air Force: $14.1 million will go for wind generators at long-range radar stations near Point Hope, Platinum and Scammon Bay $3.45 million is set for energy improvements at Fort Wainwright facilities.” [Anchorage Daily News, 4/21/09]

Eielson Air Force Base:

Eielson Air Force Base Received Over $59 Million For Two Construction Projects Through The Department Of Defense Spending Bill. TheAnchorage Daily News reported,  “Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, announced more riches may be coming to Alaska in the Defense Department spending bill. $45 million for dormitory, $14.8 million to upgrade rail line.” [Alaska Dispatch, 12/16/11]

Eielson Air Force Base Received $53.9 Million Through The Recovery Act To Replace 76 Family Housing Units. The Anchorage Daily News reported, “The Air Force will spend in Alaska $53.9 million appropriated under the economic stimulus bill, said U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to replace 76 family housing units on Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks. Contracts are slated to be awarded in September, with construction starting next year and completed by 2012.” [Anchorage Daily News, 4/21/09]

Fort Greely:

Fort Greely Received $82 Million For The Mechanical-Electrical Building.The Fairbanks Daily Newsminer reported, “The $1.1 trillion spending plan, which was passed with bipartisan support, includes funding for projects at Fort Wainwright, Clear Air Force Station and Fort Greely. It includes a new $58 million aviation storage hangar and $45 million aviation battalion complex at Fort Wainwright; $82 million mechanical-electrical building at Fort Greely; and a $17.2 million upgrade for the ballistic missile defense system early warning radar at Clear.” [Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, 1/15/14]

Clear Air Force Station:

Clear Air Force Station Received $17.2 Million For Upgrades To The Ballistic Missile Defense System Early Warning Radar. The Fairbanks Daily Newsminer reported, “The $1.1 trillion spending plan, which was passed with bipartisan support, includes funding for projects at Fort Wainwright, Clear Air Force Station and Fort Greely. It includes a new $58 million aviation storage hangar and $45 million aviation battalion complex at Fort Wainwright; $82 million mechanical-electrical building at Fort Greely; and a $17.2 million upgrade for the ballistic missile defense system early warning radar at Clear.” [Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, 1/15/14]

Kodiak Special Operations:

Kodiak Special Operations Forces Received Over $18 Million For A Cold Weather Maritime Training Facility Through The Department Of Defense Spending Bill. [Alaska Dispatch, 12/16/11]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/20/2014

ANCHORAGE — Mark Begich received the support of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) for his work to promote general aviation and pilots rights. Mark Begich co-founded the Senate General Aviation caucus with Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to bring senators together on a bipartisan basis to discuss aviation issues impacting Alaska and the rest of country.

“I meet with Alaskans in villages, hubs and towns across the state and understand air travel is often the only method to reach many Alaska communities. I have taken on the Obama Administration many times to ensure the rights and independence of Alaska pilots are not infringed upon.  I work to find bipartisan solutions to deliver results for Alaska’s aviation community and pilots. I’m honored to have the support of AOPA,” said Senator Mark Begich. 

AOPA had this to say about Mark Begich:

“No state is more dependent on general aviation (GA) than Alaska, and Sen. Mark Begich has made protecting and promoting GA a priority during his first term in office. He helped launch and co-chairs the Senate General Aviation Caucus. This year, Begich has been at the helm of two important pieces of legislation affecting pilots. He was one of the four lead co-sponsors on a bill to stop the FAA from requiring sleep apnea testing for thousands of pilots and was an early co-sponsor of the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act designed to allow thousands of pilots to fly without requiring a third class medical certificate. He sent a letter to the FAA demanding that the agency stop dragging their feet on third class medical reform, and he has consistently opposed user fees. Begich also acted as the lead Democratic co-sponsor for the Pilot’s Bill of Rights that passed in 2012 and sits at the intersection of several power committees affecting AOPA’s advocacy efforts, including the Senate aviation subcommittee of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; the Senate Appropriations Committee; and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.”

Begich has run a TV ad about his support for Alaska’s pilots and general aviation.

Several examples of Mark Begich delivering for Alaska’s GA community:

Babbitt Announced $59 Million In Airport Improvement Grants For Sitka, Chefornak, Soldotna & Anchorage. Reported the Anchorage Daily News in August 2010, “Babbitt announced about $59 million in airport improvement grants, including $30 million to expand the runway safety area for Sitka, and $20.5 million to continue construction of a replacement airport for Chefornak, a village southwest of Bethel. Other grants are $2.2 million to add to the apron space at Soldotna Municipal Airport and $500,000 for a noise study at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.” [Anchorage Daily News, 8/25/10]

IRS Says State Air Carriers Can Apply for Excise Tax Refunds. Reported the Alaska Journal of Commerce in March 2014, “In a March 14 letter to Sen. Mark Begich, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen offered refunds to Alaska air carriers that improperly applied disputed excise taxes meant for regular passenger service. Audits of six air carriers since 2010 for excise tax application have led to “tax bills” ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to nearly $2 million per business, according to Alaska Air Carriers Association Executive Director Joy Journeay. Begich called the concession a “great win for Alaska” and a “huge step in the right direction” in a March 17 interview with the Journal. [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 3/20/14]

FAA Reauthorization:

FAA Reauthorization Included No New User Fees For General Aviation Aircraft. Reported the Alaska Dispatch in February 2012, “Begich, speaking on the floor of the Senate prior to the vote, pointed out — twice — that the reauthorization includes no new user fees for general aviation aircraft. The subject of a proposed $100 “user fee” per flight for small commercial aircraft has been a hot topic in the aviation community, with Murkowski writing a letter to President Obama in November expressing her concern that the fee would unfairly affect small aviation business owners.” [Alaska Dispatch, 2/6/12]

FAA Reauthorization Exempted Some Alaska Air Carriers From Regulations On Shipping Compressed Oxygen Tanks. Reported the Alaska Dispatch in February 2012, “The bill also allows some Alaska air carriers to bypass the usual regulations that surround shipping tanks filled with compressed oxygen. Many small planes traveling in rural Alaska don’t have the space for the special packaging normally required to ship compressed oxygen by air.” [Alaska Dispatch, 2/6/12]

Begich Worked With Young To Add Exemption For Alaska Carriers To Reauthorization In 2011. Reported the Alaska Journal of Commerce in February 2011, “Young provided an amendment in the House version providing the exemption “in circumstances in which transportation of the cylinders by ground or vessel is unavailable and transportation by aircraft is the only practical means for transporting the cylinders to their destination.” Begich said the Senate version contains language also providing an exemption in Alaska. In working with Young, Begich said when the bill goes to conference he believes he will ‘get the language that will allow the flexibility in rural Alaska so they can transport the oxygen tanks in a reasonable and rational way rather than what they have to go through now.’ Begich said his office put pressure on the FAA to provide waivers for Alaska carriers last year, and when they didn’t, he said he would provide legislation if they would not provide the regulation. ‘The FAA still doesn’t like both our version and Don Young’s version, but they’re going to be living with one of them,’ Begich said.” [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 2/25/11]

Avgas:

Begich Called On EPA To Extend Public Comment Period On Proposed Rule To Require Small Airplane Owners To Switch To Unleaded Gasoline, Potentially Grounding 10,000 Piston-Based Alaska Aircraft. Reported Inside Energy with Federal Lands in July 2010, “Alaska Senator Mark Begich asked the Environmental Protection Agency last week to hold off on plans that would likely force small-airplane owners to switch to unleaded gasoline. Most of the more than 10,000 planes used in Alaska are piston-based and would be unable to run on unleaded, decimating a way of life, Begich said in a letter Thursday to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Begich asked Jackson to extend the public comment period for the proposed rule-making until October 31, to allow more time for Alaskan aviators to comment before a rule is drafted.” [Inside Energy with Federal Lands, 7/12/10]

Begich: “The Vast Majority Of Commercial Aircraft In Alaska Are Smaller Piston-Driven Aircraft, Which Use Avgas.” Reported Inside Energy with Federal Lands in July 2010, “‘When Alaskans in a remote village require medical treatment at a hospital, most frequently they travel to the larger community via piston-engine aircraft,’ Begich said. ‘The EPA’s regulatory announcement for the proposed rulemaking on [aviation gasoline] states, ‘lead is not used in jet fuel, the fuel utilized by most commercial aircraft.’ While this statement may hold true for the Lower-48 states, the vast majority of commercial aircraft in Alaska are smaller piston-driven aircraft, which use avgas.’” [Inside Energy with Federal Lands, 7/12/10]

Begich Pressed FAA Nominee Huerta To Commit To Flexibility On Phasing In Any Avgas Restrictions. According to a June 2012 press release from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, “Huerta took a stronger stance when questioned by Begich on avgas. The Alaska senator and General Aviation Caucus Co-Chair noted the critical importance of the issue in his state, which relies heavily on aviation to meet basic transportation needs. The FAA completely understands the importance of having reasonable alternatives before any effort is made to phase out avgas, Huerta said. I’m very committed to working with EPA so as to ensure that doesn’t happen. Begich pressed Huerta to make sure his definition of reasonable included economical, and Huerta said it certainly does.” [Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association press release, 6/21/12]

Privacy:

Begich Joined With Alaska Delegation in Calling On Federal TSA To Drop Proposal To Require Private Aircraft To Follow Airline-Type Rules. Reported the Alaska Journal of Commerce in July 2009, “Alaska’s congressional delegation say they are pushing the federal Transportation Security Administration to back off on a proposal that would require privately owned aircraft to follow airline-type rules, regulations that many in the aviation industry say would stymie general aviation in Alaska. . . . ‘General aviation is essential to transportation in our state,’ said Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska. ‘We are not opposed to security improvements. However, any new regulations should not be overly burdensome to Alaska’s general aviation community. While I understand the intentions behind the program, the LASP will create rules that don’t make sense for aviation in Alaska.’” [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 7/17/09]

Begich Pledged To Pursue Legislative Fix If Final Rule From TSA Was Overly Burdensome On General Aviation. Reported the Alaska Journal of Commerce in July 2009, “The Alaska delegation said they are keeping a watchful eye on TSA and any new rules that could affect aviation in Alaska. ‘If the final rule is overly burdensome on general aviation and Alaska businesses, I will seek legislative changes to protect Alaskan aviators in the TSA authorization bill that we should be taking up before the end of the year,’ said Begich. ‘This legislation (HR2200) recently passed the House and has been referred to the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, of which I am a member.’” [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 7/17/09]

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“Deciding Vote” Claim Has Been Repeatedly Debunked

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/20/2014

ANCHORAGE — Dan Sullivan is continuing his barrage of dishonest attacks about Mark Begich’s record to avoid discussing his own failed record as Alaska’s attorney general. Recent campaign literature paid for and endorsed by Dan Sullivan includes the regularly debunked claim: Mark Begich was the “deciding vote” on the Affordable Care Act. This attack is not unique to Alaska; it’s simply a national Republican talking point from a candidate who receives millions in support from Outside groups like the Koch brothers.

“Dan Sullivan’s attacks are the same as his candidacy, built and powered by Outside interests, not Alaskans. The billionaire Koch brothers continue to give Dan Sullivan his talking points and Alaskans aren’t buying it,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

See what the independent fact checks had to say about this claim being made across the country:

FactCheck.org Said Ads That Said Various Senators Were Deciding Vote For ACA “Push[ed] The Bounds Of Accuracy.” In June 2012, FactCheck.org wrote: “The 60 Plus ad against Nelson also claims that he ‘was a deciding vote for the health care law.’ That’s a stretch. We suppose any vote for the law could technically be called a ‘deciding’ one, but Bill Nelson wasn’t a pivotal vote any more than any other senator. It was another Nelson — Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska — who was one of the last senators to sign on to the bill and give Democrats enough votes to pass it, a fact that Bill Nelson highlighted on his Facebook page. Other ads, including several from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have claimed that other lawmakers — Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Brown of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana — ‘cast a deciding vote’ for the law. We think it pushes the bounds of accuracy to say anyone who voted for it was ‘a deciding vote.’” [FactCheck.org, 6/10/12]

PolitIfact Florida Ruled Claim That Bill Nelson Was Deciding Vote For ACA “Mostly False.” [PolitiFact Florida, 6/14/12]

PolitiFact Ohio Said It Was “False” To Claim Brown Was ACA’s Deciding Vote. [PolitiFact Ohio, 5/30/12]

FACTCHECK.ORG: A “Stretch” To Say McCaskill Was Deciding Vote For ACA. [Factcheck.org, 2/21/12]

PolitiFact: Ken Cuccinelli Claim That Mark Warner Provided The Tie-Breaking ACA Vote Is “Misleading” And “Mostly False” Since It Since Warner Announced His Intentions Three Months Before The Vote. “Cuccinelli said Warner provided ‘the tiebreaking vote’ that allowed Obamacare to become reality. There’s a sliver of truth here in that Warner did indeed provide a crucial vote that helped Democrats get to the 60 votes needed to advance the Affordable Care Act. But it’s misleading to say he cast ‘the vote’ when Warner was joined by 59 other senators who, by Cuccinelli’s rationale, also would have cast the tie-breaking vote. Warner was not among the last holdouts that boosted the Senate to a super majority; he made his intentions known three months before the vote. We rate the claim Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 11/18/13]

PolitiFact: Jim Rubens Claim That Jeanne Shaheen Was The Deciding ACA Vote Is “Mostly False” Since She Gave Early Indications That She Supported Health Care Reform. “Rubens said Shaheen was ‘the deciding vote to pass Obamacare.’ It’s true that all 60 Democratic votes – including Shaheen’s – were needed to pass the measure through the Senate. However, Shaheen, unlike Ben Nelson, was hardly a holdout until the last minute; she gave indications early on that she supported the president’s reform plan. We rate Rubens’ claim Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 11/4/13]

Politifact Ruled Claim That Mark Udall Was Deciding Vote For ACA “Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 4/15/14]

Last Senator To Commit To ACA Was Actually Sen. Nelson Of Nebraska – A Fact National Republicans Have Acknowledged

NRSC Spokesman Admitted That Sen. Nelson Was the 60th Vote for Healthcare Reform. “NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said it ‘may be true in a technical sense’ that Tester wasn’t the 60th senator to cast a ‘yes’ vote.” [Politico3/23/11]

PolitiFact: “If Any Democratic Senator Deserves The Distinction Of Clearing The Way For The Health Reform Law, It Is Sen. Ben Nelson Of Nebraska.” “The charge that this or that Democrat cast the deciding vote for the Affordable Care Act has shown up before. In June, a conservative group leveled it at Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla, (PolitiFact Florida rated that Mostly False), and in 2012, a Republican challenger made the same claim about Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio (PolitiFact Ohio rated that False). The reality is that if any Democratic senator deserves the distinction of clearing the way for the health reform law, it is Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. As was widely reported at the time, Nelson delivered the 60th vote needed to send the bill to the floor for a vote.” [PolitiFact, 10/7/13]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/18/2014

Mark Begich is committed to growing and maintaining Alaska’s military infrastructure and missions. In the U.S. Senate, Senator Mark Begich used his clout to deliver results and increased resources to Alaska’s military members and installations.

Begich fought to keep F-16s at Eielson Air Force Base saving thousands of jobs, pushed for Eielson Air Force Base to be named the preferred location of two new squadrons of F-35s and successfully advocated for additional F-22s to be placed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

“Thousands of Alaskans serve in Alaska’s Air Force and Mark Begich deeply appreciates their service and fights to make sure they have the resources necessary to accomplish their missions. Mark Begich is proud to work with the Alaska delegation towards delivering the F-35s to Fairbanks, the largest economic investment in Interior Alaska since TAPS. And Mark Begich remains committed to keeping the F-16s at Eielson and working to protect the F-22s at JBER during his second term,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

 

 

Deliver F-35s to Eielson Air Force Base:

Fairbanks News-Miner Editorial Praised Congressional Delegation For Efforts To Secure F-35 Squadron For Eielson. Wrote the editorial board of the Fairbanks News-Miner in October 2013, “With the F-16 squadron at Eielson Air Force Base more secure, attention now turns to the possibility that the military installation a few dozen miles southeast of Fairbanks could host the next-generation fighter jet, the F-35. It’s good to see Alaska’s congressional delegation advocating for that outcome.” [Editorial, Fairbanks News-Miner, 10/15/13]

Begich, Murkowski & Young Wrote To Air Force Leadership To Press For F-35 Squadron At Eielson. Reported the Associated Press in October 2013, “Alaska’s congressional delegation is lobbying Air Force leaders to base F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks. U.S. Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski, along with Rep. Don Young, sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning and Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Walsh touting the value and strategic location of Eielson. Once destined for part-time status, the Air Force earlier this month decided to keep an F-16 squadron at Eielson and not move it to an Anchorage base. The delegation says in a release that the Air Force plans to release an initial candidate base for the F-35s in late November and a preferred list by February.” [Associated Press, 10/16/13]

U.S. Air Force Selected Eielson As The Leading Site To House Two F-35 Squadrons Consisting Of 24 Planes Each. “Eielson Air Force Base is the leading candidate among Pacific air bases to house two squadrons of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. Eielson, near North Pole, had been on a short list of five candidates prior to an announcement Thursday morning. Eielson is named as the preferred site for the F-35s, although the announcement notes that the final decision will depend on an environmental study scheduled to finish in November 2015. Each squadron consists of 24 planes and would require hundreds of civilians and airmen at the base, a potential boon to the economy of whichever community is picked.” [Fairbanks News-Miner, 8/7/14]

Air Force Locating 48 F-35 Fighter Jets At Eielson Would Bring About 3,000 Military And Civilians Jobs To The North Pole Area. “Earlier this month the Air Force announced that Eielson Air Force Base is the ‘preferred alternative’ to host two squadrons of F-35 aircraft, the Air Force’s newest fighter jet. Such a move would bring 48 aircraft and about 3,000 military and civilian jobs to the North Pole area. The planes wouldn’t arrive until at least 2019. The Air Force doesn’t plan to officially pick the next F-35 base until fall of 2015, although the service has confirmed that no other bases besides Eielson are being studied.” [Fairbanks News-Miner, 8/22/14]

Keep F-16s at Eielson Air Force Base:

Begich, On Defense Nominations: “We Are Putting Them On Hold Until We Get Answers [For] Alaskans.” Reported the Air Force Times in May 2012, “Begich said Carlisle’s promotion to four-star and commander of Pacific Air Forces is stalled until the Air Force provides an explanation for moving the fighters and airmen from Eielson. He also wants to know how much money it will save. ‘We had to take a pretty dramatic step here and say, ‘You’re not going to have any more people coming over to the Defense Department,’’ Begich said in a video explaining his decision. ‘We are putting them on hold until we get answers for the Alaskans who are asking us every day: ‘What is the Air Force’s plan, how are they going to save money and what are their long-term plans for Eielson?’’” [Air Force Times, 5/7/12]

Begich Successfully Added Committee Amendment To Defense Bill To Call For One-Year Moratorium On Any Changes To Force Structure At Eielson. Reported KTUU in May 2012, “For months now, Alaska’s congressional delegation has been working to stop the Air Force from moving a squadron of F-16 fighter jets from Fairbanks to Anchorage. Now Alaska lawmakers have added a delay tactic to their efforts. This week a Senate committee approved an amendment to a defense budget bill that calls for a one-year moratorium on any changes to the force structure at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks. The amendment was proposed by Sen. Mark Begich. Since February Begich, along with the rest of Alaska’s delegation — Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young — have teamed up with leaders in the Fairbanks North Star Borough to fight an Air Force plan that will shift some 18 fighter jets and about 500 military and civilian workers to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.” [KTUU, 5/24/12]

Begich, Murkowski & Young Confirmed Air Force Had Officially Abandoned Plan To Relocate Eielson’s F-16 Squadron After Two Year Struggle. Reported the Fairbanks News-Miner in October 2013, “Alaska’s congressional delegation confirmed Wednesday that the Air Force has abandoned plans to move Eielson Air Force Base’s F-16 squadron to Anchorage. The delegation announced the news Wednesday afternoon during a telephone news conference. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the information came from a meeting with top Pentagon officials, Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning and Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Herbert ‘Hawk’ Carlisle. ‘It’s great news. It’s been a push,’ Fairbanks North Star Borough Luke Hopkins said. ‘It’s like the clouds have cleared, and there’s a sharp view of what’s ahead for us.’ The announcement ends an almost two-year struggle against the Air Force’s proposal waged by Fairbanks community leaders and the Alaska congressional delegation. The struggle started in February 2012 when the Air Force announced plans to move the 21-plane 18th Aggressor Squadron to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson as a cost-cutting measure.” [Fairbanks News-Miner, 10/2/13]

Protect F-22s at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson:

June 2010: Begich Wrote To Air Force Secretary And Chief Of Staff To Urge Military To Station Additional F-22s At Elmendorf. Reported Air Force Magazine in June 2010, “Alaska Sen. Mark Begich (D) wants USAF to increase the number of F-22 fighters stationed in his state at Joint Base Elmendorf. Currently Elmendorf hosts 40 Raptors. Begich contends that this total isn’t enough to meet mission demands, including air sovereignty alert. ‘Nowhere is the need for additional [F-22 primary assigned aircraft] more evident and deliberate than Elmendorf,’ he wrote in a letter last week to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz.” [Air Force Magazine, 6/15/10]

July 2010: Air Force Announced It Would Station An Additional Six F-22s, More Than 100 New Personnel At Elmendorf. Reported the Anchorage Daily News in July 2010, “Alaska’s Elmendorf Air Force Base will pick up six new F-22 fighter jets as the Air Force consolidates the planes at four bases with existing squadrons of the aircraft. The Air Force announced Thursday that Elmendorf will get the planes from squadrons being deactivated at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. One of the Holloman squadrons will relocate to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; the other squadron is being split up at four bases across the country, including Elmendorf. Elmendorf now has 36 F-22s. The six new jets are expected to bring an additional 102 military personnel to Alaska by the fall of 2011, pending an environmental review.” [Anchorage Daily News, 7/29/10]

To learn more about how Senator Mark Begich will continue his commitment to fighting for our servicemembers and their families, visit his Military and Military Families Plan.

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ANCHORAGE — Today, the U.S. Senate passed a measure including President Obama’s request to provide federal funds to arm an unknown group of Syrian rebels. Begich’s opponent Dan Sullivan was quick to support President Obama’s request and call for the U.S. to take steps toward putting American boots on the ground.

Alaskans for Begich released the following statement in response to Dan Sullivan’s call to fund unknown Syrian rebels from Alaskans for Begich Communications Director Max Croes:

“Mark Begich adamantly opposes President Obama and Dan Sullivan’s shared support for arming an unknown group of Syrian rebels and advancing our nation closer to putting American boots on the ground. American troops served bravely and nobly in Iraq and Afghanistan and we owe it to our troops to further consider America’s options, not follow Sullivan and Obama into an open-ended commitment. Dan Sullivan’s solution of sending American weaponry and federal funding across the globe to Syrian groups should have been a stand alone vote in the Senate. Mark Begich believes our nation should continue to consider using our strength and assets to eliminate the ISIS threat through targeted airstrikes, humanitarian aid, and through all means necessary to get the Arab nations to step up with resources and take the lead in eliminating ISIS. Mark Begich is focused on standing up for Alaskans and making sure America’s already strained fiscal and military resources are used wisely.”

Mark Begich voted against today’s measure and was joined by 21 Republicans and Democrats, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Joe Manchin in opposing President Obama’s request to arm the rebels

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/18/2014

ANCHORAGE — Anchorage’s Channel 2 News (KTUU) recently reported on campaign contributions in this year’s U.S. Senate race. One graphic about the source of Dan Sullivan’s campaign donations stood out to Alaskans:

 

“Mark Begich is proud to have Alaskans as his leading donors and the driving force behind his campaign. Over 5,000 Alaskans have contributed to Mark Begich because of his record of visiting with Alaskans, delivering results and fighting for Alaska resource development, veterans and middle class families,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Dan Sullivan’s Ohio-based family has also come close to matching dollar-for-dollar the $477,000 Sullivan has raised from Ohio campaign contributors. Sullivan’s parents and brother have dropped $400,000 into Alaska on TV ads attacking Mark Begich, Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller

Mark Begich believes Alaska’s campaign finance requirements should be adopted at the national level to increase transparency in our elections. Visit Mark Begich’s Campaign Finance Plan to learn more about his specific plans for fighting Citizens United and increasing campaign transparency.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/17/2014

ANCHORAGE — Dan Sullivan, supported by his billionaire Outside backers the Koch brothers, continues to try and deceive Alaskans about Mark Begich’s voting record. Mark Begich stands by his record of fighting for Alaskans everyday in Washington, D.C. Begich and Alaska’s Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski vote together up to 80% of the time – voting together more than any Republican-Democrat delegation in the U.S. Senate.

“Senator Mark Begich votes for Alaska in the U.S. Senate. As an independent voice for Alaska, Mark Begich voted against a Democratic budget proposal proposing new taxes, supports opening ANWR, has defended oil and gas tax incentives from the Obama administration, opposed national gun control policies and supports auditing the Federal Reserve,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Independent fact check organization Politifact called Dan Sullivan’s use of the 97% claim “false.”

“Sullivan campaign email claimed Begich supports Obama’s economic policies 97 percent of the time…. Sullivan’s claim hinges on one statistic in a way that doesn’t accurately reflect Begich’s voting record on economic policy. We rated this claim mostly False.” [Politifact, 2/21/14]

Find the independent fact checks below:

PolitiFact Ruled Statement That Murkowski & Begich Vote Together As Much As 80 Percent “True.” “A Begich campaign radio ad said, ‘Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich vote as much as 80 percent of the time together.’ We found they had voted together 80 percent of the time. However, this statistic is based on the last six months, and Begich has served with Murkowski since 2009. The pair does, though, have a history of voting together more often than not — about 60 percent of all votes since 2009 — and the ad said ‘as much as 80 percent.’ We rate this claim Mostly True.” [PolitiFact, 7/14/14]

Politifact Rated Sullivan 97% Claim False. According to a February 2014 fact check by Politifact, “Sullivan’s campaign email claimed Begich supports Obama’s economic policies 97 percent of the time. . . . Sullivan’s claim hinges on one statistic in a way that doesn’t accurately reflect Begich’s voting record on economic policy. We rated this claim Mostly False.” [Politifact,2/21/14]

Politifact: “Begich Is Among The Most Independent Senators Currently Serving.”According to a February 2014 fact check by Politifact, “OpenCongress ranked Begich at 45th for 2013 when it comes to voting with his party. That shows that Begich is among the most independent senators currently serving.” [Politifact, 2/21/14]

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More Blatant Lies on Literature Paid for and Endorsed by Sullivan Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/17/2014

Building on his latest false ad and his unwillingness to be honest with Alaskans, U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s campaign literature is leaning on tired attacks from Outside groups proven “false” and “not true” by independent fact check organizations. Sullivan continues to distort facts in an attempt to distract from his own failed record as attorney general and an unwillingness to answer questions about issues important to Alaskans.

“Dan Sullivan is solely focused on misrepresenting Mark Begich’s record to avoid reading and taking positions on legislation like the Violence Against Women Act and raising the minimum wage. Instead of having a conversation on issues with Alaskans, Dan Sullivan is leaning on tired false attacks from Outside groups. Dan Sullivan needs to stop putting his arm around the Koch brothers who are spending millions to buy Alaska’s Senate seat to advance their own special interests,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

 

Read the independent fact checks that found this claim “false” and “not true” below:

AFP Distorts Begich’s Carbon Tax Stance – finding: “not true”

Conservative Ad Says Begich Supports Carbon Tax - finding: “false” 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/17/2014
CONTACT: Max Croes907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE — The Koch brothers are using their secret bank to fund a new round of attack ads to buy Alaska’s senate seat, while the shadow group continues to keep their donor list hidden and hold underground meetings.

Outside interests like the Koch brothers have committed and spent over $12 million against Mark Begich in an attempt to buy Alaska’s Senate seat for Dan Sullivan.

“The sources of the money behind these ads are not transparent, but the plan is, have the Koch brothers spend millions on false attack ads to buy Alaska’s Senate seat for Dan Sullivan. The Koch brothers are hiding behind attack ads after they cut and run on Alaskans – crushing 80 jobs, raising the price of asphalt and raising local taxes – they are shamefully trying to buy Alaska’s senate seat to benefit themselves,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

The newest ad by the Koch backed group “Freedom Partners” is the latest in a series of attacks that have been labeled by independent fact check organizations as “false” and “not true.” The ad falsely accuses Mark Begich of “missing work.” Begich has the best attendance record of the Alaska Delegation. The Juneau Empire also reported on Begich’s efforts to cut health care costs for Alaskans by introducing a “copper plan” to expand consumer choices and lower premiums.

The billionaire Koch brothers have spent millions on ads in Alaska so far and have pledged millions more. Despite their attempts to cut and run on Alaskans, a court ruled that the Koch’s would be responsible forcleaning up Flint Hills after their decision to shutter it, killing 80 Alaska jobs, raising taxes on Alaskans, raising the price of asphalt and attempting to leave behind toxic groundwater.

The Kochs were also mocked for using a DC 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.

Freedom Partners is one of the nation’s leading proponents of “Right To Work” legislation, a position shared by anti-labor Dan Sullivan. The group also seeks to privatize Social Security and eliminate the minimum wage.