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Endorsements Continue Begich’s Momentum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/24/2013

Mark Begich is pleased to announce the endorsement of six current and former North Slope mayors, who recognize the results Begich has delivered for rural Alaska and his fight to represent all Alaskans.

Endorsements Include:

Charlotte Brower, North Slope Borough Mayor (Current)

Robert Harcharek, Mayor of Barrow (Current)

John Hopson Jr., Mayor of Wainwright (Current)

Eugene Brower, North Slope Borough Mayor (Former)

Edward Itta, North Slope Borough Mayor (Former)

Rep. Benjamin Nageak, North Slope Borough Mayor (Former)

 

 

“Mark is honored to have the support of Alaska leaders on the North Slope who understand firsthand the impact and importance of Mark’s leadership in the Senate and his work to represent the interests of Alaska’s North Slope,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Campaign Manager for Alaskans for Begich.

Begich has risen fast in the Senate leadership, securing key committee spots on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee that have helped him bring resources back to rural Alaska.

Begich’s accomplishments for Alaska’s North Slope include:

· Supporting Resource Development – Begich successfully fought the Obama Administration to allowing drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska while respecting the needs and local communities and people.

· Supporting Subsistence Whaling – Begich fought to protect Alaska Native whaling quotas at the International Whaling Commission.

· Supporting the Voting Rights Act – Begich opposes the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate preclearance under the Voting Rights Act and supports restoration  of the law’s authority.

· Indian Health Service – Begich secured a permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Service, the first reauthorization in over twenty years.  He also secured  historic full funding for IHS Contract Support Costs to Alaska Native tribal facilities this year.

· Safe Families & Villages Act – Begich introduced the Safe Families & Villages Act to give Alaska tribes resources and local control to empower communities to      manage domestic violence.

· Rural Veterans – A successful Begich initiative allows veterans in rural Alaska to receive health care at tribal health facilities, saving veterans thousands of dollars   in travel costs and allowing them to get care close to home.

· Alaska Territorial Guard – In 2009, Senator Begich successfully secured reinstatement of pension payments for members of the WWII-era Alaska Territorial Guard.

· Postal Service Reform – Begich has fought back efforts to end Bypass Mail and pushed the U.S. Postal Service to reverse rate increases in rural Alaska, ensuring   critical service to Alaskans and a lifeline for the rural Alaska economy.

· Essential Air Service – 82% of Alaska communities are off the road system and Begich has protected vital transportation routes and services by protecting the Essential Air Service program.

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Points to Begich’s “Seniority” and “Effectiveness”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/23/2014

Citing Mark Begich’s seniority and effectiveness, Begich received the endorsement from the board of directors of the Alaska Native regional corporation Sealaska Corporation, which has 21,600 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian shareholders throughout Alaska.

“I’m honored to receive Sealaska’s endorsement. I have worked with Sealaska’s leaders and shareholders over the last five years to promote sustainable economic development in Southeast to ensure Alaska’s young people have good jobs in the region where they want to raise their families and support their elders,” said Senator Mark Begich. 

Begich has risen swiftly in the Senate leadership during his first term in office, securing key seats on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee.

“We believe Begich, Mallott and Kito have proven track records on issues important to our region,” said Sealaska board chair Joe Nelson. “They are Alaska’s leadership of experience.”

As Chair of the Senate Oceans Subcommittee, Begich has brought new investment and focus on the Southeast economy, including:
  • Reauthorizing the Coast Guard bill to invest in Coast Guard stations throughout Alaska, including $27 million for a new dock at the Ketchikan Coast Guard station, 
  • Mark secured U.S. Forest service approval for exploratory drilling at the Niblack Mine and crucial survey work at the proposed Bokan Mountain Mine. He has also backed legislation to authorize road construction to the mining sites. These mines would create over 350 jobs in Southeast Alaska.
  • Fighting attempts to diminish the 8(a) program that helps Alaska Native corporations diversify their businesses and create economic opportunities for their shareholders.
Sealaska also endorsed Senator Lisa Murkowski in the 2010 election.

 

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Treadwell Continuing to Meddle in Women’s Health Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/23/2014

ANCHORAGE:  U.S. Senate candidate Mead Treadwell continues to boast about his support for the anti-woman Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision that takes health care decisions out of the hands of women and allows their bosses to make reproductive choices for them.*

“Mead Treadwell isn’t backing down from his long history of support for invasive, anti-women policies. Alaska women don’t need their bosses or Mead Treadwell making health care decisions for them,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Campaign Manager for Alaskans for Begich.

Treadwell’s disturbing support for anti-woman policies would:

·      Let a woman’s boss cut off their reproductive care: Treadwell is boasting of his support for the Hobby Lobby decision which allows a woman’s boss to make health care decisions for her.

·      Invade women’s privacy: Treadwell supports policies that invade the privacy of  Alaska women, forcing them to disclose their medical information to the government, and allowing the state to determine whether they can have a potentially life saving procedure.

·     Give state control over women’s bodies: Treadwell is adamant about supporting personhood measures which could deem certain forms of birth control murder and outlaw abortion even in the most extreme cases of assault or incest.

*Treadwell: Religious Freedom And Constitution “Won” In Hobby Lobby Ruling. During a July 2014 interview with Tea Party Express, Mead Treadwell said, “MARK: One of the other big challenges that we’re hearing right now is what’s happening with the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it’s more widely referred to these days. Something that came up in the headlines recently, the Supreme Court case involving Hobby Lobby; the Court ruled five-four in favor of for-profit, family-owned corporations like Hobby Lobby, saying they can’t be forced to pay for contraceptive coverage under Obamacare if it was a violation of their religious beliefs. What did you think about the ruling, Mead, and what effect do you think it will have on the issue of healthcare in general? TREADWELL: Well I was happy with ruling. Religious freedom won. Our constitution won. Pelosi, Reid, and our own Senator Mark Begich lost.” [Audio, Treadwell on Tea Party Express, 07/08/14]

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Treadwell Would Eliminate Provision 30 Million American Families Rely on

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/19/2014

U.S. Senate candidate Mead Treadwell is plugging a tax scheme that would crush homebuyers in Alaska, eliminating a provision over 30 million Americans rely on each year. Treadwell’s plan would force Alaskans and Americans to pay thousands of dollars more when buying a house.

Treadwell’s extreme tax scheme would eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction. The provision has been commonplace for American families hoping to buy homes and its elimination would shift the tax burden from wealthier Americans to lower-income households, strangling the finances of working Alaska families.

“Mead Treadwell’s tax scheme would not only raises taxes on everyday goods for Alaska households, but eliminate a provision advancing the American dream of owning a home for thousands of working families in Alaska,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Treadwell’s 30% national sales tax would further complicate homeownership for Alaskans’, as the tax would include mortgage interest.

Republicans, Democrats, and tax experts alike have criticized the scheme. Former President George W. Bush’s administration rejected the proposal and said it would create “the largest entitlement program in history” because of the extreme poverty it would create among lower income Americans.

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Rules Kochs Can’t Shirk Responsibility for Flint Hills Cleanup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/22/2014

A court has ruled the Koch brothers can’t cut and run on their responsibility to clean up contamination in North Pole, where they closed a refinery, laid off Alaskans and tried to shift responsibility for the cleanup to Alaskans.

The decision comes after the billionaires cut 80 jobs and plan to shutter the refinery, causing damage to the local economy and raising taxes on Alaskans.

“The Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions on political attack ads while turning their back on Alaska by raising taxes on Alaskans by closing the Flint Hills refinery, firing 80 Alaskans and trying to leave behind contaminated groundwater,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

The billionaire Koch brothers who closed the Flint Hills refinery have funded false and misleading attack ads in Alaska from three separate Outside groups. They have spent $2.9 million in Alaska on ads declared “false” and “not true” by independent fact check organizations.

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Treadwell Company Develops “The Hubble Telescope Pointing In”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/21/2014

ANCHORAGE: Mead Treadwell is trying to create distance from the nine-figure profits his company Digimarc made by pushing a national ID card scheme to monitor and track Americans saying he “didn’t look into anybody’s window.” 

Treadwell is going to have a tough time convincing Alaskans he hasn’t spent years developing new way to monitor Americans after another Treadwell company developed satellite surveillance technology described by Treadwell as “the Hubble Telescope pointing in.”

SHOT:

“If you were part of a company that marketed mirrors and somebody used it as a periscope, you know what I mean, to look into somebody’s window, I didn’t look into anybody’s window,” Treadwell said.

Treadwell is saying there’s confusion about Digimarc’s work and his position on the REAL ID program. But there’s no confusion about his regular brags about guiding the company to success while it pushed the plan.

CHASER:

A Treadwell company developed a telescope “to be used in space to gather reconnaissance and surveillance information from around the world.” Treadwell described his new technology as “The Hubble Telescope pointing in.” 

As reported by the Alaska Journal of Commerce, “One of the two technologies Venture is currently developing at its office in Portland, Ore., is the ring telescope, chief executive officer Mead Treadwell said July 19 at a presentation in Anchorage. [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 7/31/05]

CONCLUSION:

Surveillance satellite, periscope or national ID card scheme, Mead Treadwell’s companies have profited off of monitoring and following Alaskans and Americans.

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Fact Checker Rates Ad By Begich “True”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/18/2014

ANCHORAGE  –  A new Begich radio  features a 27 year Navy Veteran who says he voted for  Senator Ted Stevens, Senator Lisa Murkowski and is now voting for Senator Mark Begich. Alaska veteran Skip Nelson points out that Alaska’s senators vote together as much as 80% of the time,  according to the independent fact check organization PolitiFact.

“Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich vote as much as 80 percent of the time together. That’s healthy for Alaska,” Nelson says.

According to PolitiFact, Murkowski and Begich voted together more than any other pair of senators from opposing parties and ruled the two vote together 80% of the time: 148 times out of 183 total votes, or 80.8% of the time in 2014.

Read the full fact check below:

PolitiFact.com: Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich “vote as much as 80 percent of the time together.”

Do Alaska Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski vote together 80 percent of the time?

Mostly True

Sen. Mark Begich says he and Sen. Lisa Murkowski are on the same team. But she doesn’t see it that way.
Murkowski, a Republican, has said that she hopes Begich, a Democrat, loses his seat to a Republican challenger in November. Both senators currently represent Alaska.

Despite Murkowski’s feelings, Begich is touting their teamwork in the Senate in a new radio ad.
“Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich vote as much as 80 percent of the time together — that’s healthy for Alaska. I have a great dislike for partisan politics,” the ad says, narrated by a man identified as Skip Nelson, an aviator living in Anchorage. “I think Lisa and Mark are a great team for Alaska. I’d like to keep them there.”

Murkowski, who is not up for re-election this year, fired back, telling the Alaska Dispatch that the pair agrees on some Alaska-specific issues, but regarding national matters, “There is a real departure between where Mark stands and where I stand.”

And in a statement sent to PolitiFact, she said, “Over the last five years when we have taken a stand on the role of government in Alaskans’ lives I have fundamentally disagreed with Sen. Begich… I believe we need less intervention from government while he pushes for more.”

The current Republican front-runner hoping to beat Begich is former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan. Begich’s Republican opponents have tried to emphasize Begich’s ties to President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

Considering this Congress’ penchant for polarization and Murkowski’s response, we thought it would be worthwhile to see if they really had voted together 80 percent of the time.

The numbers:

The Begich campaign calculated the 80 percent figure using every roll call vote in 2014 in which both Murkowski and Begich participated, through July 2.

Murkowski and Begich voted 183 times, according to the campaign’s data, which we confirmed. They voted together 148 times, and they disagreed 35 times. Based on these numbers, the senators voted together 80.8 percent of the time for the first six months of 2014.

The 35 votes on which Begich and Murkowski disagreed in 2014 were primarily procedural, butthe list also includes more than 10 judges’ and administrators’ confirmations that Murkowski opposed.
However, the pair has served together since 2009, so this is just a slice of their voting records.

Since the start of 2009, Begich and Murkowski have voted together 60 percent of the time, according to a comparison report by Congressional Quarterly, a nonpartisan outlet for congressional news and legislative tracking.

Although the 80 percent statistic inflates their overall record of voting together, they do have a history of voting together that rivals other Senate pairs from opposing parties.

In the current Congress (starting in 2013), 16 states have one Democratic senator and one Republican senator. Of these 16 pairs, Begich and Murkowski voted together the most, at a rate of 65 percent in the current Congress, according to OpenCongress’ head-to-head comparison tool. The pair with the next-highest rate of voting together is 47 percent, belonging to New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat, and Kelly Ayotte, Republican.

OpenCongress’ data also showed that Murkowski is more likely than Begich to deviate from her party. She voted with Republicans 65 percent of the time in the current Congress, while Begich voted with Democrats 91 percent of the time.

One other point: National Journal ranked Begich as the 48th most liberal and 52nd most conservative senator in 2013, based on roll call votes from that year. The magazine ranked Murkowski as 56th most liberal and 44th most conservative, showing that they are both moderate voters.

How significant are these votes?

In her retort, Murkowski said the votes from this year — on which the Begich campaign based the 80 percent figure — were largely procedural, and that’s correct. She said the two senators have differed on important votes throughout the six years they have served together.

Here are a few votes with national significance since 2009 and whether or not they voted together:

December 2009, On passage of the Affordable Care Act: Disagree (Begich voted “yes,” Murkowski “no”);

July 2010, On passage of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill: Disagree (Begich “yes,” Murkowski “no”)

April 2011, In favor of stopping the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions: Disagree (Begich “no,” Murkowski “yes”)

March 2013, In favor of constructing the Keystone XL pipeline: Agree (both “yes”)

June 2013, On passage of the Senate immigration reform bill: Agree (both “yes”)

October 2013, On passage of the budget bill ending the government shutdown: Agree(both “yes”);
Jan. 30, 2014, On delaying the increase of flood insurance premium: Agree (both “yes”);

July 16,  2014, Failed motion to consider a bill to reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobbydecision: Agree (both “yes”).

Our ruling

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.

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Treadwell’s Extreme Tax Would Strangle Alaskans’ Finances

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/17/2014

Mead Treadwell wants to implement a 30% national sales tax that would raise prices on every day items and strangle the finances of working Alaska families.

Alaskans could see bills for groceries increase by $100 and $400 in rent while home prices could increase by nearly $100,000.

Republicans, Democrats, and tax experts alike have criticized the scheme. Former President George W. Bush’s administration rejected the proposal and said it would create “the largest entitlement program in history” because of the extreme poverty it would create among lower income Americans.

“Mead Treadwell wants to implement a dangerous national sales tax that would unfairly hit Alaskans who do not face a state sales tax or income tax,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Treadwell’s extreme tax scheme would shift the tax burden from wealthier Americans to lower-income households, strangling the finances of working Alaska families. *

Rural Alaska already experiences some of the highest prices for groceries in the nation. Treadwell’s plan would make trips to the grocery store almost entirely unaffordable.

*Businessweek: “The Fair Tax Would Weigh Heavier On Lower-Income Households.” Reported Businessweek in April 2011, “The FairTax would weigh heavier on lower-income households, because they spend a larger proportion of what they earn. That’s why Woodall’s proposal calls for a ‘prebate,’ a monthly advance rebate that covers the cost of the tax up to the federal poverty level. Compared with the current system, the FairTax would be a boon to the highest earners, who spend a relatively low share of their income each year and would no longer have to pay taxes on capital gains.” [Businessweek, 4/7/11]

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“Proud of” Company to Create a National ID Card

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/16/2014

Ahead of a contentious primary debate, U.S. Senate candidate Mead Treadwell is hiding his support for a national ID card scheme after his company Digimarc made millions providing the technology for REAL ID, which Treadwell says he is “proud of.” 

“Mead Treadwell says he proud of the company he founded and the money it made, but is trying to hide the company’s support for REAL ID which would force a national ID card scheme to store and share Alaskans’ personal information with the government,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Treadwell says he doesn’t support REAL ID  in the same breath he brags about Digimarc’s success.

Treadwell founded Digimarc in 1995, a digital watermarking company that has profited from federal mandates disliked by Alaskans of all political leanings.

In 2008, Governor Sarah Palin rejected Treadwell’s federally mandated program and passed legislation prohibiting its implementation.

The Anchorage Daily News wrote that the REAL ID program constituted what is “absolutely a national ID” remains “ a bad idea,” and ”will create a national database of information about more than 240 million Americans.

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Courts Blocks Treadwell’s Attempts to Play Doctor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/16/2014

A Superior Court judge has put a hold on U.S. Senate candidate Mead Treadwell’s attempts to have government make health care decisions for Alaska women. Treadwell is pushing his personal beliefs by mandating a policy to invade a woman’s medical privacy by disclosing women’s medical information to the government.

“Mead Treadwell is using government to mandate his personal beliefs on Alaska’s women. This anti-woman, anti-privacy agenda that is so extreme and so invasive that Mead Treadwell may have pushed an unconstitutional plan in his desire to enact his beliefs,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, Campaign Manager for Alaskans for Begich.

The court’s action puts a hold on Treadwell’s push to force Alaska women to report their medical information to the government so the state can determine whether or not their “condition” makes them eligible for certain reproductive services. Treadwell’s attempts target Alaska women who may have limited economic resources and access to health care.

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