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Friday, January 28, 2022

Alaska GOP Senate Race – Cirque de SoLame

Politico just ran an article focusing on the Alaska Senate race, but boy did they get the headline wrong.



First of all, when you “fear” something, it means you generally don’t want it to happen. Fearing a GOP civil war in Alaska, for some of us, is like fearing the circus, or fearing Christmas.

Oh, no! Jugglers, and cotton candy, and entertaining acrobatics! And who is that scary guy stuffing my stocking with gift cards and chocolate truffles?! Hold me!

Second, the use of the future tense seems a bit… late. The GOP Civil War “may” be coming to Alaska? We practically invented that war on a national level, thank you. Remember when a certain someone got called out for “pallin’ around with terrorists?” And on the statewide level, we can safely say that war was in full swing back in 2010 when the libertarian, Ron Paulish Joe Miller  defeated “old guard” moderate incumbent Lisa Murkowski to become the Republican nominee.

Snake Flag vs. Fat Cat – it was a thing to behold.

When Murkowski decided to stay in the race as a write-in candidate for the general election, it was all-out chaos. Democrats and moderates terrified of Miller jumped ship from Democratic candidate Scott McAdams. That, and the huge influx of money from Alaska Native Corporations that filled Murkowski’s coffers, and she pulled it off. “We Made History” her campaign proclaimed – and they had. It was our Battle of Bull Run.

Now it’s 2014, and this time the Senate race is different. The incumbent is not a Republican, it’s Democrat Mark Begich. There is no viable write-in candidate. It’ll be a straight primary, and to the victor will go a spot on the general election ballot against Begich.

So, let’s see what’s happening at the three-ring GOP circus, shall we?

Ring 1: Mead Treadwell


The current Lt. Governor has declared his candidacy with all the excitement of a wet piece of cardboard. His main function in his current capacity is to oversee the Division of Elections, and the care and upkeep of the state seal. We’re still using the same antiquated, hackable Diebold voting machines that were there when he arrived, and the State of Alaska joined the lawsuit against the federal government to eliminate protections for Native Alaska voters afforded through the Voting Rights Act. Presumably, he’s managed to do better in his other function, because I hear the state seal is polished to a high mirror shine.

In our Republican circus, he’s the guy in a top hat who can juggle three beanbags at the same time, and sometimes doesn’t drop one. Wow. Nifty.


Ring 2: Joe Miller


Mr. Miller is still out there waving the snake flag, and railing against Obamacare, the feds, the illegals, the libruls, the gays, and anything else that endears him to the hard-core base. He’s even blogging now, aggregating all the hot-button articles he can find. Although poll numbers suggest he’d not do well in a head-to-head against Begich, he still has a loyal and “well-regulated” following. Anyone still in Miller’s camp isn’t going anywhere. Those in the clown car parade, who have seen not only their duly elected nominee get trounced by the old guard appointed daughter of a corrupt bastard, but the excommunication of TWO of their own Ron Paulish party chairs in the past year, are bitter. They are bitter, bitter clowns.


Ring 3: The Other Dan Sullivan


Not “Mayor Dan” the feckless, smarmy chief executive of Anchorage – the other one. He popped in from out of state a few years ago to become Alaska’s Attorney General. Then, he was appointed Chair of the Department of Natural Resources. At that point, anyone who was paying attention realized that this career trajectory was leading to a run for statewide office. And now that he’s back from six weeks in Afghanistan with the Marine Reserves, he’ll be tossing his hat in the ring. He wields a resume as long as your arm, filled with all kinds of important and impressive things. His task will be to prove himself a “real Alaskan.” In a state where 15-year residents are called “newcomers,” it’ll be a trick. He’ll have to really razzle-dazzle a bunch of skeptical sourdoughs with his fancy fire-eating, sword-swallowing ways.


Ring 4: The Fabulous and Daring Whatzername!



The “bonus” ring in our circus is populated by some woman in a red sequined outfit from Wasilla. She’s walking in circles with one arm in the air and a megaphone, screeching,

“Look at me! Look at me over here! I might just put my head in a tiger’s mouth! Maybe I’ll swing from a trapeze! I’m not ruling that out! I bet you’d like to see me walk a tightrope! I don’t have any immediate plans do to that, but never say never! Hey! Hey, where are you going?”

And so the GOP masses will buy their tickets and head to their show of choice. Most will decide between the wet dishrag in Ring 1, and the carpetbagger in Ring 3. But a small group will stampede to Ring 2, because they love them some clowns, and there’s a “Live Free or Die” bumper sticker on the back of that tiny car.

This year’s second Ron Paulish ousted ex-chair of the Alaska Republican Party had this to say:

“It’s not about voter turnout software,” she said by phone from Alaska. “We have an epic battle facing us as Republicans … and that’s essentially to choose between definitions of conservatism: One is steadfast opposition to emerging social trends like secularism [and] multiculturalism. The other choice is … to go more secular and more modernizing.”

The question is, after the majority of the audience is split between the modern, secular, multicultural Treadwell and Sullivan rings, will there actually be more of an audience in the xenophobic, evangelical dinosaur ring, sending Miller to the general election? And THAT, my friends, is why we are all sitting in the bleachers eating popcorn, and loving life.

And if that isn’t enough to keep you entertained, Politico also tells us that once we have a nominee, we’ll be getting a visit from the Ringmaster himself, Reince Priebus next October.

I think we’re going to need some extra butter.




18 Responses to “Alaska GOP Senate Race – Cirque de SoLame”
  1. Moose Pucky says:

    Alaska’s record of natural resource management under Parnell/Sullivan will make Begich look soooooooo good in comparison.

  2. Moose Pucky says:

    Treadwell leaving a fine opening for another ring of La Circe de la Horror in GOP Lt. Guv race.

    Linda Geisel just jumped into that ring of fire to join the most amazing Dan Sullivan the worst.

    Halloween arriving early???

  3. aussiebluesky says:

    Dan not-the-mayor Sullivan came to Alaska directly from his career in the Bush Administration after the Republicans lost the 2008 election. He seems very anxious to return to DC but the next Republican administration will be years away. Transparent much?

  4. Zyxomma says:

    What a dazzling array of nincompoops. Yuck.

  5. John says:


  6. John says:

    Would be fun to watch except we live in a world of unlimited corporate campaign funding, where the prevailing thought is they will spend whatever it takes to keep someone who organizes with the dems from winning. With enough money, even Miller could win. Who cares if he is insane? He is an R. Sort of. Short term profits are more important than the lfe of our country because the people pulling the strings know they can’t live much past age 90.

    Bottom line is the stupid is strong and while laughing at the idiots is necessary, we also have to pull out all stops to elect sane people, even if they too sometimes vote against common sence.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      I’m with you on the bottom line and with AKM continuing to provide the framework of information, commentary, and necessary laughs to maintain steam to see this all through.

      I’m still fighting an urge to run screaming off into the brush though… also… even… as well… too.

    • Carol says:

      Boy, did you call it? Who cares if he is insane, as long as he has (R) after his name?
      Yes, we cannot be complacent, no matter who the (R) is, we will have work to re-elect Begich, even if I don’t agree with everything he’s done, he’s w a a a a y better than any of the alternatives.

  7. I See Villages From My House says:

    Politico writes of this:

    Sullivan and Treadwell could divide the votes of primary voters concerned about electability, creating an opening for the return of tea party favorite Joe Miller – who beat Lisa Murkowski in the 2010 GOP primary only to lose to her write-in campaign that fall.

    Senate Republican strategists believe that Treadwell and Sullivan are both top-tier candidates capable of defeating Mark Begich.

    So many ego’s. My guess, they’ve divided the field way too much already and Begich will come out on top.

    One Twitterer writes from this article: James Hohmann ‏@jameshohmann 7h
    Sarah Palin appointed Dan Sullivan Alaska’s attorney general. She could be a key endorsement for him.

    Seems James makes the mistakes any gadfly makes when it comes to Sarah – he be “projectin” what the erstwhile half-term Governor would do as a principled and un-mavericky king-maker. Wayne Anthony Ross and even Joe Miller were left twisting in the wind with Sarah’s half-term commitment to them.

    • aussiebluesky says:

      I hope Sarah Palin not only endorses Dan Sullivan but also campaigns for him. Or at least threatens to.

  8. Mo says:

    Excellent title and photo selection!

  9. akbatgirly says:

    Couldn’t bring myself to vote for Miller last time (I wanted the weaker candidate to win in the Repub primary), but this time it’s a go, since I’m still really pissed at Begich after his no vote on fixing our insane gun laws.

    I figure that setting Begich up with a crazy opponent may be more palatable than actually voting for him. I’ll let the moderate R’s do the actual voting, thus honoring my vow not to vote Begich, volunteer on his campaign, or send money, until he comes to his senses on guns.

    • Windpond says:

      Whoa! That’ll show all of us won’t it. Reminds me of when I was in the 7th grade and I started smoking to show my dad a thing or two. Well I got addicted to cigarettes and he didn’t give a shit. Do us all a favor and just stay home.

    • Carol says:

      It would probably be more effective in getting Begich to changing his mind by writing to him, sending paltry $$ and telling him how much you are disappointed in his gun law views. I know that’s what I’m going to be doing.

    • Moose Pucky says:

      You can disagree with Begich on guns, but he’s soooo good on other things. Sticking up for healthy fisheries and watersheds. Doing his part to improve access to health care. Be available, accessible, and a good listener.

      Disagree respectfully and he’ll listen. Don’t stomp and turn away.

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