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"People always underestimate Alaska," says Sen. Mark Begich.

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) didn't need to be asked -- when it was clear Joe Miller would be the Republican Senate nominee, he picked up the phone and started raising money for Scott McAdams. While Democratic staffers are heading to Alaska, the national party hasn't paid McAdams much attention -- yet....

When Begich jumped into the race to unseat a longtime senator in 2008, the line from national Democrats was, "Alaska? Good luck with that," Begich told TPM in an interview. In fact, all signs pointed to him losing on election night two years ago. "The establishment always says it's a state that can't be won, and when I lost election night we were written off," Begich said. But after all the votes were counted, Begich was the next senator from Alaska....

"McAdams is authentic and as a former mayor, well, with all due respect to my friends in the Senate, we don't need any more lawyers in the Senate," Begich said. Miller is a lawyer who has never held public office.

McAdams definitely has work to do to get his campaign fully up to steam after his opponent's surprise primary win over incumbent Lisa Murkowski. He had a rough interview with RealClearPolitics in which he was hesitant to jump in to some policy issues.

On the other hand, you've got Joe Miller who should maybe be showing a bit of hesitation before spouting off his extreme positions: that Obama is leading America into socialism, that all power has to be returned to the states, that Social Security should be abolished, just for starting positions. Makes McAdams' reticence to spout off uninformed policy positions look downright professional.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:32 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm waiting for the Tea Party candidates (10+ / 0-)

    to go into full "sovereign citizen" meltdown. Any day now...

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:34:49 PM PDT

    •  Apparently there are a bunch of soverign (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dauphin, Dave in AZ

      citizen nutjobs around Atlanta.

      "The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity."---William Butler Yeats.

      by joy sinha on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:39:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They should be baited with ample (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dauphin, happymisanthropy, Jeff Y

      opportunity to go there.  And persecuted with "Gestapo-style intimidation tactics", a.k.a being (gasp!) filmed by oppo researchers while publicly campaigning.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:50:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You really don't want to mess with them, (0+ / 0-)

        because crap like this happens when sovereign citizens are involved.

        Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

        by Dauphin on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:53:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They can believe what they want (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zinman, eastvan, Dauphin, happymisanthropy

          hundreds of thousands of far-right extremists who believe that they — not judges, juries, law enforcement or elected officials — get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore

          but when they act on those beliefs, they are simply criminals.  I don't think threats by criminals should dictate happens in public discourse.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:03:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lgmcp

            but if I understood your comment well, you wanted to provoke them, and I pointed out that that can be a rather lethal thing to do.

            Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

            by Dauphin on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:05:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well I was thinking more of enticing candidates (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Zinman, Dauphin, happymisanthropy

              to say monumentally stupid things on the record, a la Angle.  But yeah, it might be well to keep in mind that they're trigger-happy.

              "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

              by lgmcp on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:06:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Second-chance body armour (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lgmcp, Mr MadAsHell

                goes well with EVERYTHING.

                Except kilts.

                Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

                by Dauphin on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:07:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Murkowski is still exploring her options to run (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lgmcp

                AK senator meets Libertarian nominee

                Haase told The Associated Press of the Tuesday morning meeting at an undisclosed location with Murkowski, but Murkowski spokesman Steve Wackowski couldn't confirm that. Haase said he wouldn't make any decision about his political options without sleeping on it.

                At this point, the odds of her appearing on the Libertarian ticket appear to be long. Party leaders had earlier voted against putting her on the ballot though Chairman Scott Kohlhaas said the party has tried to stay open in continuing a dialogue.

                Kohlhaas said there have been talks with unidentified Murkowski backers about a Libertarian run.

                "To their credit, they have reached out," he said.

                He described the talks about philosophy, platform and issues as fruitful and constructive, but described her candidacy as a Libertarian as seemingly impossible.

                So Murkowski's last avenue to run is as a write in candidate. That would be against long odds IMHO.

                "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

                by Lefty Coaster on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:33:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Because of their sore-loser law (0+ / 0-)

                  she would have had to entice the Libertarians to retire their existing nominee in her favor.  And they refused, hah!  Not a lot of write-in winners, historically.  Though I've already forgotten who the big exception was -- one of those old southern guys -- Thurman?

                  "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

                  by lgmcp on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:38:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I spent some time going over a report from (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, because, Dauphin

      an Alaska paper this am. The comments section ( my methods are just as scientific, if not more so than SUSA ) showed that the Miller backers do come from the fringy's.

      McAdam needs to take the offensive and portray Miller as what he is. An outsider from Kansas who jeapordizes the incoming revenues from the Feds.

      This race can be won. And the DNC needs to stop acting like the DLC and throw some money to McAdam.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 03:05:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, he can. (15+ / 0-)

    BTW, what Obama said about Republicans not knowing how to drive? Totally true:

    G.O.P. Senate Candidate in Alaska Is Charged in Accident

    "Palin tried marijuana years ago. She said it distorted her perceptions & impaired her thinking. She hopes the effects will eventually one day wear off." -

    by marabout40 on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:34:52 PM PDT

  •  Miller was for it, before he was against it, now (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, greenomanic, fabucat, Jeff Y, Dave in AZ

    he's for it again.

    What am I talking about? Outside influence in Alaskan Politics and his race specifically.  He gladly accepted tea Party Express money that came very largely from outside Alaska, but then when the run-off was happening Miller was spouting off about the outsiders from Washington trying to influence Alaskan elections and they should butt out, but once he won the re-count, he's back looking for donations from all over the nation once again.  

  •  What he needs is Carville running his campaign! (0+ / 0-)

    Just keeeding!

    Umm, that's PRESIDENT Obama and SENATOR Franken, mr. o'reilly.

    by filby on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:37:05 PM PDT

  •  BREAKING: McAdams shaved his beard! (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.scottmcadams.org/

    And, he got himself a more presentable haircut. Not sure keeping the stache was a great choice. makes him look a little like Olver Hardy. But, it is a definite improvement.

  •  Supporting him would be a good investment. (10+ / 0-)

    We might win Alaska here.

  •  Where does the turnout need to be (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, bwren, Senor Unoball, wtxdem

    for McAdams to win this?  I'm assuming that Anchorage needs to come out big for him--where else?

    We already know we're going to get one new raving idiot in the Senate next year (Lee in Utah)--we don't need another.

    Why does "Pastor" Terry Jones hate America?

    by Christian Dem in NC on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:40:51 PM PDT

    •  Anchorage, of course (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      because, Aquarius40

      That is the state population center.

      The suburbs to the north, Chugiak and Eagle River, could be good for him as well, and there are a lot of people there.

      Next to the north would be Palmer. But that's starting to get to teabag territory, but not as bad as Palmer's next-door-neighbor, Wasilla (perhaps you've heard of it?)

      McAdams should win Southeast easily, as that's his home base. Juneau, Haines, Petersburg, and Sitka (of course), don't have very large populations, but they add up to decent vote totals when put together.

      As a commercal fisherman, McAdams could also take the coastlines. Kodiak is pretty big and he could win there, Homer will be a solid lock for him, Seward will go for him also. Valdez.... maybe a split or slight loss, as Valdez is full of Republican oil-workers. He will also easily win Cordova, but that's not a huge population.

      Keeping to the Kenai Peninsula, Miller will win Kenai and Soldotna, both are conservative areas full of the religious right. Kenai also has oil industry.

      Fairbanks will be key, but that should edge Miller. Very teabaggy conservative, but on the other hand is the main University of Alaska campus so will also have large blocks of more liberal voters. Call Fairbanks a slight win for Miller. Also, Fairbanks is the Murkowski home base, so there will be some hard feelings from her camp there. Will they sit out, vote for McAdams, or vote Republican as they always have?

      The Bush will be vital. Murkowski would have smothered any opponent in the Bush on name recognition alone, but that is now out the window. Bush villages will tend to be conservative, but McAdams could craft a message to appeal.

      McAdams should be able to play to the fishing vote in Dillingham, Bethel, and Unalaska. Don't know how his stands will go over up north, in Nome, Kotzebue, Barrow, or the other Slope villages.

      I'd rather the bluefin survive and BP die off.

      by Senor Unoball on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:30:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  nor will they... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx

    Just watchThey wont spend shit with the new "firewall' approach.

  •  I definitely underestimate Alaska... (0+ / 0-)

    But given that they've sent us Palin and nearly re-hired a GOP felon is a huge Dem wave year, I think the underestimation is warranted.

  •  Thanks, Joan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    for a great FP article

  •  I'd hate to see us starve races that are truly (0+ / 0-)

    in tossup territory, for sake of one where we're starting out down 10 to 12 points.

    But on the other hand, it would be one in the eye for La Palin.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:53:07 PM PDT

  •  Is Murkowski running as an independent? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Oba-MA bumaye! Oba-MA bumaye!

    by fou on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:58:04 PM PDT

  •  Sorta OT... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, askew, dakinishir

    The new Gallup generic congressional tracking poll has both parties tied at 46% (D+5 / R-5)

    I hope Republicans enjoyed their 10% lead while it lasted.

    :-)

  •  man, that would be sweeeeet... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ParkRanger

    beating Sockeye Sarah's hand-picked filbert....

    Go Mark!

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 01:59:20 PM PDT

  •  Saw McAdams on KO last week and think he (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zinman, greenomanic, ParkRanger

    comes across as sincere and less arrogant and self-satisfied than Miller.  Perhaps McAdams' humility will send him to the archives so he can bone up on issues and take Dem positions.  Miller seems all too content with what he already knows--rightwing mythology.

  •  McAdams was on Rachel, not KO. Sorry. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Here's What A Fellow AK Republican Wrote Re Mille (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenomanic

    "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."
    Posted by Paulette_Simpson

    Posted: July 23, 2010 - 3:56 pm

    After storming off the stage at the March 2008 Republican convention in Anchorage, Joe Miller quit the Republican Party. In October 2009 he decided he was a Republican again and in April 2010 showed up as a delegate at the Republican convention in Juneau. Compared with 2008, he maintained a low profile. We exchanged pleasantries and even shared a table at the Friday night banquet.

    Conventioneers were electing a Party Chairman on Saturday afternoon but Miller still wasn’t interested in that job. In fact, about a week earlier a rumor had begun circulating that he had set his sights much higher and would challenge Lisa Murkowski for the United States Senate seat in the August Primary election. He had shared his plans with several others, including state Sen. John Coghill.

    Lisa was the speaker at Saturday’s convention luncheon. District 3 chair Ben Brown and I took seats toward the back and Miller sat at the next table over. When Lisa wrapped up her remarks but before the luncheon ended, I turned my phone back on and it immediately rang. The caller was a political acquaintance wondering if Miller had announced against Lisa yet. I asked the caller to hang on, laid the phone on the table and told Ben what I was going to do.

    I walked over to where he was sitting and looked Miller directly in the eye.

    "So," I said. "Are you going to announce against Lisa?"

    With indignation in his voice, he replied, "Absolutely not, Paulette!"

    "I’m sorry, but that rumor is all over this convention and I just wanted to hear it from you straight," I said.

    "Paulette," he replied, "If I were going to run don’t you think I would have announced BEFORE the convention?"

    "You know," I said. "Two years ago you did some pretty squirrelly things so I guess it’s not surprising people are making stuff up about you."

    One more time he clearly reiterated to me that he was not going to challenge Lisa.

    Two days later he channeled Obama by using the state Capitol’s marble columns and big stage steps as the backdrop to unfurl an expensive, professionally designed "Joe Miller for the U.S. Senate" banner.

    I’ll be the first to say it’s Miller’s constitutional right to run for office and it’s also his right to keep it a secret if he wants to. I certainly wasn’t more entitled to the information than anyone else, but I wasn’t less entitled either. How could someone auditioning for the United States Senate look a potential constituent in the eye and plainly lie? It begs a few questions, like what else does he think it's okay to lie about? Some might think that his lying to me specifically was okay. Well then, who else? When else?

    Also, did Miller gain anything by keeping his news secret for another forty-eight hours? No. Did Lisa do something that changed his mind between the end of her speech and his announcement? Don't think so. Why did he have a problem answering a simple and direct question? Remember former Sen. Alan Simpson’s famous quote? "If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters."

    I’m beginning to think Miller suffers from a personality disorder. We know from his amateurish performance at the 2008 Republican convention that he acts impulsively and irresponsibly - ignoring reality and failing to count his votes. And for someone who’s never been elected to anything, his sense of self-importance seems wildly inflated.

    With his well-rehearsed lines and fake bodyguards, it’s inevitable that some will be drawn to Miller’s act, but I’m still not buying the script. He doesn’t get the rules, he can’t work the system and he’s not honest. He’s a bearded, unfamous Lindsay Lohan. Another warped drama queen.

    Read more: http://community.adn.com/...

  •  Meet Scott McAdams (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, fabucat

    From Rachel Maddow's Blog:

    Meet Scott McAdams: Alaska Populist

    Alaska is a very inexpensive media market for campaigning.  I've read they can buy air time for $10.

    Official site:

    Scott McAdams, candidate for U.S. Senate

    Alaska blog, The Mudflats, first hit national consciousness when Sarah Palin was chosen for VP. They are on the ground in Anchorage and plugged in to people and issues:  

    Mudflat Chats: Meet Scott McAdams

    I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. ~Jimmy Dean

    by ParkRanger on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:08:46 PM PDT

  •  All power to the states, EXCEPT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jonze, Carnage251

    California shouldn't be allowed to legalise pot and Massachusetts shouldn't be allowed to officiate gay marriages. Tis a puzzlement.

  •  Money Bomb for McAdams (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fabucat, angelajean

    As for the money, McAdams is suddenly No. 1 on Act Blue's "Hot Candidates" list, having already pulled in $138,000 and counting as of Monday. An Act Blue spokesman said the average donation has been less than $100. Compare that with Begich's $300,000 ActBlue haul in 2008, which "goes a long way in Alaska," ActBlue's Adrian Arroyo said.

  •  Look who's talking (Begich)! Pretty cool. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    The true danger in politics is when people in power elevate ideological purity over their basic humanity, empathy, and common sense. -- thereisnospoon

    by alliedoc on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:23:11 PM PDT

  •  The problem is that about 3X more people (0+ / 0-)

    voted in the Republican primary compared to the Democratic primary.  That's a big number.

    The true danger in politics is when people in power elevate ideological purity over their basic humanity, empathy, and common sense. -- thereisnospoon

    by alliedoc on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:26:51 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, but only 25% of eligible voters.... (0+ / 0-)

      voted in the Alaska primary.

      •  We have every possible excuse for lack of voter (0+ / 0-)

        enthusiasm, to me.

        The true danger in politics is when people in power elevate ideological purity over their basic humanity, empathy, and common sense. -- thereisnospoon

        by alliedoc on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 04:50:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That is not a problem. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, angelajean

      I considered doing so myself.  I often do.  That is where most of the contests that make a difference are (ie. Murkowski vs. Miller).  

      Measure 2, the parental consent/abortion measure also brought out the right wing votes as well.

      "Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have." - Alain (Emil Chartier), 1938

      by because on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:45:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, in Alaska you can just vote in either party (0+ / 0-)

        primary, willy nilly?  Yuck.  I was a registered Republican for years.  I wanted to vote against Reagan for governor.

        The true danger in politics is when people in power elevate ideological purity over their basic humanity, empathy, and common sense. -- thereisnospoon

        by alliedoc on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 04:49:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not exactly (0+ / 0-)

          You must be registered Republican or non-declared to vote on the Republican ballot.

          I think anybody except for a registered Republican can vote on the Democratic ballot.  It is not really the Democratic ballot because it also has the the 3rd party people too.

          "Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have." - Alain (Emil Chartier), 1938

          by because on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 06:06:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sounds strange, although I might not understand (0+ / 0-)

            exactly.  In Pennsylvania, you can only vote on the primary for which you are registered.  Independents don't get to vote.

            The true danger in politics is when people in power elevate ideological purity over their basic humanity, empathy, and common sense. -- thereisnospoon

            by alliedoc on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 06:24:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Begich Money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew

    I hope like hell that Begich has turned over a large pile of money from his not-currently-needed campaign account to McAdams' campaign account.

    I'm glad that Begich is helping with staff for McAdams, but I'd like it better if he'd be helping with money as well.

    I'd rather the bluefin survive and BP die off.

    by Senor Unoball on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 02:33:01 PM PDT

  •  Big surprise. What is Begich (0+ / 0-)

    supposed to say, that we have zero chance?

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 03:06:29 PM PDT

  •  Good McAdams vid (0+ / 0-)

    After a slow start, he rocks the house.

    ....the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. FDR 1933

    by Tailspinterry on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 04:00:01 PM PDT

  •  McAdams website is interactive. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    because

    You can post comments.

    Here is the link to get your account started:

    http://www.scottmcadams.org/...

    He's also updated his issues page a lot. It needed it.

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