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Ah what the hell, I was originally just going to do one diary today because I'm burnt out from yesterday but I like you guys so much that I'll give you a few more diaries.  I'll have a new SD-Sen diary out tonight by the way.  But on to Alaska.  Senator Mark Begich (D. AK) is a co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act which is an expansion of the Equal Pay Act which require employers to demonstrate that pay disparity is solely related to job performance.  Begich took to the Senate floor urging the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act:

“One of my first votes here in the Senate was for the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and I continue to take up the fight for workplace equality. I was raised by a single mother of six from the age of 10. When I saw what my mom had to struggle through, what she had to earn to make sure we had food on the table, a comfortable life, and opportunities growing up, it is so clear to me that this is not a complicated issue. It is a fairness issue. I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will allow this bill to come to a vote.” - U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D. AK)

Begich has been endorsed by the Alaskan AFL-CIO.  You all know how much I've written about Begich and how I am making him one of my top incumbents to defend this upcoming election cycle.  Now I don't agree with his views on gun control and the Keystone Pipeline but I agree with him on this issue and applaud his work for Native Americans and for his support for the public option and overturning the Supreme Court's decision on Citizens United.  And of course, I love his plan to strengthen Social Security known as the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act:

Increases Benefits for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities. Currently, Social Security benefits are adjusted by the Consumer Price Index for workers. However, costs and spending patterns for seniors do not mirror those of the workforce. That is why Sen. Begich’s bill calls for adjusting cost-of-living increases with a Consumer Price Index specifically for the elderly which was created to more accurately measure the costs of goods and services seniors actually buy.

Lifts the Cap on High-Income Contributions. Current law sets a cap based on income at $113,700 for paying into Social Security. If an individual’s wages hit that total for the year, they no longer pay into the program. Sen. Begich’s bill lifts the cap and asks higher income earners to pay Social Security on all their earnings in order to increase the program’s revenue stream and extend the overall solvency of the program.

Extends Social Security for approximately 75 years through modest revenue increases gradually implemented over the course of seven years. - Alaska Native News, 11/14/12

Begich will have a tough fight ahead of him in a red state Alaska but he's well liked by his constituents.  Super PACs, Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers will spend big to defeat him and Alaska Democrats are even preparing for Tea Party wild card, Joe Miller's return:

Though Begich’s 2009 vote in favor of national health care reform remains one of his biggest political vulnerabilities, he has positioned himself as a moderate on a range of issues and is supportive of gun owner rights and drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

But despite the incumbent’s quiet strengths, newly elected Alaska Democratic Party Chairman Mike Wenstrup believes that Miller would be a surprisingly strong opponent, in part due to his avid base.

“It’ll be the biggest race probably in Alaska history,” Wenstrup said of the Senate bout next year. “We expect it to be similar to the race Sen. [Jon] Tester ran in Montana in 2012, with lots of outside money coming in and lots of negative attacks from these outside PACs targeting Sen. Begich. At the same time, we expect Sen. Begich to have a lot of support in the state.” - RCP, 1/31/13

You can donate to Begich's campaign here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:21 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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