Skip to main content

Ok, so we know that the teabaggers would love to see this happen:

"Do the words 'Senator Sarah Palin' excite you?"

That's the opening line of a recent email by The Tea Party Leadership Fund, which is trying to draft the former Alaska governor and past Fox News commentator to run for the Senate in 2014. The fund argues Palin has a clear path to victory in part due to recent polling showing incumbent Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, with less than 50 percent of the vote.

But, it being a draft, the group hasn't talked with Palin about whether or not she's interested. And Palin – whose PAC didn't respond to request for comment from Whispers – is believed to be currently residing in Arizona, not Alaska. The fund's Niger Innis says the interest of Tea Party members in a Palin run, however, is clear.

"We didn't know that [the draft] was going to catch fire to the degree that it has. And what that tells us is that this is just the beginning," he says. "It's gone viral." - U.S. News, 4/30/13

And of course they always have this guy as their plan B:
Tea-party-backed Alaska Republican Joe Miller is looking at a run for Senate in 2014, forming an exploratory committee to judge whether he can generate enough political and financial support.

“The choice before Alaskans in 2014 will be stark,” Miller wrote in a blog post on his website Sunday night announcing the move. “Voters must choose between the easy lies of an insider politician or the hard truth of a reformer.”

If he runs and secures the nomination, Miller would face Democrat Mark Begich. Miller defeated GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a 2010 primary, but lost in the general election when Murkowski ran as a write-in candidate. Miller’s general election campaign was plagued by gaffes, including the handcuffing of a local journalist. - Politico, 4/15/13

But Think Progress makes the point that Alaska teabaggers may already have their Sarah Palin-like candidate in Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell (R. AK):

Here are eight things voters should know about Treadwell:

1. He loves drilling. A founding member of the Yukon Pacific Corporation, the company that began the Alaska gas pipeline project. His 2010 campaign for Lt. Governor focused on a platform of “fighting the feds” to get more oil into Alaska’s pipeline, building a gas pipeline, and expanding exports. He complained that the federal government denies Alaskan drillers legal access to oil and gas sources purely because of “visual impact.”

2. He denies climate-change science and dismisses its dangers. In seeking the endorsement of the Conservative Patriots Group (an Alaskan Tea Party organization), Treadwell said he is unconvinced CO2 emissions drive climate change: “I challenge the argument that man made CO2 emissions are causing significant global warming and I will oppose any costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness.” Treadwell cheers the “accessible arctic” that would come from melting ice and suggests that declining cultural traditions are a bigger concern — telling a Republican group: “If you think climate’s changing in Alaska, glaciers are receding, sea ice is opening up, and all of that, one of the things that to me is very dramatic is that there are many, many Alaskan native youth today who do not speak the language of their grandparents.”

3. He opposed Obamacare and student loan reform, because he believed they created “death panels.” Echoing Palin’s widely-debunked claim, Treadwell widely mischaracterized President Obama’s health care reform law and student loan reform. At a 2010 debate, he argued: “Government’s job is to protect our liberties and to protect our property, not to take our rights away. It’s also to our job to come in and tell you, if you’re a doctor ‘you’re now a utility and whatever you charge and decide to do is subject to government regulation.’ Some other things in that bill [were] entirely nuts. They had a plan to try to reduce the cost of student loans by getting the banks out of the way, as middlemen. Instead they said, ‘no, let’s keep the same price, throw the banks out of business, and use that as a tax to help pay for this thing.” Noting his late wife’s struggle with brain cancer, he said “thank goodness there were not death panels… Sarah Palin was right on blowing the whistle on that issue.”

4. He opposes not just marijuana legalization but even medical marijuana. Though he claims to be an advocate of privacy and a “liberty agenda,” Treadwell takes a hard line on even medical marijuana. At a 2010 debate — two years before Colorado voted to legalize and regulate marijuana — Treadwell criticized it and other states that allowed those with a medical need to access the drug. “I believe we should have solid drug laws,” he argued, “I don’t like the situation in CO and CA right now that has basically meant you can get pot in a store as easily as you can get a pizza. I don’t think that makes sense.”

5. He opposes all new revenue, but pushed for more government spending. Treadwell signed Grover Norquist’s iron-clad oath against ever increasing taxes of any kind. In a 2010 debate, he pushed other candidates to do the same. While he opposing ever seeking new revenue, he boasted of his efforts to “dramatically” increase Alaska’s infrastructure through “joint federal and state investment in sanitation, health, and energy facilities.” Last month, he actually criticized the draconian Paul Ryan House Republican budget plan for not balancing the budget quickly enough.

6. He opposed an bill that made ballot initiative funding more transparent, citing his support for parental notification legislation. In 2010, Alaska’s Republican-controlled legislature enacted HB 36, the Open and Transparent Initiative Act, to make it easier for votes to know who is behind ballot initiatives and who is paying for them. As a 2010 Lt. Governor candidate forum, Treadwell explained that he would have opposed the law. His reasoning was that “the constitution did set up a process that hasn’t really happened with the legislation. You go around, get lots and lots of signatures, they made it harder to get the signatures, and the legislature is supposed to respond.” He then complained, “I’m also very sad and upset that we have to go to a ballot initiative to keep the rights of parents to know what their daughter is doing,” as the legislature did not enact a law preventing pregnant minors from obtaining an abortion without parental notification.

7. He loved the late Sen. Ted Stevens because he was “anti-Communist” and brought home pork. In a memorial post for the National Review, Treadwell wrote that the late Senator was a hero: “Stevens was labeled a big spender; conservative circles hung a “bridge to nowhere” around his neck in the year or so before he left. But he was a staunch anti-Communist when it counted, and he supported Ronald Reagan’s efforts to bring down the Soviet Union. He constantly pushed back against environmental extremism, but was a realist about supporting science and technology to address environmental and health problems. … Even conservatives fail us sometimes: Stevens’s natural allies in pushing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, for instance, were often the same folks who broke with him when he sought to replace a national icebreaker fleet that can hardly handle the reduced conditions of the Arctic. Thus, in his latter days, just as he’d accrued the seniority to guide appropriations, Stevens’s practice of ‘earmarks’ became a target. Since Congress wouldn’t let us drill for new oil, we were told, we had decided to ‘drill’ in the federal budget.” Treadwell, who once served as a page for Stevens, continues the late Senator’s push for federal money for icrebreaking ships.

8. Like Palin, he has connections to the controversial Alaskan Independence Party. In 1990, Alaskans elected Gov. Walter Hickel and Lt. Gov. Jack Coghill on the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) ticket. Hickel, who had served a term as a Republican in the 1960s, was Treadwell’s “longtime mentor and close friend.” Coghill, who went on to chair the AIP, headlined Treadwell’s 2010 Fairbanks campaign kickoff event. The platform of the AIP under Coghill called for “privatization of government services,” “complete abolition of the concept of sovereign or governmental immunity, so as to restore accountability for public servants,” and “the rights of parents to privately or home school their children and to provide them individually the right to access to a proportional share of all money provided for educational purposes as an unrestricted grant for such purposes.” Historically, the AIP has advocated for a referendum on whether the state should secede from the United States. - Think Progress, 5/2/13

Meadwell has been eying challenging Senator Mark Begich (D. AK) for a while now:

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is weighing a challenge to first-term Sen. Mark Begich, questioned the legitimacy of Begich’s 2008 election Thursday and accused the Democrat of having taken his seat in a “bloodless coup.”
Begich defeated the late Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, a former president pro tem of the U.S. Senate and one of Alaska’s founding fathers, in a narrowly decided race. Stevens battled a federal corruption indictment during the election and was convicted of making false statements to investigators – only to see the convictions later voided due to prosecutorial conduct after he lost to Begich.

In an interview with POLITICO, Treadwell questioned the legitimacy of Begich’s win: “I’ll put it this way: a great applause line in a speech right now to Alaskans is, ‘Let’s decide this one ourselves and not let the Justice Department do it.’”

“It was astounding that you could have this process happen, that would take the third-most powerful guy in the government out of the government, unjustly, and then just say ‘oh, never mind,’ ” Treadwell said. “It was a bloodless coup that is just a very, very sad chapter in our history.” - Politico, 3/22/13

So Treadwell might just be the Tea Party's best choice if Palin doesn't run.  But Tea Party wild card Joe Miller (R. AK) has long been saying that Treadwell isn't the great conservative hope the party needs:

Yeah, Treadwell’s a rich moderate that can appeal to independents. Romney won those voters overwhelmingly. How’d that work out for us?

Yeah, Treadwell is the anointed candidate of the Republican establishment. So was Romney. How’d that work out for us?

Yeah, Treadwell is an experienced businessman and government manager. So was Romney. How’d that work out for us?

Yeah, Treadwell is a decent man who believes in a fair fight. So was Romney. How’d that work out for us? -, 12/2/12

So yeah.  It's going to be an interesting primary, especially if Miller jumps in.  SO while the GOP figures out who their best candidate is, Senator Begich is fighting the FDA from approving genetically engineered salmon like "Frankenfish":

The Hill notes that, Thursday, the “FDA issued draft findings that a Boston firm’s fish were identical to traditional salmon, safe to eat and won’t cause environmental harm,” but it isn't easing concerns over the proposal to send genetically modified salmon to market.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been considering a proposal from AquaBounty Technologies, which is a biotechnology firm that has produced Atlantic salmon eggs with a growth hormone that hastens maturity. It enables the fish to reach “market size in half the time as normal salmon.”

Consumer advocates are furious that genetically modified (GMO) salmon may soon show up in supermarkets without labels. It would be the first animal product directly modified to be approved by the FDA. But critics claim it may not be safe for human consumption and question if unforeseen side effects may show up in people years down the road.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), opposes altered salmon as “frankenfish” and warned that “Jurassic Park-style” gene splicing involved in the technology belongs in the movies — not on American dinner plates. “It could have a harmful effect on the entire fishing industry,” said Murkowski spokesman Matthew Felling.

To that end, a letter was sent to the FDA Wednesday, by a group of lawmakers led by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), urging that consideration of approval for AquaBounty’s salmon eggs to be denied until more testing can be done.

“The fact that the consideration of AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon has gotten this far is a sign of how broken the U.S. current regulatory structure actually is,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!

Opponents fear genetically altered salmon could escape their fishery farms and mingle with other salmon in the open waters, a scenario that they say has “untold consequences.” - The Examiner, 5/2/13

If you'd like more information about "Frankenfish" and the FDA, please contact Senator Begich's office:

(202) 224-3004

And if you would like to get involved with Begich's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Climate Hawks.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site