Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester spoke at a packed fund-raising lunch for Mark Begich today at the Egan Center. Nice to see so many supportive and engaged people turn out on a sunny Thursday afternoon. Notable figures in attendance in addition to Mayor Begich and Deborah Bonito were: Diane Benson, Sheila Selkregg, Elvi Gray-Jackson, and Matt Claman among others.
Senator Tester told of how he had won his previously Republican seat by less than 4000 votes, and discussed the work the new Democratic Senate has been doing for veterans, alternative energy, education and ethics reform. He expressed frustration about the inability so far to deal with FISA, and the Patriot Act, and reminds us there is a lot more work to do.
“You’ve got the opportunity here today to put a quality guy in the United States Senate. I’m going to tell you this, and this is a fact. There are a lot of folks who run for public office, but there are darn few people that I know that have the ability to think, and communicate like Mark Begich. This guy, when he comes to the U.S. Senate is going to be an incredible assett for Alaska, and he’s going to be an incredible asset for this country.”
The afternoon wrapped up with the impromptu auction of a pair of seventh row Elton John tickets that went for a cool $900 after a good-natured bidding war.
Senator Tester will be spending a few more days in the state talking and listening to veterans and others, both in Fairbanks and in the Valley. See the Mark Begich Campaign Blog for details and video of the Senators listening session earlier today at the Mountainview VFW Hall.
Ironically, during the Begich/Tester lunch, a Ted Stevens function was happening in the same building right next door. I was concerned that the proximity of these two forces might bring about some sort of matter/anti-matter explosion, but none occured. Convinced that I wouldn’t rip a hole in space/time, I found temptation irresistable and made a little mischief on the way out.