It’s been a delightfully slow news day here on the Mudflats. It’s cold and grey, and at 5:00 Alaska time, the pale orange sun has set over Cook Inlet. So it was nice, on this quiet, lazy day, to get a message from one of our favorite Mudflatters, and one we haven’t heard from in a while, Representative Les Gara. No gripping press releases or dragon slaying this time….just a nice election update.
I thought I’d offer you the kind of election analysis you just can’t buy. Mostly because it’s not worth that much.
The Mark Begich-Ted Stevens race remains too close to call, and word is we might have some new numbers soon. My good friend Ethan Berkowitz (we’ve been friends from long before either of us stumbled into politics) has an outside chance of closing his gap against Congressman Don Young, but the gap in that race is pretty substantial right now. And we have a roughly half dozen State House and Senate races with less than 200 vote differences that could change too.
Also – Friday the State Senate organized a bi-partisan coalition across party lines (applause); but the House Republicans have so far declined offers to do the same (no applause). We’re still working on them, but right now it’s a 22 Republican, 18 Democrat, with 5 House races still to be decided. I think the news story that the Republicans have closed the door on a bi-partisan coalition was as premature as the decision by the Republican leadership was unwise. We’ll see if the newspaper got this one wrong. At least they should have done a little investigation before simply repeating the press release they received from Republican House members yesterday. Don’t get me started on the state of our newspapers – where staff has been cut so much that “he said she said” stories, and stories that just take politician statements at face value, have become too common. Anyway – many of my colleagues and I are still promoting a bi-partisan coalition in the House. It’s an uphill, but worthy effort.
Closest to home – I need to announce that I beat no one. Don’t worry (or celebrate, depending on your views). I didn’t lose. It’s just that no one ran against me (I did have an opponent in the August Primary). The good news – or at least what I’ve emphasized for my mother – is that I got something like 95% of the vote. The bad news is that 5% either didn’t feel like filling out their ovals, or decided, um… Maybe it’s better if I don’t think about that.