So How Did the Alaskan Independence Party Do?

14 11 2008

OK, the official numbers are not in yet in Alaska, but we can feel fairly confident that no candidate from the Alaskan Independence Party is going to win a seat this year.  But how did they fare?  They certainly got a lot more press than usual this year…especially from outside of Alaska.

The AIP Presidential candidate vote total went from .67% in 2004 to .52% in 2008.  No real change.

But, the AIP Senatorial candidate went from 1.22% in 2004 to 4.14% in 2008.  Almost a threefold increase!  Did the AIP become all the rage because of the trendy secessionist tendencies of Todd Palin, Alaska’s First Dude and “former” AIPer?  Did AIP Senate candidate Bob Bird, just ride the Palin’s coattails?

Or maybe the increase is due to those Republicans that couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a convicted felon, but also couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a Democrat?

Or maybe it’s because Ron Paul (who fared better than John McCain in the primary up here) endorsed Bob Bird, the AIP’s Senate candidate.  Those Ron Paul fans are pretty loyal, and so this is a definite possibility. 

It’s interesting to note that the increase in AIP votes from 2004 to 2008 would more than make up the difference between the now trailing Ted Stevens, and his Democratic rival for the senate seat, Mark Begich. I suppose in a metaphorical way, you could say that Ron Paul may have given Ted Stevens the “Bird”.

The only other AIP candidate on the ticket this year was Dan DeNardo running in House District 31.  You may remember him from a little bedtime story on Mudflats last month.  Just a quick reminder if you don’t want to go back and read the whole thing…

Here’s his bio:

“I study the creation and impact of the Luciferian Marxist-Lenninist Dialectical Sovietism that is the most encompassing secular historical force controlling every incorporated political party; the world’s exchange systems based on perpetual indentured slavery through interest bearing irredeemable security obligations, i.e. federal reserve notes; Law Merchant advisory panels masquerading as “juries”; bar associations composed strictly of card-carrying Kommunist Komrade Kriminals acting in Alaska under the Alaska Supreme Soviet in conjunction with Soviet counterparts in NKVD through the Khabarovsk-Alaska Collectivization Project; and state sponsored Kriminal Globalism’s “perpetual War for perpetual peace.”

And this guy got 3%… all my theorizing about Bob Bird’s 4% may have just been blown out the window. Maybe it’s just Alaska.


Begich Now Up By 1061!

14 11 2008
Number of Precincts   438  
Precincts Reporting   438 100.0 %
Times Counted   293995/495731 59.3 %
Total Votes   290122  

Begich, Mark DEM 137527 47.40%
Bird, Bob AI 11933 4.11%
Gianoutsos, Ted NA 1218 0.42%
Haase, Fredrick D. LIB 2215 0.76%
Stevens, Ted REP 136466 47.04%
Write-in Votes   763 0.26%
Number of Precincts   438  
Precincts Reporting   438 100.0 %
Times Counted   293995/495731 59.3 %
Total Votes   289496  

Berkowitz, Ethan A. DEM 129795 44.83%
Wright, Don R. AI 12858 4.44%
Young, Don E. REP 146083 50.46%
Write-in Votes   760 0.26%

Here’s the latest batch of numbers. Begich is widening the lead, but is still within the .5% needed to request a recount.

Unfortunately, things are not looking good for Ethan Berkowitz…


UPDATE: New numbers in.  Begich now up by 1022…

Also Fairbanks House district 7 shows (D) Karl Kassel pulling within ONE vote of (R) Mike Kelly.

UPDATE:  Looks like those are the final numbers for the day.

Pulling the Chair Out from Under Joe Lieberman.

14 11 2008

One of the big perks of this election, after getting Obama elected, and after all those positive changes that lie in the days to come, was the ouster of Joe Lieberman. He undoubtedly holds the title of “Most Despised Democrat” in the Senate. His betrayal of his party, his slanderous comments about Barack Obama, and his contstant sucking up to John McCain and the Republicans had many Democrats seething, staring at the clock and waiting for the day they could strip him of his key committee chairmanship.

Seeing the writing on the wall, Lieberman made a donation this summer- a big FAT donation – to the DSCC to the tune of $100,000. This contribution came on top of last year’s donation of the same amount. Apparently Joe thinks that’s what the going rate is to buy friends. Behold the grown-up political version of “If I give you my lunch, can I sit with you?”

Insiders were saying that he was scrambling to keep his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which several Democrats who were actually loyal to their party, were champing at the bit to pull from him after the November election.

On top of this year’s $100,000, his PAC has donated an additional $30,000 since last year. Will this be enough to change the opinion of those who regard Lieberman as the Benedict-Arnold-turncoat-McCain-hugging-Judas-Escariot-war-monger of the Senate? Is $130,000 the cost of a chairmanship, or will the Democrats ‘pull the Chair out from under him’?

In addition, the Senate is perilously close to the coveted veto-proof, filibuster-proof Democratic majority that seemed like a dream until recently. With the races of Begich vs. Stevens, Franken vs. Coleman and Martin vs. Chambliss hanging in the air, things are uncertain.

A few Senators have come out in recent days calling for Lieberman’s removal – Senator Bernie Sanders, and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Patrick Leahy, both from Vermont. “I am one who does not feel that somebody should be rewarded with a major chairmanship after doing what he did,” Leahy said in a Vermont Public Radio interview on Friday.

Some of Lieberman’s attacks on Obama “went beyond the pale,” Leahy said. “I would feel that had I done something similar that I would not be chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress.”

“To reward Senator Lieberman with a major committee chairmanship would be a slap in the face of millions of Americans who worked tirelessly for Barack Obama and who want to see real change in our country,” said Sanders in the statement sent our way by his office.

“Appointing someone to a major post who led the opposition to everything we are fighting for is not ‘change we can believe in,'” Sanders continued. “I very much hope that Senator Lieberman stays in the Democratic caucus and is successful in regaining the confidence of those whom he has disappointed. This is not a time, however, in which he should be rewarded with a major committee chairmanship.”

The in-boxes of Democratic Senators across the nation are being filled to capacity as we speak. I don’t have a Democratic Senator…..yet. But if I did, I would be adding to the electronic pile of outrage in my Senator’s email account.

This will be voted on by the Senate NEXT WEEK, so time is of the essence if you want your voice to be heard.

And I’d like to post again one of my all-time favorite political cartoons for all the Senate Democrats (and those who caucus with them) except for the two distinguished gentlemen from Vermont.


Stevens and Begich – The Counting Continues.

14 11 2008

Another day of counting has begun. What started on election day as a 3200 vote lead for convicTed Stevens, swung to an 814 vote lead for Democratic challenger Mark Begich on Monday when a huge stack of absentee and early ballots were counted.

Today is round two. Here’s what will be counted today.

About 510 questioned ballots from Southeast, the Peninsula and Southwest Alaska

About 5,180 absentee and questioned ballots from Mat-Su

Questioned, absentee ballots from Richardson Highway and the Interior

About 3,600 absentee and questioned ballots from Western and Northwest Alaska, and North Slope

To Be Counted on Monday

Leftover absentee ballots from Richardson Highway and the Interior

To Be Counted on Tuesday

About 15,700 questioned and absentee ballots from Anchorage

About 8,300 absentee ballots from Southeast, Kenai Peninsula and Southwest Alaska

Begich made a big push for his supporters to vote early. Also, Republicans believe Stevens got a boost when he returned to Alaska from his trial less than a week before the election and began rallying supporters. People who voted earlier would not have been part of that lift.

Stevens’ supporters think he can come back as more absentee votes cast following his homecoming are counted. Still, the fact that the votes are coming from Begich majority districts leave the Democrats’ supporters quietly optimistic.

Yes, one can only imagine how many of those who were on the fence decided to align themselves with the convicted felon after his inspirational, and victorious homecoming from the trial.

An image from the inspirational Welcome Home Ted rally.

An image from the inspirational Welcome Home Ted rally.

On Monday, the Division of Elections released one batch of numbers during the day, and the final tally at about 8:30pm. It’s anyone’s guess how they’ll release the information today. Stay tuned.

Sarah Palin has a Press Conference?!?

14 11 2008

That whooshing sound you are about to hear is Sarah Palin sucking all the air out of the room at the Republican Governors Conference. I don’t know what happened. Maybe somebody slipped an Ambien in her morning coffee. But the perky, feisty, ‘pallin’ around with terrorists’ ‘you betcha’ Palin looks completely deflated and totally out of her element.

But, part of the Sarah Palin we have come to know is still in there, clad in black shiny clothing that wasn’t hers before August 29th.

I’m hoping that the one thing that will come from the fact that Sarah Palin is inexplicably still in the national spotlight, is that people will realize after a while, that there is no there there. When allowed to speak at will, she regurgitates the same handful of talking points, the same double helpings of word salad, and the same endless High School filler words to inhabit all the space that should be filled with actual thoughts. Scratch the surface, and you’ll find more….surface.

Here’s part of her intro:

I am very proud to be here with this group of Republican governors. There’s something different about this group where we…uh…as a whole what we do in our states is govern with strong executive experiences that are put to good use. We don’t let obsessive extreme partisanship get in the way of just doin’ what’s right for the people who have hired us…our constituents in our states and you know…um…we have to balance our budgets. It doesn’t matter who controls our legislatures, we balance our budgets. We’re in charge of tens of billions of dollars in our states and tens of thousands of public employees all providing services and projects and implementing policies that are best for our states, and again not allowing obsessive partisanship to get in the way. I think this group is going to be looked to and looked at for leadership that had perhaps been lacking in congress and uh…in Washington D.C. This group’s going to be uniquely qualified to provide leadership in this nation.

Now all those governors understand what it is exactly that a governor does every day. At least we are led to believe that she was addressing governors…it might have been middle school students…can’t tell the difference.

And after the intro, we were treated to a very short press conference!

Q. What are the chief issues on which you would like to turn your political celebrity into a new political credibility for your party and yourself?

Palin: I don’t know if it’s political celebrity but I want to put to good use my experience that I have as uh..the governor of an energy producing state to help our nation become energy independent and…and, you know, we’re going to focus here on what we can do as a team of Republican governors together because again, what we do in our states is balance budgets despite who controls our legislature. We don’t let obsessive partisanship get in the way of doin’ what’s right. We’re all about healthcare reform and doing those things in our own states to allow competition accessibility, affordability for healthcare for more of the residents in our own states. Our border states, of course, being very concerned and committed to uh, immigration reform. Those issues that we work on every day. We as a team I believe are going to be looked to and we offer up the solutions that on a national level our elected officials are going to need.

Q. You have lost the vote of women and Hispanics. What can you do to recover? (ouch)

Palin: Well, ya know, I treat everybody equally – women, Hispanics, going to…uh…work with this group of governors to serve, um, all Americans and individually in all of our states our’re going to work extremely hard but treating everybody equally and not allowing gender, race, uh, background, demographic representive, we’re not going to let that get in the way of doing what’s right for our country as a whole.

As you’ll notice, she keeps backing away from the podium, wanting to end this, and who knows why, but Texas Governor Rick Perry says Palin will take one more question and actually grabs her by the arm and steers her back to the microphone like she was a child…or a prop. The whole thing is just painful.

It’s nothing wrapped in nothing, stuffed with nothing, and tied in a pretty bow. Usually no matter how woefully inadequate her spoken words may sound, there’s nothing that compares to actually reading a transcript. There’s no visual distraction, there’s no non-verbal communication, it’s just the words. But this time, her obvious discomfort, disconnected tone of voice, and almost dazed confusion at times is quite startling. If you watch her face, and listen to the tone of her voice, much of the press conference sounds like a watered down version of the deer-in-the-headlights moment when Katie Couric asked her if there were any other Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with, only without the adrenaline.

Q: Given that this is your first formal press conference on the national stage, what message are you trying to convey?

Palin: I’m trying to convey the message that Republican governors are a unique team, a unique group. They are here. We are here. Together. United and ready to reach out to the new administration to offer solutions that we know will work to meet the challenges that America is facing.


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Bedtime in Alaska – Open Thread

14 11 2008

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
– Carlos Castaneda

Good night, Mudflatters. And welcome to those around the globe who have the sun on their side.

Tomorrow is another day of ballot counting here, and hopefully it will get us a little closer to having a Democrat in Alaska’s congressional delegation! Send good thoughts.