Small Victory for Obama in Alaska

20 11 2008
US PRESIDENT
Total
Number of Precincts 438
Precincts Reporting 438 100.0 %
Times Counted 325054/495731 65.6 %
Total Votes 323820

Baldwin and Castle AI 1652 0.51%
Barr and Root LIB 1575 0.49%
McCain and Palin REP 192631 59.49%
Nader and Gonzalez IND 3757 1.16%
Obama and Biden DEM 122485 37.83%
Write-in Votes 1720 0.53%

Obama did not win in Alaska. Polls had him on an average of about 11 points behind in the weeks before the election. Alas, the numbers reflected in the polls turned out to be worse for Obama in the general election. At one point it looked like McCain-Palin took a whopping 65% of the vote.

With all the excitement of the Senatorial race, all anyone could think about was Begich vs. Stevens. First Stevens up, and Begich down. Then separated by 3 votes. Then Begich up and Stevens down. Begich more up. Uh-oh, Stevens gaining. Begich up again. It was dizzying, and everyone’s laser-sharp focus was trained on those returns.

But there’s one small victory that hasn’t been talked about much. After the whopping 90,000 votes that were counted in Alaska after election day, there was a shift in the presidential race. After the final tally, McCain-Palin won by 59.49%. LESS than 60%. And we can even round down to 59%! I’ll take it.

2008 McCain/Palin 59% Obama/Biden 38%

2004 Bush 61 – Kerry 35
2000 Bush 59 – Gore 28

Obama won the hearts of more Alaska voters than any Democrat in recent memory. And McCain-Palin, despite their surface appeal, with the Alaska Governor on the ticket, frankly, didn’t do all that well comparatively. I’m looking forward to 2012. I think we’re headed in the right direction.





Another Election Eve in Alaska. Recount Possibility?

17 11 2008

1600. That’s the magic number. If Mark Begich can increase his lead from 1022 to 1600, it will put him over the recount threshold. If the margin of victory is under .5%, the state will pay for a recount if requested by either candidate, or a group of 10 citizens. If the margin is over .5%, then the candidate would have to pay for a recount himself. An automatic recount is generated only in the unlikely (but nothing would surprise me at this point) event of a tie.

Will Stevens ask for a recount if he comes up short?  It’s anyone’s guess.  If anyone would do it, it’s Ted.  But he may decide to leave well enough alone, and spare himself from his almost certain expulsion from the US Senate.  But Stevens is not one to back down.  Ever.

Let me be the first to say that Alaskans are eagerly looking forward to this election being over.  We were all prepared to wrap it up on November 4th, and are now faced with the election that wouldn’t die.  But, there is a bright side to a potential recount.  Recounts are done by hand count.  It would be interesting to see how a good old-fashioned hand count fared in comparison to the suspect results that come from our particular brand of nefarious vote counting software.  It might be the only vote of integrity Alaskans will have seen for several cycles.

And, if it flips the other way and Stevens regains his advantage, maybe Mark Begich will demand a recount.

The counting finishes tomorrow with approximately 24,000 ballots coming from Anchorage, Southeast Alaska, and the Kenai Penninsula remaining.  When all is said and done it looks like Alaska’s percentage of voter turnout will be about 65%, which is less than the 66% voter turnout just four years ago, despite Palin and Obama on the ticket, and despite the addition of more than 20,000 new registered voters this year.  There are many loose ends to be tied up before this is all over, and once the votes are counted.

And just in time for a little comic relief from the Stevens-Begich duel to the death, check out Juror #11’s Blog! That’s right.  Blogging jurors.  This is a hilarious recounting of the Ted Stevens trial from the perspective of Juror #11.  Too bad she wasn’t allowed to blog during the trial! This is the juror who, although initially pegged as an alternate, got to step in when the infamous Juror #4 fled the scene after making up the story about her father dying, so she could go attend a horse race.

Here’s Juror #11’s summary of the trial’s opening statements: (‘Salmmy’ is Ted Stevens….we don’t know why yet, but have been promised an explanation in the future)

The prosectution: I am Rosie, and Salmmy is guilty of fraud! False Statements! Lying! Receiving Gifts! Furniture! Generator! Free Work done on his house! Statue! Puppy! Stained Glass Window! Mustang! – Wait?! Did she just say Mustang? What was that about a Mustang? Whose Mustang? Are you giving out Free Mustangs? Damn, now I really have to listen to find out more about that mustang! (yes, I love mustangs and am sure at one point I doodled ‘Mustang of love’ a dozen times in my notebook like a love sick teenager. I really hope they shredded those notebooks). Sadly, after the mustang bit my head was a little cloudy, but I think she said that they would prove their evidence in the next couple of weeks.

The defense: I am a whimisical old man! I don’t like microphones or standing in one spot! (I swear his nickname was going to be Orville Redenbocker if he had continued in this vein. I wanted to give him a straw hat, bow tie and a red stripped vest). Luckily he got to the point: Salmmy is innocent! He is old and confused! He hardley even goes to Alaska! His wife handled all the bills! His bestest friend didn’t tell him what was happening! Seriously? Oh, and Bill Allen is the Evil. He tricked Salmmy!

There are also before and after pictures of Ted’s chalet, and other amusing tidbits about the Alaskan trial of the century.  I’ll be putting a link in the sidebar for this one.

And then tomorrow, back to the serious stuff.





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%…..so all my theorizing about Bob Bird’s 4% may have just been blown out the window. Maybe it’s just Alaska.





Latest Alaskan Numbers and Palin’s Potential Senate Run.

12 11 2008

So, IF Ted Stevens gets re-elected, and IF he gets expelled from the senate, we will have a special election to fill the seat.  Any takers?

In an interview today with Wolf Blitzer (I wonder if she had an urge to shoot him from a helicopter?) Sarah Palin said that she feels as though she has a “contract with Alaskans” to continue to serve as governor, but didn’t completely rule out a run for the U.S. Senate if there was an opportunity to do so.

Palin said, speaking of Alaska voters,  “if they call an audible on me, and if they say they want me in another position, I’m going to do it. … My life is in God’s hands. If he’s got doors open for me, that I believe are in our state’s best interest, the nation’s best interest, I’m going to go through those doors.”

She also said she would not appoint herself or a member of her family to the vacant senate seat….which is nice, because that would be illegal.  (bangs head on desk)

So obviously a lot hangs in the balance in this Senate race – not only another potential Democrat in the Senate, but whether Sarah Palin will gain a foothold in Washington.  The first batch of uncounted ballots will be finished tonight.  The official count from the Division of Elections has Democrat Mark Begich leading ConvicTed Stevens by THREE votes.  There are about 10,000 ballots scheduled to be counted today, and nobody is going home until it’s done.  There are about 35,000 more ballots to be counted in the next week. 

Ethan Berkowitz has made up a little ground on Republican incumbent Don Young but still trails by 15,710. 






Palin and the Crack in the Door.

12 11 2008

door

Alaska, bar the door! Here’s the latest little gem from Governor Sarah Palin. For six weeks we couldn’t get her to talk, and now we can’t get her to stop!

“You know, I have — faith is a very big part of my life. And putting my life in my creator’s hands — this is what I always do. I’m like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I’m like, don’t let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is. Even if it’s cracked up a little bit, maybe I’ll plow right on through that and maybe prematurely plow through it, but don’t let me miss an open door. And if there is an open door in ’12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I’ll plow through that door.”

Can somebody out there help me shove this huge heavy dresser over there in front of that door? EErrrrrgggghhhh.

For more thoughts on Palin’s crack in the door, the Alaska vote, and the future of convicted Senator Ted Stevens, check out Rachel Maddow and her guest, fellow Alaskan blogger and radio journalist Shannyn Moore! Here’s the LINK.

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Election Update from Rep. Les Gara

9 11 2008

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.





Vote Count in Alaska – Volunteer Opportunity!

9 11 2008

For all Alaskan Mudflatters, here is an opportunity to participate in the final vote count. No, our election is not over yet, and all the early votes that came in between October 31 and November 3, plus a steady stream of absentee ballots being received by mail, and “question” ballots still need to be counted.

Vote monitors are needed to help in Fairbanks, Juneau, Wasilla, Nome, and Anchorage.

If you can offer some time to help with this effort, please contact one of the following:

Mark Begich campaign: info@begich.com or featherlybean@gmail.com

Alaska Democratic office: info@alaskademocrats.org

Ethan Berkowitz campaign: info@ethanberkowitz.com

Thanks for considering one last way you can participate and help every vote be counted in this historic election!

UPDATE: Looks like this effort is fully staffed! Thanks to all who stepped up!  **The Begich campaign is looking for a list of backup help should the need arise, so feel free to contact them.**





More on Alaska’s ‘Puzzling’ Election Results.

8 11 2008

The Anchorage Daily News has now gotten on the bandwagon casting a critical eye on Alaska’s “puzzling” voter turnout.

Did a huge chunk of Alaska voters really stay home for what was likely the most exciting election in a generation?

That’s what turnout numbers are suggesting, though absentee ballots are still arriving in the mail and, if coming from overseas, have until Nov. 19 to straggle in.

The reported turnout has prompted commentary in the progressive blogosphere questioning the validity of the results. And Anchorage pollster Ivan Moore, who usually works with Democrats, said Friday that “something smells fishy,” though he said it was premature to suggest that the conduct of the election itself was suspect.

With 81,000 uncounted absentee and questioned ballots, some of which will be disqualified, the total vote cast so far is 305,281 — 8,311 fewer than the last presidential election of 2004, which saw the largest turnout in Alaska history. That was the election where Alaska’s selection of George Bush for a second term was a foregone conclusion, though there was an unusually hot Senate race between Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Gov. Tony Knowles.

Four years later, the lead-in for the 2008 election was extraordinary:

• Unheard of participation in the Democratic caucuses and strong Republican interest in theirs as well.

• A huge registration drive by Democrats and supporters of Barack Obama that enrolled thousands of first-time voters.

• Obama’s historic candidacy.

• Gov. Sarah Palin’s unprecedented bid for vice president as an Alaskan and a woman.

• A race in which Republican Ted Stevens, a 40-year Senate veteran, was facing voters as a recent convicted felon against Anchorage’s popular mayor, Mark Begich, a Democrat.

• A Congressional race in which Republican Don Young, in office almost as long as Stevens, was seeking re-election after a year in which he spent more than $1 million in legal fees defending against an FBI investigation of corruption involving the oil-field services company Veco Corp. Young’s opponent, Democrat Ethan Berkowitz, had been filmed on the state House floor in 2006 demanding an end to Veco’s corrupt practices weeks before the FBI investigation became known. The news clip played over and over as legislators and then Stevens were indicted and convicted, boosting Berkowitz’s status.

 

 

The full article, including reactions from pollsters, the Democratic and Republican parties, the Division of Elections, and progressive blogger, Shannyn Moore.

The fact that this is on the radar of all those mentioned above is a very good thing.  After the last eight years, it’s become more and more difficult for those ‘puzzling’ election anomalies to slip under the radar.  Mark Begich himself set up a legal team to monitor the vote counting to make sure every vote is counted.

So on it goes.  The election in Alaska is not over yet.

 

 





A Bedtime Story from the Alaska Division of Elections.

19 10 2008

Tonight seems like a good night for a nice bedtime story…  (plumps pillow, tucks you in).  Comfy?  Let’s see….what shall our story be?  Maybe something light and amusing.  We’ve had a tough month.  Hmmm….(looks on shelf and selects an orange-colored paperback with a stapled binding).  Here we go.  State of Alaska 2008 Official Election Pamphlet, Region II:  Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Whittier, Hope.  What’s that you say?  Sounds boring?  Well…parts of it, maybe.  How about I just skip to the good parts.  (You nod in approval and snuggle in)

OK…how about skipping to the Alaskan Independence Party candidates?  After all, our potential “Second Dude” was a registered member of the party until 2002, when he became “Unaffiliated.”  That might be fun.

Let’s see… (licks thumb and flips through pamphlet)… OK, here’s one –  Bob Bird.

Bob Bird is the AIP candidate for the U.S. Senate.  That means he’s running against Ted Stevens and Mark Begich.  He was the President of Alaska Right to Life from 1995-97 and is still on the board of directors. He likes hunting, fishing, sports broadcasting, and is a hockey coach…Wait a minute… Right to Life, Hunting, fishing, sports broadcasting, hockey coach?  This seems eerily familiar for some reason….(sudden mental image of Sarah Palin).. Oh dear, I didn’t know there was a scary part!….Let’s skip ahead. 

Here we go. Alaskan Independence Party candidate Daniel DeNardo is running for the House District 31 seat against a Republican incumbent. 

You can come out from under the covers, this one looks OK. He’s bypassed all the slots where the other candidates have place of birth, spouse’s name, children, education, and political/business experience. He’s replaced it with one long “Biography” section. Let’s have a peek.  (clears throat)

“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.”

Quite a biography. I told you this would be good!  I’m guessing this guy can see the Soviet Union from his house!  But wait, there’s more…

CALL TO REVOLUTION

Alaska’s Divine Destiny – Holy-Writ Book Revelation repeatedly references Alaska Land of Great Eagle; Independent Republic leading Trinity’s force against Lucifer, Antichrist, Kommunist International.

Bar Association – Marxist-Lenninist Kriminals imposing Kommunist Korporate feudalistic perpetual Usury servitudes destroying Common Law Republic.  God-Man declared Satan attorneys’ father: Eternal Punishment, Insane for Alaskans to allow continued existence.

Yes, quite insane, wouldn’t you say?  Krazy, in fact.

There’s quite a bit more, but it’s getting late, and I think you get the idea.

Time for one more…  How about Republican candidate Lynda Placek running for House District 25 against Democratic incumbent, Mike Doogan?

POLITICAL AND GOVERNMENT POSITIONS:  Honesty and A Follower of Jesus in Every thing.  Whats right without Judgement, For the good of the People.  in all aspects

BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS:  Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

STATEMENT:  [snip]  I believe that unemployment is to [sic] high here and Alaskans should be trained for Alaskan Jobs, even up North, on the big money Jobs.  I believe that Education is very important but so is Healthcare for everybody including our elderly (We all will get Old) I’m not sure what is the correct way; to get started getting these things accomplished, But I’m Ready to Rip into Action towards getting it done.  Stand by me on Election Day, as I stand by you.  Please vote for Lynda Placek.

I think Democratic incumbent Mike Doogan is sleeping pretty well these days, even without a bedtime story.  Well, there’s your little peek into the wonderful world of local politics in Alaska. (Tucks booklet back on shelf and clicks off the light)  Sweet dreams!

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Black Cloud Over Alaska Republicans.

25 08 2008

On Primary Eve in Alaska, and as the Democratic Convention in Denver began, I was at the next best place…the Alaska State Fair. No rain, no crowds, no lines. Gotta love it!

On the way out of town, I spotted a great crowd on Seward and Northern Lights waving signs for YES on 4, YES for Fish. And despite what the zillion dollar ad campaign from the foreign mining interests would have you believe, many in the crowd were Alaska natives and people with fishing jobs. Yes…jobs that aren’t mining. Yes, jobs that will be lost when Pebble toxifies the fishing in Bristol Bay. Losing a fishery to oil wasn’t enough, now we’re going to lose one to gold. Don’t get me started…

Once at the Fair, I found the Begich booth, and the Obama booth, both staffed with cheerful, upbeat campaign workers busily handing out buttons, stickers and information.

Barack Obama himself even made a surprise appearance at Macho Nachos!

OK, it’s a cardboard cutout….

The Democrats booth eluded me. I looked, but I had to rush off for an appointment and never found it.

But I did find the Republican candidates booth.

Lights on, nobody home. And what’s that big black cloud? Sometimes in life, metaphors just present themselves with no effort required.