Sunday, November 25, 2007

Don Young Bipolar Disorder at the ADN

I suppose one might call it Bi-coastal Disorder too. Yesterday's ADN carried a fluff piece by Erika Bolstad about Congressman Young, called Don Young phones home for town hall meetings. Bolstad explains how it happens: Here's how the town halls work: Autodialing computer programs call up to 50,000 people at once, to alert them to the town hall. They can either stay on the line, or choose to hang up. And if no one is home, they'll be left a sorry-we-missed-you message. Sort of like an interactive robocall. Bolstad quotes Young's Communication Director (an oxymoron if there ever was one), Meredith Kenny, "He loves them!"

Kenny helps the piece's fluff tone considerably with this one - "He's very engaging," Kenny said. "We have the option of dropping callers, but we don't do that with him. He likes the back and forth."

Yep, that's the Don Young we all know and love.

Bolstad explains that Alaska's congressman takes the call and makes the most of it, Kenny said. He did two town halls late this summer and early fall, and was so enamored with the process that he hopes to make them regular events. But Bolstad cites no dates or subject matter covered in these past Town Halls. Nor does Kenny offer any useful information about when Young might charge the U.S. taxpayers $8,500 for his next Town Hall event. It doesn't appear that Bolstad thought of asking.

To be fair to Bolstad, her article does an excellent job of pointing out how distinct an advantage is given the incumbent with technology like this.

Today, the ADN was back on the other end of the bipolar disorder cycle, with a scathing article by Wesley Loy on earmarks in the Bering Sea King crab fishery that give distinct advantages to three companies which have donated to Young's campaigns, and penalizes companies that have not donated. The article shows how similar this scheme was to Young's earlier misdirection of $20,000,000 to a road project in Florida that would have benefitted a wealthy developer who had made large contributions to Young's campaigns.

Disclosure: I am a volunteer for Diane Benson for Congress 2008. Many who read here already know that. I also have deep respect for former Representative Berkowitz, and a certain amount of respect for Jake Metcalfe. I campaigned for Don Young in 1978 and 1980, and have donated to campaigns of all four of these people.

image by Darkblack


Anonymous said...

Any idiot that has campaigned (even once) for Don Young is incapable of exercising good political judgement (a fact made clear by support for Diane Benson, a nice lady who lost in a landslide in 2006).

Philip Munger said...

I don't respond to anonymous comments, no matter how illuminating...

Ishmael said...

Diane Benson did not lose in a landslide in 2006! What kind of blind, brain-dead whack job thinks that???????

She got 40-f*cking percent of the vote against a 30-year incumbent with millions of dollars in the bank in the most conservative of red states!

If Philip won't respond, fine, but I will tell you to your face, "Anonymous," you're too stupid to be allowed to have unsupervised visits to the World Wide Web. Get someone to change your Depends, go slurp some oatmeal from a straw and shut the hell up.


Blogger allows you to block anonymous posts. If they're not welcome and won't spur you to discussion, go a head and block them.

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. Ishmael, "40-f*cking percent" doesn't hardly count as close -- "landslide" is, of course, a relative adjective, so its validity lies in the eye of the beholder. As an example of a landslide electoral victory, Wickipedea (sp?) cited the Reagan victory over Mondale in 1986 (when Mondale only got 40%).

Anyway, in consideration of everything (including, as you noted, Young's incumbancy, money, etc.), Diane didn't do too badly. But neither, using those standards, has anyone else who has lost to Young over the years (and, when properly lubricated, I can name them all).

My theory is that my yellow dog will get 36% of the vote against Young (maybe 40% - 45% these days, given that Young's incompetence and criminality are catching up to him). That leaves another 15% or so and a number of fine Alaskans (Jim Duncan, Georgianna Lincoln, John Devens, and Peggy Begich come quickly to mind) just couldn't reach that goal.

Diane made a credible effort and a good showing last year. But conflating her defeat into some sort of victory won't help her current efforts. Seems to me that someone who is seeking to represent me in Congress should have supporters who are capable of doing the math.

Peace to you,

PS - "anonymous" is a identification choice offered by the web site. I consider that more honest that making up a name or otherwise trivializing my identity; it's the ideas and the discourse that counts, I should think, not the personalities.

Anonymous said...