I listened to Dana Crawchuk on CC's KUDO program this afternoon. Dana was Jake Metcalfe's first campaign director. She left the campaign in February. She was Robert Dillon's source for the series of collaborative articles on the fake web sites apparently created by another J. Metcalfe campaign worker, Bill Scannell.
Crawchuk was right to come forward with the truth when queried by Dillon, and courageous to come out of anonymity when many, Progressive Alaska included, asked for the source to do that.
And she still supports Jake, as does Scannell, who must have sat upon his sword rather figuratively. Others continue to support Jake, including the IBEW, where JAKE 2008 posters are prominently displayed.
Jake's Thursday press release could have been written by Don Young's staff - This is the final comment the Metcalfe campaign will be making on this subject - was indeed the final statement of the release. But, unless Jake starts canceling appearances, he will have to continue to address this issue if he expects to win the August primary. Like the homophobia and not quite subtle anti-Semitism of the sites.
Ethan Berkowitz has neither been helped nor hindered by the dirty tricks. His claim on KTUU Wednesday that this had hurt his family is disingenuous. He's a lifelong politician. His wife teaches political science. His kids are very young, and their family lives in a very caring environment, where the kids are taught reality. Until the story broke, nobody was visiting those sites. I know, because I've been monitoring them since soon after they were created.
Matt Browner Hamlin, Mark Begich's internet guru, fresh from working on the Chris Dodd campaign, and a wily veteran of the layers of sleaze in both the Ned Lamont-Joe Lieberman primary and general election battles, told me Tuesday, "This is nothing."
As the battles at the ADN political blog heated up over this, commentors brought up the typical memes about the three candidates. One of those is the controversy involving Diane Benson and her professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2001, when Benson objected to Prof. Linda McCarriston's maligning of her Tlingit house, clan and the tribe itself, in McCarriston's poem, Indian Girls.
A commentor named kronberg wrote:
"Is this the same Diane Benson that attacked UAA professor and poet Linda McCarriston over the interpretation of a poem? According to a journal that promotes free speech, "Instead of engaging McCarriston in a sane intellectual argument, Benson became surly and resorted to flinging charges of "racism" against the teacher. According to other students in the class, Benson repeatedly tried to dominate class discussions, while angrily denouncing McCarriston's literary observations." I think some reporter ought to ask Benson whether she still believes the First Amendment does NOT apply to poetry she doesn't like[?]"
"Seven years ago, when the dispute between Diane Benson and her masters thesis advisor/sponsor Linda McCarriston occurred, based on the news accounts, I sided with McCarriston, my wife sided with Benson. Since then, I came to know both of these fine women well. I've also had opportunities to work with other people involved in the dispute. And recently, I've been doing a lot of research into it, re-reading the old articles, Benson's UAF defense, and her 2002 article for the American Indian Quarterly on it.
"In 2003, I had the opportunity to work with McCarriston on a project for which she wrote two poems for me. In McCarriston's e-mails and phone conversations, I saw a side of her which brought me around to seeing the person Benson has described. McCarriston was sometimes flippant, difficult to communicate with, and inattentive to important details.
"As an example, I asked McCarriston to write a poem for me about Rachel Corrie. I described details of Corrie's death, and sent her several hyperlinks to articles about Corrie's life, last days and death. This is the first poem McCarriston sent me:"
American Blues for Rachel Corrie
A boy in a uniform your parents bought drove the tank
A well-fed disco-nights mall-guy gunned the tank
A cool hairstyle and a 401k in the bank
You saw in reverse the eye in the sight of the gun
You saw a dollar’s god’s-eye focus the gun
Your family’s taxes that no one can outrun.
You read in reverse the spin in the armored muzzle
You deconstructed policy in the top-notch muzzle
Your death explodes in a great post modernist dazzle
Your death makes insight out of the life you gave
Your bones make songs come out of the years you gave
Your blood breaks seals, tears veils from ears still alive
American girl child, America crushed you down
Empire’s girl child, soaking American ground
Haunt us, your country, back to democracy’s sound.
"As you can see, the poem is hopelessly ill-informed. The second poem McCarriston wrote for me is no less than a masterpiece, and is one of the finest, most predictive of this awful, broken war.
"I see the issue between Benson and McCarriston as having been more of a student protesting her professor's, counselor's and sponsor's trust, by violating the confidentiality McCarriston was bound by through participating in AA, and through the inaccurate and derisive way McCarriston dealt with Benson's house, clan and tribe, than one of free speech or uncontrolled student outrage."
Here's Linda McCarriston's other poem I commissioned, that I was referring to in my comment. It is, indeed, a masterpiece of prophecy about this war - and the next:
God the Synecdoche in His Holy Land in memoriam Rachel Corrie
Around you the father gods war. This
Father. That father. The other father.
What more dangerous place could
A woman stand, upright, than on that sand, as if
She were still antiphon to that voice, the other
Mind of that power. The very idea!
Crush her back in to her mother!
Crush her. Crush her. Consensus. War.
Our fine AK-AL Democratic Party candidates need to address the issues. The media should be focusing on that, rather than on web sites nobody would know about had they not been promoted in the press.
We need to move on and finish off that scumbag crook, Don Young.
I know. I helped create THIS!