The month began with things starting to heat up between Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell's backers and Rep. Don Young's backers.
It ended with both of these candidates diminished in the eyes of Alaska voters. They have both engaged surrogates to negatively campaign for them. And, as two more GOP crooks stand indicted, Young has yet to explain his million dollar-plus criminal defense attorney bills.
This month began with John McCain and Barack Obama having no Alaska campaign offices.
It ended with John McCain having no Alaska offices, and Barack Obama having opened four of them, engaging scores of workers, hundreds of volunteers. I'd bet a breakfast at Gwennie's that more Alaska Republicans would show up for a David Duke office opening than for an office for John McCain.
This month began with all of the mainstream Alaska media outlets ignoring Sen. Ted Stevens' creepy press conference with Sarah Palin, in which he recommended we read a racist, eliminationist book; ignore his scam deal with Sen. Phil Gramm that created the "Enron Loophole" that has allowed over a trillion dollars to leave the country, over a billion dollars to leave Alaska; and totally avoided mention of the increasing evidence that Ted Stevens' mental condition is seriously deteriorating.
It ended with Sen. Stevens being indicted for serious felonies, and with the mainstream Alaska press looking for fluff stories about how many Alaskans love the old codger, who has single-handedly kept us afloat for decades. In none of the MSM summaries, were any of the other lurking problems involving Stevens brought out in a comprehensive way. As I wrote elsewhere yesterday, Alaska is beginning to go through PTSD - Post Ted Stress Disorder.
July began with a close Ted Stevens - Mark Begich race.
It ended with Mark Begich up by 13 points in a highly respected Rassmuson poll.
This month began with Sarah Palin still riding her wave of popularity, with national media speculating about her as a major vice presidential possibility on the John McCain ticket.
It ended with her popularity beginning to diminish, as her administration seemed to be pulling one Frank Murkowskiesque press release after another out of a bottomless hat, as she defended her becoming deeply involved as Chief Executive of Alaska, in a personnel issue she had no business in entering. Especially during the most important Special Session of the Alaska Legislature in decades.
This month began with Diane Benson and Ethan Berkowitz looking better and better all the time. Both of them.
It ended the same way, especially when they're compared to the corrupt, criminally challenged Don Young, and hiding-under-Sarah's-skirts Parnell.
Diane Benson's campaign and its uniqueness is beginning to gain traction, here, and nationally. As the Editor of The Nation noted yesterday, "Congressional Quarterly wrote that the race is too close to call." The article was a full endorsement of Diane Benson.
The two candidates' messages have far more similarities than differences. The major differences have to do with Benson's more progressive approach to our medical care crisis, and with Berkowitz's reliance on funding from people and a PAC closely associated with the war, failing aspects of our economy, and the sliming of Democrats such as Barack Obama. Benson's funding is far more grassroots, even its out-of-state support.
Benson and Berkowitz have had three great forums this month. In Fairbanks, they were there together, in a debate sponsored by the Fairbanks Democrats. In Anchorage, late in the month, they were there with Don Young, at a forum presented by the Alaska Women's Political Caucus, at which the caucus moderators brought up not a single question on women's issues, an area in which Benson excels, to say the least.
And today, on Anchorage's KUDO, Benson and Berkowitz faced off for two hours, taking a large number of questions from listeners. Ethan still makes like he won't be a bought guy - should he be our next Representative. However, based on the performance history of Democratic candidates who fit his PAC funding profile in the past, he's pretty fucking clueless, or is misinforming us.
Maybe he really doesn't get it. After all, Ted Stevens claimed today he doesn't understand how this stuff works, and he's been in DC forever...
I've got to say, though, that listening back to my recordings of the KUDO debate, and to the other two events in July at which Ethan and Diane responded to Alaskans, I'm very proud of them both.
Katie Hurley - Progressive Alaska
Sarah Palin - Alaska Report
Diane and Ethan - Benson campaign