Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Howie Klein Blasts Ethan Berkowitz's Past Ties to Bill Allen, Bill Weimar -- Present Ties to Exxon Attorneys and War Profiteering Carlyle Group

Progressive activist and blogger, Howie Klein has posted a scathing Alaska politics entry at his influential blog, Down With Tyranny!

The article is titled - Alaska: Political Corruption Has Been Mostly A Republican Pastime, But Given The Opportunity, Ethan Berkowitz Will Change All That

Klein has, in the recent past, received a Spirit of Liberty Award in 1999 from People for the American Way for his anti-censorship efforts. Klein was honored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California "Bill of Rights Award" for his activism in the area of free speech.

Although he begins the essay on the political status of Ted Stevens and Don Young - two of his favorite targets - Howie Klein spends most of the essay going through figures on Ethan Berkowitz's campaign funding.

They're more detailed than anything I've published, as I've kept back a lot of information submitted to me over the past eight months on Berkowitz, because I felt it could possibly be used by Alaska's GOP slime machine against Berkowitz, should he somehow prevail on August 26.

I've written about my questions to Ethan about how he gets his money here, in April and May. I don't feel Ethan ever gave me an adequate answer to the questions I posed to him in April, and we mostly yelled at each other in May.

Howie Klein, in his conclusion, writes, "Give Ethan Berkowitz a decade or two and he'll be approaching a Don Young level of corruption."

Update - 4:30 p.m: Robert Dillon has written an article for the Fairbanks News-Miner that takes a pallid glance at campaign financing in the current US House and Senate races. Ethan Berkowitz's campaign links to it. I doubt it will link to Howie's article.


Anonymous said...

If Diane loses the election, will you vote for Ethan? I don't see you voting for Sean and definitely not Don. Maybe Gabrielle?

I hope to see Diane win; I cast my ballot for her already. I don't knwo what I will do if she doesn't win.

Philip Munger said...

We'll talk about that possibility on the morning of August 27, if it comes to pass....

I'm posting this important article because it speaks the truth, and Howie can say some things that, as a Democratic Party officer, I can't.

Linda Scates said...

I was unable to link to the article from your post, so I went straight to the source. Wow! Howie knocked it out of the ballpark. I think Ethan's got some explaining to do.

Philip Munger said...


Thanks! fixed it

Anonymous said...

Hmmm - that Klein article is pretty bold and a bit off the mark. The one thing that really irked me was Klein's misrepresentation of the facts when it comes to teacher retirement (something I know all too well.)

While Howie calls it "Tier three," I think he is referring to the PERS/TRS changes that came from SB 141 -- the Republican bill rammed down the throat of Alaska. I remember Ethan being outspoken against that bill since its introduction. To jog my memory, I also looked it up in BASIS and can pretty much say that the record shows Ethan fought that bill every step of the way. Check it out here.

Most people don't get a kick out of reading committee minutes, but it's all there if you spend the time. He also talked about that bill in particular ALL THE TIME while campaigning for governor, calling it "the worst piece of legislation I saw and fought against in my 10 years in the legislature."

Philip Munger said...

anon @ #4 - Klein is stating fact. He didn't say Berkowitz let the degradation happen. He merely points out that while Berkowitz was there, it did. Like the continued political corruption that only started ending after Berkowitz's time was over. He makes a valid point. Berkowitz was ineffective.

Anonymous said...

@Phil Well if that is fact, then let me state another: Barack Obama did nothing to stop the war in Iraq. I'm merely pointing out that while Obama was there in the Senate, that shit went down.

Oh sure, he voted against it. But your drunk ass logic (and Klein's apparently) dictates that since it occurred while he was there, Obama was ineffective.

Tell me then, where are the tirades against the war monger Barack Obama?

Philip Munger said...


From now until August 27th, anyone jumping the shark on the AK-AL race not choosing to modify the "anonymous" identifier at the top of the post with a continuing non-anonymous identifier at the bottom, will be put into moderation or deleted until August 27th.

Tucker24AK said...

Being a Democratic Party Officer hasn't stopped you from attacking Berkowitz for months now, even when you have to lie to do it (claiming he received, what was it, $9000 from VECO and that he received more VECO money than any other Democrat, when neither was true and you knew it). So please, tell us what you really think.

Tell us for example how it is wrong for Ethan Berkowitz to receive money from Our Common Values - the PAC of the 4th ranking Democrat in the House - but it's ok for Diane to receive the same money from the same source so long as it is laundered through the PAC of Rep. Diane Woolsey first.

Tell us how it's bad for Berkowitz to accept PAC money, but it's ok for Diane to receive money from numerous PACs herself - including a PAC that ran a straw poll for her recently AND just happens to sponsor one of the primary debates every cycle?

Tell us how its wrong for Berkowitz to accept money from Industry PACs but it's ok for Diane to receive tribal money generated by the gambling industry? For that matter, tell us why her campaign staff all seems to come out of Las Vegas?

One more thing, tell us exactly when "progressives" like you decided to start censoring internet political speech?

Phil Munger is a disgrace said...

Wow. What a great stance in support of free, unregulated speech. Your hypocrisy makes me want to retch. Censoring comments on your blog? Diane Benson trying to get a UAA professor fired because of a poem she didn't like? No wonder the two of you run as a pack.

Phil, I was a Progressive Democrat back when you were still shilling for Don and Ted. Unlike you, I respect and appreciate everything Ethan Berkowitz did during his time in the legislature - fighting tirelessly for the right thing in the face of incredible odds. Your inability to recognize and appreciate his service (which was all too often thankless) speaks volumes for your lack of character.

You owe Ethan Berkowitz and every progressive in this state an apology for your reckless disregard for the facts, your irresponsible propaganda and your Karl Rove-esque method of dividing this state and movement. I'd say you should be ashamed of yourself, but you obviously lack the moral grounding to arouse any such emotion. There is no difference between you and Randy Ruedrich - you are both willing to twist and distort the truth in order to score political points. It's disgusting to see you drag the progressives down into the gutter with the likes of him.

The progressive movement deserves better than your ilk, Phil. You're a disgrace.

Philip Munger said...


1) When I reprinted information from the Juneau paper - that is still up at their web site (have you called them?) - that was erroneous, I corrected it here, spoke with the Berkowitz campaign and let them know the erroneous info was at the Empire site. How is that dishonest?

I also talked with ADN editor David Hulen about it, where we ultimately agreed it was an error. He was supposed to remove my comment, by my request. Whether or not he did, isn't my responsibility after I spoke with him.

2) I have only claimed, based on the Empire story, that Berkowitz had received more Veco money than any Democrat but Tony Knowles. Since realizing the tabulation error in the Empire story, I have only written that he was the second biggest recipient on the Democratic Party side, of funds from the company. Is that correct? If not, what is he, 3rd, 4th....? I only want o rank him accurately.

3) "Tribal money generated by the gambling industry" may be a borderline racist term. The tribes which have donated to Diane Benson all have more than one source of income. Some of the tribes who have donated to Benson do not have casinos. Some do. Are you asserting that some of these tribes' casinos are mismanaged?

Diane Benson is, I am sure, very aware that there have been abuses in the management of many tribal businesses, including casinos. I am sure that should she be elected to the U.S. Congress, she would be in at least as good a place to investigate mismanagement of these places as a non-Native. The best way to find out might be to elect the first Native American woman to the U.S. Congress in the history of the United States.

4) Woolsey - received Rahmbucks in 2006, not 2008. Money donated to Benson in 2008 was not from Woolsey's PAC, but from Woolsey herself.

5) Maybe you should be writing to Mr. Klein about his article, not to me. My article is covered here under the title " on Diane Benson."

6) Apparently you think it is OK for Mr. Berkowitz to be accepting donations right now from attorneys working the Exxon Valdez case for Exxon, the top executives of the Carlyle Group and so on?

7) I am very, very proud to be a Democrat. I'm even more proud to be more liberal than most Alaska Democrats seem to be.

I feel that the present President and many of his accomplices are war criminals. I feel that the present leadership of the Democratic Party in Washington DC have enabled these crimes to an extent that bothers me. Mr. Emanuel is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Mr. Berkowitz is naive in believing he will not owe - should he be elected - a great deal of allegiance to the neo-con group of DINOs supporting him.

8) My only differences with Mr. Berkowitz are about his impending obligations to Rahm's machine, his acceptance of money from Exxon Valdez defendant lawyers, Carlyle Group executives, and his Sean Parnell mirror image health care issue platform. On pretty much everything else, I like his platform, and I like Ethan.

I've been dealing with Alaska politicians closely since Ethan Berkowitz was in middle school. But those two issues are very important to me, to many other Alaskans, and clearly differentiate him from Diane Benson in an important way.

9) Your last comment was pretty immature and pissy....

Philip Munger said...

philmunger is a disgrace,

awesome, dude!

Anonymous said...

Phil, dude,


From now until August 27th, anyone jumping the shark on the AK-AL race not choosing to modify the "anonymous" identifier at the top of the post with a continuing non-anonymous identifier at the bottom, will be put into moderation or deleted until August 27th.

August 14, 2008 12:34 AM

way to go! Facts given by those you do not know really do get in the way. Emotion all the way!!!

Not that anyone will read this.

Philip Munger said...

note from the management, - no comments have been removed from this thread.

Only two comments have been removed from Progressive Alaska in its entire history.

Both were untrue and offensive.

red said...

thank you


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