1) Jason Moore and the League ran the best candidate appearance of the cycle so far.
2) It would have been far better, though, to give each political party an hour, rather than less than 30 minutes. This is a very important election.
3) I found out tonight that at least three of the five candidates read Progressive Alaska regularly.
4) Diane Benson has gotten a response to her Denali query, and is communicating with the sponsors of the Denali Proposal. This important fact seemed to slip by almost everyone there.
5) Weirdest question - from Jason Moore to the Democrats: "If you caught your teenage son smoking marijuana, would you turn him in to the police?" Diane Benson questioned the efficacy of the marijuana law paradigm, and expressed concern over methamphetamine abuse. Ethan got good laughs, saying, "My son's only four, and I can't control him now." Believe me, I know what Ethan means.
6) Most inevitable followup - from Jason Moore to the Democrats: "Have you smoked marijuana?"
7) Most sorely missed question that wasn't asked - from Jason Moore to Don Young: "What have You been smoking?"
8) Most idiotic answer - from Sean Parnell, answering Moore's question, "What are five earmarks to Alaska by Don Young do you think were bad?"
Parnell, as he's done in other forums, didn't answer the question. He tried to refer to outside-of-Alaska earmarks made by Young. He stated that he didn't like the one on Coconut Road, and he didn't like the one that led to the middle-of-the-night, unconstitutional changes in passed legislation. That's all he came up with.
Both items Parnell referred to involve the same act. First time I've heard Parnell talk about this. He stumbled on it, and on trying to come up with more stuff on Young..... he just drifted back off into Saradise.....
Parnell was totally hapless on this. I've been critical about Ethan Berkowitz's cluelessness on one important issue, but I've got to say, after watching and listen to Parnell handle this so cluelessly, Ethan is a fucking Einstein, or Sir Isaac Newton.
It is interesting, that when Parnell had his chance to launch into Young on an issue, he chose one that Diane Benson owns, through her early action on the issue Parnell thought so important.
9) Most dishonest question from one candidate to another - Ethan Berkowitz to Diane Benson, "In the 2002 election, you chose to run against Fran Ulmer as a Green Party candidate. Your race cost her the election. How do you feel about that?"
Benson answered that her run hadn't cost Ulmer the election, that it hadn't been close. She was right:
Murkowski --- 129,279
Ulmer --- 94,216
Benson --- 2,926
Berkowitz's followup reiterated his accusation that Benson had cost Ulmer the election. As a friend said, on the way out of the auditorium, "Ethan wouldn't have done that to another man."
Ethan, you owe this woman a sincere apology.
And, if you didn't just cook this up out of your head, you need better fucking help.
10) Biggest loser of the night - Sean Parnell. As Judy said as we walked out, "At best, he's just a suit...."
note: I've paraphrased, as I didn't take notes.
The three GOP candidates
The sparse crowd
Robert Dillon and aspiring blogger