Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Goldberg, Halcro, Crawford, Young

I. A couple more observations on Jonah Goldberg at the University of Alaska Anchorage yesterday evening:

First, I agreed with some of his criticisms of the current dismal state of the American media. His solutions, by and large, though, are self-serving. He's employed by FOX News, and states that their model of something he didn't define - some "different viewpoint "- is part of the answer.

Goldberg continually cited the New York Times as the worst example of media gone awry, to visible groans from an approving audience. He didn't cite illuminating examples in his talk, though.

When asked by Alaska Pacific University journalism professor Roseanne Pagano, whether more conservatives in the
New York Times editorial room would have kept the Jason Blair affair from happening the way it did, Goldberg disambiguated for about four minutes, providing no illumination. It was a good question, and deserved a better answer.

To me, an even more egregious fault in Goldberg's NYT criticism, was the error of omission in his answer to Pagano, of not putting into the context of any NYT editorial shortcoming debate, the sad tale of Judith Miller, who the NYT let mislead their readers, and an entire nation, to enormously worse consequences than in the case of Blair.

To his credit, Jonah Goldberg mostly seemed to pick students to ask him questions. The audience, which Anchorage Daily News attorney John McKay estimated to me to be "over 200," and I estimated to be just below 320, was largely composed of non-students, carrying copies of Liberal Fascism with them as they came to the event.

All his answers were far too long, leaving him time to answer just seven questions from the audience.

II. Taniel, posting at the blog Campaign Diaries, speculates whether the Club for Growth will insinuate itself into the 2010 Alaska gubernatorial campaign on behalf of Andrew Halcro. They donated heavily to Sean Parnell in 2008:

Don Young’s re-election prospects have gotten unexpectedly complicated in recent weeks. As it became clear that his two 2008 opponents would not seek a rematch - Sean Parnell replaced Sarah Palin as Governor and Ethan Berkowitz is running for Governor as well - it looked like Young might be spared that competitive a race. But that was before Democratic state Rep. Harry Crawford entered the contest, guaranteeing that the race will be worth watching.

Now, the ethically embattled Young has another challenger to worry about - this time a Republican. A former state legislator, radio talk show host Andrew Halcro has announced he will run. His conservative profile means we should have a repeat of the 2008 primary, in which the Club for Growth-endorsed Parnell hit Young for fiscal irresponsibility (Young barely survived after weeks of counting). On labor and fiscal matters, Young is a rare Republican moderate: one of the few who voted in favor of EFCA in 2007, he often bucks his party on appropriation votes.

Yet, there is one major twist. In 2008, Parnell represented the Palin wing of the Alaska party - the one that claims to prefer fiscal restraint and makes a big show of refusing stimulus funds rather than the one that prides itself on securing congressional earmarks. Halcro might use similar arguments as Parnell did, but he will do so as a one of the state’s most outspoken opponents of Palin: Ever since receiving 10% in an independent bid for Governor in 2006, he has been a conservative critic of the governor. That makes it highly unlikely Palin or Parnell will get involved in next year’s primary.

It will be interesting to see whether the Club is interested in getting involved again; Alaska is certainly a cheap enough state that they can do so without draining their financial resources - and for once they couldn’t be accused of helping Democrats pick-up a seat. Indeed, Crawford would probably prefer facing Young than Halcro: Alaska is red enough that it’s unlikely a Republican without any ethical baggage loses a statewide race. Even if Young is a towering figure in state politics, the bottom line is that he is under federal investigation and might be indicted any moment.

Combine the fact that the DCCC’ best chance is to face Young and the fact that Democrats can at least count on Young’s vote on some issues whereas they’d have nothing to expect from a new-guard Republican congressman, and we’re left with the rare conclusion that Democrats could be better-off having an incumbent survive a primary challenge.

My advice to Harry Crawford:

Find away to keep the DCCC out of your campaign, unless you can find a way to get their help to actually assist you, instead of hurt you, as they did to Ethan Berkowitz' 2008 campaign. Their ads smacked of out-of-state smarmy condescension toward Alaskans. Ethan had no control over their content. Crawford can't legally control the content of any 2010 ads, because they are issues oriented. But unless the DCCC fired the wrecking gang that came up with the 2008 narrative, their money spent here is more of a reef to Alaskans than a life buoy.

Meanwhile, Don Young has once again made CREW's list of the 15 most corrupt U.S. Congress members:

Rep. Young’s ethics violations stem from the misuse of his position to benefit family and friends and to steer millions of dollars in earmarks to corporations in exchange for contributions to his campaign committee and political action committee, Midnight Sun PAC (MSPAC). Rep. Young is currently under federal investigation for (1) his role in securing a $10 million earmark for a road in Florida; (2) assistance he offered to convicted VECO Corporation CEO Bill Allen; and (3) his ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. At one time Rep. Young was being investigated for his financial relationship with convicted businessman Dennis Troha. Rep. Young was included in CREW’s 2007 and 2008 congressional corruption reports.


Anonymous said...

The big question is if Don Young is indicted by the Feds.

If not, Halcro and Crawford will have tough fights. If you could not beat Don last time, it will be harder this time. Don has rebounded a bit since the last election.

This will be the first election since a new president was elected. Traditionally the other party does well. The Obama honeymoon is over and there will be a huge Anti Obama vote in Alaska. Remember 1994 during Clinton's first term, the republicans in Alaska had their best year ever.

Halcro is seen by Republicans more as a self involved liberal with an R next to his name. He has Daddy;s money to spend so he has a chance. However it is a closed primary and Halcro is pro choice and Don will have the NRA endorsement. Both big issues in a Republican Primary.

Pre Season prediction has Don 55-45 next August

Harry will be competitive, he might have beat Don last time. He is more moderate than Ethan and not viewed as an egotistical slick talker. Harry will do well with moderate down to earth Alaska voters. However the political tide has changed and it will be a tough political enviroment For Ds in Alaska in 2010.

Pre Season Betting Line has Don 53-47 in Nov 2011

Now what if Don is indicted by the Feds and loses?

A Halcro v Crawford match would be wild. No incumbent in the race would bring a lot of both in state and outside money. Both in-State Ds and Rs who have staid out of earlier congressional races would become involved. There are many Ds and Rs who did not want to piss off Don (or felt they owed him for something he did for them) that staid out of his past races.

Game on!!!


clark said...

indicted or not, nobody beats young if he runs. sorry to be that way.

Kate said...

I'm hoping and praying that someone at the DCCC is reading this- the ads last year were lousy. They didn't resonate with Alaskans, they were of shoddy production value, and they aired ALL THE TIME. Next time, make a good ad and buy less time. Next time, do your research- Alaskan voters historically are suspicious of "outside influences". Next time, ask an Alaskan! Obviously you cannot coordinate with the campaign, but try another avenue. Please!

Anonymous said...

"All his answers were far too long, leaving him time to answer just seven questions from the audience."

Again, you are accusing someone of doing what you do? Remember the 45 minute jaw-jacking you gave over that stupid cantata of yours and then told the Rabbi to sit down after he talked approximately 15 minutes and then ask the audience if they had any questions?

(no I'm not going to let you forget that or the lies about the so called threats)

Talk about are one of the biggest.


BTW! You can always tell when you are going into obsession mode because you just can't post one or two blogs but go into a whole years worth of ranting on the subject.
Missed the talk and had to work but I must say I saw you just the other day and you look a little stiff and bent...hate eats you up doesn't it? *snicker*

Anonymous said...

Don Young voted against the bank bailout which they got the most constituent calls against during Ted & Don's reign in DC.
Don Young will win on that act alone

jesus lovers, trash, natives, hicks, tea baggers, federal welfare addicts, labor, Oilys, veterans, Knik bridge real estate investors, and scumbags all love him

akmuffin said...

Whoever you are JUDITH, I think you are way out of line in your accusations. Your ignorance, or indifference, to the atrocities committed by the Israeli Government shows.

Anonymous said...

Israel? Where did I mention Israel here? My comment concerned the amount of time Phil likes to jack his jaw as opposed to the amount of time Phil believes other people (whom he disagrees with) should jack their jaws.

And I honestly don't give a rats ass what you think of my thoughts on Israel. I do understand yours though and it has everything to do with being a one-sided moron.

"JUDITH" *laughing*

HarpboyAK said...

While the DCCC ads hurt rather than helped Berkowitz, he doesn't stand a chance of getting elected to statewide office unless he does what Begich did: build the rapport and support in the villages and smaller communities. Too many Alaskans still perceive Ethan as a citified carpetbagger and not a real Alaskan. His own commercials didn't really help his campaign, either.

I think Harry COULD beat Don IF he spends all his spare time connecting to folks in communities other than Los Anchorage and Mat-Su. He needs to campaign with a lot of personal contact and recruit a lot of loyal volunteers who can door-to-door for and with him.

Philip Munger said...


I thought Ethan's early commercials were rather good - like the one about renewable power, with Turnagain Arm in the background.

Anonymous said...

There are more D's on CREW's list than there are R's.