Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Diane Benson to Announce Next Political Plans Thursday at Anchorage Bartlett Democratic Club

Alaska's civil rights, women's rights pioneer, and progressive activist, Diane Benson, will be this week's featured speaker at the Bartlett Democratic Club in Anchorage. According to the Club, Diane Benson will be announcing her 2010 political plans.

In 2006 Benson won the Democratic Party primary for the AK-AL (Alaska At-Large) U.S. House seat, going on to take over 40% of the votes against Don Young, while spending only 8% of what Young spent.

In 2008, Benson lost in the primary to former Minority Leader of the Alaska House of Representatives, Ethan Berkowitz, in a race that showed both candidates' views on issues to scores of thousands of Alaskans, and drew respect for Benson from Berkowitz, and from Alaska Democratic Party leaders, who are finally paying closer attention to this remarkable fighter.

Since the 2008 campaign, Benson has finished her work as writer and actress in the groundbreaking dramatized documentary, For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska, which premiered in Alaska last month and is set for its national PBS premiere in February. Benson has also been serving on various civil rights and women's rights groups, and was highly visible and vocal in the Anchorage struggle for equal rights for the LBGTQ community, in the fight for passage of Ordinance #64. Since the beginning of the current academic year, Benson has also been teaching two courses at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Last spring I told Diane that whichever campaign she decides to enter for 2010, she can count on my help, if she wants it. She then told me, "I'm not sure if I'm done with Don."

Over the summer and fall, as three outstanding Democrats filed for the 2010 Alaska gubernatorial race, many have suggested she might be the ideal candidate for Lieutenant Governor. She ran for that office in 2002, on a ticket headed by Native Alaskan Rights activist, Desa Jacobson. In Benson's 2006 and 2008 races, she showed strength in parts of Alaska that sometimes haven't done well for Democrats. Additionally, through her continuing volunteer work on armed forces and Veterans issues, she does very well among the largest Veteran population per capita in the United States.

Diane Benson at Anchorage's Bartlett Democratic Club
12:00 noon - Thursday, December 17th

Denny's on DeBarr at Bragaw


Anonymous said...

I'd like to help Diane in any attempt to take down Don Young.

If we could rid ourselves of Dandy Don and all the baggage he brings with him, we could be very honored to have Diane take the seat.

Diane can beat Young, we just need to focus on making sure Diane is the challenger and start campaigning heavily right away.

An early start and a sustained campaign can put Diane in front of any voters who might not know her now,

and those voters who don't know Diane now, sure do need to get to know her so they'd know there would be a candidate that was interested in representing their interests.

(instead of what Don is famous for, representing everyone else's interests at the detriment to the interests of voting Alaskans.

Anonymous said...

I think Diane would be a perfect opponent to Don Young...if she could ever win a primary.

Anonymous said...

One could hope Diane would announce for the Assembly or School Board, or even the Legislature. She has lost, by a wide margin, every state-wide race she has entered, and there's no reason to think that won't happen again. On the other hand, if she can demonstrate competence and commitment in a "lesser" (but no less important) office, her chances of a "promotion" will increase significantly. This is advice from someone who would like to see her in public office, not just in campaigns.

Anonymous said...

Anony @ Dec. 16, 11:24pm:

Diane DID win a primary in 2006, and then lost to Young in the general election by a very decisive 56% - 41% margin (and blamed the Democratic Party for its lack of support). Last year she didn't even win the primary.

Anonymous said...

Diane should be the primary candidate, the numero uno Democratic Party choice, and the party should get behind her now in a big way.

The Democratic Party could make it known that Diane is their desired candidate, thereby making her chances in any primary challenge much better, or even eliminating the chance of the party having to try to play nice with several challengers.

The Democratic Party leadership in this state needs to be put straight by the voters, I for one am sick of the party being in such disarray that it simply hasn't been effective, and isn't yet effective.

I want to see some solidarity in the party, a much bigger presence, and some strong action.

This isn't some game to dabble at, we need to quit screwing around with those not fully committed.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:51 PM.

"...primary candidate" for what? I can't support her for nomination to a statewide office unless she is the only candidate.

And the Party has no business selecting a candidate to favour in a contested primary.

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 1:49,

I agree the Party has no business getting in the way of the voters in a primary race.

clark said...

5:34 said: "She has lost, by a wide margin, every state-wide race she has entered, and there's no reason to think that won't happen again."
true, but the same could be said of berkowitz and a few others. remember tom fink? he won election as mayor of anchorage in 1987, after losing his previous 12 races, over a 20 year span.

clark said...

perseverance is worth something. i like having her on the ballot. it makes me feel like we have a real choice, a qualified but anti-establishment candidate who would represent blocs of constituents who are perennially under-represented. kind of exciting!