Friday, October 29, 2010

Dan Fagan Suspended. Does This Help Miller? - Updated: Over 160 Write-In Candidates

According to Kyle Hopkins at the Anchorage Daily News:

KFQD 750 AM host Dan Fagan says he learned today from his general manager that his 2 to 5 p.m. show had been canceled after a representative of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s campaign called to complain. Fagan said he's not fired and that the status of the show will be "re-evaluated" on Monday.

The caller said “that I should be punished for electioneering and that I may have violated electioneering laws,” Fagan said.

The conservative radio host, a supporter of Republican nominee Joe Miller, rallied voters to register as write-in candidates to protest an order by the Alaska Supreme Court that would allow election workers to show voters a list of write-in candidates.

The decision was expected to help Murkowski’s write-in bid by making it easier for people to get her name right on the ballot. Fagan argues that it amounts to illegal electioneering on behalf of the state, rewarding candidates who failed to win a spot on the ballot in the primary elections.

Dennis Bookey, general manager for Morris Communications' Anchorage Media Group, could not be reached for comment this afternoon. The company includes six Anchorage radio stations such as KFQD 750 AM and KWHL 106.5 FM.

John Tracy, president of the Anchorage public relations and advertising company Bradley Reid, said he called Bookey upset about Fagan’s show at about 11:30 a.m. today.

Tracy said he first called someone at the Murkowski campaign – he wouldn’t say who – to tell them he was making the complaint. The campaign person didn’t object, he said.

“I’m not claiming that what (Fagan) did was illegal. I simply feel it was wrong,” Tracy said. “I feel it was wrong as a broadcaster to try and rig an election in this way by offering prizes.”

Tracy’s company produces television and radio commercials for the Murkowski campaign, and -- he assumes -- is an advertiser on Morris Communications stations.
Nobody has ever confused John Tracy with Dan Fagan. I couldn't imagine John Tracy doing radio as does Dan. Fagan worked in TV news for a while, but moved on to radio, where he's thrived, and grown in stature.

I was asked to write a blog post on Thursday encouraging people to go down to the Division of Elections and sign up as write-in candidates. I was too busy to even contemplate whether or not that might be a good idea. Progressive blogger Steve Aufrecht did blog about it, with a post titled "You Have 90 Minutes to Be a Write-In Candidate for US Senate." I suspect the same friend encouraged both Steve and me. It wasn't Dan. It wasn't the Murkowski camp. Nor was it anyone tied to the McAdams camp or campaign.

Did Dan go over the line in the way he encouraged people to sign up? Probably. He goes over the line all the time. It strikes me as silly that a somewhat pompous fixture in Alaska journalism like John Tracy, who has slightly less charisma than Sean Parnell, was the one who is taking the credit or blame. This may be the most bold move John has taken in years.

What happened will only help Miller on the most basic level. Teabaggers will feel even more aggrieved than they already always do.

Hopefully, though, the silliness of these last minute negative postures will serve to further highlight the differences between Scott McAdams' positive, sensible campaign, and the negative blame games and power politics so tirelessly trotted out by Miller and Murkowski.

Update - 10:15 p.m

Conservative activists encouraged backers of Republican nominee Joe Miller to file as write-ins over the past two days and dozens have heeded the call.

Along with the slew of new GOP write-in candidate, dozens of others filed to run as Democrats or independents, bringing the total number of write-in candidates for Tuesday's Senate race to 160.


AKjah said...

It's a good idea and it's a bad idea. If only a little bad then best left alone. That voice in my ear says perseverance wins.

Anonymous said...

It called dirty politics Phil and Shannyn Moore's boyfriend Kelly Walters was his hand in it. AlaskaDispatch is reporting that. Don't be coy by saying "a friend." Walters and Moore are McAdams supporters and the truth will set you free Phil.

Anonymous said...

SHANNYN MOORE SHOULD receive the same penalty as Dan Fagan because she did the same thing (except Moore did not offer a trip to Hawaii). The only reason that Moore was not identified in the media of the same infraction, is because has very few listeners.

Both should be off the air for at least one week. They were wrong.

And any state employee who did as told (by Dan and/or S) should be fired because it is unlawful to register to vote while a state employee. So the people who registered after encouragement for wrong reasons and while employed by the state should no longer have their state jobs.

And then will see who is laughing last.

Anonymous said...

A private business using a public resource has an obligation not to yell fire in a crowded theater.

A newspaper or blogger can make up and publish any old cråp they want.

Philip Munger said...

"Walters and Moore are McAdams supporters and the truth will set you free Phil."

As I wrote, "Nor was it anyone tied to the McAdams camp or campaign."

I haven't had any contact with anyone with the McAdams campaign since early September, so if Moore or Walters are anything more than McAdams "supporters," I know nothing of that.

All my contacts with Moore since the primary could only be characterized as cursory at best.

Unlike Craig Medred, Alaska bloggers don't have to check their testicles or ovaries at the door before they engage in politics.

Anonymous said...

hey hey,

....the Sheraton hotel lost their case before the NLRB.

Philip Munger said...

"the Sheraton hotel lost their case before the NLRB."

Great news!

Anonymous said...

I see this whole write-in thing as hurting Lisa as much as Joe. The way the rules have been "bent" for her by the Division of Elections, combined with the Supreme Court decision this afternoon, are just more evidence of her "privilege," her princess status.

I heard Shannyn's comments about jamming the list, but she didn't really seem to be encouraging it, only mentioning that one could do it if one wanted to.

Celtic Diva predicted way back when Lisa first announced her write-in campaign that this would happen, many, many write-ins at the last minute.


pickleweed said...

Dan Fagan shouldn't have the show anyway. He lives in Washington full time and acts like he's in Anchorage every day. A few years back in the spring he was complaining that there was too much hype about the fire danger. As I'm listening to this I'm driving down South Cohoe Loop in Kasilof where there was a huge wildfire blazing. There were people frantically hauling their animals out and trying to hose down their cabins as Dan was complaining that that he was sick of hearing about the unwarranted wildfire danger that spring. We didn't have much snow that year, the spring was dusty right off and the risk of wildfire was very much a reality. Dan had no idea because he lives in Washington and broadcasts from there. All those commercials you hear where he says so and so fixed his car or he gets his carpets cleaned by a certain company, or he just ate at a certain restaurant is all fake. He pretends he he cares about the issues which he obviously doesn't since he doesn't even live here. I find it irresponsible of KFQD to have Dan Fagan, a Washington resident hosting a show for discussing Alaskan issues. It would be one thing if it was a music or travel show, but to have an out-of-stater pretending to be a resident on the radio to stir up controversy and pretend he knows what he's talking about is inexcusable. We need an Alaska resident to fill his position.