In response to Ethan Berkowitz' commonsense proposal to restore integrity to the Executive Branch by ensuring that all future Attorneys General could not be fired by the Governor's whim, Sean Parnell's campaign went on the attack while he pulled his famous hiding act. His spokeswoman said Sean is of "highest integrity"and then attacked Ethan Berkowitz for trying to ensure that, in the future, Governors will be held accountable if they break the Constitution.
Berkowitz responded, "If Sean Parnell is of the 'highest integrity', he'll have no problem answering three questions for Alaskans:
1. Sean, will you immediately direct the Attorney General and Department of Public Safety to investigate Joe Miller's fraudulent hunting license application? Joe Miller signed a release at the time that gave the Department of Public Safety the right to investigate application fraud. Will you order an investigation immediately, or does your endorsement of Miller last week mean that you will refuse to investigate his fraud?
2. Will you move immediately to recover all of the fraudulent payroll disbursed to your illegal hires - Gene Therriault and Nancy Dahlstrom - along with the amount of the pension that was inflated by Therriault's acceptance of the position?
3. And finally, will you immediately release the Troopergate emails that you have been hiding for Sarah Palin? As of yesterday, 13 extensions had been filed to hide her actions and you are responsible. Will you stop stonewalling and release the emails?
Berkowitz' response to the Parnell administration's continuing performance lapses in what liberals, moderates and conservatives alike should consider honest government to be, are disturbing. And I'm glad to see the Alaska media covering this.
The Berkowitz-Benson campaign is one of the most imaginative in recent Alaska history. To say that it is better run than Ethan's 2008 race against Rep. Don Young would be putting it mildly. Berkowitz' four-part challenge for more innovative state policies on several levels is bold. Parnell's responses to each new detail have been pathetic, and the rapidity of the Berkowitz campaign's ability to respond has been remarkable. Comments at Kyle Hopkins' story on this are interesting:
Don't hold your breath waiting for Parnell to do any of these things. Especially the emails. I'm voting for Berkowitz, who is more of a conservative than Captain Zero.
Parnell should investigate Joe "Toto" Miller with the same vigor that he is going after Natives for catching subsistence fish for elders.
I think Sean Parnell is using his office to further his own causes and he is not doing what is in the best interests of our state.
His personal beliefs prevented 1700 Alaskan children from getting health insurance coverage.
As an oil lobbyist he nixed millions of dollars in alternative energy funds, at a time when we should be diversifying our energy sources, especially in our rural communities.
Even when oil companies say they do not have the technology to clean up oil spills in Arctic waters Sean Parnell is suing the Federal Government for preventing drilling in these waters.
We need a Governor that will work with the Federal Government to assure that drilling can be done safely in our state, not a Governor that wants drilling regardless of the risks!
We need a Governor that will always seek to use the best possible science available, not a Governor that turns their back on all science.
II. Alaska's finest investigative reporter, Richard Mauer, posted a story at the ADN political blog Friday afternoon that looks like the preliminaries for a much more detailed look at Miller's financial past. The blog entry lacks Mauer's usual precise coherence.
It looks at the early history of the Millers and of the financing and rebuilding of their first house. Here's the opening:
III. The newest article to question Miller's abuse of government programs was posted at The Alaska Dispatch late Friday by Patti Epler:
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller bought a 1,000-acre tract of land near Delta Junction with a $77,400 state loan under a program aimed at promoting the development of Alaska agriculture.
But the land, purchased in 1999, has never been farmed and Miller himself has said it sits "overgrown" and unused.
Miller did not respond to a request for comment about why he bought the land and then never farmed it or used it for other agricultural purposes.
Epler observes that though state law doesn't require the land to be farmed, the loan cannot be granted without the potential borrower submitting a plan for use:
For the agricultural loan, however, applicants also have to submit a five-year farm plan, stating what they intend to do with the property. The decision on whether to approve the loan is based in part on that plan.
But, Easley said, the five-year plans are also not public record under state law.
Scott McAdams needs to do as has Ethan Berkowitz, and demand openness.
His campaign should challenge Miller to release a copy of his agricultural plan he had to submit to get the agricultural loan.