Diane spoke first. She's a favorite here, mostly because the Mat-Su Democrats are probably the most liberal of the Alaska areas. I've watched all her appearances at Egan Dinners, from 2006 to this one. She's always gotten a fairly thunderous standing ovation, from when she brought her broom in September 2006, to last Friday, where she spoke of how richly rewarding it has been to be able to get to know so many people from all around our great, beautiful, bountiful state, so full of problems, but so much more rich in potential.
Diane was unaware of Bill Walker's agreement to work with a Berkowitz-Benson administration, as it had only been announced late Friday afternoon. That cheered her up after another long day campaigning for one of the most interesting gubernatorial platforms in memory.
Diane and GOP Lieutenant Governor candidate know and like each other. But Benson was miffed at Treadwell's recent debate accusations of Benson's past as a Green Party candidate showing some sort of wacko environmentalist hidden agenda. Treadwell and Benson have always seemed to me to be Alaska visionaries of sorts. Treadwell's is very old school - large military and corporate infrastructures that are tied to the rapidly failing modality of what the USA used to be. Benson's vision is far more empowering for the average Alaskan, for women and for rural Alaska.
Harry is growing on me. Everyone likes Harry. He probably won't beat Don, but I'm going to make a point of going to any of their debates I can get to between now and the election. Harry and Don are both good story tellers. Harry may even have an edge up on Don. I'm hoping Harry will give Don more hell through the next 18 days.
Another highlight of the dinner was Deborah's barn-burning talk about why she is so glad every morning when she wakes up and knows she is not an Alaska Republican. The 60 people at the dinner laughed heartily as she described the hypocrisy of our GOP luminaries, their lack of imagination, their hollow talking points, their weird infighting and their true disdain for Alaska's gigantic potential.
For me, the highlight of the evening was District 13's Dan Heynen, and his song, "T.P. is Toilet Paper, Not Tea Party."
Here are the lyrics:
I want to join the Tea Party, yes, that’s the group for me!
They’ve got these mental time machines, go back two centuries!
Back then living was simple, all choices black and white.
Black was bad and white was good and brown was not quite right.
Chor: Tea Party, Tea Party, yes that’s the group for me.
We are proud conservatives, just don’t call us T. P.
We love the Constitution, it lets us keep our guns,
Of course that stuff ‘bout equal rights can be cumbersome.
A man’s a man and a gal’s a gal, we all can keep that straight.
If you get confused you’ll be knocking on hell’s gate.
We know our “Founding Fathers” were Christian to the core,
We don’t want no Muslims around here anymore,
Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, and Scientology,
They don’t pray to Jesus so it’s all just blasphemy.
Don’t want no smart economists with ivy league degrees,
Common sense is all we need for our economy.
With tax cuts for the wealthy, repealing health reform,
We don’t need no stimulus to weather out this storm.
Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security,
All are just entitlements, let’s make them history.
We’ll just live within our means with the government off our backs,
No more federal funding, and no more income tax.
We’re patriots, Americans from the great U S of A,
We don’t bow to no one, and that’s how it should stay.
We’re gonna’ get this country, back on track, you’ll see,
Just follow Sarah’s tweets, she leads us” irreputably.”
So sweet to be a Mat-Su Democrat.