Independent congressional candidate Alyse Galvin, who’s running with the Alaska Democratic Party’s nomination, came out swinging against U.S. Rep. Don Young at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s Monday forum.
“Don Young has been missing in action,” she said on the Trump’s trade war with China, asking why Young hasn’t proposed a similar relief package for Alaska’s fishing industry as has been promised for midwest farmers. “Trump took aim at China, but shot Alaska in the foot. We need our one representative in Congress to stand up and act rather than just watch Trump’s dangerous policies unfold.”
But her toughest hit landed on a question about the federal budget deficit, when she attacked Young for voting for last year’s tax cut package that ballooned the national deficit.
“On his official website he calls the national debt one of the greatest long-term challenges we face as a country–and I agree–but exploding the deficit by over $1 trillion this year alone is going the opposite direction. This is not the work of a fiscal conservative. Why would we let this happen?” she said. “Well, follow the money. Don Young has received a whole bunch of money from corporate PACs outside of Alaska.”
As for the tax package itself, Galvin said Young and his GOP colleagues can’t be expected to do anything else.
“Unfortunately, Don Young has been changed by Washington and now he relies on special interests and Outside money for re-election,” she said. “It’s unrealistic to expect him and his colleagues to ignore the hands that are outstretched looking for tax cuts and giveaways when those are the same hands with the big campaign donations.”
Young defended the tax cuts, saying the way to solve the deficit is with growth and resource development, before going on to say he was deeply offended by Galvin’s attacks.
“I’m amazed to listen to my so-called opponent when she’s already nasty,” he said. “I thought this was going to be a civilized campaign.”
He went on to cry foul over the attack.
“I haven’t heard anything and I doubt I’ll hear anything else other than how bad I am,” he said. “Right now, what I’m hearing is not much about what they can do, but it’s about how bad I am. It means apparently everybody in this room has been bad, too, because you voted for me. … I’ve always run positive campaigns.”
It was a well of offended sensibilities that Young repeatedly returned to throughout the debate, frequently focusing on Galvin’s attacks as an example of why she wouldn’t be fit to hold office.
Galvin didn’t ease up, either, later referencing Young’s “diminished stature” when it came to the Port of Anchorage.
After complaining about the lack of civility in the debate, Young didn’t keep his contempt solely aimed at Galvin, but later turned his attention to the audience during a question about the Affordable Care Act.
“It was written by those that wanted to be socialists,” he said, criticizing the law.
When the audience, which had a fair amount of Galvin supporters in it, laughed derisively at Young, he followed it up in his usual style.
“You can laugh, you’re probably socialists, and I understand that,” he said.
The forum is just one of three scheduled events that the two candidates will face off during the run up to the November election. Young’s also committed to appearing at an Oct. 16 forum hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and a televised debate on Oct. 26 hosted by KTUU and Alaska Public Media.
Young and Galvin weren’t the only candidates on the stage on Monday. They were accompanied by seven–SEVEN–other candidates for the state senate. Anchorage-area Senate Districts G, K, I and M were represented at the forum.
Crime was a prime topic for the state candidates.
Elvi Gray-Jackson, the Democratic candidate for Senate District I (which is being vacated by Sen. Berta Gardner), seemed to win quite a bit of kudos from the generally conservative pro-business crowd when she said people need to take more responsibility in combating and preventing crime themselves (in addition to re-examining the state’s criminal justice reform and revisiting cuts to community revenue sharing).
Her opponent, Republican Jim Crawford (who was the chairman of Trump’s Alaska campaign), suggested that one of the solutions to crime was bringing back elected local sheriffs.
The chamber will host a forum next Monday about the judicial retention votes on the general election ballot. The judges themselves aren’t scheduled to be at the event, but Retired Alaska Superior Court Judge Karen Hunt will be there to discuss the process.