Alaska Family Action (AFA), a political organization dedicated to seeing Christian values reflected in public policy, has endorsed 4 candidates in competitive state legislative races: George Rauscher, Rep. Craig Johnson, Ross Bieling, and Rep. Wes Keller.
Here is the message AFA President Jim Minnery sent out to supporters:
It’s time to vote your values ! Get informed now and share this as far and wide as you can.
The upcoming August 16 primary election is a crucial opportunity to elect candidates who share your values — and to defeat those who do not.
Alaska Family Action sent a detailed survey on 12 crucial public policy issues to every candidate running for the state house and senate. The AFA survey asks candidates where they stand on protecting life, marriage, religious freedom, and restraining Alaska’s out-of-control liberal judges.
We give every candidate the opportunity to speak to pro-family voters in their districts by publishing their responses – verbatim and unedited – to our survey. Look for our comprehensive voter guide when it’s released later this week.
In addition to our voter guide, the Board of Directors of Alaska Family Action sometimes chooses to give special attention to a handful of races in the primary and general elections. In these select races we’ll allocate resources for an independent campaign to persuade voters to choose the best candidate.
Why do we do this? Because the outcome of key races can literally determine whether pro-life and pro-family bills can actually succeed in the Legislature. We focus on races where there is a clear contrast among the candidates, and where AFA’s involvement seems most likely to make a positive difference.
The AFA Board of Directors has voted to recommend the following four candidates. This is an initial set of recommendations (more may follow), and we are only focused on candidates who are running in a contested primary election on August 16. Candidates who face no opposition in their primary election are not considered here. AFA will announce recommended candidates for the Nov. 8 general election at a later date.
George Rauscher for State House — District 9
George Rauscher received the AFA recommendation in 2014 when he ran for this same seat, and we’re happy to recommend him again. Rauscher returned his AFA survey, and consistently takes pro-life and pro-family positions. He supports educational choice and backs an amendment to clarify that the state constitution contains no right to abortion, or the funding of abortion. Learn more about George at www.georgerauscher.com.
George’s opponent, incumbent Rep. Jim Colver, troubles us for several reasons. Though he forcefully declares himself to be “conservative” and “pro-life,” he did not return his 2016 candidate survey to AFA. However, Colver did respond to our survey during his 2014 campaign. He indicated that he was “undecided” on a simple pro-life constitutional amendment — recommended by national pro-life groups — that would clarify there is no right contained in the Alaska constitution for abortion or taxpayer funding of abortion. Colver also told us he was opposed to the state constitutional amendment that would permit real school choice in Alaska.
Jim Colver made two large contributions to help elect ultra-liberal and pro-abortion Mark Begich to the U.S. Senate — not exactly a move that helped advance the conservative and pro-life agenda. In his current campaign for the State House, Colver has received the maximum allowable donation from Theda Pittman — the veteran pro-abortion and gay rights activist who used to work for the ACLU (Colver has also received a donation from a PAC run by Pittman). Again, Theda Pittman is not generally known for supporting candidates who are “conservative” and “pro-life.”
George Rauscher has been endorsed by the Alaska Republican Party in this primary — a sign of the growing unease with Rep. Colver’s political philosophy and associations. This is a crucial race — we need to ensure George Rauscher goes to Juneau.
Share this information with friends who live in District 9: Palmer (Fishhook, Farm Loop), Sutton, Sheep Mountain, Glennallen, Delta Junction, Valdez, Whittier.
Wes Keller for State House — District 10
This one is a no-brainer. There are 40 members of the State House of Representatives — and not one has worked harder and more effectively to advance conservative principles than Wes Keller. Wes is a soft-spoken and self-deprecating man — but when it comes to supporting pro-life and pro-family policies, he is a rock star. His experience includes nearly 10 years in the state House, and also eight years serving as Chief of Staff for former Senator Fred Dyson, another champion of conservative and Christian values.
Do you support school choice? Wes Keller sponsored the constitutional amendment (HJR 1) to make school choice possible. Do you support protecting religious liberty? Rep. Keller sponsored the most serious bill to prevent government discrimination against people of faith (HB 325). Do you support stopping Planned Parenthood from indoctrinating public school students? Rep. Keller sponsored a bill (HB 192) to keep them out of our schools. Do you support legislation to rein in liberal, activist judges? Rep. Keller is the ONLY House member who has made serious efforts (HJR 33, HB 200) to reform our out-of-control judiciary. Are you opposed to abortion? Rep. Keller has sponsored and co-sponsored numerous bills to increase protections for unborn children. Support family values? Rep. Keller sponsored legislation to try and keep pornography out of our public libraries.
Alaska is full of candidates who thump their chest about being “pro-life” and “pro-family” — especially during election years — and then go down to Juneau and do absolutely nothing to move the ball down the field on those issues. Wes Keller is that refreshing exception — a man with a strong moral compass and the courage to act on what he believes. Perhaps it goes without saying, but Rep. Keller has returned our candidate survey, and is solidly in alignment with AFA on every single one of our public policy goals.
Rep. Keller faces off against three other Republican opponents in the August 16 primary: Steve Menard, Andrew Wright, and David Eastman. Menard and Wright have not responded to the AFA candidate survey. To his credit, Eastman has responded to our survey, and indicates strong agreement with most AFA priorities. Regardless, this primary is not a close call: exchanging Wes Keller’s 18 years of battlefield wisdom for an earnest but untested candidate is not a smart trade. We need to send Wes Keller back to Juneau, so we can keep this savvy and courageous leader working on the issues that matter most.
Share this information with friends who live in District 10: Mat-Su Borough (Meadow Lakes & other Wasilla-area precincts, Houston, Willow, Susitna, Trapper Creek, Talkeetna).
Ross Bieling for State House — District 28
This is an open seat created by the retirement of Rep. Mike Hawker. Ross Bieling has returned the AFA survey, and he’s strongly pro-life and pro-family, across the board. He supports safeguarding our religious liberty, traditional marriage, and the protection of unborn children. He supports defunding Planned Parenthood and supports educational choice. Learn more about Ross Bieling atwww.alaskansforbieling.com.
Bieling’s opponent, Jennifer Johnston, has been a disaster for social conservatives. As a member of the Anchorage Assembly, Johnston voted for Ordinance 96 — the so-called “sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) law that forces Christian business owners to choose between violating their own conscience, or face steep fines and be driven out of business. Ordinance 96 also added the bizarre provision that if someone who is biologically a man thinks that he is a “woman,” well then he’s entitled to use women’s locker rooms, showers, bathrooms, etc. This outrageous violation of conscience, privacy, freedom of association, and common sense was wholeheartedly backed by Jennifer Johnston — in defiance of the will of Anchorage voters, who overwhelmingly rejected a similar proposal (Proposition 5) when it was placed on the ballot in 2012.
Jennifer Johnston has proven that she cannot be trusted to protect our most cherished constitutional rights. She should not be trusted to represent District 28 in Juneau. In contrast, Ross Bieling is a trusted conservative who can be relied on to represent your values in the Legislature.
Share this information with friends who live in District 28: Anchorage (Rabbit Creek, Huffman, O’Malley, Golden View, Bear Valley, Indian, Girdwood).
Craig Johnson — Senate District L
This is an open seat created by the retirement of Lesil McGuire. The three-way GOP primary includes the following candidates: Rep. Craig Johnson, Natasha Von Imhof, and Jeff Landfield.
Craig Johnson returned the AFA survey, and is in alignment with all our priority issues. Johnson is pro-life, supports defunding Planned Parenthood, supports measures to protect religious liberty, favors educational choice, and agrees we need to reform our judicial branch of government — the source of most our problems on social issues.
Craig Johnson has served in the State House for 10 years. In general, he has not been outspoken on social issues. But Johnson has been steady and consistent in his support on key pro-life and pro-family matters that have come before the Legislature. In his first term, Rep. Johnson cosponsored and voted for legislation to require parental notice before a minor’s abortion (HB 364). He also cosponsored and voted for legislation (HB 301) to ban partial birth abortion. In 2014, he voted for the landmark legislation (SB 49) signed by Governor Parnell to stop public funding of elective abortions. Most recently Johnson voted to support legislation (HB 156) that would protect parental rights in education and require school board approval for anyone teaching sex education in public schools. We don’t have to “guess” how Craig Johnson will vote in the Senate, because we have a 10-year record in the House to rely on.
Candidate Natasha Von Imhof has not returned our AFA survey. To her great credit, she respectfully contacted us and explained why. Essentially, she informed us that she considers herself a “fiscal conservative” and will probably not be aligned with us on many of our priority issues. We give Von Imhof high marks for courtesy and transparency — but we obviously cannot recommend her.
Candidate Jeff Landfield has also not returned the AFA survey. He did return a candidate survey in 2012, when he was running in a primary against Senator Lesil McGuire. While indicating agreement with some of our issues back then, he also said he wasundecided about such fundamental issues as protecting Alaska’s marriage amendment, and whether or not he would vote yes or no on passage of a statewide “sexual orientation and gender identity” law.
Landfield has aligned himself and his campaign with Andrew Halcro, one of the most liberal, pro-abortion “republicans” Alaska has ever had. On a Facebook exchange I had personally with Landfield, he openly supported allowing men who “identify” as the opposite sex use women’s restrooms, locker rooms and showers and mocked the idea that this would pose any threat to the common good.
Of the three candidates in this race, Craig Johnson clearly stands out as the one we can trust to support bills that will protect faith, family, and freedom.
Share this information with friends who live in Senate District L: Anchorage, mid-town and south (Bayshore, Ocean View 1&2, Klatt, Southport, Huffman 2, Dimond 2, Campbell Creek 1-3, Taku, Arctic, Midtown 3, Northwood)
This communication was paid for by Alaska Family Action, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska. I am Jim Minnery, President of Alaska Family Action, Inc., and I approve this message. This NOTICE TO VOTERS is required by Alaska law. We certify that this communication is not authorized, paid for, or approved by the candidate.
Standing for Families,
In His name!
Jim Minnery, President
Alaska Family Action