Here is a roundup of what we saw and heard on the last day before the election.
Our New Stuff — Of course the most important observation of the day is The Midnight Sun has a new look, and maybe more importantly, we have completed our primary race previews for every race in the state. Check out who we think will win tomorrow and our reasoning here.
Nasty — Things in campaigns tend to get ugly as it goes down to the wire and this year is no different. Here are a few interesting ads that have popped up at the last minute:
Amy Demboski takes some shots at Jennifer Johnston in a new ad for Ross Bieling
Chris Birch new ad hits Bob Lynn
Craig Johnson’s gritty-voiced ad wraps its arms around the PFD
The Great Debate — Perhaps the highest profile race to be decided tomorrow is the Senate Seat L Republican primary between Rep. Craig Johnson, Natasha Von Imhof, and Jeff Landfield. All three took to the Dave Stieren show today for one final debate. We aren’t sure anyone did well, but you can decide for yourself:
He Almost Gets Us — Hillside candidate Ross Bieling took to Rick Rydell’s show this morning to, among other things, tout his endorsement and “A+ rating from the NRA.” The problem is Bieling doesn’t have an A+ rating from the NRA. As Rydell tried several times to clarify with Bieling, the best rating a candidate who has never held office can get from the NRA is an AQ rating. That means they filled out the NRA survey the way the group likes, but only those with a voting record to back up those words can get an A+.
Bieling rebuffed Rydell several times, wrongly insisting he did have an A+ rating.
It is just one more case of Bieling not getting a basic, but important facet of Alaska politics. Or maybe he doesn’t know his letters yet. Either way, problematic for certain.
Alliance Just Can’t — We Are Alaska, aka The Alaska Support Industry Alliance, posted to their website an admission that even though they had promised a candidate comparison sheet to help voters vote the way The Alliance wants them to, they ultimately weren’t able to do one.
Their explanation for why is interesting:
“The vagueness and platitudes that most candidates tout sound good. Positions taken from statements on their websites, statements to the media or statements made in public forums lack substance and provide no insight into how they will perform as a legislator, and provide no solutions to the problems our state is facing.”
So people running for office are spouting mushy rhetoric designed to appeal to everyone and not lock themselves into specific positions on difficult issues? Well, we’re sure this was just an anomaly confined soley to this primary election and the Alliance will have a much easier time fulfilling their promise in the general election….We’ll just sit over here and wait for that.
Drama, So Much Drama — The state house Republican primary race between Rep. Lora Reinbold and Crystal Kennedy is getting down right ugly. We won’t bother improving on the tell of if by Chugiak-Eagle River Star writer Amy Armstrong, but just tell you this is well worth the read.
What’s Worse — Here is a mailer Rep. Bob Herron sent out in response to mailers by the Alaska Democratic Party. It’s notable because he uses “Urban Democrat” the way most Tea Party Republicans would use the word “RINO.” It’s an interesting insight into the state of Democratic Party politics in rural Alaska.
Double Standards — Rep. Ben Nageak has this flyer floating around. It’s a good thing Nageak is a Democrat and Native. If he was white and a Republican we’re pretty sure the media would have something to say about the pose he’s striking in the flyer. Whether you see it as a Nazi salute or a black power fist, it is pretty interesting imagery. If you don’t think so, just imagine Donald Trump in this flyer and not Nageak…MEDIA ARMAGEDDON would surely ensue.
Blue Phones Down — Alaska Democratic Party data guru Matt Greene posted this to Facebook today:
We don’t know what that means, but it probably isn’t a good thing for the two candidates the Party is backing in Democrat primaries: Dean Westlake and Zach Fansler.
Grabbing Her Spade And Digging — Rep. Shelley Hughes has been getting heat for sending out this mailer using combat imagery and rhetoric to describe her campaign even though she has no military experience.
Now Hughes is doubling down with a radio ad with the same imagery. It is a bit cringe worthy. Check it out:Text Assault — Here is the mailer Kenai area candidate Rich Koch says he sent out to 4,000 voters . It makes our eyes hurt. Could Koch not afford more pictures or graphics of some kind? The lesson here, don’t put out a mailer just to put out a mailer. Koch would have been better served saving the money he spent on postage and buy himself a few rounds on election night.