Americans for Prosperity announced yesterday it has paid more than $1 million to run a TV ad attacking incumbent Mark Begich for missing votes in the U.S. Senate. The ad features Steve Perrins, a reality TV personality and owner of Rainy Pass Lodge.
“Last year, Mark Begich missed more votes than 80 percent of all of the U.S. Senators. 80 percent of them!” says Perrins in the ad. “Why can’t Mark Begich show up, when it’s time to vote?”
The central fact cited in the ad is accurate. Last year, according to the GovTrack website, Begich failed to vote 12 times, putting him in the bottom 20 percent of the Senate for attendance. That, though, was the best attendance record of the Alaska delegation to Congress. Begich missed 4 percent of the Senate votes last year. Sen. Lisa Murkowski missed 6 percent, and Congressman Don Young missed 13 percent of House votes.
So far this year, however, Begich has missed 34 votes. Murkowski has missed 16 and Young just nine.
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group founded by one of the billionaire Koch brothers, says the ad is set to run statewide for several weeks. AFP is also the group responsible for one of the earliest anti-Begich ads of the campaign, featuring a Maryland actress in a kitchen.
- Juneau Police Department Lt. David Campbell said the student who potentially made shooting threats against Thunder Mountain High School is no longer a threat.
- The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority is advancing plans to mine Gulf of Alaska beach sands about 75 miles northwest of Yakutat.
- Juneau is under a winter storm warning until Wednesday night. Forecasters expect the town to see 10-15 inches of snow. That's the most snowfall in a couple of years.
- The farther west you go, the worse it looks for Alaska's Steller sea lions. At the end of the Aleutian chain, the population is dropping about 7 percent a year.