Like you, I do not make it to all the debates, nor like to rely solely upon campaign mailers and radio ads.
So I’m refreshed (and impressed) by a clear side-by-side, quote-filled portrayal of the recent debate between Dan Sullivan and Mark Begich in Kenai last Tuesday, as compiled by the Peninsula Clarion reporter Rashah McChesney. Oh, and let’s not forget Libertarian candidate Mark Fish, who was there. It’s good to get to know him a little, too.
Feels like the next best thing to being there.
Sullivan: “[Begich] was the deciding vote on Obamacare, I was the attorney general who sued to stop it. It’s clearly an important issue for Alaskans. But, the promises that were made by the President, by Mark, by Nancy Pelosi, that you could keep your health care, that costs would go down, you could keep your doctor if you wanted, none of that is happening.”
Begich: “When I ran for office, the number that was out there was 34 percent of Alaskans who tried to get an individual policy were denied,” he said. “Today, no one gets denied. Is it a perfect bill? No. Is there work to be done? Absolutely. But, it will not be repealed. People who think it will get repealed are dreaming. The law is in place, what are we going to do to fix it?”
Sullivan: “I’m running as a Republican because I believe in policies of less government and more freedom.”
Begich: “I’m pro-guns, pro-oil and gas development, I have libertarian streaks when it comes to the Patriot Act, which I don’t support. I supported a piece of legislation that Rand Paul is doing on auditing the feds, but also I support public education … I believe we have an obligation as a community to make sure people have opportunities to rise above and give them opportunities for the future.”
Fish: “I want to talk about free and fair elections and getting into the debates. I don’t know if the folks know it, but every televised debate, I’ve been shut out of … it’s an injustice to all you folks and you should be outraged about it.”
Sullivan: “I would start moving on things, I wouldn’t just be talking about things. This EPA moratorium, you know Senator Begich and others have been talking about this for years. Well, two months out, our small fishermen are going to get nailed with this new EPA regulation … these are the kinds of things we need action (on). Not bills, not talk, action to take care of our communities.”
Begich: “The vessel discharge bill is a priority … but I want a permanent fix for this. I will get this done, as we have every single year to keep the EPA off the backs of our fishermen, our shippers, our freight carriers, all of them because it’s an outrageous regulation.”
Fish: “I’m not sure where the fish are going, but I know in the middle of the Bering Sea, there’s not a lot of enforcement. With foreign entities coming in, I’m concerned about the piracy of Alaska’s resources by … other nations.”
On ISIS and Ebola:
Begich: “It has gotten so ridiculous now that they’re bombing our own equipment while dropping humanitarian supplies to the people we’re fighting. This is nuts, let’s stop it.”
Sullivan: “In my view weakness is provocative and that’s why there are so many crises in the world. Whether it’s Russia, whether it’s ISIS, whether it’s Ebola, whether it’s the border, to me, we need to have that kind of engaged leadership … I’ll be ready from day one to help address what is really a dangerous world out there.”
On Marijuana Initiative:
Sullivan: “I think other states that have now passed this, such as Washington and Colorado, they’re now admitting this is some kind of experiment. They don’t know how this is going to turn out. I don’t want to experiment on our kids.”
Begich: Also against it.
Fish: Supports it.