Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich Discusses His Senate Candidacy On Conservative Shock Jock Dan Fagan's Radio Program
Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich followed up his announcement of forming an exploratory committee for a prospective U.S. Senate campaign by appearing on the radio program of Dan Fagan, who is the number one talk radio host in Anchorage. Fagan's program airs Monday through Friday from 2 P.M. to 5 P.M. on KFQD 750AM.
Begich began by reiterated the purpose of his exploratory committee, to travel around Alaska and get input from a variety of Alaskans about where we stand and where our priorities should be directed. Then Fagan began asking him about specific issues:
(1). Mark Begich believes that neither John McCain nor Barack Obama get it right about Iraq. Begich does not favor a precipitous withdrawal, and strongly opposes cutting off funding for the Iraq operation; instead, he wants to stabilize Iraq further and then arrange a gradual step-by-step withdrawal of troops.
(2). Mark Begich does not want to make the Bush tax cuts permanent in their present form. He believes too much of the tax relief was directed towards the wealthiest Americans. Instead, he'd prefer to realign the tax relief and re-direct more of it towards lower-income Americans.
(3). General Tax Reform: Mark Begich wants a flatter and much more simplified federal income taxation system. The only specific deductions for which he expressed support during the segment were for mortgage interest, charitable giving, and education expenses. He's tired of paying accountants to help him figure his taxes.
(4). Immigration: Mark Begich questions the value of building a wall along our southern border as a "magic bullet" all-encompassing solution. He wants to use a holistic solution combining better entry control, harshly penalizing employers who knowingly hire illegals, and to use trade agreements to help Latin American economies become more viable and flexible. If other countries can create more jobs, more immigrants will remain at home. However, this is not to be construed to mean that Begich supports NAFTA or CAFTA in their present form, because he did not mention those treaties, and Fagan didn't follow up with specific questions about them. But Begich is extremely concerned about port security; he believes the Feds have seriously dropped the ball on port security, and considers our ports exceptionally vulnerable.
(5). Social Issues: Mark Begich flatly stated that he would NOT support a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. He did not raise any other social issues. Fagan should have asked him about Roe v. Wade.
Mark Begich concluded by stating that he would not resign as mayor early in order to campaign for the Senate. He will formally announce by the end of April whether or not he will file a formal candidacy.