The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports on May 14th, 2008 that Bob Bird has entered the race for Ted Stevens' U.S. Senate seat under the auspices of the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP). The Alaska Division of Elections website also reflects this information.
Bird must first win the AIP nomination during the primary election on August 26th. His name will appear on the Combined Party Ballot (explained at greater length HERE). However, this is at the moment a mere formality, since there are no other AIP candidates for the seat, although the filing deadline isn't until June 2nd. Bird now has an official campaign website, but posted an earlier press release on the Anchorage Ron Paul Meetup Site. According to the following press release, Bird will be publicly discussing his upcoming campaign in Kenai, at the Paradisos Restaurant downtown, at 6:00 PM on Friday May 16th, and then again in Anchorage, at the Inlet Towers Compass Room, at 2:00 PM on Saturday May 17th. Here's the meat of the press release:
Bird, 56, who has been a social studies instructor for 34 years, has spent 31 of them in Alaska: at Adak in 1977, in Kenai from 1978-88, and since 1988, in Nikiski. With a Master's Degree in History, Bird also serves as adjunct faculty at Kenai Peninsula College. He has also served as a varsity hockey coach and radio sports broadcaster for many years. Looks like he likes to catch an occasional fish, as well.
Bird organized and led the Alaska Rescue Project, the non-violent civil disobedience campaign at abortion clinics, in 1989. Running against Ted Stevens in the 1990 Republican Party, he amassed 34,000 votes. He served as president of Alaska Right to Life from 1995-97, was a delegate to the 1996 Republican Convention in San Diego as a Buchanan supporter, the 2000 Reform Party convention in the same capacity, and the 2004 Constitution Party convention.
The Constitution Party gave Bird a unanimous floor-resolution endorsement at their convention two weeks ago in Kansas City.
With a near-libertarian conservative philosophy, Bird is running an authentic grass-roots campaign that will utilize pro-lifers, libertarians, conservatives and those opposed to the Iraqi War. It will advocate the following issues:
- The curbing of the federal judiciary, with a states-rights approach to social issues.
- An immediate pullout of Iraq and an end to American military adventurism.
- An amended statehood act that will be in conformity to the Constitution in all aspects.
- A defense of American sovereignty against global corporatism.
- A Jeffersonian interpretation of the Constitution, with an emphasis on the 10th amendment.
Bird has been married to the former Rosemary Flaig, herself a music teacher, for nearly 30 years, is the father of three adult children, and whose daughter was Alaska's Junior Miss in 2005. An avid outdoorsman, Bird will also emphasize gun rights.
In another message posted on the Meetup site, Bird lays out his energy vision. Here's the most important part:
...We certainly hold a big key to our energy problems. Yet, with 65% of our land under unconstitutional control in the form of national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, national monuments, we need an act of Congress to open these lands up for development of any kind.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is only the tip of an enormous iceberg of energy and mineral resources. Sadly, many Alaskans are caught up in the environmental hysteria. But Alaskans who want to make their living here understand that without mineral and subsurface development, we will dry up. So, even the Green Party of Alaska wants to see ANWR developed.
I am merely repeating what I have read, but: there hasn't been a new refinery built in the U.S. for 30 years! We have closed 85% of our offshore oil potential to exploration! Bill Clinton shut down a big mining project in Utah, a state that never votes for Democrats.
But, let's hold our horses . . . Ted Stevens wants to open up ANWR, but he has actually said that we should barter away our statehood rights and give the feds a 50-50 split with the royalties.
This would violate our historic 90-10 split promised at statehood. This is important. Alaska's resources are non-renewable, and we have no infrastructure compared to the lower 48. A federal judge actually once dared to say 'It [the 90-10] can't be expected to last forever.' And Ted has said, 'Fifty per cent of something is better than ninety per cent of nothing.'
If we are forced to accept federal control of our lands until we return to truly constitutional government, let's make sure we get what was promised to us.
And not sell out our birthright for a mess of pottage.
But the question is can the coalition of pro-lifers, libertarians, conservatives, and anti-war folks can come together to provide effective support for Bird? The only alternative candidate who has done well in a recent Alaskan election is Janet Brand in the Eagle River Assembly race, but she had organized labor in her back pocket. I seriously doubt that Bird will get such elite support. Too many Republicans will be scared that a vote for Bird will be a vote for Begich. Others might believe a vote for Bird will be a vote for Stevens. Too many people are too scared to vote their consciences.