Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Alaska Still Not "Too Old To Keep Young"; Congressman Don Young Going Back To Congress To Keep House Dominatrix Nancy Pelosi At Bay
Two years ago, when progressive Democrat Diane Benson ran unsuccessfully against Congressman Don Young, she coined the slogan, "Alaska is too old to keep Young". But 57 percent of voters disagreed with her, and returned Don Young to the U.S. House.
And with 96.1 percent of the vote counted on November 4th, 2008, 51.55 percent of Alaskan voters still don't believe Alaska is too old to keep Young. That's nearly eight percent better than Democrat Ethan Berkowitz' total of 43.89 percent. And Berkowitz is a far more serious and experienced opponent than Benson ever was. Berkowitz effortlessly parried aside Benson's smears and innuendos and handily defeated Benson during the August 2008 Alaska Democratic primary. Even KFQD's conservative shock jock Dan Fagan owned up to voting for Berkowitz this time.
Consequently, even though Berkowitz has not yet decided to concede, I don't believe it possible for him to come back and overhaul the old war horse. So I'm calling Don Young the winner in this race.
Related media stories from the Anchorage Daily News, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
- View all Alaska 2008 election results HERE
This will become Don Young's 19th term in office. Young, 75, won his first term in 1973 in a special election after the death of incumbent U.S. Rep. Nick Begich, a Democrat. He has been regularly re-elected by pushing a platform that's pro-gun, pro-hunting and pro-development while at the same time using his seniority to secure millions in federal dollars for Alaska construction projects and social programs.
However, as word broke this year of investigations Young's mounting legal bills, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell challenged Young in the primary. In one of Young's closest races, he defeated Parnell by 304 votes. Parnell had victory within his grasp but fumbled it away with a series of substandard public debates; he acquired the reputation of being afraid to debate.
Against Berkowitz, Young told voters his experience, seniority and connections made him the best person for the job. And it resonated; Young won despite facing investigations of his connections to an Alaska businessman, Bill Allen. The former CEO of VECO Corp. was convicted last year of bribing state lawmakers. But some voters disregarded this and voted for Young anyway because they were afraid Alaska would become victimized by losing both him and Stevens. They thought Stevens was toast after his conviction. Polls reinforced that notion.
However, the one poll that really counts tells a different story. As of right now, Ted Stevens is clinging to a two-point lead over Mark Begich. But with thousands of votes remaining to be counted, it would be ludicrous for Stevens to claim victory at this point. A growing number of Alaskans believe Ted Stevens was railroaded. A 16-page brief documenting four specific allegations of deliberate prosecutorial misconduct can be viewed HERE in PDF format. In addition, former U.S. Attorney Wev Shea, himself an ethics gadfly, characterizes the trial as the worst example of presecutorial misconduct he's ever seen as well.
Ethan Berkowitz would have been a serviceable replacement for Don Young. My main concern is whether or not he would have the killer instinct necessary to stand up to Congressional predators like Nancy Pelosi. We know that Don Young has the killer instinct.
As a matter of fact, there's a phrase once uttered by Franklin D. Roosevelt which aptly describes Alaskans' reasoning for sending Don Young back to Washington. In reference to former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, FDR reportedly said, "He may be a son of a bitch, but at least he's OUR son of a bitch". It seems to fit the Congressman for all Alaskans as well.