Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Alaska Primary Results: Don Young Race Too Close To Call


Good riddance-- now or in November?

Yesterday was primary day in Alaska. The biggest surprise was the narrowness of the Republican race between soon-to-be-indicted incumbent Don Young, thought by many to be the single most corrupt member of the U.S. House, and Lt. Governor Sean Parnell. With 429 of 438 precincts reporting the Anchorage Daily News shows Young ahead by a handful of votes.

Don Young... 42,461 (45%)
Sean Parnell... 42,316 (45%)
Gabrielle Ledoux... 8,589 (9%)
Most of the precincts that hadn't reported election results as of midnight were from rural Alaska villages. Those are "typical Young strongholds," Anderson said. But Parnell wasn't convinced Young was going to clean up in the Bush, especially given many rural residents might choose to vote in Tuesday's Democratic primary instead of Republican contest.

There are also the 16,000 absentee ballots the division of elections mailed out. It has received back 7,600 of them and Gail Fenumiai, director of the state division of elections, said she didn't know how many of those have been counted. As long as the absentee ballots were postmarked Tuesday, the division will continue to count them for the next 10 days. Questioned ballots will be counted on Sept. 5.

...Parnell was helped by the fact that Young, Alaska's lone member of the U.S. House since 1973, spent more than a million dollars of his campaign contributions on legal fees. Young refuses to say exactly what his legal fees have been paying for, but the congressman is connected to several federal investigations. They include the wide-ranging federal probe into corruption in Alaska politics, which has focused on the fundraising practices of Veco Corp.

Although Parnell, supported by the far right extremist group, Club for Growth, would be a weak candidate in November, Democrats are hoping Young will win the primary because it would be impossible for him to win the general election in November because of the mounting corruption scandal. Independent voters play a huge role in Alaska electoral politics and Young is dead meat to them.

On the Democratic side, progressive Diane Benson was swamped by institutional and Establishment money that flooded in for Rahm Emanuel crony Ethan Berkowitz. He took 53% of the vote, having reported raising (as of June 30th) $628,605 to Benson's $194,327.

On the Senate side, indicted incumbent Ted Stevens won his race against David Cuddy with a whopping 63% of the vote, showing the world exactly what Alaska Republicans are. Stevens will face Blue America-endorsed Mark Begich in November, who took 84% in his primary. Democrats were celebrating Stevens' primary win, who will be facing the voters just a few weeks after his criminal trial.


Don Young's race still too close to call at 1pm, PT. The remaining precincts are in Native American-majority areas and they are both remote and traditionally pro-Young. Meanwhile watch Ted Stevens celebrate his primary win last night. Like McCain, he's an angry old man... a very angry old man.

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At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Don Young is pulling a polar bear out of his hat, as you said. I want him to win not because it means Ethan will win in November, but because it will leave far-right groups like the Club for Growth and Governor Palin with egg on their stupid self-righteous faces.

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