Begich to Palin: McCain's your senator now

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich answers a question during a news conference on Tuesday in Juneau. The Democrat believes that concerns about energy costs have created an opportunity for the state to press the federal government for greater oil development in Alaska.

Democratic Alaska Sen. Mark Begich responds to urging by Sarah Palin on Fox News that he make oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a condition for his vote to raise the federal debt ceiling. (As Politico reports, Begich already supports ANWR drilling.)

"She's not really on my radar screen to take advice from," the Alaska Democrat told reporters Tuesday. ... "Someone who quit Alaska is not someone I look for to get Alaska policy decisions on."

Begich ... suggested that Palin look to persuade her fellow running mate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), to open ANWR to drilling.

"I would encourage her to talk to her senator because our senators, me and [Lisa] Murkowski, already aligned on this," he said. "I know she's talked to McCain, who is her new senator where she lives. He hasn't supported [drilling in] ANWR in the past, hope he will."

Palin is a partner in a company that recently purchased a luxury home in Scottsdale, Ariz.