Well, brace yourselves. Alaska is going to have more political ads over the next five months than we have reality shows, which is really saying something.
We have a cheap seat up for bid, and the money is pouring in from all sides. If this were a boat, the bilge pump couldn't keep up. It makes sense.
The New York Times has taken notice, writing, "More than $20 million worth of ads have been reserved so far -- the bulk of the money coming from Washington-based outfits like Karl Rove's American Crossroads, which wants to elect a Republican, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is defending Senator Mark Begich, one of the most targeted first-term Democrats. Five months before the November election, that sum would be extraordinary in any state. It is all the more staggering considering it will be spent to reach only about 490,000 registered voters."
Are you kidding me? That is so much money! If every one of our registered voters actually voted, that would be more than $40 a vote. If the same number shows up as in the last senate race it would be $80.
When I think of the grainy FBI tapes taken in room 604 of the Baranof Hotel in Juneau, I have to sigh. The "Corrupt Bastards Club" seems so old fashioned now. Our legislators taking bribes from oil company executives seems quaint. Thanks to the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case, all bets are off. It's big money time. Corporations are people, and people are, well, you're still just a person.
Here's $80 -- now vote.
This week U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, proposed what he called the "Alaska Agreement." Though he hasn't won the primary he wants to play "Let's Make A Deal" with Senator Begich. Really, dude? He wants to limit the amount of "Outside" money. Ironic since he's a bit "Outside" to be making that call. You know, like when he said his "principal residence" was in Maryland so he could get a tax break there, all while voting in Alaska. (Oh, Mead Treadwell, is this a voting violation? Just asking you since you're the guy in charge of Alaska elections for the time being.) Mr. Sullivan doesn't seem to have a problem taking more campaign donation money from Ohio than Alaska. (No offense, Ohio, I think your Skyline Chili is amazing.)
Mr. Sullivan has some issues with time and space. See, I understand how some winters in Alaska feel like several years and that's just in January, but claiming over a 5-year period that you've had residency on your fishing license for one, two, ten and seventeen years seems excessive.
How can this candidate call on the senator to turn down Outside or Inside money being spent on his behalf -- and in the next breath say he supports the Supreme Court decision that has created this monied monster?
Sullivan tweeted that he supports Citizens United and "freedom of speech." But does he support more than 31 ice cream flavors and cute puppies? Seriously. That makes about as much sense since he's whining about all the money corporations are spending on this race and then says he supports the source of the cluster confusion.
When Dan Sullivan was appointed attorney general by Sarah Palin in her last days as our governor, it was to get his political foot in the door in Alaska. I heard then he was here to run for Senate.
This week my mom called me. She was out to lunch with a few friends and they had some questions for me about a few candidates. They have seen so many ads they don't know what to believe. (Yeah, I know, we all get that.) After answering a few questions, I told them to attend a meet-and-greet, pick up the phone and call the candidate or send an email. Alaska is small enough you can actually have a conversation with people running for office. Interview them. They are applying for a job to work for you. They covet your votes. What "outside money" doesn't understand is that we have a direct line, and we should use it.
This week Fortune Magazine called Alaska one of the most politically corrupt states in the nation. (We are listed as number seven, but I think we could be number one without much extra effort.) They had quite a list of who is for sale. Alaskans, do your homework, don't put your vote up for auction.
Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster. You can hear her show, "The Last Word," Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on KOAN 95.5 FM and 1080 AM and 1480 We Act Radio in Washington, D.C., and on Netroots Radio.
By SHANNYN MOORE