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Nathaniel Herz

Claim Check will regularly examine ads through the 2014 Alaska election season

• The ad: “Message” • Who’s running it: Sullivan for U.S. Senate • First aired: Sept. 12 • Spending: Campaign declines to say

A new TV ad from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan features his wife, Julie Fate Sullivan. In the 30-second commercial, she criticizes her husband’s opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, saying he is attacking Dan Sullivan for serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, and as a White House fellow and an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of State under President George W. Bush...

Nathaniel Herz

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan says he will vote for a state initiative to increase Alaska’s minimum wage to $9.75 an hour by 2016, after saying before the Aug. 19 primary election that he was opposed to the change.

Sullivan told the Wall Street Journal in a story published Monday that he still opposed a proposal backed by President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour -- a measure that’s also backed by Sullivan’s opponent, incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

A spokesman for Sullivan told the Journal that the candidate's position had changed because he "had a chance to read the minimum wage initiative."...

Nathaniel Herz

For the last several weeks in Anchorage, two dozen people have fanned out across the city each evening, armed with clipboards, sheaves of stamped envelopes, and brochures printed with cartoon salmon and pictures of a grinning Mark Begich, the incumbent Democratic U.S. senator who’s running for re-election.

They work for SalmonPAC , a group that says it will spend $1.1 million before Election Day on a grassroots campaign -- one that will see its paid canvassers knock on doors nearly 250,000 times by the time it’s over...

Nathaniel Herz

Many of the attacks on incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich have come from a national angle, seeking to tie him to his vote for the 2010 health care overhaul, and to the flagging popularity of President Barack Obama.

But a new set of negative ads has a decidedly local bent, taking aim at the time Begich spent as mayor of Anchorage, the largest city in the state, with 300,000 people...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said he opposes a proposal by the administration of President Barack Obama to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to fight the militant group in the Middle East known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Begich weighed in Wednesday night after Obama made a national speech to lay out his plans for the region, which include combating the militants by training and arming the Syrian rebels and expanding American airstrikes in the region.

Breaking with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, Begich was quoted in a prepared statement as saying that he is "gravely concerned" by reports of the militants seizing American weapons intended for use by Syrian rebels...

Nathaniel Herz

A new analysis shows that the TV ads flooding Alaska’s airwaves this election cycle have predominantly come from Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his allies, as opposed to his Republican opponent, Dan Sullivan, and the groups backing him.

A review by the Center for Public Integrity found that Begich and Democratic groups that support him ran 19,900 commercials between November and late August, while Sullivan and groups supporting him ran 13,400...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s recent controversial television ad has drawn new scorn from a pair of sources: the nonpartisan fact-checking outlet PolitiFact and the popular television show hosted by Jon Stewart, “The Daily Show.”

In a segment Thursday night, Stewart lambasted the spot from Begich, which was released last week and features a retired Anchorage Police Department officer attacking Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, a former state attorney general...

Nathaniel Herz

The Alaska Democratic Party has asked Maryland tax authorities to review tax credits received by Alaska Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan while he lived in a Washington, D.C., suburb.

The party’s chairman, Mike Wenstrup, wrote the Maryland taxation department’s director last week to ask for a review of what the party says are $4,500 in tax breaks that Sullivan and his family received between 2006 and 2008 when they purchased a house in Bethesda and declared it their “principal residence.”...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his Republican opponent Dan Sullivan both found time for campaign events in Juneau this week. But they won’t be seeing each other, much to the consternation of two local groups that had tried to coordinate a forum and a debate featuring both candidates.

The campaign for Sullivan, the state’s former attorney general and Natural Resources commissioner, didn’t respond to inquiries from the Alaska Native Brotherhood, which held a meet-and-greet session with Begich on Tuesday rather than the head-to-head debate the group wanted...

Nathaniel Herz

Alaska Independence Party candidate Vic Kohring withdrew from the U.S. Senate race Tuesday and urged his supporters to back Republican nominee Dan Sullivan instead.

Kohring, a former Republican state legislator who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion and bribery in 2011, said in an emailed statement that he didn't want to draw votes away from Sullivan that could tilt the election toward incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

"Withdrawing lessens the chances of that happening," the statement quoted him as saying. "I call on all Alaskans to join me in voting for Dan Sullivan as our new senator."

A spokesman for Begich's campaign declined to comment...

Nathaniel Herz