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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

Alaska’s two major U.S. Senate candidates said they had pulled down a pair of political ads referencing a high-profile murder and sexual assault case , following a request from the attorney for the family of the victims.

The attorney, Bryon Collins, also sent a letter over the weekend blaming incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Mark Begich for creating an “emotional storm” for his clients, and raising questions about whether the ads could taint the jury pool in the suspect’s upcoming trial...

Nathaniel Herz

One of the few areas in which incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his Republican challenger Dan Sullivan see eye to eye is their position on the more than $12 million spent this year by outside groups seeking to influence the outcome of their election.

Begich and Sullivan both decry all that money, not associated with the campaigns, which has flooded television and radio stations with thousands of negative advertisements , driven up prices and shut state candidates and local groups out of the market...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich faced his Republican challenger, Dan Sullivan, for the first time Wednesday evening in a debate in Anchorage, with the two candidates drawing sharp distinctions between their visions of the state’s future and its path over the nearly six years since Begich was elected.

The contrast was stark, with Begich seeking voters’ support for another term in Washington, D.C., where he said he’d worked with other lawmakers to push forward pragmatic solutions to challenges like health care costs, the nation’s immigration crisis, and its slow economic recovery from the 2008 recession.

Begich’s attitude was perhaps best summarized by remarks in his closing statement...

Nathaniel Herz

Alaska makes a cameo appearance in a recording leaked Wednesday from a private strategy meeting in June hosted by the billionaire Koch brothers’ political network.

The recording, leaked to a liberal-leaning YouTube channel and first reported by The Nation magazine , drew national attention Wednesday based on comments from the Republicans’ U.S. Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, and three Republican Senate hopefuls.

In the recording, a pair of high-level operatives from two Koch-connected groups briefly discuss Alaska’s political climate, as well as the status of Sen. Mark Begich, who is running for re-election this year...

Nathaniel Herz

Amy Demboski, the first-term assemblywoman for Eagle River and Chugiak, said she would run for Anchorage mayor, joining a field that so far includes only attorney and former assemblyman Dan Coffey as a serious contender.

Demboski, 37, declared her candidacy with the Alaska Public Offices Commission late Tuesday and announced her decision in an emailed statement.

“It is important that the voters of Anchorage have a clear choice for mayor in 2015,” the statement said. “I will continue to be a stoic voice for the taxpayers, focusing on fiscal restraint, essential city services, accountability, and ethical leadership.”...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his newly minted Republican challenger Dan Sullivan square off Wednesday in their first debate, just eight days after Sullivan proclaimed victory in last week’s primary election.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Wendy Williamson Auditorium on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, and it’s hosted by United for Liberty, a coalition of right-leaning groups whose vision statement says that current and future generations will have a higher quality of life “when we have replaced government overregulation with increased personal responsibility.”...

Nathaniel Herz