I am an optimist. We live in the greatest state in the greatest country in the world. I was first introduced to Alaska almost a quarter century ago by my wife, Julie Fate Sullivan. I fell in love with her and with our state. We have raised our three daughters here with the same values that Alaskans have passed down for generations: hard work, service, love of country, an independent spirit, and strength in the face of big challenges.
I am not a career politician. I am running for the U.S. Senate because Julie and I believe that part of the American Dream is to leave our kids with a brighter future than the one we have inherited, and right now, for the first time in our history, that's not happening. We can do better. We must do better.
President Obama has overseen an explosion in spending that has doubled our national debt to almost $18 trillion, crowded out economic growth, and mortgaged our children's future. The Obama Administration has trampled Alaskans' freedom and empowered D.C. bureaucrats to call the shots on how we choose and receive our healthcare, how we develop our natural resources, and how we run our small businesses. Moreover, the Obama Administration can't seem to make up its mind on how it is going to micromanage our lives, constantly re-writing the law and changing the rules of the game without consulting Congress or the American people. This indecisiveness and lack of transparency is even worse when it comes to national security. President Obama lurches from crisis to crisis with knee-jerk reactions and refuses to level with the American people. This is truly the "damage-control presidency."
Unfortunately, we've got a U.S. Senator who has been a rubber stamp for this failed Obama agenda and helped lead our state and our country down the wrong path. Mark Begich voted with President Obama 97 percent of the time last year, and this year he's backed the Obama agenda even more. Begich not only cast the deciding vote to pass ObamaCare, he has voted at least ten times against fixing it. He has voted for trillions in new spending and over one trillion dollars in new taxes on families and small businesses. He has empowered President Obama to shred the rule of law, from making it easier to confirm the President's activist judicial nominees to rescuing President Obama's plan for executive amnesty. And Mark Begich has doubled down on President Obama's strategy of "leading from behind," preferring to take options off the table instead of offering Alaskans comprehensive strategies to defend against the national security threats facing our nation.
But I have faith in the incredible ability of Alaskans and our fellow Americans to turn obstacles that seem daunting into opportunities that are limitless. We can turn this around, and I want to do my part to get our country back on track. I've had the honor of serving my state and my country for much of my life. I've spent two decades as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer, training hundreds of Alaska Marines to defend our country. After 9/11, I deployed overseas as a Marine and also served as a U.S. Assistant Secretary of State under Secretary Condoleezza Rice, working to take down terrorist networks. As Alaska's attorney general, I led our successful efforts to fight federal overreach and protect Alaska's women and children from the scourge of domestic violence and sexual assault. As commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, I brought Alaskans together to unlock Alaska's energy and create jobs thousands of new jobs throughout the state.
As your U.S. Senator, I will be vigilant in honoring our sacred trust with our military veterans and in eradicating the scourge of domestic violence and sexual assault that plagues our state and country. I will work tirelessly to unlock Alaska's potential, establish our ascendance as a worldwide energy leader, and create a boom in good-paying Alaskan jobs. I will fight to replace the failed one-size-fits-all, top-down Obama agenda with policies that are based in freedom and that empower Alaskans to decide our own destiny. Alaska families should be free to make their own healthcare decisions and to call the shots in how their children are educated and raised. Alaska communities should be able to pursue innovative solutions and create economic opportunity without their federal government making it harder.
Alaska has so much to offer -- incredible resources, a talented, diverse people, and a can-do spirit that can match any challenge. Alaskans are always willing to come together, roll up our sleeves, and pitch in to get the job done. What we need is a federal government that's a partner in opportunity, not an obstacle.
I think Washington could use some of our Alaskan spirit. It's time to do the hard work to unlock Alaska's potential and restore the American Dream.
There is nothing that's wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with Alaska.
I hope you'll join me in bringing Alaska's values to Washington, D.C.
I'd be honored by your vote on Nov. 4.
Dan S. Sullivan is the 2014 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. He's a husband, father of three and a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve who is a former assistant secretary of state, Alaska attorney general, and commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.