OPINION: Let’s keep Peltola on the job

On Nov. 15, the ADN printed this quote from Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom: that she has “seen how D.C. politicians betray Alaskans every day. In Congress, I will stop Biden and the extreme liberals ruining our future, bankrupting our families, killing our jobs, harming our military and veterans, and threatening our security.” And this from Sen. Dan Sullivan, printed Oct. 8, in a commentary about building our gas line: “The wide-open southern border is fueling thousands of fentanyl overdoses. The cost of energy is skyrocketing. At every turn, it seems that the Biden administration is determined to shut down our state.”

Dahlstrom and Sullivan speak the same language of exaggeration and distortion. Our southern border has always been a challenge for every president and is not “wide open,” (and President Joe Biden is spending the last of the wall construction money, as required by law); the cost of energy is in response to global pressures (and domestic oil and gas production are up during the Biden administration); and the Biden administration is not determined to “shut down” our state, whatever that means. (Let us try to imagine Biden scheming, in his spare time, how he can harm us.)

To the contrary, Willow has been approved, and the Biden/Democratic-led infrastructure bill has brought and will bring an unprecedented influx of money to our state. Federal highway funds drive a large part of our construction industry, as do upgrades to our airports, again from the feds. More than 30% of Alaska’s state budget is federal money. The feds spent $18.6 billion in Alaska in 2021, which is $25,170 per person. Dahlstrom doesn’t know this, but she should. So much for “D.C. politicians betraying Alaskans every day.” She imagines that as one of 435 members in the House, she will snap the whip and bring all those evil politicians into line.

It would be useful for Sullivan and Dahlstrom to recognize that the 38.8 million registered Republican voters are not inherently more righteous than the 49 million registered Democratic voters, and that they are not surrounded by the enemy but by fellow citizens. Angry partisan language may be emotionally satisfying, if that is to your taste, but it does not describe reality. The people of Bristol Bay have made it clear for decades that they don’t want to be endangered by the Pebble project, yet the Dunleavy/Dahlstrom administration places a higher value on promoting a Canadian mining company than they do on serving their own citizens. By the same token, the people of Alaska’s Interior have made it clear that they don’t want to live with a stream of large trucks on their roads, nor do they want the state to spend money making that traffic possible, but Dunleavy/Dahlstrom place a higher value on a foreign mining company than they do on their own citizens. These are just a few examples of many of how Dunleavy/Dahlstrom have failed to provide for the citizens they were elected to serve. Who is really “betraying Alaskans?”

Dahlstrom obviously has not read the economic reports on positive national jobs and economic growth, nor has she observed Biden’s obvious support for our military, which is extremely negligent of her. She is also apparently unaware that the next November election is fraught with peril, though she oversees our elections. It would certainly be very reassuring if the woman in charge of our elections made a clear statement about stolen elections and election security, as Kevin Meyer did in 2020, rather than making preposterous claims about how “D.C. politicians betray Alaskans every day.” Dahlstrom should make it clear that she has separated herself from the election frenzy that has consumed so many states, but her statement does the opposite. Dahlstrom and Sullivan should be making clear statements about the candidate who really threatens us, which is Trump, not Biden. Angry divisiveness does no one any good.

Sullivan never misses an opportunity to call attention to his military service, and to call attention to his support for the military, and I therefore suggest that he emulate his superiors and betters, Gen. James Mattis and Gen. Mark Milley, Gen. John F. Kelly, once Trump’s chief of staff, and many other top military leaders, in recognizing that the main threat to the United States is Donald Trump, not Joe Biden. Our very own Marine Reservist should have the courage to do that. (On second thought, it shouldn’t take courage to tell the truth.) Yet Sullivan says he will support any Republican nominee, including Trump.

Dahlstrom claims that Biden has harmed our military and veterans. But it is Trump who denigrated John McCain’s torture and imprisonment in Hanoi, it is Trump who has called wounded veterans “losers,” and it is Trump who has a demonstrated lack of respect for the military. Why is Dahlstrom objecting to Biden rather than Trump?


Since Trump appears to be the presumptive Republican nominee for president, and since both Sullivan and Dahlstrom hate Biden, we must conclude that they both support Trump, which is exactly contrary to what they say about support for the military and veterans, and exactly contrary to what our highest military leaders advise. Obsessing about Biden and ignoring Trump is perverse.

We are fortunate to have two rational, level-headed, moderate and educated representatives in Washington, D.C. — Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Mary Peltola. It is crucial that we keep Peltola there next November.

Clarence Crawford is a longtime Anchorage resident who plans to live out his years here along with his wife. Their children and grandchildren were born Alaskan and live in Anchorage.

The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)adn.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@adn.com or click here to submit via any web browser. Read our full guidelines for letters and commentaries here.