OPINION: Peltola flounders, Alaska suffers

Serving as Alaska’s sole member of Congress comes with intense weight and outsized pressure. Our state’s needs and priorities rarely fall neatly into the partisan politics of Washington, D.C. We have been lucky to have members who understand this challenge andrise to the occasion, fighting for Alaska’s needs above all else. Unfortunately, Mary Peltola is not one of those members.

Over the past week, Peltola’s lack of experience and political courage has been brought to the forefront. Faced with difficult decisions, she has floundered as her reelection approaches, opting to side with Joe Biden and her political funders rather than stand up for her state and cross party lines.

Peltola chose to vote “present” on a bill she originally sponsored titled the Alaska’s Right to Produce Act. She waffled at the worst possible moment, too afraid to buck her party leadership and do what’s right for our state. Her “Dear Colleague” letter said all we needed to know: She voted no on Alaska.

It’s embarrassing that our state must rely on members from Minnesota to fight for Alaska and pass legislation that will help grow our economy and overturn Joe Biden’s disastrous Arctic National Wildlife Refuge decision.

It’s clear that as Election Day approaches, Peltola is panicking. She ran to be an independent voice that would put Alaska above the Democratic Party, but now is facing a reality where she can’t risk putting our needs above her own reelection chances. She needs to ensure the Democratic Party spends millions on her behalf. She has to defend President Biden even as he shuts down our options for future energy production. She literally can’t afford to stand up to leadership — it might cost her $4 million in television advertisement reservations.

Peltola is not showing up for Alaska, both literally (she has missed 21% of votes, making her the fourth most absent member) and figuratively. She can’t even retain staff. Her lack of experience and conviction is under the spotlight. It’s not only embarrassing for our state, it threatens our economic success and potential.

Alaskans must remember this when we cast our ballots in November. Most importantly, we can’t risk sending another inexperienced, self-serving candidate to D.C. I think it’s clear we need someone with a proven record of political courage and someone who isn’t afraid of tough fights.


It’s time to end Mary Peltola’s failed congressional experiment and vote for Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom to represent our state in Washington.

Frank Dahl is the former owner of Blues Central and a past president of the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association (CHARR).

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