The Anchorage Daily News published the answers to its survey questions of U.S. Congress and Senate candidates on Aug. 7. Candidates Nick Begich and Kelly Tshibaka made me dizzy with their ducking, dodging and sidestep-dancing to avoid straight answers, especially on two profoundly important questions: Do you (personally) believe Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election (free of substantial fraud), and do you (personally) think Donald Trump should be held accountable for the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021? Candidate Sarah Palin, a Trump acolyte like Tshibaka, was missing altogether.
Neither Begich nor Tshibaka answered the first question directly. Begich stated the obvious, that Biden is our president. He wrote obscurely about a “crisis of confidence in our election systems” without revealing what the crisis is, where it came from, how it relates to Biden’s election, or what he would do about it if elected. Tshibaka wrote unintelligibly in circles about “legitimate questions that still exist” and that “demand legitimate answers” while offering none of her own. She said nothing about why now, 18 months after the November 2020 presidential election, and after 60 lawsuits, three recounts, and five election audits have concluded there was no substantial fraud, she still believes that no “legitimate” answers exist. Nor did she say what, in light of her considerable legal and investigative experience, she has done these past 21 months to find legitimate answers herself.
Begich sidestepped the second question, too, kicking it to the courts to decide. Tshibaka dodged as well, saying people who trespassed should be held responsible. Of course, an armed insurrection attempting to overthrow the democratic process is something more than a “trespass.” Neither candidate answered whether Trump, who undeniably attracted the insurrectionists to Washington and roused them to storm the Capitol, should be held accountable. In Tshibaka’s case, this may be understandable, because she is especially proud of her endorsement by Trump and would not risk losing it. Begich too is afraid to rock the extremist Republican Party boat.
Mr. Begich, Ms. Palin and Ms. Tshibaka: Give us straight answers. Will you identify the election fraud you seem to believe occurred? Can you? Will you hold Trump accountable for the armed insurrection? If elected, will you defend or try to defeat our democracy? And if you lose, will you accept defeat or, like President Trump, insist you won anyway?
— Gregg Brelsford
U.S. House candidate
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