Alaska’s Special Election Is a Template for How the Left Wants to Rig the Vote; Why Didn’t Gov. Dunleavy and his Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka Work for Vote Integrity?

Editor’s Note: As many Restoring Liberty readers already know, Alaska’s 2010 U.S. Senate race was plagued by unprecedented fraud. Governor Dunleavy falsely promised to clean up Alaska’s elections. One of his commissioners, Kelly Tshibaka, actually met with Joe Miller for the purported purpose of addressing vote integrity issues but, like Governor Dunleavy, she refused to seriously engage on this critical issue. Restoring Liberty believes this inaction raises very troubling questions about both Dunleavy and Tshibaka.

Next month, Alaskans will vote in a special primary election for the state’s single congressional seat, left vacant by the death of Republican Rep. Don Young in March. Young, the longest-serving Republican in the history of the U.S. House, was Alaska’s sole congressman for 49 years, so the election to replace him is in some ways an historic event for the state.

But it’s also historic in another way: it will be Alaska’s first ever statewide mail-in primary election. That is, there will be no in-person voting at all. Every single voter on the state’s bloated and error-riddled voter rolls was automatically mailed a blank ballot.

What’s more, there will be no verification requirements for these mail-in ballots. Voters will simply need to fill out their ballot and have a witness observe them sign the envelope. The state’s Division of Election has explicitly said it will not verify the authenticity of the signatures on the ballots. . .

By any measure, Alaska’s special election is a mess. But why should the rest of the country care? Because Alaska’s insane statewide mail-in election is a template for how the left wants to run elections nationwide. Democrats and left-wing activists would love nothing more than to hold elections entirely by mail with as few safeguards in place to prevent ballot fraud.

Indeed, Alaska presents a unique and in some ways ideal test case for the left. For one thing, Alaska’s voter rolls are a mess. As of 2020, voter registration was 118 percent of the estimated vote age population, meaning there were more registered voters than actual people who could vote (this problem is getting worse in Alaska; in 2018 it was only 103 percent). Making matters worse is a 2016 Alaska law that automatically registers residents to vote when they submit an application for the state’s permanent fund dividend. (Read more from “Alaska’s Special Election Is a Template for How the Left Wants to Rig the Vote” HERE)

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Alaska Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Kurka Hammers GOP Leadership for Kicking Fellow Legislator Out of Caucus

Alaska House District 7 (Wasilla) Representative Christopher Kurka responded today to the House Republican Minority’s action over the weekend removing District 10 Representative David Eastman from the House Minority Caucus, and the Committee on Committees’ subsequent report recommending Eastman’s removal from the Rules and Ethics Committees, which was accepted by the House.

“The House Minority’s expulsion of Rep. Eastman from the caucus on Friday was as petty and sophomoric as it was unjustified and unwarranted, and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Kurka said. “I would say to my colleagues, if you can’t deal with legislative debate or negotiate the rules with respect for others, then maybe you ought to find another profession. Representative Eastman did nothing wrong, and I won’t stand silently by and watch a political lynching.”

During the Minority Press Conference, the Minority Leader explicitly said, “I can’t point to any one incident” that precipitated the measures taken. Other members complained that Rep. Eastman: (1) Is a “member” of The Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership; (2) Proposed too many budget amendments; (3) Caused “disruption, confusion, and distraction” inside the caucus.

First, The Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership does not have membership, and there is no such group operating in Alaska. It is only a school that trains citizen activists in the same kinds of methods and tactics used by corporations, unions, and special interest groups that lobby the Legislature.

Second, it is hard to even know how to respond to the charge that Rep. Eastman is fighting too hard to hold the Democrat-led coalition accountable.

Third, the “disruption, confusion, and distraction” referenced sounds personal, and that is something every legislator must deal with individually.

Kurka concluded, “Ironically, Representative Eastman and I are the only members of the House Republican Minority to actually pass amendments to the State budget on the House Floor. I will never apologize for fighting too hard for my constituents, and neither should Eastman. I only wish the House Republican Caucus was half as concerned about what the Democrats and turncoat Republicans are doing to this state as they are about what we are doing to stop them.”

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What Has Murkowski’s Vote for Deb Haaland Done for Alaska?

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of four Republican senators to cross party lines last year to vote for President Joe Biden’s activist pick to lead the Department of the Interior, New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland. More than 13 months after Haaland’s confirmation, Alaskans are paying the price for Murkowski’s approval. . .

Upon completing her first trip to Alaska, Secretary Haaland left with a “parting gift” of more Washington restrictions, declaring that millions more acres that were once open to oil and gas exploration would be locked under environmental regulation.

On Monday, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, which is now run by an ecoterrorist, announced it would reverse Trump-era efforts to expand oil and gas operations in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, shutting off 7 million acres from development despite today’s urgent need to drill. . .

At this point, however, the announcement should come as no surprise. In October, the Biden administration decided to let stand a judge’s ruling to strip permits for the Willow Project in the same reserve. Approved under President Donald Trump in 2020, the 30-year plan from ConocoPhillips to develop five drilling sites would have been the largest single extraction project on federal land. . .

Murkowski has long lobbied for a “complete exemption” from the Roadless Rule for the Tongass National Forest, but Haaland has come out on top in this fight too. (Read more from “What Has Murkowski’s Vote for Deb Haaland Done for Alaska?” HERE)

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McCarthyism in Alaska

There have been some interesting developments in the broken Alaskan House minority caucus. This is supposed to be the caucus of the conservatives, but there are only a few holding the line. These developments have culminated in an Alaska Republican party resolution that has set the stage to purge actual conservatives (those who do something, not just those who speak conservatively) from the party. Here is what happened.

The House was debating next year’s budget on the floor. As usual, there were many amendments to be brought up. The conservative ones are usually voted down by the democrat/rino majority, but sometimes to play conservative for their districts some of the libs will vote yes on one and it gets across the line. This year a new liberal scheme emerged from those in the minority who don’t stand strong on conservative principles.

A number of amendments were made by the conservatives that were pro-life, pro-gun and even an anti-vax mandate one. A pair of the faux conservatives did something not seen before, where they voted to table those amendments. This is the way to kill an amendment without letting it get talked about and voted on. Instead of letting the democrats vote against it and take the hit, they did the democrats dirty work for them. After their constituents let loose on them, informed of the travesty by Alaska Right to Life and Alaska Gun Rights, they hamstered an excuse out that they didn’t think “intent” language should be in the budget. Two things on that:

1. Intent language has always been in the budget, it’s part of how the legislature directs the money being spent.

2. They never removed any of the Democrat’s intent language, they only stopped any conservative intent language from being put in the bill that would have protected life, gun rights and medical freedom.

The bad legislators doubled-down and attacked the most conservative groups in the State because they had let their constituents know about their tactics. One, the most vocal, Kevin McCabe from Big Lake even made a House speech calling a staffer corrupt because they were involved with both groups.

This all then culminated at the 2022 Alaska Republican Party State Convention. A surprise resolution was brought up at the very end with no time to really digest it. It attacked the group Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership (FACL), a large political organization that has passed or removed many, many laws nationwide and helped many good conservatives to be elected. After some lies, the resolution finally got down to saying
“Therefore, be it resolved, that no financial support or party endorsements, from any part of the AKGOP, be given to any candidates who are practitioners of the egregious and divisive activist principles and processes of the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership. “Let me tell you what the number one principle that FACL teach is: inform constituents of how their officials vote. Yep, that’s all that happened and that’s what they want to stop. They want no one telling their constituents what they are doing in the Juneau bubble. They’ve stated publicly before they are voting with an eye towards elections, NOT to hold up the conservative principles they campaigned on.

So, what does that lead to? Well now we have an incumbent protection program. Since any challenger will want to address the record of his opponent, but that is a FACL technique, the incumbent can try to get his party support stopped. This opens up a new McCarthyism, where you can be targeted because you hold strong to your beliefs and tell people what a legislator is actually doing. It’s also very subjective and ill-defined, and will only intensify divisions within the party.

I’ve been to many FACL classes myself, and find they are the absolute best for actually teaching you how politics works. The responses of those bad legislators are exactly what I was taught they would do when confronted with their votes. I, myself, will hold more of the classes in Alaska and continue to let people know how their legislators voted, and if that means that I have to lose party support because of my principles then I’ll live with that. At least I’ll be able to live with myself, knowing that I let people know what is really going on. While most reading this aren’t involved with the details, I would just ask you to support the proven conservative candidates who are trying every day to pass good bills and amendments, like the two being targeted directly by this action, David Eastman and Chris Kurka.

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McConnell’s Leadership PAC Announces a $7M Ad Buy to Back Murkowski Against Trump-Backed Rival

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s leadership PAC announced a $7 million ad buy Monday on behalf of Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is fending off a primary challenge from the Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka.

So far, that’s the only Republican primary McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund is getting involved in – with most of the cash being directed to six general election battles starting in September.

‘We don’t seek out opportunities to be involved in primaries,’ Senate Leadership Fund President Steven Law told Politico.

McConnell, however, has made it clear he’s behind Murkowski – who’s held her Alaska Senate seat for 20 years.

The investment is similar to how much she spent on her 2016 re-election campaign, CNN pointed out. (Read more from “McConnell’s Leadership PAC Announces a $7M Ad Buy to Back Murkowski Against Trump-Backed Rival” HERE)

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Sarah Palin Revives Comment She Can ‘See Russia’ From Alaska

Sarah Palin, the former Republican governor of Alaska, is reminding voters that you “can see Russia” from her home state—reviving a remark that drew mockery when she unsuccessfully campaigned as former GOP Presidential candidate Senator John McCain’s vice presidential running mate in 2008. . .

Speaking on former Trump White House official Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast on Thursday, Palin complained about the situation at the southern border and then referred to Alaska’s proximity to Russia.

“When you’re talking about what’s going on at the border—the non-existent border,” Palin said, “that reminds me how important it is, that all Alaskans realize it. Now Alaska is strategically located on the globe—as you know—you don’t laugh about the fact that you can see Russia from Alaska, and Canada is right there on our other side.”

Palin touted the “strategic location and the security we [Alaskans] can provide.” The GOP congressional candidate lamented that “those in Washington” take Alaska for granted. (Read more from “Sarah Palin Revives Comment She Can ‘See Russia’ From Alaska” HERE)

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Sarah Palin Returns to Politics to Run for Congress

Over a decade after she served as governor of Alaska until 2009 and was John McCain’s running mate in 2008, Sarah Palin announced she was running for Congress.

A statement from Palin began by referencing former Rep. Don Young (R-AK), who just died on March 18. He had been the dean of the House, as well as the longest-serving member of Congress. “I realize that I have very big shoes to fill, and I plan to honor Rep. Young’s legacy by offering myself up in the name of service to the state he loved and fought for, because I share that passion for Alaska and the United States of America,” her statement began in part.

Palin’s statement referenced how “America is at a tipping point” and credited how she’s “watched the far left destroy the country” as motivation for why she’s running. (Read more from “Sarah Palin Returns to Politics to Run for Congress” HERE)

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Trump Endorses Sarah Palin for Congress

Former President Donald Trump enthusiastically endorsed former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in her run to fill Rep. Don Young’s (R-AK) congressional seat.

Hailing the former Alaska governor as a “wonderful patriot,” Donald Trump praised Palin for her persistence in the face of the Democrats’ attacks on her.

“Wonderful patriot Sarah Palin of Alaska just announced that she is running for Congress, and that means there will be a true America First fighter on the ballot to replace the late and legendary Congressman Don Young,” said Trump.

Sarah Palin notably endorsed Trump very early in the 2016 primaries. “We are ready for a change. We are ready and our troops deserve the best, a new Commander-in-Chief whose track record of success has proven he is the master at ‘The Art of the Deal,’” she said.

In his endorsement, Trump recalled how Palin elevated the 2008 McCain campaign as the media and establishment Republicans sabotaged her. (Read more from “Trump Endorses Sarah Palin for Congress” HERE)

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Anchorage Residents Allowed to Return Home After Massive Avalanche, but Dangerous Conditions Remain

An evacuation order has been lifted for people living near the site of an avalanche in Alaska, but officials warn conditions are still dangerous.

Residents in the Eagle River area were asked to evacuate after the massive avalanche cut off 100 homes without power Thursday night.

Mayor Dave Bronson said in an emergency order dated Saturday that the avalanche posed a grave and immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the area due to damaged buildings, compromised roads and residents being cut off and isolated. . .

The snow removal process is expected to take two weeks, “if conditions remain safe,” the OEM update said. Removal began on Monday morning. (Read more from “Anchorage Residents Allowed to Return Home After Massive Avalanche, but Dangerous Conditions Remain” HERE)

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Sarah Palin Open to Serving in Late Don Young’s House Seat

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is open to replacing Rep. Don Young after the longtime congressman died late last week.

Palin, 58, made the comments Monday as Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration sorts out a complicated process that will include not only a special election to seat a replacement this year but also a primary and general election to determine who will take the seat for the next two-year term.

“Think of those huge shoes that are to be filled when we consider Don Young’s longevity and his passion, his love, his fighting spirit for our wonderful state of Alaska and for the nation as a whole,” Palin told Newsmax. “If I were asked to serve in the House and take his place, I would be humbled and honored, and I would. Yeah, in a heartbeat, I would.”

Palin, a Republican, served as the ninth governor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009. Before she resigned, Palin became John McCain’s vice presidential running mate in the 2008 presidential election, which they lost to the Democrats’ Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Palin has not held office since. (Read more from “Sarah Palin Open to Serving in Late Don Young’s House Seat” HERE)

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