New Alaska Political Ads Promote Both Republicans and Democrats
Putting Alaskans First Committee campaigns to keep bipartisan coalition
ANCHORAGE - An unusual political ad campaign is under way on the television airwaves in Alaska: Democrats and Republicans are being supported in the same ads, possibly a first.
It’s a natural outgrowth from the hottest theme of this year's election cycle -- whether the Senate Bipartisan Working Group is good or bad for Alaska.
So while in one sense it's not surprising, the ads doubtlessly are jarring to people in both major political parties.
They’re together in one ad -- Anchorage Senators Lesil McGuire, a Republican, and Hollis French, a Democrat.
They’re among the 14 incumbents in the Senate bipartisan coalition being supported by the Putting Alaskans First Committee.
In particular, the ad praises the coalition for standing firm against Governor Parnell’s bill to drastically reduce oil production taxes.
Major contributors to this campaign include the AFL-CIO and the Alaska State Employees Association -- two Democrat-leaning organizations, which puts a former Democratic lawmaker in the interesting position of supporting McGuire over her Democratic challenger.
Jim Duncan, a former 24-year legislator, is still a Democrat. But now he's supporting some Republicans.
"We don't want to give away our resources. We want to have fair taxation policy that benefits the state and its citizens, and we're going to support legislators, whether be they Democrat, Republican, independent, we're going to support legislators who take a responsible approach to taxation."
"Democrats can make mistakes, too,” said Roselynn Cacy, McGuire’s Democratic opponent in South Anchorage in November. “I think that's a mistake, but Lesil's very good at getting support from a wide variety of people."
She says she's hopeful that the AFL-CIO and the ASEA will swing her way before the election. "We can be partisan at this time. I mean, think it's very important that we have a democratic process, people running against each other."
Duncan says he doesn't have second thoughts about McGuire. "We believe that in the final analysis she will do what's right and that she'll look for a balanced approach and a good taxation policy."
When it comes to McGuire, Democrats are split.
McGuire did not return a phone call today from CBS 11 News.
There is potential confusion about her position on oil taxes. Although she spoke against the governor's bill in a special session this year, last week she was the only legislator to attend the press conference of the Make Alaska Competitive Coalition, which is pushing for a big tax break.