A Choice, Not An Echo

Thanks to Caleb Pritt for reviewing the candidates for Alaska Governor & Lt. Governor in light of LGBT and other issues! -Editor

By guest blogger Caleb Pritt

Alaska's voters, especially the GLBT Community, have a clear and distinct choice when it comes to the Governor/Lt. Governor's race this year: Ethan Berkowitz & Diane Benson.

In one corner is Sean Parnell & Mead Treadwell and in the other, Ethan Berkowitz & Diane Benson. There are more than just issues that directly affect the GLBT Community. There are Quality of Life issues, and issues that affect Alaska's future.

On all these issues, there is one team that is the choice for Alaska: Ethan Berkowitz & Diane Benson. With one, you have in the Governor's office not just a former nominee for Lt. Governor & U.S. Congress, but a former member of the Alaska State House of Representatives from 1996-2006, where he was Minority Leader. With the other, you have a woman whose mere election makes Alaska historic as Alaska becomes the first state to elect a Native American woman to the highest elective office ever held in this nation. You also have a fierce advocate for the GLBT Community who was not afraid to stand with other advocates against anti-civil rights legislation whether it's before the Anchorage Assembly or the State of Alaska.

There's also the OWN A PIECE OF THE PIPE Plan that Berkowitz-Benson are offering to help build the illusive Natural Gas Pipeline. Bill Walker may have unfortunately lost the GOP Primary for Governor, but if you support an All-Alaska Pipeline, or any type of pipeline for Alaska, then Berkowitz-Benson is your choice.

There also has to be a fundamental question asked about who is in this race for Alaska's interests, not their own personal self-interest? The choice is still Ethan Berkowitz & Diane Benson.

When it comes to GLBT issues, Sean Parnell has been a demagogue if not an outright ignorant individual on recognizing the right of ALL Alaskans to be afforded their basic civil rights. Let's not forget that this is the Governor that had Alaska taxpayers pay for him to meet with Focus on the Family, a group known for being homophobic. Also, Parnell as well as Treadwell embraced Proposition Two which doesn't do much to notify parents as it imposes the state's ability to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. Parnell also has condemned homosexuality more than once. Parnell even committed Alaska's money, that could be spent on a natural gas pipeline, to a frivolous lawsuit challenging the Health Care Reform bill. This is not a precedent, btw Libertarian-minded readers, as I hardly would hold my breath waiting for Parnell to challenge not lifting the DADT Ban, for instance.

Mead Treadwell supporters have offered a weak response that "Mead is really supportive of the GLBT Community but he can't be open about it." Really, because being a supporter for the GLBT Community never stopped Arliss Sturgulewski when she was in the Alaska State Senate and twice the Republican nominee for Governor. It never stopped Jay Hammond either when he was Governor and opposed the anti-gay rhetoric of demagogues like Tom Fink.

When it comes to the gas pipeline, Sean Parnell gave away millions of Alaska's dollars to a company without any guarantee they had to do anything. No guarantee of an All-Alaska Pipeline, Trans-Canada Pipeline, anywhere Pipeline. Parnell gave them the money and they have rewarded his campaign with donations. In fact, his campaign spokesperson is married to one of Shell's Executives. But hey, there's no link of impropriety, is there? I mean the Governor of Alaska, Sean Parnell, would never suggest Quid Pro Quo with the wealthy oil executives and corporations. No....he just takes care of them, not Alaska.

Also, the paint on the office door of the Lt. Governor's office was not dry before Sean Parnell tried to run for U.S. Congress. Mead Treadwell meanwhile sought a coveted and key position in the Barack Obama Administration, then when it was politically expidient, he threw President Obama under the bus to gain support of Republican conservatives and hide the fact that his paycheck came from Barack Obama. Then again, Mead Treadwell threw Lisa Murkowski under the bus to gain support of the "conservative" groups in his bid for Lt. Governor.

In 1964, Barry Goldwater's slogan was "A Choice, Not An Echo" to show he stood for something. One has to wonder where that true conservative's desire to stand for something is lacking in the modern-day representation in Alaska otherwise known as Acting Governor Sean Parnell. Luckily, the two progressive candidates for Governor & Lt. Governor are providing Alaskans with a choice.

In the end, to quote Diane Benson, it's time for the People of Alaska to come first. This race is not about Democrat v. Republican or Tea vs. Coffee. It's not about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender v. Heterosexual. No, the race for Governor & Lt. Governor is about Alaska and Alaska's future. One team has a plan while the other has just talk. One team has a record of earning their way to where they are at, while the other team is just some politicians. One team is about Alaska, and the other is about preserving their own political power.

The choice is clear Alaska: the All Alaska choice in November is Ethan Berkowitz for Governor & Diane Benson for Lt. Governor.

On November 2nd, vote for Alaska....vote for Berkowitz-Benson.


Disclaimer: The author served as the campaign manager for Diane Benson in her successful primary bid for Lt. Governor. A primary that Benson won with 71%, incidentally.

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