Hey, Partisan Democrats like Hendrick Hertzberg of the New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town.” Hey, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Meet Bob Bird, Alaska Senatorial Candidate for the Alaska Independence Party. He just did rabid Democrats and President-elect Obama a very big favor. He ran for Alaska’s Senate seat as a member of the AIP, that “demonic fringe party of domestic terrorists,” you warned your readers and listeners about, back when it was smear-Sarah-Palin-time in the big race. You used the old Red baiting tactic of guilt-by association on Palin and her husband, the tactic that is bad only when used against your favored candidate. Now guess what happened?
Social studies teacher Bob Bird of Nikiski High School did you, Chuck Schumar, Harry Reid and President-elect Obama a big favor. Bird ran on an anti-war, pro-life, anti-federal government platform in Alaska and took more than four percent of the votes in the Senate race, more than 12,144, some of which just might have been earned by Ted Stevens. Stevens had beaten then-Republican Bird by more than 50,000 votes in the1990 party primary. This time, as an AIP candidate, Bird was endorsed by anti-war Libertarian, Ron Paul. Now Bird is getting his sweet revenge on Ted Stevens. Democrat Mark Begich is beating Senator Stevens by only 1,022 votes with 25,000 votes left to count next week, mostly from Begich strongholds in Southeastern Alaska’s Pan Handle and Anchorage. So Sarah Palin won’t get a chance to run in a special election after Senator-elect Stevens resigns or is expelled. With barely a mention in the press and with less money than a single charter flight would have cost to ship all those famous campaign clothes back to Anchorage from the Real America, this Kenai Peninsula unknown has taken the air out of Ted Stevens’ balloon as a Federal jury conviction did not . If Ted Stevens had wanted Bird’s votes, he should have earned them. (That’s what Ralph Nader would say).
Bob Bird had a campaign budget of $28, 360 and spent $22,898 as of October 15, 2008, or, about $1.88, a vote. He reported no outside money, and no PAC contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (Opensecrets.org). Stevens raised $4,978, 737, thirty-five percent from PACs and 68 percent from outside of Alaska. Top contributor’s employers included Boeing, $48.000, Verizon, $45,650, News Corp, $44,600, (read Fox) and General Dynamics, $40, 9190. Begich raised $3,519, 587; thirteen percent from PACs, the top donors’ associations were Thornton and Naumes, $21,500, and the Municipality of Anchorage,$19,700, with lawyers, and labor unions dominating the rest of his list. Sixty-two percent of his money came from outside Alaska. The Center for Responsive Politics’ Opensecrets.org has already declared Stevens, “the Winner.” Better fix that web site, folks. Bob Bird of Nikiski has sung Ted a lullaby (sorry, Uncle Ted).
All of this because Alaska gives ballot space to third parties and independents. Funny how democracy can work things out, if you give it a try.