Bob Bird (Who?) and the Crazy Fringe Party, Palin Trashers Just Love(d) to Hate, End Ted Stevens’ Reign in Alaska

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 ( 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’ 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.

Steve Conn is a retired professor of justice at the University of Alaska, and former director of Alaska Public Interest Research Group. He lived in Alaska from 1972 to 2007 and now lives in Point Roberts, Washington. He recently helped collect more than 5,900 signatures from Alaskan voters to put Ralph Nader on the 2008 Alaska Presidential ballot. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Steve, or visit Steve's website.

10 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on November 15th, 2008 at 8:10am #

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday ordered preparations for rising sea levels from global warming, a startling prospect for the most populous U.S. state with a Pacific Ocean coastline stretching more than 800 miles (1,290 km).

    Recorded sea levels rose 7 inches (18 cm) during the 20th century in San Francisco, Schwarzenegger said in the executive order for study of how much more the sea could rise, what other consequences of global warming were coming and how the state should react.

    California is considered the environmental vanguard of government in the United States, with its own standards for car pollution and a law to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, the main gas contributing to global warming.

    “The longer that California delays planning and adapting to sea level rise the more expensive and difficult adaptation will be,” Schwarzenegger said, ordering a report by the end of 2010.

    I know a little off subject but Steve how is the little problem of climate change up there in Alaska and what Schwarzenegger is doing takes gut’s. A little secret every city and town on the East coast and Gulf in the good old USA needs the same planning. So far this has been kept a secret you know bad for business not anymore.

  2. Danny Ray said on November 15th, 2008 at 8:36am #

    Hawkins, I have a great idea, If you have something to say why in the hell, don’t you write your own article.

  3. Don Hawkins said on November 15th, 2008 at 10:07am #

    Great idea Danny worth a try. Thanks

  4. steve conn said on November 15th, 2008 at 12:20pm #

    Alaska Native villages are literally falling into the sea because of global warming. In 2005 John McCain and Hillary Clinton came to Seward, Alaska where I lived to visit Exit Glacier, a Glacier whose retreat is marked by Burma Shave year markers. Exit Glacier made it to a two page spread in the New York Times. I’ve looked at glaciers along Alaska’s coast for the past eight years and, even with the memory of an old timer, can observe the retreat. Begich will speak to Global Warming, but whether Alaska will do anything to help the problem other than draw down Federal funds remains to be seen. Thanks for asking.

  5. steve conn said on November 15th, 2008 at 7:57pm #

    Bob Bird sent me this response with new information about the
    “political bigotry” (Ralph Nader’s term) he experienced in dealing with Alaska media. Since Bird shared this with another web site, I am comfortable about this post. Read on:
    I just read your column in “Dissident Voices” and I want to thank you for your accurate and fair characterization of my campaign, with just a small caveat: I did receive “outside money” from small contributors, and I am surprised that it did not appear in whatever online report you read. I think the biggest was about $150 or so, but I’m not sure.

    You are right, I aggressively ran against foreign wars and adventurism, something Begich would not do, and certainly lost me some redneck votes. Pity. I thank you for noticing that.

    I might point out that National Right to Life would not even endorse me [Alaska Right to Life certainly did, however], because I disdained openly their failed “Human Life Amendment” strategy, pre-abortion federal ultra-sound laws, and other unconstitutional ideas. I advocate a states’ rights approach to social issues, a stance that more than a few abortion supporters applauded and earned me their votes.

    Yes, the press blacked me out, first and foremost the Anchorage Daily News. I gave them an interview a week before the election, after months of my supporters emailing them. I went into their conference room and was surprised to find not one but three grim-looking reporters. I felt like Errol Flynn fending off 3 in a sword fight, but I did it. I did not fit their pre-conceived ideas: the pro-gun, anti-war candidate; the prolifer who has picketed hundreds of times and been arrested in non-violent civil disobedience, but does not want a Human Life Amendment; the Alaska-lands advocate who promised never to abandon native claims to land or sovereignty; and instead of appearing as a hodge-podge of inconsistency, it all made sense when measured against the ONE element all federal office-holders are sworn to uphold: the Constitution.

    Naturally, they killed the story.

    Then there was the KTOO-KAKM statewide debate on October 30: my supporters melted their switchboard and inundated their emails, and I made every effort for a month to get invited. Fat chance! On YouTube you can see many of the other debates where I was invited, and measure my responses against Begich, Young or Stevens [via jumbo-screen].

    In regards to the poor AIP, CNN News did such a hatchet-job against them recently that they sent a special crew to visit AIP chair & vice-chair Lynette & Dexter Clark, as a sort of apology. Their 5-minute report greatly softened (but not completely) the mad-bomber smear job of the AIP that could never sell in Alaska, but apparently did in the Lower 48.

  6. bozhidar bob balkas said on November 16th, 2008 at 8:38am #

    don hawkins
    thnx for ur mention. i was away for a weak. dv is one of the best sites in which to post comments, replies, etc.
    i appreciate ur info on what’s happening to our little orb. i accept science.
    even if wrong, at least they’r erring in favor of safety. in fact, how can one be wrong if one urges we do not waste what we have or not buy what we don’t need for our good cheer and health. thnx

  7. Sheldon said on November 16th, 2008 at 5:42pm #

    Yeah, what is the deal with this Hawkins character always posting the full text of articles in the comments section? If they are relevant to the article they are posted under, say something about them and post a link. I don’t come here to read an unrelated or distantly related article when reading the comments section of this site.

  8. Climate Truth said on November 16th, 2008 at 11:40pm #

    The truth about “climate change” is that to most Alaskans, it is a joke. To those who think, they see it as a hoax perpetrated by corporate America to get the Left to accept more control (they keep the Right in fear with the war on terror). Alaska suffered from the 3rd coldest summer on record. The glaciers are growing again (this made news, but I’m sure only in selected media outlets). Also, the sea ice has returned with a vengeance. Sorry to rain on your parade: they had 2 monstrous blizzards in April. No, global warming is about to join Y2K, Acid Rain and the Antarctic Ozone as another fake crisis. Next up? Global cooling and a new Ice Age!

  9. Danny Ray said on November 17th, 2008 at 5:14pm #

    Bless you Climate for speaking the truth!!! but sorry none of the other people here want to read the truth. I perdict you will be smeared for daring to say that the emperor has no pants on.

  10. steve conn said on November 18th, 2008 at 6:56pm #

    As of Tuesday evening, November 18th, Bob Bird has 13,113 votes in the Alaska Senate race and Begich leads Stevens by only 2,784. This from a guy who had a $28,000 campaign budget, was excluded from the statewide debate and dissed by the state’s largest newspaper. He competed with multimillion dollar campaigns from both major parties