Not that he was very creative in doing so. Claiming to have done “opposition research,” he appears simply to have duplicated the same script that already had been offered about a month ago to Amanda Coyne, probably the best of Alaska’s political columnists.
Here was her response:
Brad Keithley, one of the potential independent candidates for governor, must have the Republican establishment scared. I know this because I get texts and emails from those political activists who appear to be scared. …
Their fear [of Keithley’s message] is understandable. Keithley has been talking and writing to an increasingly growing audience about the spending problem in Alaska. … A fact that he is continually hammering away on is that since Parnell took office, the budget has increased by 55 percent.
That script largely culminates in the claim that I am a Democrat operative sent to undermine Sean Parnell’s run for reelection. Part of the script appears to be a highly selective review of my political contribution record, which the ARP official yesterday used to “confirm” that I am a D “plant.”
The script is wrong, of course, as anyone who reads my blog — or actually looks at my contribution record — knows. I responded to this particular line of attack at the time it first arose, in the same way I would have yesterday — if, of course, the ARP official had exhibited the courage to make his statements to my face (as he could have at previous meetings) instead of waiting to engage in his trash talking until I missed a meeting. I will ask him at the next meeting to say them to my face; we’ll see how he responds to that.
And why wasn’t I at the meeting yesterday? Ironically because I instead was attending a joint fundraiser for Republican Senator Cathy Giessel, for whom I once again maxed out for this election cycle, and Rep. Lora Reinbold, to whom I contributed as well. Giessel, as you might recall (but apparently the ARP doesn’t) was one of the four Republicans who refused to join the Senate “Bipartisan Majority” a few years ago.
The reason the ARP doesn’t appear to recall that is because the ARP official that used the meeting to bash me didn’t bother to show up at the fundraiser to support two dyed-in-the-wool R candidates, one of which is likely to face significant opposition next year. I suppose the opportunity to trash talk me behind my back was too great, compared with supporting a candidate that remained a solid fiscally conservative R when everyone else left town.
As it turned out during his monologue, the underlying reason that the ARP official appeared intent on attempting to discredit me is because of my focus on Sean Parnell’s budgets.
Why do I focus on Sean Parnell’s budgets? Simple, because they are destroying the state. As the University of Alaska – Anchorage’s non-partisan Institute of Social and Economic Research has concluded:
Right now, the state is on a path it can’t sustain. Growing spending and falling revenues are creating a widening fiscal gap. … Reasonable assumptions about potential new revenue sources suggest we do not have enough cash in reserves to avoid a severe fiscal crunch soon after 2023, and with that fiscal crisis will come an economic crash.
“Fiscal crisis,” “economic crash.” Those are the facts. I think those are pretty bad things. Others do as well. On the other hand, I understand the ARP official didn’t attempt to address those concerns on the merits.
Instead, he defended the Governor as “fiscally conservative.” What has mystified me sometimes is why Alaska R’s, the supposed fiscal conservatives, tolerate that behavior on the Governor’s part. It turns out some of them have an agenda of their own. Indeed, one could argue that they have co-opted the party for their own monetary gain. Amanda explains the real reason:
The people who benefit from all the state government largess — people like the developer Mark Pfeffer, the master of sole source government contracts, and a prolific campaign contributor—aren’t likely happy about what Keithley is preaching. Those people are arguing that the state’s spending keeps Alaskans working. Which, as Keithley points out, sounds suspiciously like Obama’s stimulus plan.
The national Republican Party has seen this before. In 2006 the Republicans, who had been in control of the federal House of Representatives since 1994, were ousted from the majority. The Wall St. Journal analyzed that event this way:
…the number of earmarks multiplied from nearly 1,500 in 1994 to a little under 14,000 in 2005—before voters ousted what had become the Grand Old Pork Party. It isn’t easy to spend so much money so egregiously that even Nancy Pelosi could campaign as a relative fiscal conservative, but the Tom DeLay Republicans managed the feat in 2006.
That is what is happening in Alaska as well, and it appears Alaska’s own “Tom DeLay Republicans,” including the ARP official who trash talked me yesterday and their friends who benefit from large government budgets, don’t want the personal gravy train to end for them.
The gravy train did end nationally for the “Tom DeLay (“Grand Old Pork Party”) Republicans” when the voters caught up to them in 2006. And, it will end for Sean Parnell as well if he remains tied to Alaska’s Grand Old Pork wing of the ARP through the 2014 election cycle.
And — news flash for the ARP — it won’t be just me that ends it. I understand that the ARP official looked pretty lonely by the end of the meeting.
(NB: Subsequent to the original post, the ARP official involved posted a response on Facebook, and given that he continued the personal attack, I replied to that as well on this blog’s “second page.” The ARP official’s response is here; my reply is here.)