Just another deal for the Left
If Alaskans want to know how far – and how low – the left is willing to go to grab or retain political power, they need look no further than a back-room deal cooked up in this year’s governor’s race.
Rightly terrified neither Republican-cum-independent-cum-undeclared-cum-independent again Gov. Bill Walker or former Sen. Mark Begich could win in a three-way general election contest with former Republican state Sen. Mike Dunleavy, the left decided it would try to improve hedge its bets.
A plan reportedly hammered out by former Democratic state Sen. Hollis French would have had the Begich and Walker campaigns agree to a trio of polls starting this month that would gauge Dunleavy, Walker and Begich’s support. They would be carried out by firms acceptable to the campaigns.
If either Walker or Begich came in third in all three polls, that candidate would drop out of the race, an Anchorage Daily News report said.
“One makes a sacrifice, and the center and the left join forces and march to victory,” French said in a letter to the campaigns detailing the plan.
The plan, in essence, would have asked the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial candidate or the incumbent governor to take a powder. You cannot make this stuff up.
Begich, it should be noted, agreed to the deal; Walker, likely antsy about its outcome, reportedly said no thanks.
What all that means is that our friends on the Left, well out of the public eye, decided they would put their thumb on the scale and attempt – along with their union pals – to select which candidates Alaskans would be able to vote for in the general election – “to put Alaska first,” as French puts it in his letter.
This certainly is not the first time the Left has gone behind closed doors and abandoned any and all pretense of open elections decided by ordinary voters. If you will recall in the 2014 election, union bosses and pollsters declared neither Walker, running then as an independent, or Byron Mallott, the Democratic standard bearer, had a ghost of a chance in the general election against incumbent Republican Gov. Sean Parnell.
After striking some sort of deal whose details never have been publicly revealed, Mallott and Walker joined forces in the so-called “Unity Ticket,” with Walker running as governor and Mallott as lieutenant governor.
Walker’s running mate, Craig Fleener, and French, who had been Mallott’s, quickly were jettisoned, along with their voters. The Walker-Mallott ticket eked out a slim victory over Parnell as a media storm over a raucous National Guard scandal rocked the Parnell campaign – and evaporated the day after the election.
That the Left is nervous about the upcoming electoral festivities is inarguable. It certainly should be. The Walker administration has been a bust and Begich is packing a lot of political baggage – deals with unions and profligate spending while mayor of Anchorage, for instance – and has his own problems.
But Walker’s may be worse. In a 2014 newspaper interview, he promised:
“I have no intention to implement a statewide tax or paying for state government by reducing Permanent Fund dividend checks. If we properly develop our natural resources and put in place a sustainable budget that should not be necessary.”
Yeah, right. Then, there is his $43 billion gas line, his hiring of high-paid state officials and his budget-busting Medicaid expansion over the Legislature’s objections. There are a lot of reasons to not like him politically.
Add to that: As we mentioned the other day, he is the second-least popular of the 20 governors running for re-election, Morning Consult’s quarterly Governor Approval Rankings show. Overall, he is the nation’s 46th least-popular governor.
Walker has a 29 percent approval rating smothered by a mammoth 54 percent disapproval rating. About 17 percent of those polled by Morning Consult – people apparently living under rocks – had no opinion or just did not know how they felt.
It is so bad, an egg plant likely could beat Walker in November.
While the Left panics behind closed doors, scrambling to find a way to finagle either Begich or Walker – most likely Walker – out of the race to improve its odds, remember this: It is not doing it for you. It is doing it because the Left wants – even desperately needs – to grab or retain power, even if it means orchestrating an election.
You? Who cares what you want?