I’m Liz Ruskin and I’ll be your host for this weekly endeavor.
As the name Alaska At-Large suggests, we’ll focus on the statewide races on the ballot this year. At the moment I’m consumed with the special election for U.S. House.
A race with 48 contenders is a wild way to test Alaska’s new election system, which starts with a pick-one primary and ends with a ranked choice voting general election. The first story below is about the angst among Democrats and liberals that none of their candidates will make it through the open primary.
The angst, I think, is a byproduct of the new way we’re picking our candidates. In our traditional election system, Democrats (like all established parties) had a reserved spot on the general ballot. Now they don’t. We've got candidates of all parties elbowing each other to finish in the top four so they can advance to the general.
Lefties need not despair just yet. Every political analyst and numbers-cruncher I talk to says a primary shutout is not likely.
But no one really knows, right? We’ve never done this before. It’s one of the reasons this is just a fascinating time to observe Alaska politics.
Another story I’ve highlighted is by Nat Herz at the Anchorage Daily News, about the wealth disparity among the candidates. So many gems in there could be their own story.
It references Republican Nick Begich III’s stake in a “family publishing house.” That’s the business his father founded, EarthPulse Press. It publishes Nick II’s conspiracy accounts about the HAARP antenna farm in Gakona, which the author says can control minds. You might think there’s a limited audience for such exotic material, but, as we’ve previously reported, Nick III disclosed that he earned between $100,000 and $1 million last year from his 17% stake in the publishing business. Who knew? The personal financial disclosures candidates have to file are a revelation.