The Trail : A blog on the 2006 Alaska governor's race by Kyle Hopkins

About the blog: The race to become Alaska's next governor is on and it's about to get muddy. Grab your boots and follow the Daily News along the winding campaign trail.


Blog : Alaska Politics

Happy trails - 11/8/2006 8:05 pm

Forty-two - 11/8/2006 8:01 pm

Election hangover - 11/8/2006 10:25 am

Tonight (updated) - 11/7/2006 12:18 pm

Full Moon - 11/6/2006 7:11 pm

Fishy photos? - 11/6/2006 12:08 pm

Smelly deal? - 11/5/2006 3:31 pm

Sunday best (part two) - 11/5/2006 3:18 pm

The marathon is over. Time to sprint.

The two new polls today frame the race between Palin and Knowles as a toss up.

Here's a recap, plus a little more detail:

-- First Craciun Research conducted a statewide poll on Oct. 7-15 that show Knowles and Palin tied with 43 percent of the vote, according to Jean Paal, a research analyst for Craciun.
Halcro: 6 percent
Undecided: 8 percent
Alaska Newspapers Inc. paid for the poll – there’s a story in their papers today – and the margin of error was about 5 percent with a sample size of 418 likely voters.

-- Then another Anchorage pollster, Marc Hellenthal, conducted a poll Oct. 18-21, with Knowles leading by a sliver over Palin, 43 to 42 percent.
Halcro: 7 percent
Undecided: 9 percent
The margin was plus or minus 6 percent, with a sample size of 273. Lobbyist Sam Kito paid for the poll, though Hellenthal said he didn’t know which of Kito’s clients it was for.

Compare that to a Sept. 10 poll Hellenthal conducted that had Palin up 7 percent.

So what to make of the numbers? Paal said the lesson here is simply that it’s potentially a very close race, but said that when the numbers are this tight, you have to pay attention to the margin of error.

“It could be as far apart as 38-48 (percent)”, she said of the Craciun poll.

As for the Palin campaign, spokesman Curtis Smith said that: “Polls don’t dictate how hard we work to get Sarah’s message out.”

“When we get to the headquarters every day, we just assume were down in the polls, and we’ve been acting that way for a couple months,” he said.

He also questioned the pollsters, calling Craciun a “Democratic” pollster and saying Hellenthal had Binkley winning in the Republican primary. (Binkley, of course, lost by double digits to Palin, which a Craciun poll predicted in July.)

I talked to Hellenthal about the primary today.

He said that his polls didn’t show Binkley ahead at any point after May 15.

Binkley did release poll numbers in July that showed him leading in the primary. But Hellenthal said those numbers weren’t the whole picture and “did not reflect the full group of likely voters.”

  6     October 25, 2006 - 9:08am | alaskastraightalker

Illegal Palin mailer

Today I received a mailer from the Republican Governors Association urging support for Palin.

The mailer is clearly designed to influence the outcome of the election, and is clearly within the 30 day window prohibiting any such communication by an outside group- even if it doesn't use the words "vote for." Does the RGA and Palin campaign think Alaskans are stupid?

The RGA is the group whose sources of money include corrupt individuals like Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, and Tom Delay. I wonder why Palin is being silent when they are illegally working on her behalf.

  October 25, 2006 - 10:34am | rfn


It sounds like that mailer had a powerful influence and now you just can't resist voting for Palin!

Today is October 25th.

I find it typical to receive first class USPS deliveries from the lower-48 around 21-days after they were postmarked. One wonders what the time-enroute might be for bulk mail?

Does the deadline refer to when things are put in the mail or when they are delivered? Could it be that someone, somewhere, was so clever as to delay mailing so that actual arrival would be close to the election?

If the deadline is meant to refer to time of delivery, rather than time of mailing, should we not unleash APOC on The USPS for delivering mail that should have been somehow impounded?

Of course I haven't seen the postmark on a mailer but my speculation is as good as your speculation!

Only thing I can see that's missing is an accusation that "dubya" told somebody to mail late!

But I'm patient....

  October 26, 2006 - 5:10pm | leslie

A word from the Juneau Empire

To quote Brooke Miles from APOC regarding the RGA/Palin postcards (excerpt from the Juneau Empire. Link to article at bottom)

Alaska state elections law bars Outside groups interfering in Alaska elections, and makes campaign efforts such as the RGA's mailer illegal, said Brooke Miles, executive director of the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

"It's a completely prohibited ad," Miles said.

The ban on Outside money doesn't apply to advocacy of issues and doesn't apply to ballot measures, but Miles said the RGA mailer was obviously intended to help Palin beat Knowles.

"There's no way they could even pretend it's issues advocacy," Miles said.

  October 25, 2006 - 10:58am | leslie

Clearly Illegal

It doesn't matter when it was mailed. It matters when it was received. Both pieces were received by voters after October 8th. Illegal.

  October 25, 2006 - 4:43pm | rfn

There logical

Logical for Tony to use late delivery to do an algore/Kerry run to the courts to sue to be annointed governor when he loses at the ballot box!

He'd have a better case if he could prove when the mailing was actually done but that has nothing to do with whining. Only winning.

Of course there remains the possibility that someone in the land of Oz (Washington, D.C.) actually did mail after October 9! Think that if they were to do so they might have asked permission first? Does Tony coordinate that closely with The DNC? Is that why there have been no mailers? But wait! Coordination would be illegal! Or, against the possibility that they might do something in ignorance of Alsaka law, did he take the responsible step of sending them a letter telling them it's a no-no?

Love to see a copy!

  October 25, 2006 - 4:55pm | leslie

The issue isn't coordination

The issue is that it is past the deadline. Put up your email and I'll forward it to you.
Past October 8=illegal.

  October 26, 2006 - 7:40am | rfn

created especially for you

Looking forward to the copy!

Curious, though, why you don't just post it here since it might be favorable to Income Tax Tony.

I DO reserve the right to publish....

  October 26, 2006 - 8:07am | leslie

I just sent it to you

I don't post it mainly because I wouldn't have the slightest clue how.

  October 26, 2006 - 8:35am | rfn

Got it...however....

Here's a copy from my original request:

"Of course there remains the possibility that someone in the land of Oz (Washington, D.C.) actually did mail after October 9! Think that if they were to do so they might have asked permission first? Does Tony coordinate that closely with The DNC? Is that why there have been no mailers? But wait! Coordination would be illegal! Or, against the possibility that they might do something in ignorance of Alsaka law, did he take the responsible step of sending them a letter telling them it's a no-no?"

"Love to see a copy!"

Probably it would have been more clear had I specified a copy of a cautionary letter or e-mail.

In any case:

The e-mail I got contained .pdf files of two Palin mailers and a campaign song (that my computer couldn't handle but Thank You anyway).

What I Did NOT get was what I asked for:

A copy of a letter or e-mail from Tony's campaign cautioning The DNC about mailings into Alaska that might not be delivered before the deadline.

Is it, therefore, safe to assume there was no such caution? That, had The DNC cared to support Tony with a mailer, that they might have fallen victim to the long USPS delivery cycle to Alaska? Appears they didn't care enough, so there was no potential for a foul.

Had you not emailed the Palin mailers I would never have seen them. Perhaps mine haven't been delivered yet. Your generosity in defeating the shortcomings of The USPS is heartwarming! Again, Thank You!

  October 26, 2006 - 12:37pm | mike_l

no sense

You make absolutely no sense. Is this an alias of Sarah Palin? Someone please interpret this post for me.

  October 26, 2006 - 1:27pm | Brainfart

Maybe Your The Problem

Maybe your that afternoon radio guy on KFQD. He can't read anything longer than 3 sentences either.

  October 25, 2006 - 3:18pm | Black3

So what,

it's just a minor law. I was actually told that by one of Knowles' commissioners long, long ago in a universe far away.

  October 25, 2006 - 5:49pm | alaskastraightalker

Typical republican attitude towards campaign ethics

Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, Ralph Reed all said the same thing. So did the legislators in Alaska who "consulted."

No problem, especially when it's just a few peanuts.

  October 25, 2006 - 3:55pm | mwj99614

Look at what they are doing!

She's a brassy trailer-trash blonde. She wears cheap make-up, gaudy K-Mart jewelry, and speaks in dumb-blonde-bimbo dialect. We don't get a full body shot, and we're glad. Her shoulders are bare. We can only imagine what she is, or is not, wearing.

She gushes, "I met Harold at the Playboy Party." Yeah, right. With her looks she couldn't get on a Girls Gone Wild video, let alone anywhere near the Playboy mansion. We think the RNC found her on the street, and given the newly discovered Republican fondness for perversion, there's probably a story there.

At the end of the ad, she winks and delivers the Girls Gone Wild line, "Harold, call me!"

Apparently, there is no gutter the GOP won't crawl into.

Other sleazy characters include the sloppy black woman who forgot to comb her hair and appears to need a bath and the shady-looking dude who seems to be a porn consumer and says it's no big deal if Ford takes money from porn producers.

Best part of the ad: "The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertisement."

They don't even have the sense to be embarrassed.

Harold Ford's Republican opponent is playing the role of the shocked and morally superior candidate.

Bob Corker -- who has been called the "King of Lies" by a fellow conservative -- has issued an indignant press release urging the RNC to pull the "tacky" ad.

Only recently, Corker hired tycoon Bob Perry, "a major financier of the 'Swiftboat Veterans for Truth' to finance another series of disgusting untrue negative ads against Ford." But as the story goes, this sleazy ad is from the RNC.

  October 25, 2006 - 1:59pm | rfn

A new technique?

So! A partisan USPS* employee who might kick a bundle of mailers into a corner on October 6th (for example) so they don't get delivered until a week or so later is innocent but the people who mailed them in anticipation of their being delivered in a timely fashion ought to be punished?

Tony-logic at work?

BTW: USPS insists first-class mail from anywhere in the lower 48 should arrive in my P.O. Box within 5 working days. Reality, proven by postmarks, says that 21 days is not remarkable.

* before you get all righteous and claim I'm attacking an individual let me state that this is a hypothetical statement, not related to any specific person or act. If the law pertains to delivery of mailers then it needs to express a cut-off date for mailing based on some reasonable expectation of time enroute. Alaska has no authority to complel The U.S.P.S. to deliver AT ALL, let alone on a specific schedule or to seize and refuse to deliver anything.

But maybe Tony can change that? If he can promise to do so I might actually risk four more years of him. No, I withdraw that. Seen other promises...fool me once, etc......

  October 25, 2006 - 2:35pm | leslie

Illegal is illegal

simple as that. arrived after the date it was allowed. illegal.

  October 25, 2006 - 9:19am | leslie

It's Clearly Illegal

All communications had to end by October 8. This mailer and the one sent 2 weeks ago are illegal. The RGA on behalf of the Sarah Palin campaign is engaging in illegal political electioneering.

  October 25, 2006 - 5:04pm | undeclared

Republicans are corrupt

I got the RGA ad today too.

  October 25, 2006 - 9:47am | akisok2

I got one too

I thought that RGA ads within 30 days of an election was illegal? Whay is Sarah Palin allowing this Outside group to break the law on her behalf? She needs to take a stand!

  5     October 25, 2006 - 7:11am | rkniaziowski


AFter forcing myself to listen to GW's campaign speech this morning, these poll numbers are a welcome relief. Perhaps folks are realizing substance and intellect do mean something in statesmanship?

  4     October 25, 2006 - 6:47am | fishspotter

Wolf Card comes again..

Well, today we're treated with this..

"A group calling itself Alaskans for Wildlife is hoping that once again the will of the people will be enough to stop the aerial shooting of wolves and bears in Alaska.

Sponsors of an initiative to restrict Alaska's predator control program dropped off eight cardboard boxes Tuesday at the state Division of Elections office in Anchorage. Inside were petitions with 56,574 signatures, far more than the 31,451 required to get the initiative on the ballot in 2008. The signatures now must be verified by the election staff..."

Sewing thier oats just in case Tony can once again get at the helm and produce another tear on the cheek from the top down.?

Oh boy.. yipeee! Here we go again!


  October 25, 2006 - 7:08am | mike_l

The Fear Factor

looks like the Palin plants have now resorted to the fear factor. People get desperate when they lose a 17 point lead in less than two months.
I think the predator control issue comes up every year, under every administration, whether it be a D or a R in Juneau.
Let me try this: NO PIPELINE CONTRACT if Palin is elected, and her administration would set the state back 20 years. Those LNG folks in her inner circle will kill any chance of the contract getting done. Big Oil simply won't negotiate with her/them. And if her campaign is so bad, perhaps that will be reflective of the type of people she would appoint to run the state.
Alaska needs someone who is capable of moving the state forward now, getting the pipeline contract completed, and who knows how to negotiate with Big Oil. Palin is a nice new face, but she can't do any of the above -in my opinion.

  3     October 24, 2006 - 11:43pm | alaskastraightalker

Polls: Alaskans not toeing the (Palin) line

Palin's campaign is heading into a tailspin. The signs of a failing/faltering campaign are all there.

1. 2 new polls show the race has tightened considerably. Palin's former huge lead has disappeared as Alaskans are learning about flip flops on gasline route preferences, capital move, Juneau access road, and school vouchers- as well as her extremist positions on issues like abortion, where she wants the big government to force victims of rape and incest to have babies of criminals- as though they haven't been victimized enough. Do you want big government telling you what to do if your daughter or grandaughter is raped? I think not.

2. Despite her script urging supporters to say that Palin will be "positive," and criticism of her record is "negative," etc., her campaign has been negative since the primary, first with Outside DC beltway money raised by an organization which received hundreds of thousands from Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed's casino clients, and then on her own.

Palin bots- especially the ones like "truthseeker" who on these very pages claimed that they would only be positive about their candidate- are becoming desperately vicious as Palin's huge lead disappeared like the fog on a spring morning.

3. After Rick Rydell said that he "has washed his hands of the campaign," Palin flack Curtis Smith went on the air to insist that all Palin supporters must "toe the line" and say only good things about her. Response from radio host: ARE YOU NUTS?

  October 25, 2006 - 6:52am | coldstrings

Alaskans Are Choosing Knowles

The polls show Tony Knowles pulling ahead as Alaskans make up their minds. Tony Knowles is focused on the gas pipeline and has the experience to get it done. Tony has already pulled together bipartisan support, and is ready to hit the ground running toward the gas pipeline. His plans for education, health care, and public safety are supported by the majority of Alaskans. This is an especially important time for Alaskans to support our veterans. Tony Knowles has brought veterans' issues back to the campaign forefront.

Over the next few weeks, Alaska voters will be coming to a decision. With the first pipeline, Alaska chose experienced 3-term Governor Bill Egan to lead, and the strategy worked. Alaskans have a history of choosing to get things done. Tony Knowles will be the next Governor of Alaska.

  2     October 24, 2006 - 10:33pm | truthseeker

Uh Ohhhhhhh........

Here comes a big one. Go to and read the reuters story on the knowles administration accepting BP's excuse that they couldn't pig the lines at prudhoe bay because it was "impractical".

Of course it is practical to pig. They do it all the time. This was all about saving money for BP and it set up the huge oil spill and shutdown of prudhoe bay, giving alaska a major black eye in the US and the world.

It will be interesting to see what direct role the Governor's office and his senior appointed officials had in this affair. Were staff threatened to knuckle under for the benefit of BP? Were they made to rewrite reports to cover up the risk?

This event will end up being one of the defining aspects of the previous knowles administration. It says a lot about where his loyalties lie. Too bad the democrats didn't elect a real democrat in the primary. An eric croft would have made a much more credible candidate. It would have been a really tough choice for me with eric in the race.

  October 24, 2006 - 11:11pm | alaskastraightalker

There she goes again

Trouble is- it's not news. The ADN, in an editorial, discussed this last week, when it said "DEC Commissioner Kurt Fredriksson said the state's 2002 order to pig the line was based on fears that sludge might interfere with accuracy of leak detection equipment. When BP ran tests that showed the sludge didn't interfere with its leak detection gear, the state consented that the more expensive pigging was unnecessary."

The editorial continued by saying that- in hindsight- it was.

The ADN had also reported on the issue a few days before in the article entitled "Why wasn't pipeline pigged?"- when the Congressional delegation had their meeting with BP executives and government regulators.

It wasn't pigged in response to a 2002 compliance order. And apparently it wasn't pigged in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Lisa Murkowski even said, "I cannot understand how this was allowed to slide for four years." I suppose that was Knowles' fault as well- otherwise we'd have to look at the current administration and couldn't overlook the fact that Palin served on the Oil and Gas Commission.

Truthseeker is sounding more and more like a disgruntled former state employee who happened to work during the Knowles years. It seems that her bitterness is in fact blinding her- to the truth.

Based on her numerous posts here- and those from others, it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out who it is. Perhaps I'll try tomorrow if I have time.

  October 25, 2006 - 10:00am | realist

I understand Truthseeker, but. . .

No question, DEC erred back in 2002 and 2003 by being too myopic about leak detection and neglecting the larger picture. DEC officials admit that they erred. Truthseeker, if she is who I think she is, was right back then and her DEC superiors were wrong.
Despite that mistake -- and it's not a minor one -- my opinion remains firm that Knowles is eminently qualified to serve as governor again, based on his overall record and overall philosophy. I'm not 100 percent thrilled with everything he's done, and nobody's 100 percent perfect. But overall, I'm pretty confident in him and his judgment, including his ability to learn from his mistakes, and his moral compass and sense of social justice.
I am not at all confident in Palin, though I admit she would be a very colorful, zany governor who would do what she thinks is right. As I said earlier, she will certainly not be any stricter than Knowles in regulating the oil industry or any other industry (though she's likely to be very unpredictable) because she is fundamentally opposed to government regulation, period.
If Truthseeker likes Eric Croft, well, any objective evaluation would conclude that Tony Knowles is a lot closer to Eric Croft than Palin is.
And if she is worried about Knowles being too soft on the oil industry, she should remember that Knowles is not the only one on the ticket. Ethan Berkowitz is really, really qualified, really, really smart and will do a good job advising Knowles if given the opportunity.
Palin is a nice and charming lady. I like her personally. But, with all due respect, I think people like Truthseeker and others are projecting way too many of their own beliefs onto her. In a way, I can't really blame this on Palin, despite her recent vagueness. She has been very clear in the past about being a "hard-core conservative," and she's very specifically said that she's no moderate Republican. She even went around the Valley wearing a "Buchanan for President" button. If you like that sort of thing, fine, but don't confuse her with a moderate.

  October 25, 2006 - 10:22am | akisok2

Go Ethan!!!

Everyone remember his powerful speech on the House floor during PPT debate?

"This is our floor. Our floor. No telephone call's supposed to change what we're doing. No lobbyist is supposed to peer over the railing and tell us to change our mind. Never should happen."

  October 25, 2006 - 11:10am | realist

I wish we would see more of Ethan

That's one of my criticisms of the Knowles campaign. I'd like to see more Ethan!

  October 25, 2006 - 11:15am | leslie

He's out and about!

Ethan just returned from a great trip to Metlakatla, Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan. He's our travelling ambassador and vote getter.

  October 25, 2006 - 5:26am | JGPinder

If You Must ID Someone... about yourself. You post on here all day, every day. I would think someone who obviously knows so much would not find a need to hide behind a false name. Unless of course you work for Knowles and you would rather not have that little nugget of truth get out.

  October 25, 2006 - 7:08am | coldstrings

Confidentiality is Necessary

I maintain confidentiality because in the last election for governor, my household received repeated late-night threatening phonecalls from right-wing extremists. Most of those calls came near the end of the campaign, and were intended to discourage voting.

  October 25, 2006 - 8:14am | JGPinder

That Is A Federal Crime

I don't recall reading in the paper, or hearing anything on talk radio about anyone being intimidated with threatening phone calls by right wing extremists during the last election cycle. As a matter of fact I can not think of a single incident of voter intimidation by any means ever taking place in the last 20 years that I can recall. But in your defence I have noticed an alarming increase in alien abductions in the grocery store tabloids that have not been reported in the local media either.

  October 25, 2006 - 10:09am | coldstrings


The dismissive tone of your response underscores why most incidents of this nature go unreported. It is more effective to take simple and expedient means to protect confidentiality.

You may also recall that Governor Knowles created the Commission on Tolerance in 2001, and gave testimony to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 2002 regarding discrimination in Alaska. I trust the Alaska Democrats' record on civil rights.

  October 25, 2006 - 10:43am | JGPinder

If Most Go Unreported...

...then certainly some would been reported. I don't recall any local media attention about anything even remotely resembling voter intimidation. I believe that if anyone attempted to use tactics like that in our state they would be exposed and properly vilified resulting in a loss of support by voters. If you have anything other than a convenient excuse to hide your identity let's see it.

  October 25, 2006 - 12:38pm | coldstrings

But No Thanks

The explanation, courteously given, is sufficient for your needs. Confidentiality is a net-wide feature of blogging and forums.

  October 25, 2006 - 1:08pm | JGPinder


That would have worked at the start.

  October 25, 2006 - 8:44am | alaskastraightalker

It's part of a Republican pattern

Recently a Republican Congressional candidate in California sent an intimidating mailer to LEGAL immigrants stating that immigrants voting in an election are committing a crime that "could result in jail time, and you will be deported for voting without a right to do so."

This is being investigated as a crime. The candidate claimed he had no idea his own staff did such a thing.

A Republican associate of Karl Rove in New Hampshire recently convicted of hiring a Virginia firm in the last election to jam Democratic Party phone lines.

In Tennessee, in the Ford-Corker race, the Republican national Committee is running ads considered by many to be racist (Ford is black).

In part, it says:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (white): I met Harold at the Playboy party.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Republican National Committee is responsible
for the content of this advertising.


The Republican candidate- like Palin did when the RGA ran ads here, said there is nothing he can do.

After calls from prominent Republicans like former Defense Secretary William Cohen urged that it be taken off the air, the head of the RNC, Ken Mehlman, said there was nothing he could do- even though his own group put the ad on the air and is paying for it in the first place. What a crock!

While I have never been initimated, I have received- from what appears out of state sources- phone calls intimating all sorts of untrue information about Democratic candidates just before an election, and have seen other efforts in Alaska designed to suppress people from voting.

It's all out of the Karl Rove playbook.

  October 25, 2006 - 12:27pm | truthseeker


you have never been intimated. You ought to try it, its great!

Still having trouble figuring out the connection between harold at the playboy club, the republican party and racism? It sounds like a really horrible conspiracy but what are they conspiring to do? Show that blacks spend more time at the playboy club? There must be more to it than that.

Is there some paranoid website you get this stuff off of?

  October 25, 2006 - 9:47am | JGPinder


I ask you a question Colstrings answers. I reply to Coldstrings and you reply. I can probably guess who will respond next, but I am hoping for a pleasant surprise. I was referring to Alaska, hence the reference to local media. If you, or who ever have been intimidated by late night calls from right wing wackos it was never reported that I have seen. It seems to be a convenient reason to not own up to the claims and assertions you enjoy making. If you believe what you say, you wouldn't have any problems putting your name on it.

  October 24, 2006 - 11:10pm | truthminer

Big One...

It is huge. The financial impact of his wavering has had to have hit the state.

But one can answer if Tony has a driver's license? He sure loves that bike.

Go AH!

  1     October 24, 2006 - 6:51pm | tonyk

Binkley Wants Ted's Seat

Here we go again. The ONLY reason Binkley is helping Sarah Palin in the last hour of the campaign is because he wants Sarah to appoint him to the US Senate if and when Uncle Ted dies in office. Its deja vu all over again with Binkley. Ha! My prediction..........Tony Knowles will get the final laugh on election day.

  October 24, 2006 - 8:17pm | leslie

Never Again

Don't Forget! We (thankfully) changed the law so that politicians can't appoint our US Senators. No more appointments of friends and family. Good old fashioned elections only!

  October 24, 2006 - 7:13pm | thetrail


Anyone want to predict the outcome? (Percentages for Knowles, Palin, Halcro.)

I'll ask again in a week.

-- Kyle

  October 25, 2006 - 5:35am | JGPinder

Knowles Wins It

By the slimmest of Diebold margins...Knowles 42 Palin 41 Halcro 7...proving the GOP doesn't control Diebold, Corporate America does.

  October 24, 2006 - 9:19pm | marty2

I'll try..

Palin 46
Knowles 43
Halcro 11

  October 24, 2006 - 8:47pm | christineofkodiak

Absentee military vote

One thing these polls have not factored in is the absentee military vote. In the past the absentee military (people who have been stationed here and then transferred out, but who have kept their Alaska residency) have not voted in large numbers in non-presidential election years. But around two years ago Congress passed a law permitting military personnel or their families to ask to receive ballots automatically for the next two general elections. Take a look at the absentee ballot application forms (question 14). This means that any military personnel who asked for absentee ballots for the Presidential election two years ago (and huge numbers voted absentee in that election) will automatically get ballots this year even if they did not ask for the ballots. While not all will vote the ballots my guess is that enough will to have an effect on the election. And the vast proportion of military people vote Republican. Therefore, if the margin in this election is razor thin, I believe Sarah will still prevail because of these absentees. Anybody have any thoughts about this.

  October 25, 2006 - 7:59am | fishspotter

Absentee military vote

Yes, as a matter of fact I do have something to say about the Military vote.

Bill Gertz, one of the best National Security reporters in the country brings us this great piece of news a couple of days ago..

Military votes
Sen. Conrad Burns, Montana Republican, has had to bust up the Pentagon furniture to persuade it to fully adopt the integrated voting alternative site, or IVAS. It is a secure connection whereby a deployed person can download an absentee ballot from his or her county election board and mail it in. It greatly cuts the time to complete and mail in a ballot, meaning more service members should be able to beat their local election board's deadline to vote.
Mr. Burns blocked several Defense Department nominations until he thought the bureaucrats were finally adopting IVAS, as called for in Congress' 2004 defense budget.
There is an independent report that backs Mr. Burns' stance. "Successful outcomes from either the current [Federal Voter Assistance Program] or the continued IVAS effort are questionable at this point," said the August report by a military officer.
It said that after the 2004 election, the Pentagon dropped IVAS altogether. It did not restart it until the 2006 defense bill authorized it and then Mr. Burns raised concerns.
Citing "significant friction," the report also said the Pentagon's voter assistance office and the IVAS developer did not get along.

My prediction is that many in uniform remember very well the effort to block their votes over the past. Especially when every vote counted in 2000.

That fear is now over thanks to a Republican Senator from Montana..

The party that would like to suppress the Military vote, the democrats, are here in Alaska busily doing footwork for Tony. This will not help him any IMHO. Vet (fighter pilot right? ahem) or no vet..

  October 24, 2006 - 10:10pm | arajack

Military in combat where they

are now will be in a hot, miserable place wishing they were back home in cool Alaska. While they are normally conservative, those that vote will be more concerned about their spouse's and family financial needs than party politics. They know that Knowles is a war veteran and probably be more comfortable knowing he has been there/done there and has a better handle of the needs of the fellow vets. This is full of controversy and a unpopular war now, and under a Republican commander in chief. I think their vote will not be a determining factor. If any thing, slightly to Knowles.

  October 25, 2006 - 2:05am | heman

I don't know that this is an

I don't know that this is an "unpopular war". The military vote is Republican and will stay with the party.

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service