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June 19, 2018

Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Cancels Senate Debate

BREAKING: The Alaska Federation of Natives Convention has cancelled the senate forum scheduled for this weekend during the annual convention in Fairbanks.

The cancellation comes after AFN sent invitations, and got commitments from at least one campaign.  AFN states that the cancellation comes because neither Lisa Murkowski nor Joe Miller has committed to attend the event. It is unclear if Mr. Miller will be at the convention.  Both Lisa Murkowski and Scott McAdams will be present at the convention.

By their actions the AFN are in effect saying that Natives do not need to hear from, and should not hear from candidate(s) who committed to attend the event, despite the fact that this is potentially the closest senate race in the history of the state.

The Alaska Federation of Natives and many Native Corporations have endorsed Lisa Murkowski, yet in the senate race of 2008, Mark Begich won the overwhelming majority of Native votes, depite leadership endorsement of Ted Stevens.  Alaska Natives are keenly aware that their leadership does not always recommend what is best for the people – it usually recommends what is best for those in the leadership.

Despite the AFN’s political leanings, and that those leanings may differ from that of the Native people, the most concerning aspect of this news is the fact that they have denied the opportunity to let their people hear another perspective, particularly because McAdams has been open about his support of tribal sovereignty, and demonstrated his extensive real-world understanding of Native and rural issues.

When Alaska Congressional candidate Diane Benson (who is part Alaska Native) ran against AFN endorsed candidate Don Young in 2006, the leadership also attempted to quash any speech from Benson.  Eventually so much pressure was brought to bear by attendees of the conference that she was eventually given permission to speak, and she brought the house down.

Alaska Native Corporations, represented heavily by membership of the board of AFN have given hundreds of thousands of corporate dollars in donations to Lisa Murkowski. Criticism has been launched at corporations whose shareholders often live in substandard conditions, lacking infrastructure, affordable energy, and in some cases basic plumbing, for spending a huge amount of money on a political candidate at the expense of basic needs for its shareholders.

It is unclear what will happen at this point. It is possible, if the Alaska Native people speak up and demand the opportunity to hear from ALL the candidates who want to participate, that this still may happen.  As it stands, 36 board members are dictating whether they have the right to hear the candidates who will be pushing legislation that affects their lives.

Why have neither Republican candidate confirmed their participation in the most important gathering of Alaska Native people? Is it possible that Lisa Murkowski and Joe Miller both understand that they will never be able to debate Native issues with Scott McAdams in a way that won’t lose themselves support with voters? Maybe.  But even if both those candidates choose not to speak to Alaska Native people, does that mean that the candidate who does want to speak shouldn’t be allowed?

This is a developing story that will be updated.

UPDATE: The following press release was issued from the Scott McAdams campaign

McAdams to Address Alaska Natives during “Delegate Dialog”
Calls Debate Cancellation a Missed Opportunity

Though disappointed at the cancellation of the Alaska Federation of Natives Senate Candidate Debate, U.S. Senate candidate Scott McAdams expressed his determination to work even harder to reach out to attendees of this year’s event in Fairbanks.

“I am grateful that AFN has given me an opportunity for a dialogue with attendees,” said McAdams of the Delegation Dialogue event which AFN made available after the cancellation of the Senate debate. Still, McAdams laments the absence of a debate-style event.

“I am passionate about Alaska Native issues,” said McAdams while travelling in Juneau. “I felt that I displayed my depth of knowledge and respect for Native peoples and cultures at the ANPA Forum—I had hoped to use the AFN debate to contrast my philosophy with the other candidates.” The Alaska Native Professional Association Forum was held on October 7, 2010 and featured all three Senate candidates.

In addition to the Delegate Dialogue to be held on October 22, 2010 at the Carlson Center, McAdams will participate in the following events during his visit to Fairbanks:

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Alaska Native Leader Press Conference
Carlson Center, 2010 2nd Avenue Fairbanks, AK
1:30pm – 2:00pm

Friday, October 22, 2010
UAF Candidate Forum
Schalbe Auditorium, Fairbanks, AK

When AFN called the McAdams campaign to cancel the event, they were told that the reason for the cancellation was that the other two candidates had not confirmed.  However, Lisa Murkowski had the even on her website calendar, and Joe Miller’s campaign has also stated that he had planned to attend.

So now, the tapdancing begins.  Supposedly now, they just decided to cancel it because the senate race was getting too much attention and last year people weren’t given enough time to speak at the convention.  So the governor’s debate will remain, but the senate debate will be replaced by an hour of mic time.



99 Responses to “Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Cancels Senate Debate”
  1. akiceman says:

    AFN endorses Murkowski… of course people here will say it doesn’t mean anything… but at least they can no longer say “no they didn’t”.

    • guest says:

      Yep, that’s right. There it is.
      Kinda funny though. I just watched the session on the news. It was unanimous – screams and shouts saying “Aye”; dead silence with “…all those opposed…”
      Yeah, dead silence.
      Hm. So, that must indicate a real confirmation that the Murkowski “superPAC” really does represent “100,000 shareholders and descendants”.

      But I’m super confused. There WERE at least a few hundred people physically present that enthusiastically support McAdams. I KNOW they were there. Diane Benson certainly was there, right? So what’s up with the deafening silence? Not one voice? How could that be? Were they not in the session? Where were they?

      Nobody uttered a single word. Literally.

  2. Moose Pucky says:

    A view on corporate donations to Murky from the San Francisco Examiner:

  3. Jamie Smith says:

    A reminder that there is still a debate this Friday between McAdams and Miller at UAF: Friday 7pm @ Schaible Auditorium, plus a Fairbanks Chamber debate Monday @ the Carlson Center (between all three candidates).
    Native Corporations are no different than most other corporations in that they will not reflect the values of the community; only represent the shareholder’s greed for profits. And like Republicans, they will consistently vote against their own best self-interests, as in the case of Murkowski, who has and will continue to vote against every single Democratic administration initiative, regardless. She is the flip side of the same damn coin that Miller is on.
    And many of these same Native Corporations are actively engaged in war profiteering via preferential military subcontracting, they have no moral or ethical standing whatsoever – their endorsement is a strong clue who to NOT to vote for.

  4. sudsy says:

    Since ethnic alaskans remain statically unemployed in Anchorage at 48 percent there is a need for the corporations to continue to contract with the government. I suppose Lisa knows this. Scott McAdams is very sensitive to the financial realities of most ethnic Alaskan voters as well. I think what’s rocking my boat is the huge contributions made by the insurance industry to Lisa. If she allows them to influence laws that allow them to continue to receive huge premiums but continue to further erode and delimit health insurance coverage that would be oppositional to the public’s best interests. Scott McAdams doesn’t have that baggage. It will take special backbone to bring those insurance practices to heel. President Obama’s health bill is not bad. It’s pretty good actually.

  5. Kimosabe says:

    Lol wrong site altogether

  6. Kimosabe says:

    Nowhere else could a saint be greeted with “Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!”. The Washington Post ran a story about it yesterday.

  7. guest says:

    A last thought – people forget that Native organizations’ leadership are people with their own personal agenda as well.
    I don’t like it when any organization supports some politician, when you just know that the individuals in that organization don’t. I feel like that makes a mockery of the election process.
    I know for a fact that there are AFN and corporation bigshots that will be voting for both Scott McAdams and Miller, because that’s that individual’s personal choice. An entirely different matter in the privacy of the voting booth when nobody’s watching.

    Here’s my picks. (Note: this is entirely fictional satire; any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental, and does not reflect any opinion other than my own. I approve this message because in order to change Washington, ya gotta have a sense of humor.)

    Mallott – a millionaire with an interest in protecting his own assets and personal wealth. Murkowski.
    Hensley – 50/50 Murkowski/McAdams, leaning to Lisa.
    Janie Leask – McAdams
    Kitka – McAdams
    Kookesh – Murkowski
    Georgianna Lincoln – McAdams. Mayyyybeeee Lisa.
    Donny Olsen – Franklin Graham write-in.
    Bryce Edgmon – McAdams
    The AVCP/Calista crowd – Tough call for them. Murkowski, but they don’t trust girls. Prayer warriors working overtime on the Second Coming/reincarnation of Ted Stevens. Absent divine intervention – Miller!
    Carl Marrs – Murkowski
    Huhndorf – Murkowski
    Margie Brown – Murkowski
    Gottlieb – John D. MacArthur
    Hoffman – McAdams
    Gloria O’Neil – 50/50 Murkowski/McAdams leaning to Scott.
    The Barrow crowd – Eben Hopson, Sr. If they must, McAdams.
    Fairbanks/Fort Yukon – Ceding from Alaska, joining Hawaii – Inouye.
    Kenai Peninsula – Miller
    Diane Benson – McAdams
    Afognak crowd – McAdams
    Matsu regional delegation – Sarah Palin and Joe Miller. 2nd Runner Up/Miss Congeniality – Todd Palin.
    Unalaska/Dutch Harbor/Pribilofs – Voting by text message: can we vote the Time Bandit off the show?
    Norton Sound – McAdams
    Dillingham – McAdams
    Sarah Palin – Sarah Palin
    Lisa Murkowski – Miller (See, that’s one less vote for Scott.)
    Joe Miller – will not be voting until after the election
    Scott McAdams – is it okay if I vote for myself?

    and finally~
    Tony Hopfinger – cannot vote pending felony charges of deadly force and assault on DropZone Black Ops security detail.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      These cracked me up!

      “The AVCP/Calista crowd – Tough call for them. Murkowski, but they don’t trust girls.

      Prayer warriors working overtime on the Second Coming/reincarnation of Ted Stevens.

      Unalaska/Dutch Harbor/Pribilofs – Voting by text message: can we vote the Time Bandit off the show?

      Tony Hopfinger – cannot vote pending felony charges of deadly force and assault on DropZone Black Ops security detail.”

      I do like your take on Afognak – that’s cool and I hope you are right.

      Any of it, all of it.

    • InJuneau says:


  8. Polarbear says:

    There is nothing stopping any candidate from simply attending AFN and listening. Giving time to listening is good for the candidate and builds confidence in voters. I do not know what is on AFN’s mind in cancelling the debate. Every year the AFN schedule is absolutely packed to bursting. In my experience, my Alaska Native neighbors make up their own minds, based on things important to their own families. If you ask them what they think, they will be pleased to tell you. Honestly, I think Scott will be better off for just spending time and listening. Every delegate at AFN who speaks to Scott will tell at least 100 more people at home about the conversation.
    Senator Stevens had the most unique ability to interact with people at the convention on a personal basis, which he clearly and genuinely enjoyed, and then when speaking, he knew how to rise to a tone of leadership, and even sometimes scolded the convention to hand him unified positions so that he could better represent them. Scott McAdams, as a young politician, has those same qualities about him. In my opinion, he will do better without the debate.

  9. justafarmer says:

    and I thought the Kentucky politics were totally weird.

  10. Juanito says:

    I think that a lot of it may have to do with the fact that Alaska Native leaders from every corner of the state are using their voices and speaking to their values, ESPECIALLY the youth.

    I saw this on facebook and think it’s a pretty darn good reason to vote for Scott (

    If our kids can find it in their hearts to speak up and vote their values, I hope every other AFN delegate, tribal leader, voters at home in the villages will do the same.

    Read more:

  11. Zyxomma says:

    Writing from an island off the other edge of the continent, this is all very interesting. Can’t wait to read what happens at the non-debate.

  12. All I Saw says:

    This has obviously triggered a lot of passion, which makes the cancellation all the more suspicious.

  13. CO almost native says:

    On Immoral Minority:

    Miller will be in Fairbanks Saturday for an expedited hearing on the media requests for Borough documents. Miller objected, but the judge said no.

    Don’t know how this affects the AFN Convention…

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Not going to affect AFN convention,

      gonna affect Mr transparent-as-a-cowpie Miller

    • guest says:

      Oh, I forgot about that. Jeez, I wish I was in Fairbanks this week…
      I don’t think it will materially affect the convention proceedings, but it WILL get attention. The full board will be glued to their Blackberrys. People will be talking it up. Miller will actually get more focus than Lisa, but not good.

      Absolutely that guy is going to seize the day and impose on Native Country in his own home town! You betcha! He’ll show up; wander around; he’s probably working on a schedule right now.
      A little scary, but mostly funny – I wanna be there to see his security forces struggle through a sea of brown village people and tiny little grandmas that won’t get out of his way. A $50 bet says he’ll bring the kids to Quyana Night for some visibility.
      Joe, buddy, definitely get your game face on and dance like crazy when you’re called to. Lisa did. Huge approval. Make your SS men do it too.

      • ibwilliamsi says:

        I think that “Stasi” is more accurate than “SS” in this case.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        When I said it won’t affect the convention I meant the business of the convention.
        People will certainly be paying attention to Mr Miller’s trials…

        But guest, you are making me laugh again…
        Am now picturing Mr yippedy-skippedy-getting-a-job-and-punching-that-old-time-clock-will-solve-all-your-problems Miller roaming the halls of the convention while all the presentations about Village Survival ! are going on…

  14. dreamgirl says:

    Sounds like Lease-a Murkoski is pulling a Joe Miller. Gee Lease-a, you get cold feet? Cat got your tongue? Come on dear , give us a clue as to why you’re afraid to debate Scott McAdams about native Alaskan concerns.

  15. luckycharms says:

    That last comment of mine was for Raven21. Posted in the wrong place.

  16. luckycharms says:

    Give. Me. A. Break. The Sealaska Land bill is complicated, and he didn’t pretend to have an easy answer.

    Lisa didn’t waffle at all. She was right out there being in the pocket of corporations with a disastrous bill. Even she knows it. Go sell it somewhere else. Nobody is buying here.

  17. Village Reader says:

    AFN like most large groups of organizations doesn’t always do what is best or right. They make mistakes like any other group. AFN has a lot of concerns that need to be addressed and worked through on a wide range of areas touching our lives.

    Having said that, like the article above mentioned, just because AFN doesn’t politically endorse a candidate (Begich) doesn’t mean we will follow their recommendation blindly. I was pleased to see that Benson was given the chance to speak and I hope that again this year, the people rise to allow each candidate a chance to address AFN. It’s important to hear all sides and any chance to do so, should be given.

  18. ibwilliamsi says:

    This should be a campaign ad for Scott.

  19. Moose Pucky says:

    If AFN were so confident with their candidate(s), surely they would have encouraged the forum to proceed?

    • guest says:

      They did. They are. They can’t move forward beyond a certain point. It’s a process. The full membership votes on this and other issues that have been prepared all year long, next week.
      The full membership convenes for the annual convention next week. That’s when they vote.

      Kind of like the legislative session. They don’t rally anything outside of session. But they do all kinds of footwork before they get there. Once they assemble, they need to be positioned to drive it home.

  20. Where did you get confirmation of the cancellation?
    The event shows on Lisa’s web schedule.
    Any links to a notice from AFN?
    Mark Springer

  21. Alaska Pi says:

    Mr McAdams did not waffle on S881…
    He made certain things very clear whether part of the folks who heard it WANTED to hear it or not.
    Waiting to hear how this shakes out…
    Remembering what he said last night…
    It is the tribes , not the for -profit corporations , which matter as relates to the real future of Alaska Natives and rural Alaska…

    • blue_in_AK says:

      I agree with him so much on that. I thought Scott was very thoughtful in the way he handled that issue. It shows that he understands there’s an issue there and that he’s willing to talk about it.

  22. tallimat says:

    McAdams camp will be there!

    The McAdams motorhome will be parked there.

    I totally expect a village delegate crowd to protest the cancelation of the Alaska Senate Forum.

    Hopefully AFN will reconsider even if US Senate canidates fail to show.
    Or it won’t be purdy on the AFN floor.

    • akiceman says:

      True… you can’t say that AFN speaks for the majority… but you cannot deny their endorsement holds a lot of weight. Have any Native groups endorsed McAdams?

      • Moose Pucky says:

        Native corporations tend to endorse the same person as most other corporations.

        • akiceman says:

          And what about people like Al Kookesh and Janie Leask? Are you going to tell me that native community leaders are nothing more than corporate tools as well?

          • tallimat says:

            Quit acting stupid iceman, you know the difference between tribes and corporation.
            I tire of people acting stupid about this.

          • Al Kookesh is a delegate (is that the correct term?) for Sealaska. As a Democratic Legislator, he is also supposed to be a leader in the Democratic Party and yet he’s supporting Lisa.

            There are many Native folks who are not happy that he is both and who feel is it a conflict of interest. I think this election pretty much proves that.

          • blue_in_AK says:

            Yes, Linda, there seem to be a lot of very confused “Democrats” this election. I really just don’t get it.

            It bothers me so much that I’m actually going to make telephone calls on Scott’s behalf on Thursday — something YOU know I’ve not been wont to do, even for my favorite candidates. I just feel so strongly that people are making a big mistake in endorsing Lisa, especially Democrats who should know better. We have a great candidate who promises not to be beholden to corporate interests. We’ve got his word on that now, so we can hold him to it. I think we should give him a chance. I believe he could be a great senator.

          • Alaska Pi says:

            thank you here tallimat
            acting stupid about this is boring AND harmful

          • guest says:

            Sure. I’ll tell you that.
            But I’ll qualify it: NOT “native community leaders are”, but instead, many leaders are corporate tools, others have really good intentions but get fixed in the system (like any corporate job, anywhere, huh?), some are groomed for a leadership role and really have nothing intellectually and philosophically that differentiates them, and a handful are really very very fine. Superior in many ways. Noble. Generous of spirit and secure in integrity. Honorable. Committed. Hard working with no sense of entitlement.
            Predictable ell curve – upper 10%.

            The biggest dilemma – the white guys don’t know which ones are which.

          • Alaska Pi says:

            So true!
            all of it!

          • Blue: Bless you my child…I have yet to break down and do phone banking. (I used to do telephone marketing and polling for a living so now I hate it.) However, I’ve already put my name in to do some other tedious tasks down the road for the McAdams campaign.

            I’ll give you a hint…it’s in a State building and it’s like watching paint dry…

          • jojobo1 says:

            Al Kookesh yes that the gut i was talking about he supposedly told sea alaska to support lisa or their doporation and the villages would get no help.

        • Raven21 says:

          Shee-Atika Corporation endorsed Lisa Murkowski. Shee-Atika Corporation is the Urban ANCSA Corporation based in Sitka. Where McAdams Lives.

          • tallimat says:

            And Lisa along with her supporters need that endorsement to show about.
            Gee, I wonder about what a shareholder vote would result in?

            Good grief, it’s a tit for tat!

            I’d like to know why AFN canceled thier Senate Forum? What was thier main reason? Was it because Lisa couldn’t make it? That would be tacky and right up a Kookash back alley.

      • tallimat says:

        Ah, it is rare, very rare that AFN endorses a canidate.

        In can tell you that over a dozen village delegates will question B Mallott and A Kookash on saying AFN has endorsed Lisa. And Lisa says they endorsed her. tsk tsk… I see a tundra rumble in her face.

        Look I know of one all out endorsement AFN did. Tony Knowles for Gov. but did offically question that endorsement publically after Knowles decided the state would continue to fight the K. John case. Knowles eventually decided that fighting the K. John case for the FIFTH time was a loosing argument.

        And gosh good question about how many Native groups do actually endorse McAdams. We might know more after AFN. By the way, do you expect all womens groups to support Lisa? Like all Natives groups, not all will endorse the same canidate.

        • guest says:

          AFN did not endorse Lisa. Yet.
          What did happen is a small group of visually-identifiable Alaska Native leaders filmed a commercial with her, with a large excited cheering crowd.
          What did happen is a 9/22 press release stating that a committee had voted to recommend endorsement:

          AFN Legislative Committee Votes to Endorse Lisa Murkowski
          “The Legislative Committee of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) voted unanimously yesterday afternoon to endorse Lisa Murkowski as Candidate for the Office of United States Senator.The Legislative Committee called for an immediate convening of the full AFN Board of Directors to ratify the Committee’s endorsement of Senator Murkowski’s write-in candidacy. Ratification of the endorsement would be followed by a vote by AFN’s full membership at the group’s upcoming annual Convention, October 21-23 in Fairbanks.”

          AFN President Julie Kitka: “We look forward to an inclusive endorsement vote by the full AFN board and what is sure to be lively political discussion on the Convention floor.”

          AFN endorsed Tony Knowles, Don Young, Ted Stevens.

          Who has endorsed McAdams? Well, no one. Why would they? Kind of an awkward comparison.
          1. Scott has no track record of issues to impress the Native community with, one way or another.
          2. He’s got Democrat inclinations. Not corporate interests.

          Except he does impress the next generation of unconventional contemporary Native leaders very much:
          “Alaska Native Leaders Stand Together for Scott McAdams”

          The old leaders would be wise to pay attention and expand a little. A little more wisdom and a little less entitlement; an awareness of the entrenched stale way of doing things.
          When I was a child, Native community leadership and corporate heads were not necessarily the same people. In fact, they weren’t.
          There is a very real groundswell of indigenous people, young and old, who are committed to a redistribution of spiritual and community leadership roles. it’s inevitable and dynamic.

          That’s not to say that the corporation CEOs are not very good at running the corporations – they are. That’s what they do best and they’ve learned to do it very well. They do a very good job. But the corporate leadership has been confused with community leadership.

  23. Raven21 says:

    McAdams waffled on the Sealaska Land Bill issue when asked for his stance at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon; and you wonder why Alaska Native corporations don’t support him? You’re basing your sole support of McAdams because of the “D” after his name. Alaska Natives are basing their support on the candidate who will support our issues in return. Alaskans Standing Together and AFN may not speak for ALL Alaska Natives–no group or organization can ever claim unanimous support–but I can confidently tell you, they do speak for the majority.

    • Simple Mind says:

      You can usually tell a troll by the fact that the comment is centered around a personal attack – “You’re basing your sole support of McAdams because of the “D” after his name.” Raven21 has identified him/herself on Huffington Post as working on the Murkowski campaign, so some honest disclosure would also seem in order. That all being said, I’d certainly agree that the Sealaska Land Bill is a big, complicated and controversial piece of legislation which the Sealaska Native Corp board really wants to pass and upon which people of good faith can have different opinions. I also can say that I support Scott McAdams because he appears to think about things, speaks honestly, and appears ready to help getting the government moving forward again, instead of and in spite of the constant obstructionism of the Party of No – of which Lisa Murkowski has been a loyal follower and supporter.

      • akiceman says:

        You accuse someone of making personal attacks & then do the same. How trite. Raven21 raised a good point… AFN speaks for the majority of Alaska Natives.

        As for your personal attack — Raven21 identifies herself as “a registered Nonpartisan Alaskan voter” and says her family is working on the Murkowski campaign – but never says she is working on the campaign. Her HP posts are here:

        Get real… if you live in Alaska you are friends with, have slept with and/or are related to someone that is working in all 3 of the campaigns. That’s how it is up here. It shouldn’t disqualify you from having an opinion.

        • tallimat says:

          Iceman, no one is in a position to say AFN speaks for a majority of Alaska Natives.
          No one. Not even AFN says such a thing.

          Get real, not sureal.

        • Simple Mind says:

          You are right and you are wrong. First, you are right that the Huffington comment states that the writer supports Murkowski and his/her family works for the Murkowski campaign. I misread the comment, and I appreciate the correction. If Raven21 doesn’t work with Sealaska or the Murkowski group, I apologize. You are wrong in that there was a personal attack. You are right that anyone is entitled to an opinion, and I don’t see my reply as inferring that they don’t. If you took it that way, I’m sorry, but anyone who is a member of a campaign or a financially interested corporation should identify themselves as such. The body of the reply I stand on. Some people might vote for a candidate simply because they are from a certain party, although even they are entitled to their opinions. I don’t pretend to know if the majority of natives or even the majority of folks in my town favor one candidate or the other. I can only speak for myself. McAdams seems to think about things and gives every sign of a person who will go to work trying to make government work. Murkowski just promises more of the same obstructionism the Republicans have raised to an art form.

          • tallimat says:

            I am a shareholder of 4 regional corporations, 1 thru original enrollment and 3 thru inheritance.

            I am a shareholder of 2 village corporations. 1 thru original enrollment and I thru inheritance.

            I belong to a AK Tribe and my husband belongs to a lower48 Tribe. Our kids belong to my tribe and my adopted children came with 2 different Tribal memberships.

            Disclosure would be tedious for me. I’d just perfer to disclose that I’m Alaska Native and enjoy my right to vote.

          • Simple Mind says:

            Tallimat, I surely didn’t mean that you should disclose membership in a native corp for you or your family anytime and for all purposes. I do think that any member of an involved political campaign should identify themselves if they comment on a site like this. Also, Raven21 specifically centered his/her criticism of McAdams on the likelihood of passage of the Sealaska Land Bill. Sealaska is a direct beneficiary of that bill and is playing a major supportive role in Murkowski’s campaign. As Raven21 said, it expects Murkowski’s support in return. In this context, membership in Sealaska should be disclosed. If I am ever so fortunate to have an actual financial interest in a political contest, I’d expect to disclose that immediately. Until then, I’m off to my evening shift union job.

        • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

          Quit being so highly obnoxious and maybe someone will actually listen to you.

        • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

          And another thing – it does not appear that you read regional newspapers. There are all sorts of people upset with the Native Corporation sponsorships of Lisa. And if you really think everyone votes by the AFN, then I’m really not sure that you aren’t just speaking for the tiny part of Alaska you might know well. I’ve been all over this state, I have family everywhere, and your statements are just ridiculous when you are talking about Alaska and not just a regions.

        • David Landry says:

          akiceman- Contrary to your contention that AFN speaks for a majority of Alaska Natives, Sen. Begich beat Sen. Stevens by two to one in some precincts in the last Senate race. Stevens was endorsed by AFN.

        • jojobo1 says:

          Yes but be honest I read the link where someone who supported lisa all but bribed seaalaska to support her or lose any help.What does that tell ya. as I said i don’t care which part it was it is still wrong,wrong.

      • tallimat says:

        I found it odd that someone would consider Alaska Native Corporations AND AFN speak for the majority, while Lisa is rumored to of canceled on the AFN Senate Forum debate. Which inturn prompted AFN to cancel the forum.

        One would think Lisa would do everything possible to keep that AFN AK Senate Forum date.
        At least this child of village delegates would like to THINk such a date would be very important to her.

        “speaking for the majority” = if a Murkowski campaign worker really did write this… gawd…

        • Tallimat…thank you. I have been receiving communications from friends and acquaintances who are shareholders and members of AK tribes and are FURIOUS that Murkowski supporters (because that’s who is doing it) are trying to claim that the majority of the Native population agrees with the corporations.

          Native people like everyone else are individuals who make their own decisions. They did that in 2008 when they bucked their corporations to vote in Mark Begich. There is no reason that could not happen again.

          • guest says:

            I’m an Eskimo. Yep, that’s right. That’s how my grandparents identified themselves and that’s exactly what I will do. Inuit, if you prefer. I don’t. Hudson Bay is Inuit.
            I, too, am a shareholder of an ANCSA Corporation. Which is exactly what it sounds like, a for-profit corporate entity. It’s not a tribe. It’s not a village. It’s not a cultural group. It’s a corporation, not traditional heritage. They have a consortium of revenue-generating business ventures from Las Vegas to Virginia to Houston, Texas.
            It certainly does not represent its shareholders in matters of election process and voting for public officials, nor does it dictate how Natives should vote.
            There are many many Natives – villagers, hub towns, urban, rural, college student, engineer, housewife, college students, elders. Some support Murkowski. Some support McAdams. Few support Miller; most of them are evangelical Christians whose churches told them who to vote for. Some churches are telling flocks to vote for Murkowski. The churches that support McAdams might tend to be those that embrace separation of church and state and are philosophically-opposed to the use of spiritual convictions and vulnerability to influence politics.
            This isn’t “bucking” anything – it’s personal freedom and one’s right as a member of the citizenry of this country. There was a time, relatively recently, that Alaska’s indigenous people were not privileged to vote.
            Like the rest of you, some Natives vote party, some are issue-focused. Some of us vote conscience and many Natives vote individual. If I had to generalize, I’d say that most Alaska Natives vote for a person. The choice becomes whether or not one can believe what they say.
            About the only difference is that urban voters have a great deal more, and more frequent, exposure to information about candidates, the issues surrounding each one, background information and track records, and even the candidates themselves. Rural voters are mostly dependent on what information trickles in.
            With regard to AFN, I’m convinced that the Native leadership canceled because they were worried that Scott McAdams would make a good impression on people who’ve had little exposure to him and that he would take over some of Lisa’s marketshare.
            I think it’s that simple.

          • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

            I agree with guest:

            “With regard to AFN, I’m convinced that the Native leadership canceled because they were worried that Scott McAdams would make a good impression on people who’ve had little exposure to him and that he would take over some of Lisa’s marketshare.”

            I have no idea if we are right, but that was my thought exactly. Exactly.

    • Moose Pucky says:

      He didn’t waffle at all. He supports the return of “sacred lands” and wants a sound bill.

      • Moose Pucky says:

        And he can and probably will make a good bill happen.

        Trying to cram a bad bill done people’s throats, as Lisa did, didn’t get anything accomplished.

      • Raven21 says:

        Here is the link.

        McAdams said he was willing to let the Native corporation select about 2,000 acres of sacred sites for sure, and was willing to discuss the remainder. Waffling support. Sealaska’s land conveyance comprises 0.04 of the Tongass, and he gives lukewarm support of S. 881. The bill does not give one more acre of land than what is due for conveyance, and he’s willing to let Sealaska select about 2,000 acres?

        And to think I’ve had The Mudflats as my home page for the past two years . . . . . I thought this site was for free discourse and discussion of topics posted, not a dedicated site to bash people who don’t think along your lines. My bad. Removing now. I am a Non-partisan Alaskan Voter. I vote for the person I feel is the best candidate who will represent Alaska; and don’t care whether they have a “D” or “R” behind their name. I vote my conscience, not along party lines like a lemming.

        • tallimat says:

          Are you a Senator Lisa campaign worker?

        • No one is asking you to leave or denies your right to civil disagreement. However, we also reserve the right to civilly disagree with you when we believe you are wrong.

          Also, I happen to know that most of the folks who are trying to insinuate that the Native Corporations are a reflection of the majority of Alaska Natives turn out to be Murkowski supporters.

          I also happen to know that, as I learn more about the politics of several Southeast Legislators, both of whom are elected leaders in a corporation and one of whom I filed an APOC complaint against, much of their “support” seems to stem from fear of retaliation. I don’t think that’s a very good indicator of real support.

        • dreamgirl says:

          You should vote your conscience, and don’t be a corporate lemming either also or too.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          As a registered Democrat who has voted , in generals, across party lines , I sure hope you aren’t saying folks with a D or R registration are automatically lemmings…?
          S881 is complicated and it’s also about a land conveyance to a for-profit corporation outside the original parcels to be selected from.
          It will affect the lives and livlihoods of all the people involved.
          While you have every right to disagree with Mr McAdams’ stance, he did not waffle.
          He was very clear.

          My Regional Corporation has tied up many dollars and hurt everyday people for many years over a land conveyance to a village… 40 years…2 generations
          It shuns shareholders who question the business plan or brands them as dissidents…

          Sealaska is not where Native culture abides.
          It abides in the hearts and lives of the people themselves.
          S881 is about a business plan.
          It is not about the people.

          In that same article, the reporter (who is usaually more careful ) says Mr McAdams waffled about the Juneau road dream by saying he was a big Marine Highway guy.
          He did not waffle.
          He declared something clear and important to an audience which, including the reporter, does not want to deal with their own issues at stake.
          Anyone in Southeast , except half of Juneau, knows Juneau, so worried and wrapped up in itself about the damage a capitol move would do to it and that many are sure a road out would save the capitol.( so you know – I think the road idea is dumber than donuts … ) , has been a crappy neighbor to all other Southeast communities on a number of fronts.
          Juneau hasn’t worked hard enough on a REGIONAL transportation plan with it’s neighbors to ensure we would all benefit, in it’s own myopic hyperventilating state…
          We don’t need politicians who say whatever makes us feel good or agrees with us all the time,
          We need politicians who really are trying to see all the stakeholders and all the different balls bouncing.
          You vote for whoever you want.
          I’m voting for Mr McAdams
          And S881 is stinko as it now stands.

  24. Lilybart says:

    Maybe Scott should show up for a campaign event by himself?

    Show his support for the Native people, in stark contrast to who is not there?

    • No tea! says:

      They have to play ball with whomever is in power. If you upset the Congressional delegation, they won’t support your tribe. This makes me wonder if, should it be shown that AK Natives voted a certain way if they will want their village outcomes not announced as to how a community voted. Retaliation could mean no funds.

      • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

        What are you saying? Could you be more clear, this doesn’t make sense. Are you Alaskan? It just doesn’t work this way.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        The fear is real and it has some basis.
        Time to change that.

      • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

        Part of what confounded me is that voting records for all precincts are a matter of public record, there is no hiding how a precinct voted. Also, the rural vote (mostly Alaska native but plenty of others as well) is a big block of votes, and is courted by candidates big time. As per a former Murkowski staffer who now works for the McAdams campaign and has been working campaigns for quite some time, rural Alaskans are mostly registered as Undeclareds but vote Democratic / progressive. Now Stevens courted these regions, so he had a lot of support which he tried to hand over to Lisa. But not everyone is convinced by any means – maybe because she is actually turning down appropriation funds and has not been the champion for Alaska that Stevens was. Retaliation so to speak from our Senators would result in them being gone after one term.

        • jojobo1 says:

          One link on one of these posts sure sounder like black mail to vote as someone wanted them to vote..Doesn’t matter which party it was still wrong. I think it was a democrat that supported lisa and wanted seaalska to support her also

  25. Indigo Dancer says:

    Scott will prevail. I expect him to win the election and the hearts of the people of all races. His heart is in this for Alaska, not for his own gain. Look, I don’t think that DC is that great of a place! Scott isn’t leaving beautiful Sitka because he is sick of the ocean and of the mountains!

  26. E of Anch P says:

    Well, we know Joe Miller is in Anchorage clearing up matters, but if Lisa and Scott are suppose to be attending, why not let the candidate that responded have the floor for questions? Hopefully, they’ll change their minds and the Alaska Native people will speak up and ask to hear him. Maybe then, Lisa will agree to debate.

  27. sohipithurts says:

    Why does this sound like that Univision/Latin ad fiasco going on in NV?

    So Natives, I guess, shouldn’t be given the opportunity to be informed and engage the U.S. Senate candidates? When are they going to be told to just stay home and not vote?


  28. Moose Pucky says:

    Well, McAdams is there talking to folks anyway. AFN leadership only scheduled Murky, Parnell, Young. Not Begich or other candidates. That should tell us all something about AFN leadership.

    Hope this backfires and the members learn and speak for themselves.

  29. GoI3ig says:

    Too bad they don’t hold the debate with just McAdams so he could slam the other two for failing to appear.

    • Just ought to clarify, a Candidate Forum at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention is NOT a debate. This forum was not billed as a debate, so technically the headline to this thread is incorrect. What is too bad is that people around Alaska watching AFN won’t have an opportunity to see the candidates for Senate addressing an important statewide constituency.
      There will be a debate at the UAF Campus, from what I understand. Whether Lisa Murkowski will be there remains to be seen, but I am told Joe Miller and Scott McAdams will both be there in front of students, faculty and staff.

      Mark Springer

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