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November 21, 2014

Voices from the Flats – An AFN Diary. Day One.

By Elstun Lauesen

I will begin with the end of the suspense. Rumors had been hanging like streamers from the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, making the day enticing to the drama-addicted media from the far reaches of Boston and New York. The closeness of the U. S. Senate race has made Alaska interesting again. Would Joe Miller dare to show up at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention being hosted by his hometown Convention and Visitor’s Bureau? Would the rumored dissidents from the Tribal rebel resistance blow the Federation Mothership sky high? Would the delegates (many informally expressing anger at the Board of AFN for endorsing Lisa Murkowski without prior consultation and in contradiction of stated policy) object to a resolution of endorsement?

Well, on this the first day of the AFN 2010 convention, the answers are – No, no, no. And, in the end, it doesn’t really matter. This will require a bit of explanation.

The reputation of AFN as a well-oiled machine was reinforced as the moment of Lisa’s coronation approached. Was the outcome ever in doubt? One McAdams supporter stood by a bank of water coolers supplied by Alaskans Standing Together, sipping water from a cup that had “Lisa Murkowski” written on it, and had to clear a space on the table covered with “Lisa Murkowski” swag, including bracelets, fans, buttons and stickers, to put the cup down. The poor fellow was trying to find a sign of this rumored anger and dissidence. But all he could see was the scene that makes AFN one of the greatest events on earth: happy people glad to see old friends, brought together in a celebration of community, life and love.

If this fellow—or the media folks who journeyed here from elsewhere—understood the deeper purposes of AFN, they would not be so obsessed with ratification or endorsements. In 2008, the clear embrace of the corporate presence at AFN was for “Uncle” Ted Stevens; but on Election Day, the villages delivered a sea of blue for Mark Begich. In 2006 Diane Benson stood and delivered a challenge to entrenched corporate favorite, incumbent congressman Don Young. Benson did this, by the way, when other perceived ‘stronger’ Democratic candidates ran for cover and refused to challenge Young. Benson was excluded from the podium despite the fact that Young, a member of the congressional delegation, was allowed to campaign wearing the thin disguise of ‘reporting’ to the convention. The excuse at the time from President Julie Kitka and her convention manager, Mike Irwin, was that AFN did not endorse, or do ‘politics’. A challenge was elicited from the floor and a group of Benson supporters won her 5 minutes in front of the convention to say her piece. And, in one of the most brilliant and audacious maneuvers I have ever witnessed in Alaska politics, Benson was ushered to the stage surrounded by a squad of Native Alaskan veterans. In traditional Tlingit fashion, Benson delivered a story that lasted far longer than five minutes, as the veterans kept a jittery Mike Irwin at bay. At the end, she received a standing ovation and on Election Day, she carried a large portion of Village Alaska.

So the point here is that it is hard to say what, exactly, Lisa Murkowski gained today. I say this in part because the sheer inevitability of it diminishes its impact.

I mean, every Alaska Native Claims Act Regional Corporation announced 10 days before a convention of an organization largely funded by those same corporations, that they were putting close to a million dollars into the Lisa Murkowski write-in effort. This is the aforementioned SuperPAC “Alaskans Standing Together” that produced all the swag and goodies that littered the Carlson Center. Every aging rock star from the History of ANCSA who had been blessed by the Godfather Ted Stevens had already lined up behind Lisa Murkowski to support her dubious write-in campaign.

Originally, the plan was to hold a candidate forum among the three candidates on Frida, and then on Saturday the resolution of support for an endorsement would be held. I know that within the Scott McAdams camp, there was excitement over the prospect of being able to face off with Lisa Murkowski in front of rural delegates. Scott’s strong support of Tribes, his bona fides among rural school boards, and his own embrace of Southeast Native culture. as well as his wife and children’s tribal membership gave him an excellent entre to challenge Lisa Murkowski and her sketchy record as a member of the obstructionist, anti-Obama Republican leadership.

Well, AFN leadership includes some of the smartest political players in Alaska. They had good reason to fear a McAdams-Murkowski debate. Note that in the world of AFN, Joe Miller is not even a factor other than as a convenient object of fear that helps to obscure the dismal performance of their choice, Lisa Murkowski. It is clear to all that the real battle November 2nd is between Scott McAdams and Lisa Murkowski. Joe Miller (according to current polling data) is dropping like a rock.

Magically, the ‘well-oiled’ machine announced the elimination of the U.S. Senate candidate forum that was supposed to occur on Friday. This was announced before the opening ceremonies of the convention. Why? Joe Miller would not commit (is that a surprise?) and Lisa would not be ‘available’ due to a scheduling conflict. As the Church Lady on SNL would say: “Isn’t THAT con-ven-ient?” This generated predictable grumbling amongst a few delegates, but (the well-oiled machine correctly predicted) no action. Then this morning, the agenda noted one other change. Right after Lisa’s “report” (a la Don Young, 2006) to the delegates, the resolution considering the endorsement of Lisa Murkowski would be taken up. And was there any doubt of the outcome when, just before the “Report” by Lisa, Byron Mallot (co-chair of Murkowski’s campaign) who is a Fellow with the First Alaska Institute run by Janie Leask (Lisa Supporter) delivered a commentary to the convention? The commentary was a stem-winding exegesis that framed the introduction of the object of all this orchestration by the AFN Board and Staff.

The convention that could not find room in its schedule for a forum was treated to an hour of Lisa Murkowski’s rebuttal to the McAdams’ campaign challenges of her record on rural Alaska, her apologia for failures and her sycophantic identification with humbleness and struggle – this child of a banker.
And in the end, it all came off as expected. None of the fireworks or challenges were launched against this first exercise of control by the corporate agents of AFN; Lisa was affirmed without objection.
So what does this all mean?

I draw your attention to the back of the convention center. About 20 minutes into Lisa’s oration, the audience (save the True Believers) began to drift away from their seats to go forage for a snack or a soda. Many of those began to congregate around a large man wearing a Southeast Alaska Clan shirt decorated with buttons and a Killer Whale decoration. He moved slowly and confidently through the crowd. Couples asked to have their picture taken with him. He moved from one group to the next. While Lisa wound her way through a somewhat tortured speech—at one point losing her way in the text to spontaneous applause from the accommodating audience—Scott McAdams, whose Tribal name means “Boat-Sized Killer Whale” seems comfortable with everything that his staff seemed a bit uncomfortable with. He trolled the crowed gathering good wishes like his namesake might gather krill. After the passage of the endorsement, I went over to McAdams and asked him what he thought about the endorsement, which I called a ‘coronation’. He smiled an said (I paraphrase) “…coronations are conferred; votes are earned. I’m not going anywhere”. At which point he turned to the friendly crowd waiting to meet him.

Tomorrow: VILLAGE SURVIVAL!

Elstun Lauesen is a lifelong Alaskan who has worked for 30 years as a rural develpment specialist, including in Western Alaska.  He will be reporting for The Mudflats from the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Fairbanks.

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Photographs by Ronn Murray of Ronn Murray Photography in Fairbanks.

Comments

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Comments
112 Responses to “Voices from the Flats – An AFN Diary. Day One.”
  1. rick says:

    I feel the tide turning for Scott, one vote at a time.

  2. jeanne olson says:

    okay, more details from the debate..it was packed at least 30 minutes before it began. i had to do some convincing to get past the door guy who was not of the bouncer physique thank goodness, because i did indeed have a seat saved and also a fellow fairbanksan must have recognized me and said to let me in :) . There was an alternate site quickly set up at a distant lecture hall for the overflow. The crowd was youngish, but well the student in my row was getting extra credit for attending. There were good questions overall. Also, joe and scott both seemed to feel the real competition was lisa. She was invited but had “declined” according to the moderator. I recall that she had another meet and greet committment i think at dave monson’s home. Before the debate, joe and scott were mingling and standing around near the front of the lecture hall…probably has a capacity of 200???? Interesting interaction…scott (read…BIG GUY!) walked behind joe who didn’t seem to notice him but then scott said ..”hi joe” and then joe turned around and said “oh, hi scott.”
    Well, they actually do agree on some things but most of them are about dysfunctional government and not about the ethical, moral issues of our day. I would say that if this was a scoring debate that i couldn’t vote without bias, because i really am attracted to that big killer whale over the scrawny creepy dude. Sorry, that is what it really comes down to….trust your gut.

  3. jeanne olson says:

    Hi mudflatters.
    I’m a resident smack in the middle of miller land, but keep sane by logging onto websites such as this one (or, attending the restore sanity rally…any other alaskans going?). Tonight, i attended the debate between joe and scott at UAF. Mostly the same rehash of responses to the same issues although there was some good sound bites about net neutrality, LGBT issues, and then joe said he would release all of his personnel records if the borough agrees or is ordered to release them (judge decides up here tomorrow).
    I get good feelings from scott and i like his native name. Looking at joe gives me the creeps and i think that i would feel that way even if i didn’t know who he was.
    I chat with lots of people in my daily business life. Seems there are a lot of folks up here in the Interior who feel like i do….crossed over (having never voted republican in their lives!) and voted for lisa in the primary (where were the registered republicans to support her?). It’s taken some time to figure out what to do in the next election…vote to keep miller out? vs. vote my ethics and conscience? Well, i will vote for scott (my ethics and conscience because that is who i am and also what i “perceive” my country to be founded upon.) If he loses, well, i tried. If Lisa wins, well, she would have and it wouldn’t have even been close if joe hadn’t been a factor. If joe wins, well, i voted republican once and i so i will really blame the apathetic republicans who didnt’ vote in the primary. Seems as if lots of other interior voters have the same feelings…just so you know.
    p.s. i was in anchorage last weekend and boy oh boy was it nice to not see so many miller signs :)

  4. Saint Roscoe says:

    Is there proof Miller is sinking like a stone? Is there internal polling or something or is everybody just repeating this as fact without there really being any fact behind it. Last CNN poll had Miller at 37%…

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      The CNN poll is a joke. Even the good pollsters are wrong – they are only crunching numbers and do not have a clue how this state is populated by voters not registered with a D or R party. All the proof I need is how Miller signs are coming down all over the state, and the Miller jokes abound.

      Joe and Lisa are both trying to manipulate the polls because good Americans are like sheep – they don’t question the polls or methodology so that makes it easy for the shiesters to manipulate the vote. I get tons of calls – and so far between the polls before the primary and now before the general, only one was legitimate. Don’t be that American brand of sheep – check your sources before you believe any of it.

      • guest says:

        National poll analysis instruments are simply neither accurate nor reliable measures of Alaska business.
        Please, folks, do not allow your right to cast a vote for public office, to be impacted or driven by this stuff.
        I think it should be made illegal prior to voting.

  5. leenie17 says:

    “Boat-Sized Killer Whale”

    From everything I am reading and hearing about Scott McAdams, I suspect that his political career will be as big as his namesake. We need many more like him in all levels of politics.

    This race seems very much like the old story of the tortoise and hare (with an exploding weasel thrown in for good measure!). Slow and steady, Scott, slow and steady!

  6. Kath the Scrappy says:

    What a wonderful report and pictures, Elstun! Scott just seems to show up and people naturally gravitate TOWARDS him. He has a presence that just beams across the internet.

    I just hope that when people, in the secrecy of the voting booth, face their ballot with only two names on it (the GOOD guy vs. the bad guy) that will be a moment of clarification. Reduce the desire to gamble with a write in, where they can vote their values instead of their fears!

    Go McAdams!

  7. tallimat says:

    Auntie thinks Lisa was here for a day during the elder/youth convention.
    “basically Lisa was here politic for her endorsement, got it and left”

    I’m gonna try to attend the UAF debate. Auntie is invited to native food dinner tonight. I’m to accompany her. As much as I need good food in me, I’m going ask if she will send me out to the debate. It’s a tough call, to ask. We’ll see.

  8. Valley Mom says:

    I am saddened that the attendees at the convention are letting a few coporate types get away with this. The only group that seems to be able to rally people this political season are the palinistas/tea baggers.

  9. Smokey Mountain Blue says:

    Looks like I need to send some more McMoney. Wish I could vote for him. I voted early here in TN for Governor, State Senator and State Representative. A Yellow Dog vote. In all likelihood, I will only have one winner, the State Rep, but he is like Scott. Honest and hardworking.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Thank you for helping with McMoney! Every dollar counts up here – we are seeing him go all over the state and more yard signs are appearing by the day. I keep hearing about Miller signs coming down up north. There are so few in Juneau who would notice? He isn’t bothering with us anymore, just like Palin who will probably never step foot in Juneau for the rest of her life. We didn’t like her first, and she had to get all huffy and not like us back. Score! Goal!

  10. LoveMydogs says:

    So it is Friday and Joe is there. Is Scott still there? Is leasa still there? I find the whole thing about not having a US senate candidate forum to be BS. Not right. Not right for the people who have travelled many miles to be there. There should be an open chance for everyone, not just for “the ordained one”. Sounds like another case of corporations writing the rules to me.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Oh yeah Joe is there! Tomorrow, Sat, is the hearing over his borough employment records. Poor Joe Militia – he thinks suing and campaigning are pretty much the same thing. You know – I don’t know what happened to that man’s brain cells but they are not functioning. He’s acting more like a lost idiot than I could have possibly imagined. After the Twit slithered out from under Pandora’s box lid, I can now imagine a whole lot of stupid without trying very hard.

  11. tallimat says:

    Nice write up. Quyana…

    So I’m here in Fairbanks with my aunt, a village delegate.

    Auntie has been here all week. She sure is slap ass funny. She has met Scott.
    And of couse Lisa McConnell ALWAYS stops to greet her. Ug. Anyway, it didn’t take her long to sum things up around here. Although my auntie didn’t say who she favored, till this morning. She requested we stop at the store this morning and get some coffee cups and markers.

    She got sooooo annoyed at the Lisa McConnell coffee cups everywhere and decided to make a few of her own. “Killer whales fight for their tribe members.” “screw corporate endorsements”…

    There is joy and tears here.
    When Joke Miller showed up this am, auntie and didn’t see him, but we knew it cause, out of the blue, a young man showed up at our side. He said he was assigned to stand near us when Joke showed up. OMG. This guy was soooo proud to be a “protector” of sorts. This was the tears part.

    More later.
    And again, thank you for this write up.

  12. Lee323 says:

    When it comes down to November 2, individual citizens will be voting by secret ballot in the voting booths in this state and country.

    Vote McAdams in the privacy of the voting booth! He’s the only candidate who has the best interests of Alaska and the country at heart.

    Great post and pictures, Elstun!

    • Polly says:

      Hope too many Lisa voters don’t vote early, so we have time to change their thinking and vote for Scott.

      Meanwhile, in case a work situation hinders my life on November 2nd, I am going to vote early. I know what candidates I’m voting for. If anyone has any insights on judges, please comment.

  13. Dagian says:

    Complete off-topic, but I’m posting this because I KNOW there are other faithful readers of this site in my area.

    http://www.roysplacerestaurant.com/menu.html

    Who’s with me?!

  14. Tony Vaska says:

    I fully endorse Scott McAdams for the U.S. Senate in the Delta Discovery this week. It is the right thing to do at the right time. He has the values that rural and especially Native people have and he knows in his heart that it is the right thing to do. He values education and when he had the opportunity to show that, he did without hesitation. Encourage every rural voter to get out the vote on Tuesday. Quyana

  15. Tuesday night I had the privilege to meet Scott McAdams and Mark Begich in a friend’s home. It was a wonderful gathering and Mark encouraged us all to vote early. He said that he was behind Ted Stevens on election night but that absentee (early) ballots put him over the top. With his encouragement, I went and voted on Wednesday so my vote for Scott is already in the “bank.” I encourage all you Alaskan voters to go and do the same then get out the vote of every one else between now and election day.

  16. Writing from Alaska says:

    Wonderful reporting – having attended a few AFN conventions, I can attest to the authentic feel of your piece. THANK YOU!!

  17. obdewl x says:

    Wonderful article. McMc gets my vote. Way to often I vote for the best of the bad. I choose to opt for the good this time.

  18. blue_in_AK says:

    The AFN can endorse whoever they want to, but I think it’s shameful the way they did it.

  19. Hope in ten years I can write as good as you, my friend.
    MS

  20. jo says:

    I work in the Native community full time. It’s pretty consistent the amount of support she has….. I spent twelve hours yesterday (I work in a healthcare setting). There were Lisa supporters everywhere, she is pretty synonymous with Ted and they really adored Ted.

    Everyone has their opinion about this race, I’m just saying what I have seen and heard and I am in the middle of it daily.

  21. Alsscan says:

    I was a full fledged Republican. Then something magical came along. The Tea Party. Why do I think it is magical, you might ask.

    Because it turned me into a full fledged Democrat.

    I have been on ADN’s blog for weeks, and was absolutely against Miller but blogging for Lisa.
    Then, I did my homework and started watching, looking and listening to Scott McAdams. I am
    now on ADN daily for Scott McAdams. He IS the best person for US Senator of the Great State of Alaska.

    What a GREAT candidate! I hope everyone realizes by now that the Republican party is no longer that, nope, now it IS the Tea Party. Just look at how the Republican Party has backed these bizarre candidates endorsed and bought by the Tea Party.

    I hear them all say they want their Constitution back, and then immediately want to change the Amendments to suit their own ambitions and desires. I want THE Constitution left alone!

    I heartily support Scott McAdams. PLEASE everyone talk to your republican friends and family members, this is frightening. This is not the year to vote party just because you always have, if we do we will lose our Constitution. Lisa will go along with every bit of too if she is elected. They have the money and the power.

    Vote for our State, really vote for our State and our Country.
    VOTE SCOTT MCADAMS!

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Welcome, and thank you for sharing your personal experience! You are right, we don’t get candidates of Scott’s caliber coming up through the ranks very often. Personally, I love his sense of humor. But behind it, is one tough killer whale.

    • Elstun Lauesen says:

      YAAAY!

  22. far from fenway fan says:

    The Native “leaders” may endorse Murkowski but I find it hard to believe that this historically strong democratic voting block will deliver for her.

  23. Moose Pucky says:

    Elstun, thank you. Right on!

  24. iowanah says:

    Scott’s namesake eats meat. He has no balleen and does not eat krill. He will eat Lisa’s lunch.

  25. A fine report, Elstun. Keep up the good work.

  26. Super Bee says:

    As I was standing waiting for my toast to pop, I was happy to look up and see Mark Begich in town for the conference. I guess if Mark can do it so could McAdams. Keep talking – Go Scott!

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      I’ve met Mark – Scott has ten times the presence. Mark wasn’t even very friendly – seemed distracted – when I saw him in Seattle and introduced myself as a Juneau resident who thanked him very much for hanging in there in a tough race. Yawn. Haven’t been impressed since.

      Scott leaves an impression, believe me!

      • Super Bee says:

        I wish I had stopped in to meet him during his visit to Turkey Red in Palmer with my madre but we had a hockey game to be at. I’ve been trying to talk to my folks about him but my mom is worried that if Alaska doesn’t back Lisa it will go to Joe McCarthy I mean Miller. She doesn’t have a lot of faith in Alaska voters to do the right thing. I wish Lisa would just back away. If it were just McAdams v. Miller I think McAdams would be a shoo in.

  27. Baker's Dozen says:

    Hope he gets elected. Not only does he sound intelligent, he comes across as down to earth. And in his pictures, he always looks truly interested in the people he’s talking to. I reminded me of the pictures of Bush hugging people after Katrina. He always seemed to be counting the moments until be could get back on the plane and wash his hands.

  28. skunkcabbage says:

    If each of us progressives in Alaska can “turn” one other person from voting for Murkowski “because they are afraid of Miller”, we are gonna elect Scott McAdams. I’ve already turned my Mom, who grabbed a friend of hers and they went to a McAdams meet and greet together. The friend took a friend of hers and now those two are considering McAdams.

    See, it’s like dominoes. As soon as you get a person to stop and LOOK at McAdams as juxipostitioned against Murkowski, then the decision becomes infinitely easier.

    Can’t wait to send “Large Killer Whale” to the Senate. He’ll make quite a wake!

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Yep, you are right! I got my Anchorage cousin (after five weeks) and she got her friends as a domino effect. I got the coffee stand gal. I’m working on more…

      • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

        And I got hubby with a threat to his life. Good thing spouses can influence at least one vote with threats!

      • Polly says:

        Thank-you for your positivity, hard work, and dedication for McAdams.

        • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

          You, too! Let’s do this!

          • Desa Jacobsson says:

            My neighbor had a Miller sign up. This guy is a staunch, die hard refudican who LOVES Ted Stevens. He took the sign down after two weeks. I went to his next door neighbor to counter that vote. Two friends and nieghbors who took their grown kid to vote early are voting for Scott too. Add us to the list!

    • Firecracker says:

      I phone banked last night for McAdams and spoke to a number of undecided voters. Several where concerned that Scott couldn’t win and they didn’t want Miller for sure. I tried to convince them that Scott only needs one vote to defeat Miller vs. Murkowski who will need probably several thousand due to the challenges from the team of lawyers that Miller will have on hand. Fingers crossed I convinced some of them. I agree we just need to keep talking to people we know and maybe we don’t really know about Scott.

      • Nick Danger says:

        I signed up twice to volunteer for McAdams and have heard nothing back, I hope that’s not typical of his campaign.

        • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

          Nick, do you want to PM me in the forum (under this name?). I can help you get connected to your campaign office with some phone calls and emails.

      • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

        That’s the fear vote raising it’s ugly head! But, we’ve turned lots of folks away from that so keep doing what you are doing and the power of Firecracker will prevail!

  29. OMG says:

    I really hope McAdams can pull this off, Miller must be defeated for the good of the country:

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/10/the-military-thugs-of-a-potential-senator.html

  30. TX SMR says:

    Come on Alaskans! I hope that Alaska natives vote in their long-term best interests!!!!!!

    I can hardly stand the suspense, and I cannot wait until Nov 3.

    The national gop leadership sure has been keeping mum re: murkowski’s seniority and leadership positions. I thought that because she is running as a write-in that both are gone. Scott McAdams needs to drive that point home. Over and over and over day in and day out.

    • Polly says:

      My disqus isn’t working. Some Alaskans may want to post this comment (Lisa, not winning as a R, may lose her seniority positions) on ADN.

  31. SC_Gnomie says:

    I do believe you Alaskans have an up and coming Statesman with McAdams. Such an endangered species in these selfish times!

    Sending my best wishes to you from SC and hope McAdams becomes your next Senator! BTW – I’ve donated to his campaign because his values are also our values.

  32. One thing I’ve noticed in so many pictures of McAdams, and maybe others do it as well, is that whenever he is shaking hands with someone or talking or listening to them, he makes direct eye contact. Not the fleeting kind that so often happens in a large crowd, but the meaningful kind that says, “I see you and I hear you.” Very impressive.

    I guess what makes Scott stand out in this regard is that awful flag-signing video of Sarah. She continued to talk and sign and never really looked at the person who was so anxious to get her signature. And by answering questions from reporters, she didn’t give those loyal folks a chance to say anything to her, nor did she have the chance to really learn anything about them – except the few that she asked who they were. Miller is just so shifty that he doesn’t make much contact with anyone. And Murkowski is, well, Murkowski – but I wouldn’t trust her to have my back.

    • Blooper says:

      I feel like if I gave Miller direct eye contact he’d cuff me! =P

      • Dagian says:

        I bet he would prefer that you kept your head down and backed away on hands and knees. Perhaps a fear grimace would be acceptable to him.

        Well, unless you were a ‘party planner’. Man, do THOSE photos give off entirely different vibes!

    • Dagian says:

      “One thing I’ve noticed in so many pictures of McAdams, and maybe others do it as well, is that whenever he is shaking hands with someone or talking or listening to them, he makes direct eye contact. Not the fleeting kind that so often happens in a large crowd, but the meaningful kind that says, “I see you and I hear you.” Very impressive.”

      What I notice is that he keeps his mouth shut and LISTENS. There are few things in this life more annoying than someone who isn’t paying attention to what you are saying, whether they’re interrupting you, or clearly formulating a come-back before you’ve finished speaking. I’ll take a moment or two of silence after I’ve spoken to allow for processing and a cogent reply.

      It’s heady, that sort of respect…

    • Susan says:

      I had that experience with him. I was at a fund-raiser last month and he read my name tag without my noticing it. When he stopped talking to my friend he looked over at my face and said, “Susan, I’m so glad you came. My gut reaction was, “Have I met this guy before?” He was so personable, the kind of guy whose approach feels like, “Let’s find a way to make this work.”

    • stef g. says:

      SP would probably get a restraining order for ‘stalking’ against anyone who tried to make eye contact with her.

      Thanks for being there and writing this, Elstun!

      I used to usually go to AFN for the debates and Quyana when it was held at the Egan Center.

      I thought Mark Begich persuaded them to alternate with here, when he was Mayor, he went up there.

  33. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Elstun, what an outstanding story! I have tears in my eyes, but that’s because I met Scott recently and I know what those folks feel like when he introduces himself. He just sort of takes you by surprise because he’s so genuine. He has lovely manners, and he’s just sort of…I don’t know, trustworthy and really smart.

    In Survivor, Sarah would be voted off the island – mainly just to get rid of that voice. Scott IS the island.

    The poster “guest” had it so right the other day when the AFN canceled the debate – they are worried that Scott will be too likeable and sharp. Well, it doesn’t matter (loved that story about Diane B) because Mr. McAdams’ goal, since he was planning to go to Fairbanks anyway, was to shake the hands and introduce himself to 1000 people.

    Now that I have met Scott and Lisa both – Lisa can’t hold a candle to Scott’s presence. Lisa is a bit hard to listen to – not in the Twit screech way, but she always looks so serious and unapproachable. Her talks are OK – far from inspiring. Her policies and turning her back on Alaska pisses me off no end. I will never forget the story of her horrible town meeting in Kenai over health care. What an obstructionist snot she was – Lisa at her worst. She’s smart, but she isn’t really an Alaskan’s Alaskan. Scott is that, and much more.

    You know, I know, we all know – LIsa is now more worried about Scott than Joe! And she’s going to have to be careful in handling that because once you’ve met the guy – Alaska is wonderful place to be! It’s awesome to feel pride again in a candidate, and my state.

    OK mudpups, Alaskans – what we have here is a great candidate. It would be a shame to waste him – let’s help get him elected! I’m off to make another small donation.

    • Polly says:

      We probably need to send an email campaign to everyone in our email address book. Also, write a comment in every blog we visit that we are voting for McAdams, because, it helps to make him viable- for those fence -sitters who are saving their vote for who they think will win. IMO.

  34. Polly says:

    I’m “praying” for an upset – the underdog win – people voting for Scott McAdams behind the curtains on November 2nd.

    Everytime I get on the internet, there are Miller and Murkowski ads. frustrating. Will McAdams campaign be sending out a mailer at least?

    These photos are excellent.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      I have gotten lots of McAdams mailers – and Miller’s, and really very little from Lisa. Lisa is practicing to be even more aloof, I guess.

      • Polly says:

        Oh good news. I have only received a huge Murkowski write-in mailer so far. Wonder where they get their mailing lists? I’ve donated twice to McAdams, maybe that’s why I haven’t? My son-in-law in Homer didn’t know anything about McAdams; I sent him the radio and television ads from youtube, and now he is interested. He thought he was going to vote for Murkowski to send a message to Palin/Miller.

        • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

          That’s not it because I’ve been donating weekly. I’m registered nonpartisan, hubby is undeclared. Maybe that’s it?

          • Blooper says:

            I haven’t received any flyers yet either and I’m a registered Democrat. Perhaps the McAdams campaign is shifting more of their resources towards those who are registered Independent and Republican.

        • Blooper says:

          Thanks for bringing that up, Polly. It may seem impossible (esp. to us political junkies here at the Mudflats) but there are people in Alaska who are not yet familiar with the Democrat in this race. I’m glad you were able to educate him on McAdams candidacy and platform. I hope he sides with us in the voting booth!

        • jojobo1 says:

          Voting for Scott would send a much better message to both of them and Lisa to boot

      • LoveMydogs says:

        I am a registered Dem. I have not received any mailers from McAdams but I get one daily from Leasa. And they go straight into the recycle bin…. he doesn’t need to waste any paper on me. He already has me donating money and time. i am hoping, however, that he IS sending mailers out to other dems and independents in my neighborhood because I have had to work on a few not to vote their fears.

    • scout says:

      I received a wonderful mailer from Scott yesterday. “There are 100 of these desks in the U.S.Senate”, a picture of 100 desks and the caption: “What has LM been doing with hers?”

      McAdams is awesome!

      Thanks Mr. Lauesen, great article. Go AFN!

  35. Zyxomma says:

    I love that blue Large Killer Whale vest.

  36. DF says:

    I have seen Lisa speak before, in the presence of her father, and she just doesn’t command an audience. It may have been within a year of being appointed to the US Senate.

  37. HudsonElizabeth says:

    Wonderful and hopeful. In looking at the pictures I could not help noticing the expressions on the faces of all the people Scott is talking to —- joy and awe was what I saw. That made me feel hopefull that he might be able to pull this off.

    And, on another topic. There is a wonderful piece by Maureen Dowd in the NY Times today.

    OP-ED COLUMNIST: Making Ignorance Chic

    In the ’50s, Marilyn made it chic to be smart. Now Sarah makes it chic to be ignorant.

    http://nyti.ms/aXB7hz

    Hope this tiny url works!

  38. Deb says:

    I love this guy, his vest (that vest rocks!), his obvious and sincere love for his constituents, his instincts, his attitude, and his sincerity. What the hell is wrong with 70% of Alaskans.

  39. GreatGranny2C says:

    OFF TOPIC but I think it needs attention and action!
    Sarah Palin just called on Congress to cut all funds for National Public Radio, after the broadcaster fired analyst Juan Williams for comments he made disparaging Muslims on Fox News. Now Sen. Jim Demint (R – S.C.) is introducing legislation that slashes all funds to one of the last, best sources of journalism we have in America. This is the link to sign the petition:
    http://act2.freepress.net/letter/npr_palin?akid=1878.9767182.sWhOdq&rd=1&t=4

    The first paragraph below is the petition letter – the second paragraph is my own thoughts. Anyone signing the letter can add whatever they feel might be beneficial.

    Don’t let political extremists defund National Public Radio. Stand with me and millions of public broadcasting supporters and oppose any legislation that would zero out funding for NPR.

    Palin spews her divisive and hateful rhetoric and everyone jumps (elected officials and media) to do her bidding! She does NOT merit the amount of attention she is given, nor should her point of view be the one that determines action. Palin and her ilk have been responsible for a great deal of damage to the fabric of our democracy – amongst the ill-suited actions taken at her behest, was defunding (and ultimately destroying) ACORN – which has since proven to be nothing like what was portrayed.
    Shame on EVERY elected official and journalist who follows her call to defund and destory NPR!!!

    • Dagian says:

      I just wanted to point out that the word “defund” didn’t come into existence until 1948, and it seems to imply a retroactive withdrawal of money previously given.

      I think the correct phrase would be “no longer fund”.

      But I don’t want that to happen. Not at all. Of course, NPR may receive some portion of money from Congress, but the local stations that use their works are funded by donations from their listeners and sponsors.

      According to the 2005 financial statement, NPR makes just over half of its money from the fees and dues it charges member stations to receive programming. Public funding accounts for 16% of the average member station’s revenue, with 10% of this coming in the form of grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a federally funded organization.

      On November 6, 2003, NPR was given over US$225 million from the estate of the late Joan B. Kroc, the widow of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s Corporation. This was a record—the largest monetary gift ever to a cultural institution.

      In October 2010, NPR accepted a $1.8 million grant from George Soros, given through his Open Society Foundation. The grant is meant to begin a project called Impact of Government that is intended to add at least 100 journalists at NPR member radio stations in all 50 states over the next three years

      What does this mean? It means that those of us who listen to NPR should become a member. I’ll eschew the coffee mug, I have them breeding in my cupboards. 8-)

    • SameOld says:

      I guess that Sarah doesn’t know that Mrs Kroc, the wife of McDonald’s founder, left 1 billion dollars to NPR. That’s their cushion and the rest is generated by listeners. I don’t think they have been government funded since Reagan. The public refers to THE PUBLIC not the government. So as usual, stupid Sarah is all wet and wrong. She just can’t handle anything beyond Faux fiction.

      Maybe the right wing fraudsters are upset that in many radio markets NPR has the lead in the news hour. That’s cause they have the only news, maybe?

    • jojobo1 says:

      I have already said the same thingt on the article about it. and I don’t dare say anything else as the woman makes me so angry with her hate speeches.IMO she should be jailed for sedation

  40. dreamgirl says:

    OT, Joe Miller is suing his own father, at the Fairbanks newsminer.com. Also just found out that man has 8 children… e i g h t, 4 boys and 4 girls, man that’s a lot of kids.

  41. Dagian says:

    “…coronations are conferred; votes are earned. I’m not going anywhere”.

    I feel all light-headed. How I wish he were a candidate in MY state. For anything, but we could start with governor…

  42. jimzmum says:

    ks sunflower, I was thinking the same thing! He seems to be such a nice man, a presence that is real – no subterfuge. His smile is genuine, and he is very intelligent. I do hope he wins this race, and not just for the people of Alaska. He will be helping every person in America.

  43. ks sunflower says:

    Please ask Scott if he would consent to being cloned, and having his clone sent to Kansas. We need someone such as Scott!

    Alaska is lucky indeed that Scott McAdams stepped forward to run for Senate. I hope people reward his selflessness by voting for him.

  44. benlomond2 says:

    VERY smart move..very smart…no pressure, no fanfare, very approachable on a personal level… hhhmmm.. when was the last time Lisa was amongst the voters in such a fashion ?

  45. Ali girl says:

    Why can’t there be more candidates like Scott McAdams???????

  46. What a marvelous piece! It gives a wonderful sense of the dynamics of this (political) space to me, a non-Alaskan and non-Native. I’d think the Divine Miss M. and her supporters would be nervous after reading it, if she were to and she’s counting on the AFN to deliver votes for her.

  47. Terpsichore says:

    He shook hands, answered questions and didn’t handcuff and detain anybody against their will?

    That’s a keeper!!

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