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September 19, 2021

Jefferson Jackson Democratic Party Dinner


Just got back from a lovely evening in the Dena’ina Convention Center, where Alaska Democrats gathered together for a fundraiser/celebration dinner.

~~Outgoing Democratic Party Executive Director, Mike Coumbe receives parting gifts from Senator Begich~~

~~Outgoing Democratic Party Executive Director, Mike Coumbe receives parting gifts from Senator Begich~~

~~Incoming Democratic Party Executive Director, Deborah Williams~~

~~Incoming Democratic Party Executive Director, Deborah Williams~~

During the evening, I thought back many times to my infiltration of the Republican party’s counterpart event, the Lincoln Day Dinner back in March.  There were some interesting comparisons, one being that the dinner tonight left me feeling happy, instead of nauseous and depressed.

The Hallway:

Lincoln Day Dinner: There were many tables set up handing out literature on anti-abortion issues, the Father/Daughter Purity Ball encouraging abstinence until marriage, and a laptop with the home page of The Alaska Standard on it, with fliers asking for advertisers.

Jefferson Jackson Dinner:  One sign in table covered with red, white & blue M&Ms and programs for the evening’s festivities.


The Auction:

Lincoln Day Dinner:  About six long tables full of auction items, featuring multiple bottles of whiskey, lunches or dinners with sitting Republican politicians, artwork, conservative books, a Hillary Clinton nutcracker, and a George W. Bush jack in the box, and some miscellaneous items with an American flag or hunting theme.

Jefferson Jackson Dinner:  Two tables with a couple spa baskets, a travel kit, a couple bottles of wine and some artwork.   No derogatory kitchen gadgets.  No fur, flags or whiskey.

~~Emcee CC with Senator Begich and Deborah Bonito~~

~~Emcee CC with Senator Begich and Deborah Bonito~~

The Speakers:

Lincoln Day Dinner:  Jerry Prevo from The Anchorage Baptist Temple said a prayer. Former Lt. Governor Loren Lehman mocked Obama and expressed outrage that he “shamelessly misappropriated the image of Abraham Lincoln” and used the Lincoln Bible and ate Lincoln’s favorite foods at the Inaugural Luncheon.  Then the very same Loren Lehman dressed up like that very same Abraham Lincoln and read the Gettysburg address.   Then he spent some more time bashing the president, thanked the governor for “protecting Alaska’s interest” by rejecting the stimulus money, and got in a couple cheap shots against Senator Mark Begich.  Sarah Palin was the keynote speaker and spent a good deal of time whining about ethics complaints, her legal bills and all the other people who were making her life difficult.  The rest of her speech can be found on YouTube if you really want to see it.  I’m trying to forget…

Jefferson Jackson Dinner:  CC and Cary Carrigan were emcees. There was a minute of silence for the men and women serving in the military.  Senator Hollis French introduced the keynote speaker, Senator Mark Begich.  Begich did not insult the governor.  He did not insult Lisa Murkowski, and he did not insult Don Young.  He spent his time behind the microphone telling us about what he has learned in the Senate, and how he is using his new found skills and relationships to benefit Alaska.  He had three lessons.  First, he said, don’t wait to be invited.  If you are interested in something, show up to the meeting.  You’ll learn something and you may end up being asked to participate and being able to influence the outcome of the meeting.  Second, read what’s given to you.  Reading all the wording of the bills, like the stimulus, has served him well and he has been able to be a resource for others, thus building relationships.  And third, is those relationships.  They are perhaps the most important thing of the three.

~~Cary Carrigan, Senator Hollis French, DemocratIC Party Vice Chair Blake Johnson~~

~~Cary Carrigan, Senator Hollis French, DemocratIC Party Vice Chair Blake Johnson~~


I had the good fortune of watching a vote taken in the Senate earlier in the year.  I got to sit in the senate gallery and watch Senator Begich come in to make his vote.  Senators were flying in and out quickly.  They’d pop in, make their vote, have it announced, and most were gone in a flash.  Senator Begich stayed.  I watched as he went around the room, shaking hands and engaging in conversations with Senators across the political spectrum.  It does not surprise me that he is such a successful relationship builder.

One thing that I think Mark Begich has always done right, is to educate.  As he learns what makes the Senate tick, he passes that information on.  He isn’t cutting himself off from the people now that he’s got the keys to the kingdom.  He takes us along with him and shares his experiences, his learning moments, his funny stories, and his victories.  He did not whine about how people are mean to him.  He did not admonish anyone.  He did not grouse about his giant pile of legal bills.  Oh, that’s right…he doesn’t have one.


~~Progressive blogger Linda Kellen Biegel, with Senator Begich and Deborah Bonito~~

The Entertainment:

Lincoln Day Dinner: There was a giant screen with a slide show of Republican events, Sarah Palin’s campaign stops, and flashy graphics.  Miss Alaska sang the National Anthem teetering on high heels and clad in a red mini-dress and crown.

Jefferson Jackson Dinner:  An awesome duo of musicians called Troubadora playing lovely music during the pre-dinner mingle.  Singer Wanda (Smith?) belted out an awesome version of “Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy” including some fun Democratic lyrics in the second verse.

~~Wanda (Smith?) gets praise from the head table~~

~~Wanda (Smith?) gets praise from the head table~~


~~Troubadora, featuring Mudflatter mwThatOne on the left!~~

All in all, the evening was great.  It was positive, it was informative, and it was fun.  There were no auction items bashing Republicans, there were no whining complaining speeches, there were no barbs or cheap shots.  The evenings good feelings did not come from tearing others down.

It made me happy to be a Democrat.

~~The View from the Balcony at the Dena'ina Center~~[/caption]

~~The Senator and (unbeknownst to him) Shannyn Moore~~

~~The Senator and (unbeknownst to him) Shannyn Moore~~

~~Former Gov. Tony Knowles.  He's the guy I voted for instead of Sarah Palin.~~

~~Former Gov. Tony Knowles. He's the guy I voted for instead of Sarah Palin.~~

~~A sweet ending...~~

~~A sweet ending...~~



37 Responses to “Jefferson Jackson Democratic Party Dinner”
  1. All l Saw says:

    As a Republican who has been repeatedly nauseated by the petty, jealous and conceitful behavior of the Rapture Republicans – the description of the Democrats event (and the creme brulee alone) might just have me changing my voter registration once and for all =-)

    I’ve been told over and over again that because I think legislating morality is a massive waste of time and energy that I’m not a real Republican.

    If being a Republican means dressing up (and paying money) to attend an event full of bitching and complaining – I’m not sure I’m cut out for it anymore.

    (makes ya wonder if all those Rapture Republicans actually look forward to seeing each other =-)

  2. Thanks for sharing but I am gosh darned disappointed I missed this event!

  3. sauerkraut says:

    Shannyn Moore is looking like a wild and crazy girl !!

  4. ValleyIndependent says:

    I, too have noticed the Democratic events are way more positive and fun than the Republican ones, especially out here in the Valley. Thanks for the pictures and the comparative notes.

  5. MinNJ says:

    Well, here’s hoping for NJ. Great reporting, as always.

  6. Lee323 says:

    I think I get it:

    -Lincoln Day Dinner: gross anatomy (aka “belly of the beast”)

    -Jefferson Jackson Dinner: that which is not amenable to the scalpel (ideas, creativity, humor, maturity)

    Good report, AKM.

  7. Irishgirl says:

    Don’t be blaming Mud!

  8. Shannyn says:

    Mud told me to do that! She dared me…when Mud dares you…you must!
    I used to call the Senator “My Fairy God-Mayor”, so we have a pretty playful relationship.
    I hope it didn’t come off that I don’t respect him…I do!
    Thanks for posting, Mud!

  9. Ripley in CT says:

    awesome post, again.

    the Rabbit Ears gag= priceless.

  10. Canadian Neighbour says:

    I think Shannyn’s ‘playfulness’ was her way of payback for a few radio calls she addressed a short time before!!!

  11. Physicsmom says:

    Looks like a great event. Thanks for sharing your perspective on it versus the Lincoln Day do; it’s quite revealing how the Dems work to build people up and the Repugs try to tear them down. Best of all is no GINO to listen to at this soiree!

  12. Creme brulee….mmmmmmm

    There is an awesome free service at You can receive emails on how your senators and reps voted on every bill. I’ve only received one email, so far, but it was very informative and interactive.

  13. Lori says:

    Looks like lots of fun!!

  14. Shanny says:

    Mud told me to do that! She dared me…when Mud dares you…you must!
    I used to call the Senator “My Fairy God-Mayor”, so we have a pretty playful relationship.
    I hope it didn’t come off that I don’t respect him…I do!
    Thanks for posting, Mud!

  15. Moose Pucky says:

    Happy to see this through your eyes, AKM.

  16. Irishgirl says:

    She is obviously looking at our intrepid photographer! Will Keith see this side of her? 🙂

  17. crystalwolf aka caligrl says:

    Its back 🙂 with Shannyn’s funny pic! She so cute!

  18. Irishgirl says:

    @ mwThatOne
    IrishGirl: on the left.

    I see you..delighted you are on the left!!

    Shannyn should be ashamed of herself!!! 🙂 🙂 Finally seeing that pic.

  19. mwThatOne.. says:

    IrishGirl: on the left ….appropriately enough! and with the prematurely gray hair. We did play some Beatles’ tunes, personal fave “will ya still love me when I’m 64!”…. OT gray hair is either a sign of wisdom (so say the scriptures) or of a lack of vitamin B (so says an old naturopathic book). I will hope for the former and eat my broccoli!

  20. Mmmm… those look like generous portions of creme brulee – any left over?

  21. Irishgirl says:


    Are you on the right or the left? 🙂

  22. Irishgirl says:

    Scrolling back to see the pics of mwThatOne!!

    Actually, this post reminded me of the hike you did. It felt as if we were all there. 🙂

  23. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    AKM, Thanks for the post and the great comparison of the two events. You seem to have hit the nail on the head with your comparison of the two events. It really does seem to be a big point between the two parties. Civility, focus on what people truly need.

  24. BigSlick says:

    AKM, the picture of Sen. Begich with Shannyn seems to have not posted properly (right after stunning reflection photo of the Dena’ina Center.

    Thanks for the great comparison of the two parties, its easy to see why one is thriving and the other barely surviving.

  25. Nice job, AKM and great pictures! Except for that one…

    I got there late so (dammit) I missed Troubadoura! I’ve heard them before and they are wonderful!

    It was great fun…all through Senator Begich’s speech I kept thinking about the bloggers in and out of the room and thought to myself “we helped do this!”

  26. bubbles says:

    thank you a.k.m. for a wonderful evening. and for introducing me to such attractive and interesting people. marvelous music and creme brulee to end the evening.

  27. mwThatOne.. says:

    Thanks for the ‘shoutout’ AKM ~ it was truly a memorable evening to
    provide moose-ic for a roomful of like-minded patriots.

    Troubadora Guitarist

  28. Cathy in Texas says:

    Opps. Forgot to add that AKM’s most impressive words in this post…. “The evening’s good feelings did not come from tearing others down”. What thoughtful intellect and humanity.

  29. crystalwolf aka caligrl says:

    Wow, what a difference! As you compared the two I was flashing back, on the dour, Lincoln days dinner, and this festive (colored m & m’s) and the whole energy is different, completely totally different! Love seeing CC, Diva, Mark, But AKM you left out the one with Shannyn and MarK?
    Well it just shows the differences between the two parties. Ones like a funeral, the other like Spring! AKM, now tell us did you leave any little mudflats boots magnets under the prizes??
    I bet they would be honored to get one of those 🙂

  30. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Nice AKM……thanks for bringing us along, we heart you and Alaska’s democrats. Keep up the good work, keep promoting the good life.

  31. Cathy in Texas says:

    Contrasting real life differences in the 2 events…… WOW.
    I loved this post because it put something that has bothered me in a clearer perspective. I am still politically developmentally delayed and have been a novice until the campaign and election of Obama….and until Mudflats!
    I still continue to get nasty, offensive “email jokes” circulating about our President. I struggle with what the emails “say” on the part of the senders just by the fact that they send them….but maybe I am too sensitive? Even during the Presidential campaign, I never got similar emails spewing nastiness on the GOP. Yes I got email facts, and opinions, donation requests…..but not the nastiness, pettiness, and hatefulness.

    I don’t want to ever become narrow minded……. AKM’s delightful description of the 2 events sponsored by 2 different groups of people speaks loudly to me. Actions do speak louder than words about character and values.
    Thank you AKM for a post that simply allows us to decide “which party we would be most comfortable attending”.
    I like the one with the red, white, and blue M and Ms!
    Now I need to get my husband on line so he can vote for your scholarship! I voted earlier,

  32. Irishgirl says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it…sounds like a great night.

  33. MonaLisa IS MY NAME! says:

    Someday, when I grow up, I’m gonna have creme brulee for breakfast….

  34. UK Lady says:

    Glad to see you having fun AKM, they look like a really good bunch of people. Now I fancy a creme brulee which is silly because I haven’t had my bloggers brekkie yet.

  35. aeroentropy says:

    “The Way Life Should Be” – no wait, that’s Maine!

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