Alaska politics are anything if not delicious. In no big surprise, the race for governor will be Big Money versus Big Money. In the corner of Big Oil is Governor Parnell, fresh off the victorious defeat of Ballot Measure 1. In the corner of Big Corporations is Byron Mallot, the co-chair of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign a few years ago. In case you forgot (and it seems many have), Mr. Mallot brushed off support for fellow Southeaster and Democratic party candidate Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams in favor of co-chairing Republican Murkowski’s write-in campaign. Her campaign was backed by millions of dollars from Alaska Native Corporations, who (corporations are now people, you know) made it crystal clear they didn’t want to chance losing their non-competitive bid status on federal contracts if Joe Miller was elected to Lisa’s seat. “Let’s make history!” they cheered. And they did.
Mr. Mallot is apparently a changed man from just a few years ago when he chaired Sen. Murkowski’s campaign. Sen. Murkowski immediately voted with the pro-life faction her first few weeks of reelection to establish herself with conservatives. Mr. Mallot is pro-choice. Sen. Murkowski and Tony Knowles did a Vote No commercial for Ballot Measure 1. Mr. Mallot supported the Measure. Sen. Murkowski supports the Pebble Mine. Mr. Mallot does not. Maybe agreeing on money IS really the only necessity to keep a marriage strong.
If Alaskan Republicans had just the slightest sense of humor and elected Joe Miller to run against Sen. Begich, then Senator Murkowski would now be supporting both the man she and Mr. Mallot (the Democrats’ choice for governor) got most voters to hate last time around — Joe Miller — and the man (Gov. Parnell) who is running against the man who got her elected (Mr. Mallot)!
You Republicans really disappoint me. Democrats, too. I miss the circus. When is Sarah coming home? Does Scott McAdams ever stop laughing?
Don’t worry, Alaska. The election paid off — in the billions of dollars — for money well spent. Big Oil keeps Governor Parnell’s tax bill following Sen. Murkowski’s and Democratic Governor Knowles’ support. Big Corporations made out pretty well, too. In addition to support of the Vote No on 1 campaign, a perusal of Department of Defense military contractors since Sen. Murkowski’s election shows numerous contracts to Alaska Native Corporation companies worth more than $500 million dollars. That’s not $500 million in total. That’s $500 million per contract. They can’t thank Sen. Murkowski (or Democrat Sen. Begich or Republican Rep. Young) enough. Billions of our federal tax dollars have been dedicated to killing people half way around the world. (Most of the money sure isn’t going to veterans care or benefits). I wish Big Oil and Big Corporations would use our billions of tax dollars to cure cancer or hunger, instead of creating more of both.
Big Corporations run much of the business of the North Slope for Big Oil. Like Forrest Gump said, “they go together like peas and carrots.” So go ahead Democrats — support your Democrat. And Republicans — support your Republican. It won’t matter to Big Oil and Big Corporations. They win either way. Big Money always does.
• Mark Stopha is a Juneau resident.