Additional reading: Our one pager on the Alaska Senate election.
Alaskans rightfully pride themselves on being independent thinkers, so it’s only right that their senators should be too. But Ohio-born incumbent Sen. Dan Sullivan seems more interested in playing partisan politics than in fighting for his constituents.
Sen. Sullivan is the consummate enabler. Compared to other Trump stooges, he’s managed to keep a low profile, but the numbers tell the real story: he votes with Mitch McConnel 97% of the time and with Trump 92% of the time.
Time after time, he has stood by while Trump’s machinations have hurt Alaska’s most vulnerable populations. Many rural Alaskans rely on the US Postal Service to pick-up and deliver mail -- including their absentee ballots! -- in locations not serviced by private delivery companies. But Sullivan stood silently with the president as Trump threatened to let the postal service die unless it hiked prices by 400%, a financial burden that would fall heavily on rural Alaskans.
As both Attorney General and Natural Resource Commissioner, Sullivan’s work consistently limited subsistence rights and indigenous sovereignty. So far, he has refused to take an explicit stand on the Pebble Mine, a proposal for a massive mine in Bristol Bay that would destroy the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, a cultural and economic anchor of Alaska. Alaskans are not hostile to mining, but they know a bad idea when they see one: a whopping 62% of Alaskans oppose the mine. But the project has become a darling of the Trump Administration (he really likes gilded things if you haven’t noticed), so naturally Sullivan is keeping quiet. Alaskans deserve a leader who cares more about their constituents than about being buddy-buddy with the party.
Sen. Sullivan has repeatedly betrayed Alaskans’ needs in order to vote with Republican big dogs. Healthcare costs in Alaska are more than double the national average, the costliest in the country. This hasn’t stopped Sen. Sullivan from repeatedly voting to weaken the Affordable Care Act and to defund Planned Parenthood, restricting access to affordable reproductive access and preventive health care such as cancer screenings for Alaskan women.
On the campaign trail he has touted the economic boon of military infrastructure projects in Alaska, conveniently neglecting to mention that he voted to divert $102 million away from these projects. Why? To fund Trump’s border wall and support the bogus, unconstitutional national emergency he declared in order to get it.
In 1963, James Baldwin observed that “a civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless.” Sen. Sullivan abandoned the duty bestowed upon him by the Constitution when he voted to block additional testimony in the impeachment hearings. He bolstered Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric around immigration and was an apologist for the Trump administration’s family separation policy. He stood silent when Trump gassed protestors for a photo-op. Now, hundreds of thousands of Americans have been infected with and died from the coronavirus pandemic; children are dying in ICE custody while thousands more allege sexual abuse; federal agents are attacking American citizens on American soil; and the president entertains the idea of delaying the election. Does that sound like small government conservatism to you? This is what happens when we allow spineless leaders like Sullivan to bow to bullies like Trump.
Join Flip the West in our efforts to help elect a Senator with the courage – and the true independence of Alaskans – to stand up for the American people.