Monday, September 15, 2014

Who Skips Fisheries Debate? [UPDATED]

[UPDATED 1:45pm:  Apparently, not Dan Sullivan any longer.  According to Lanie Welch's column in today's ADN:
"The lure of reaching a statewide audience was too much to pass up for U.S. Senate hopeful Dan Sullivan, who will be at the Oct. 1 fisheries debate at Kodiak after all.    Sullivan was able to reshuffle a packed travel schedule to fit in the fisheries event, said Ben Sparks, campaign manager. Sullivan initially was going to be in Bethel on a multi-day swing through Southwest Alaska during the time of the Kodiak event. “Dan recognizes the importance of Alaska’s fisheries, and our campaign has rescheduled our southwest swing to ensure that Dan could make the debate. He looks forward to a healthy exchange of ideas with Mark Begich on the future of Alaska’s fisheries, and is excited to attend the debate in Kodiak,” his campaign said in a prepared statement."

The original post below should be read with the above in mind.]

This letter to the editor was in the ADN Sunday. [I couldn't get the link to the ADN, but it was also in the Kenai Peninsual Clarion]:
"Who skips fisheries debate?    I had to ask myself this week does Dan Sullivan actually want to get elected in November? I’m not sure he does, since he chose to skip the fisheries debate in Kodiak. Or he is a complete fool and had no idea the giant mistake he made by turning down this debate.    Either way, Sullivan just proved what Sen. Begich and Democrats have been saying all along he doesn’t know or care about Alaska.    Bill Starnes"

Why couldn't he make it?  According to debate organizers, via Lanie Welch, ADN's fishing reporter:
"Sullivan campaign manager Ben Sparks told debate organizers that Sullivan does not have a prior commitment keeping him from the fisheries debate, but that “he is just too busy with all the traveling he is doing.” The two-hour debate is broadcast live to over 330 Alaska communities."

I think at least three more credible possibilities beyond the two Starnes gives:
  1. He knows that Begich, after six years in the Senate and as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard knows his fisheries much better than Sullivan and that Sullivan would look bad in comparison.
  2. He knows his policies as Attorney General and Natural Resources Commissioner - helping get rid of local input in development, on Pebble Mine, and other issues wouldn't sit well with the fishers anyway.
  3. He's simply biding by the old saying, attributed, incorrectly it seems, to Abraham Lincoln, 
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
Maybe a combination of all three.  He knew this was a fight he couldn't possibly win. 

[Note on dubiously attributed quotes:  The link goes to a website called Quote Investigator:  Exploring the Origins of Quotes.  It looks like a much better sources than all the spurious 'quote' sites that just copy things incorrectly from other places.   The discussion on this quote makes it highly unlikely that it came from Lincoln and also looks at similar sentiments from the bible.]

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