03 November 2006


I haven't given much thought to who I'll vote for in the U.S. House of Representatives race, though I've started to think more seriously about it now that Diane Benson is apparently closing in on Don Young. Her latest press release this afternoon has her down 7 points.

I'm not enamoured of Don Young. Sure, his seniority helps Alaska get money but I'm not sure if that's a good enough reason to vote for him. When I interviewed him in March, I was put off by his denial of climate change. His recent comments on Iraq are bizarre, to say the least. He just seems to say what's on his mind and expects Alaskans to re-elect him. That's what I call arrogance. Benson's line, "Alaskans are too old for Young" is powerful.

But I'm not convinced Diane Benson is the right person for the job. When I interviewed her in September, I didn't her a consistent message about why I should vote her - I heard snippets of anti-Young sentiment, opposition to the Iraq war (though little on what should be done), and some talk about the importance of treating veterans right. There was nothing that appealed to me and said "vote for me!"

None of the other candidates appeal to me so I see three options:

  • Write in somebody I think would do a good job as a protest vote.
  • Vote for seniority and stability (even if the candidate ends up in the minority), though I find virtually everything else about the candidate odious.
  • Vote for change and not worry that the change promised by the candidate is either not clear or not relevant.
Though I don't often think this, I think change for change's sake in this case might just be a good enough reason to vote for Diane Benson.


Deirdre Helfferich said...

This was also a concern I had about Benson, that she wasn't providing enough of a picture of what she would do should she win the election, and was simply doing a negative campaign. So I've been looking around, reading about her views and background. Her website is skimpy. I know for sure that I am not happy with Don Young, particularly with regard to his recent votes on the Military Commissions Act and his refusal to accept that climate change is real. Aaron Selbig of Insurgent 49 summed up Benson's stances nicely, however:
"She is a life-long Alaskan, a Native leader and a mother. Her son Latseen is a disabled veteran of the Iraq War, and no one understands better than Diane the cost of the illegitimate and mismanaged mess in Iraq. She makes ending the war and providing adequate health care for veterans her top priorities. She supports ethics reform, health care reform, Congressional term limits, raising the minimum wage, and investment in renewable energy. She would be the first Alaska Native sent to Congress and the first woman to represent Alaska in the House of Representatives."
Looking at it this succinctly, I feel certain that I'm making the right decision to support her. Her issues statements are helpful, but again, like you, I'd like to see some more info.

Anonymous said...

As a near 49 year resident of Nome, i am completely fed up with Don Young. I intend to vote for Diane Benson though I admit not knowing much about her.

Don Young is an arogant pompous ass. He has become an embarrasment to his constituents in Alaska. He pleads the "vote for experience" card when he campaigns, yet he comes across in the media as a nutcase. (listen to his diatribe on global warming...)

Diane Benson has no experience, but I remind you Don Young had ZERO when he first took office. He has been there too long. He needs to be ousted.