When Nick Begich III announced a rematch against Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) last July, CNAV paid him no attention. After all, he is a member of the Begich Dynasty, one of two Uniparty dynasties who have controlled Alaska politics for decades. (The other one is the Murkowski Dynasty that gives us Alaska’s current senior Senator.) Last year, Nick Begich gave the House seat away to the Democrats by instructing his followers to rank Mary Peltola second in Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system. Now he dares raise funds by touting support for President Donald J. Trump. This is to warn the voters of Alaska, and donors here Down South, not to trust Nick Begich.
WTF is Nick Begich?
Nick Begich, third of that name, is the grandson of that Rep. Nick Begich (D-Alaska) who disappeared in an air mishap in 1972. Insofar as anyone knows, the mortal remains of Nick Begich, Senior, remain at the bottom of the Gulf of Alaska, or else nestled in the Chugach Mountains, to this day. Rep. Donald Young (R-Alaska) took over the at-large House seat, and held it until his death in March 2022.
Nick Begich III is the only member of his family ever to run as a Republican. His Uncle Mark held the “other” Senate seat from 2009 to 2015, when Dan Sullivan took it over. In fact, contrary to “Down South” belief, Alaska’s state-wide offices have flipped back and forth between Republicans and Democrats for years. Uncle Mark himself took the seat from Republican Ted Stevens in 2009. That he lasted only one term might have been an accident. He lost his seat in the 2014 Midterms, when anger at then-President Barack Obama was at a fever pitch.
All that to say this: no matter what Nick Begich says, or what anyone says about him, he is a member of the family, his grandfather’s grandson, a servant of the dynasty. And today the Begich and Murkowski dynasties have split the State between them.
Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) was also in that House race. And as far as the Dynasties are concerned, she is as much an outsider as any Down Souther.
How Nick gave away the House seat
As mentioned, Alaska holds a jungle primary with ranked-choice voting. This system asks voters to mark their choices from first to last. Voters must be careful to choose one of each choice. If they fail to rank all the choices, and the choices they do mark fall out of the running, this exhausts their ballots and their votes no longer count. As each candidate falls out of the running, Officers of Election – or the election computer – distributes that candidate’s votes to the remaining candidates, in choice order.
Nick Begich and Sarah Palin split the Republican vote down the middle, while Mary Peltola comfortably swept the left.Begich could have carefully instructed his voters to rank Sarah Palin second, but he did not do that. As a result, 15,445 of his votes went to Mary Peltola. Sarah Palin did make one mistake: she didn’t instruct her voters on how ranked-choice voting works. So she lost votes in the second round.
But CNAV squarely blames Nick Begich for instructing his voters to vote for Mary Peltola second. That’s how Sarah Palin lost.
As it happened, Republicans flipped the House, because California and New York Republicans learned how to harvest or “chase” ballots. But Nick Begich and the Begich and Murkowski Dynasties deserve no thanks for that.
What does he have to say for himself today?
Today this Uniparty dynastic scion is raising funds, here Down South (that is, in the Lower Forty-eight), by flat-out lying. Here is the text of a fundraising email that crossed your editor’s console today:
What if I told you a handful of votes in Alaska will be the difference between freedom & communism in America?
What if I told you a neighborhood in Anchorage would have more influence than the millions of people in New York & LA?
Well in 2024, the future of our country will be decided in Alaska.
My name is Nick Begich.
You’ve probably never heard of me, but I’m a conservative pro-Trump Republican running for Congress in Alaska’s only House seat.
In 2020, Alaska voted for President Trump at a higher margin than Texas, yet our state’s lone representative is a radical Democrat.
This will be the closest race in the country, and to be honest, it’s already an uphill battle.
Democrats have raised $38 million to destroy me.
If we’re going to flip the single most important seat in the nation, I’m going to need your help right now.
Liar, liar, pants on fire! The only true statement in the above is that Mary Peltola is a radical Democrat. She favors abortion on demand, for any reason or no reason, to the moment of birth. She also voted for Hakeem Jeffries in the latest special Speaker race.
But that doesn’t make Nick Begich any more attractive. Nor does it explain why he instructed his voters to vote for Peltola in ranked-choice voting. If he cares to dispute that, then he must apologize for:
- Giving that impression, and
- Not instructing his voters more carefully to mark Sarah Palin’s name second after him, and Mary Peltola dead last.
Luuuu-seeeee, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do! Actor Desi Arnaz, as Ricky Ricardo, in I Love Lucy (1951-8).
CNAV calls upon Begich to explain something else: why his family and the Murkowskis joined forces to install ranked-choice voting. Without that system, Sarah Palin would have the title Representative today.
So here is Nick Begich, according to the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska’s News Source, back in the race. Thus far, Sarah Palin hasn’t said a word about running again. But unless she’s in the running, this Down Souther won’t contribute a dime. If Nick Begich is all the Republican Party of Alaska has to offer, CNAV advises people to sit on their hands. Honestly, Mary Peltola can’t really be worse.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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