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Joe Miller Invokes East Germany as Security Model, Then Has Blog Editor Arrested by Thugs

11:10 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

At a town hall meeting Sunday afternoon(1) in Anchorage, U.S. Senate campaign GOP nominee Joe Miller was asked a long question on how we should keep illegal immigrants out.

His short answer: "If East Germany can do it, we can do it!"

After the meeting, Miller was approached by Tony Hopfinger, an award-winning journalist and editor of the on-line news source, The Alaska Dispatch. Here’s what happened next:

Hopfinger, who had learned at the last minute of Miller’s planned appearance at the public school, ducked into a hallway after the meeting to pose his own questions to Miller.

Hopfinger had been trying to ask Miller questions when two or three guards told him to leave or risk being charged with trespassing.

When Hopfinger continued to try to ask questions, one of the guards put the reporter in an arm-bar and then handcuffed him.

Hopfinger was released after police arrived.

The reporter was on public property where a public event was being held at the time of the incident.

Here’s KTUU TV’s early print coverage:

According to Hopfinger, Miller’s security team pushed him and he pushed back because he felt his personal space was being invaded. He says guards detained him and accused him of trespassing, although the town hall was a public event held at a public building.

Miller security guard William Fulton said in a statement Sunday that he was responding to Hopfinger’s actions.

“The Dispatch reporter repeatedly pushed a camera into the face of Mr. Miller,” Fulton said. “He continued to aggressively pursue him. I told the reporter several times that he needed to stop and that he was trespassing, he ignored me. He then proceeded to stalk Mr. Miller and even shoved an individual into a locker. Based upon this trespass and his assault, we detained him and escorted him from the premises.”

Hopfinger says he waited for about half an hour in handcuffs for police to show up. No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.

Last Monday, under increasing pressure from the Alaska press to release more details of why his employment as an attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) ended in controversy, Miller scheduled, canceled, then rescheduled a press conference(2). At that event, Miller closed, stating:

We’ve drawn a line in the sand. You can ask me about background, you can ask about personal issues — I’m not going to answer. I’m not.

During this past week, press hostility toward Miller understandably grew. As a result of Miller’s refusal to sign a release allowing the FNSB to release his employment records, the former mayor of Fairbanks, Republican Jim Whitaker made a public statement(3) on Miller’s job performance there:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller was nearly fired from his job as a borough attorney in 2008 after using borough computers in an attempt to oust the chairman of the Republican Party of Alaska, former borough Mayor Jim Whitaker said Wednesday.

Whitaker said Miller’s actions violated the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s ethics policy but did not result in a termination because the borough needed Miller to continue working on its lawsuit about how much to tax the trans-Alaska pipeline system.

Miller eventually resigned from borough employment on Sept. 1, 2009. “I’m speaking now because this occurred on my watch as mayor, because I know the truth, and because I have an obligation to tell the truth,” Whitaker said in an interview with the Daily News-Miner.

He said that, as a former mayor, he would prefer not to be involved in “the political melee.” “I also felt it was appropriate to give Mr. Miller enough time to come forward himself,” Whitaker said. “It’s clear with his statements of the other day, he’s not going to do that.

That was Wednesday. Alaska legal blogger, Wickersham’s Conscience made a case that Whitaker’s information indicates Miller engaged in criminal activity in his abuse of co-workers’ computers:

So Miller was allegedly was using other folks’ computers, without their permission or knowledge, so he could pretend to be sending votes by someone else in the contest for Republican Party State Chair. He is alleged to have been stuffing the electronic ballot box, using Borough computers. Alaska’s criminal laws have something to say about this.

WC goes on to list the felony statutes Miller appeared to have violated. The Miller campaign was quick to deny that Miller had done anything wrong. On Late Thursday, Miller’s dad, Rex, sent out an email that leaked out through the Tea Party Express grapevine by Friday. In it, Rex Miller asserted that what his son told him he had done with the computers was different from what former mayor Whitaker had described:

One noon hour, on his own time at the borough, Joe participated in an online poll voting against Randy,” Rostad wrote in the e-mail, recounting the Thursday morning conversation he said he had with Rex Miller. “He used four office computers in the office to do it, thinking this was his chance to boost numbers to get rid of Randy. He emptied the cache files on the computers so the users wouldn’t know what he had done.

Here’s WC‘s response to Rex:

WC is glad that Miller committed his felonies on his lunch hour and not on the Borough clock. However, it’s irrelevant to the real issue. Note that Joe Miller wiped the computers’ cache files afterwards. That’s the one of the places where a computer user leaves “digital fingerprints” of what he or she has done. (Not the only one, Joe.) And that’s very good evidence that Miller knew what he was doing was wrong. He was attempting to conceal the fact a crime had taken place. He was trying to wipe the fingerprints off of the crime scene. That’s certainly evidence he knew he’d done something criminal. Oh,and that’s a separate crime, by the way. Tampering with Evidence, AS 11.56.610, and possibly Tampering with a Public Record, AS 11.56.820.

Polls are being taken over the weekend. I was polled yesterday, and two friends relate that they were polled yesterday and today by firms that asked different questions from those I was asked. The late week Rasmussen Poll, showing Miller at 35%, Lisa Murkowski at 34% and Democrat Scott McAdams at 27% (plus or minus 4.5%) shows a very close race, with McAdams making his biggest jump since the race has been polled.

This race will continue to tighten. Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Ethan Berkowitz, in a statement issued as I’m writing, has asked Gov. Sean Parnell to look more closely at Miller:

Ethan Berkowitz had a strong reaction upon hearing the news that Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger was detained and handcuffed by a private security force hired by Senate candidate Joe Miller.

Berkowitz said, "In this country, journalists have a job to do, which includes exercising their rights and responsibilities under the First Amendment. A free press means that journalists must work without fear of muscle or muzzle.

"The fact that this was a private security guard hired by a U.S. Senate candidate in the heat of a political campaign makes this story even more outrageous. The actions of Mr. Miller’s agents against Mr. Hopfinger must be investigated and prosecuted by the State for violation of criminal statutes."

Berkowitz continued, "Even though Sean Parnell continues to stand behind Joe Miller, I call on him to follow my lead and condemn the Miller campaign for its chilling attack on a free press. That behavior has no place in Alaska, or in any free, representative democracy."

Berkowitz has been pounding Parnell on many issues and that race is tightening up quickly too. Late Friday, Republican Republican Bill Walker, who lost to Parnell in the GOP primary endorsed Berkowitz. Walker has many fierce advocates from the center and from the faction of the GOP that never liked Sarah Palin. Sean Parnell is derisively called "SP version two point zero" by many Republicans, mimicking GOP Rep. Don Young’s categorization of Parnell, for his blandness, as "Captain Zero." In the primary, here’s the way the votes broke down:

Sean Parnell (R) ————– 54,125
Bill Walker (R) ————— 35,734
Ethan Berkowitz (D) ——— 22,607
Hollis French (D) ————- 18,018

Both Walker and French have endorsed Berkowitz, and only polling conducted this coming week will reflect whether Walker’s embrace of Berkowitz will help significantly.

Update: The first video has emerged. It doesn’t show much, but Miller’s assertion that Hopfinger was violent doesn’t appear to hold any water:

_____

(1) See also "Miller town hall in Anchorage Sunday," http://community.adn.com/node/153735

(2) See also "Miller Refuses to Answer Any More Personal Questions," http://aprn.org/2010/10/11/alaska-news-nightly-october-11-2010/

(3) See also "Former mayor: Miller ‘not truthful’ about borough employment," http://www.ktva.com/topalaskanews/ci_16330640

Jennifer Rubin Tries to Explain “Why Jews Hate Palin”

4:47 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

I don’t think she does a very good job, though. Even worse, though, is David Frum’s counter-essay, titled "Do Jews Hate Palin?" Even worse – by a good Cheechako mile (that’s 150 yards) – is the coverage of both articles at Conservatives4Palin.

Jennifer Rubin is a contributing editor at Commentary Magazine, one of the pillars of both neo-con and neo-lib Jewish polemical writing. I used to be a big fan, subscribing to the magazine for a while in the 1970s, because of the high quality of writing there. I lapsed, when my support for militant Zionism lapsed, during the Lebanon invasion of 1982.

Here’s Rubin’s short, one-paragraph essay
in its entirety:

For more than a year, Sarah Palin has been a national Rorschach test. The views expressed about her reveal the distinctions and conflicting perceptions of often antagonistic groups of Americans—the religious and the secular, the conservative and the liberal, the urban and the small town, the elitist and the populist. And now, with the publication of her autobiography, Going Rogue, and Matthew Continetti’s The Persecution of Sarah Palin, the Rorschach tests are being administered anew, and with increasing fervor. For her conservative admirers, she continues to exemplify independence, moxie, common sense, the superiority of the common American over the nation’s elites, and the embodiment of modern womanhood and Christian faith. For her detractors, both conservative and liberal, she is uncouth, unschooled, a hick, anti-science and anti-intellectual, an upstart, and a religious fanatic. There is no group so firmly in the latter camp as American Jews. And there is much to learn in their reaction to Palin, both about her and about the sociological makeup of American Jewry today. While Palin enjoys support from some prominent Jewish conservatives, it is not an exaggeration to say that, more so than any other major political figure in recent memory (with the possible exception of Patrick J. Buchanan), she rubs Jews the wrong way. In a September 2008 poll by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Jews disapproved of Palin as the pick for McCain’s vice-presidential running mate by a 54 to 37 percent margin. (By contrast, 73 percent approved of the selection of Joseph Biden as Obama’s.) Ask an average American Jew about Palin and you are likely to get a nonverbal response—a shiver, a shudder, a roll of the eyes, or a guffaw. Naomi Wolf, the feminist writer, sputtered that Palin was the “FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal,” articulating the mixture of contempt and fear that seemed to grip many Jewish women. The disdain is palpable and largely emotional. While 78 percent of American Jews voted for the Obama-Biden ticket, it is fair to say that most did not harbor animosity toward or contempt for Senator John McCain; the same cannot be said of their view of Palin. Prominent Jews like Reagan-era arms-control official Kenneth Adelman, who expressed great admiration for McCain, proclaimed that the selection of Palin was beyond reason: “Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office, I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency.”

David Frum, in his reply, seems to misdirect some of the straightforward terminology used by Rubin. He never specifically addresses Rubin’s concerns about Palin’s "anti-science" record, nor some other important issues. Frum reformulates Rubin’s list into four categories:

First, says Rubin, Jews greatly value (and possibly over-value) formal credentials.

Second, Rubin continues, Jews under-value traditional American folkways: hunting, fishing, the frontier, military enlistment.

Third, Jews disdain working class occupations like those in which Palin labored.

Fourth and last, Jews hate Palin because Jews disapprove of large families – and especially because Jews quietly favor the abortion of disabled children.

That’s not quite what I got out of Ms. Rubin’s exposition of reasons. Apparently, David likes lists.

He does finish his essay on a strong point, though:

If American Jews have a problem with Palin, Rubin is right that problem 1 is that they – we – doubt her intellectual capacity for the job. But that’s only the start of the list of problems.

Ignorance is bad. But we all start ignorant. Jews – again like other people, only more so – expect their leaders to start early and to work hard to remedy their ignorance, by learning things. People who don’t, won’t or can’t learn – whose followers disparage the value or need to learn – are going to forfeit Jewish support, and not only Jewish support.

But even this is not the worst of it. Just guessing, but I think the real and most fundamental problem Jews have with Palin is not her gleeful ignorance, but her willful divisiveness. More than any politician in memory, Palin seems to divide her fellow-Americans into first class and second class citizens, real Americans and not-so-real Americans. To do her justice, she has never said anything to suggest that Jews as Jews fall into the second, less-real, class. But Jews do tend to have an intuition that when this sort of line-drawing is done, we are likely to find ourselves on the wrong side.

Over at the C4P, the commenters are glomping onto Frum as a traitor – he was a GWB speech writer (and perhaps Bush’s best, though that isn’t saying much). Here’s a taste of the C4P babble:

We adore Mark Steyn because he’s Reagan-like in his beliefs.

******

Frum is an idiot, he and Rubin got it all worng. Jews for the most "LIKE" Palin. She stands for everything they stand for. Sure some progressive jews don’t like her but in the same way any typical liberal progressive.

******

Frum and his wife Danille Crittenden can be counted among the liberal Jews who don’t like Palin. You can add to that Debbie whatshername, the woman who threatened to turn me into the FBI along with the Muslims who are harassing her if I continue to post on her website, David Axelrod, and David Brooks (who sleeps with 0bama’s pants under his pillow.)

******

Who’s David Frum…..or an even better question, why would any person with am IQ greater than their age ever consider listening to him?

Ah, the Sea of Peeeee………

Frum is getting some more prescient comments at his article, than you’ll find at C4P (though they’re just getting started at the sea). Here’s from Frum’s blog’s commenters:

Plus, Sarah Palin appears to be catering to the Religious Right part of the GOP. That’s the part that thinks that America is a “Christian nation.” Jews know that historically, they didn’t do well in nations whose governments considered themselves duty bound to enforce Christianity. Jews believe, with some justification, that they did well in America precisely because the Constitution does not enforce an official religion.

******

That whole rooting for the Rapture and the destruction of Israel by the Anti-Christ probably doesn’t endear her to them too much.

******

Truth is, Palin polls best in parts of the country with the worst school systems and the lowest numbers of residents with college degrees. Take that however you want it, but that’s the way it is.

******

Willful divisiveness is what turned me permanently 100% off. Engaging the willful divisiveness strategy was chilling and I’m not Jewish. Pitching patriotism with a wink and smile while stirring the vicious pot is a sales tactic the GOP should not revisit

.

In Alaska, I’ve had a lot of discussions with Jewish politicians, writers, bloggers and relatives about Sarah Palin. I can’t think of one who continues to trust her. It is interesting that neither Rubin nor Frum makes much of a strong suit over the plain fact that Palin is the most pathetically congenital liar of 21st century politics.

Among Alaska politicians, I can think of three prominent Jews who initially were warm about some of her governing policies, but eventually regarded her as the junk thinker she is:

Ethan Berkowitz enthusiastically worked with Wev Shea to create a Palin-directed "White Paper" on legislative ethics reform. He’s related to me, though, that he was shocked at the divisiveness Palin seemed to relish in the fall of 2008. Earlier in 2008, he was becoming disappointed, as were many of us, in the way the Palin administration was becoming secretive, especially regarding the case of Rick Steiner’s request for scientific correspondence on Polar bears from state agencies.

Les Gara, during Troopergate, went from having been a sometime Palin ally in the 2008 legislative session, to a fiercely articulate critic.

Both Ethan and Les are Democrats. Republican Jay Ramras (who, like Berkowitz and Gara, considers himself part of the Alaska "Yamacaucus," or "frozen chosen"), was lambasted by Palin during the food-and-fuel crisis on the lower Yukon last winter, in a totally foolish press release (that has since disappeared):

The governor also expressed concern about inaccurate comments made to the media by Representative Jay Ramras that the state has failed to make state assets available to deliver supplies to communities.

“We are working cooperatively with the communities, many legislators, Native corporations, and other entities to address the needs in these areas,” Governor Palin said. “I am disappointed that Representative Ramras failed to express his concerns to my office before issuing a press release with incomplete and misleading information. This is particularly concerning since he knew I would be attending a meeting with his entire caucus that evening. Representative Ramras did not mention the specific issue of using state assets to me personally at the meeting. Instead, I read about it later in the press release. Truly Alaskans deserve better than that kind of ‘politics as usual’ (God she loves this phrase!). It is unfortunate that the representative sees this as an opportunity to play politics rather than help in the response."

Jay shot right back:


"I am shocked and appalled that Governor Palin would stoop to making derogatory statements about me," Ramras said. "My question to her during our caucus last night was ‘where is the food?’ In my interactions with her own administration I have spoken with Lieutenant General Craig Campbell from the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs; Commissioner Joe Masters from the Department of Public Safety; Commissioner Emil Notti from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development; her Deputy Chief of Staff Randy Ruaro, and numerous others since we first learned of the hardships in Emmonak and Western Alaska. In my press release, I acknowledged that DPS, after much pleading, provided a small plane for transport from Bethel to Kotlik.

"That the governor would accuse me of politicizing the current economic situation in the Lower Yukon strikes me as fool-hardy and Clinton-esque," Ramras added. "I introduced House Bill 114 yesterday. That was the subject of the press release. And I am offended that the governor would call my service into question. I have been organizing food and supply drives for needy Alaska communities and groups for years, and spoke on the House Floor yesterday about the success we’ve seen thanks to the many groups that have come together over the last few weeks to help. I pointed to her lack of leadership on this issue; I didn’t do it politically, I did it because it’s true: she has been too silent and her administration has taken too long to help in relief efforts. We are already weeks late."

These legislators’ or former legislator’s reactions to Palin’s evolution into an intensely divisive figure, here and nationwide, were reactions to a wide array of shortcomings of this political hack. They had little to do with the issues brought forth either by Jennifer Rubin or David Frum. And they serve to illustrate that Palin had already lost the trust of politicians, Jews and Gentiles alike, from both sides of the aisle before she quit her sworn job, to pursue more selfish and lucrative interests.

Progressive Alaska Articles on Don Young – In Case They’ll Soon Come In Handy

5:49 pm in 2010 election, Conservatism, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party by EdwardTeller

Alaska’s lone member of the U.S. House was named in a sentencing document released today as Representative "A." It states he took in a lot of unreported money from a man about to report to jail.

The recent disclosure by the U.S. Department of Justice of some of the documents pertaining to the upcoming sentencing of ex-Veco chief, Bill Allen, have named a Representative "A" as being a recipient of a lot of unreported donations from Allen, his subordinate Rick Smith, from Veco and from others connected to Allen.

Rep. Don Young (AK-AL) is obviously Representative "A."

I’ve been writing about Don Young since long before Progressive Alaska existed. Just over three years ago, during the 2006 campaign, I wrote a long essay for Down with Tyranny, that attempted to compile the most information under one title yet on Young. It was called Don Young’s Connections to Jack Abramoff. Some of the speculation in that article – about probable further arrests of people who were or had at one time been close to Young – came to pass. In early 2008, I again wrote an article for DwT, about Young’s abrasive midwinter tour of Alaska.

On November 17, 2007, shortly after the startup of PA, I wrote about disclosures tying Young to Rick Smith of Veco, and about phone conversations between the two, recorded by the FBI, as they were investigating the possibility that Veco was laundering money to Young through golf tournament activities. This was based on an Associated Press report and a Talking Points Memo article.

Here’s a listing of many Don Young articles that have appeared at PA since November 2007, and their subject matter. For interested reporters and bloggers, they’re all chock full of links to other peoples’ work on Young:

1) November 25, 2007: Don Young Bipolar Disorder at the ADN. Compares articles by Erika Bolstad and Wes Loy on Young. Loy reported "on earmarks in the Bering Sea King crab fishery that give distinct advantages to three companies which have donated to Young’s campaigns, and penalizes companies that have not donated."

2) December 18, 2008: Locked, Loaded and Looney. Discusses Young’s last-minute, illegal changes to the 2005 Transportation Omnibus Bill, Sen. Tom Coburn’s request for an investigation of the changes, and Diane Benson’s earlier request to the U.S. House for an investigation.

3) December 20, 2007: More Don Young Bipolar Disorder at the ADN? Compares differing versions of Bolstad’s story on Coburn’s move in the Washington DC McClatchy bureau, and in the ADN, and shows how the ADN quickly hid the story.

4) February 1, 2008: Advice to Don Young’s Staff – Start Looking for Work… Discussed the large drop in contributions to Young’s campaign in late 2007, in light of more disclosures about his rapidly growing legal fees.

5) February 4, 2008: Don Corleone Young? Discusses and links to Terry Haines’ excellent wrap-up of Young’s situation, published at The Alaska Report.

6) February 19, 2008: Throwing Rocks at an Obvious Target? Discusses the AK-AL debate between Diane Benson, Ethan Berkowitz and Jake Metcalfe, when they discussed Young’s mounting legal problems.

7) February 22, 2008: Don Young, Spineless Corrupt Bastard. Discusses Young’s weird, truncated Mat-Su Valley press appearances two days earlier.

8) March 12, 2008: Don Juan Young? Comparison of Robert Dillon fluff piece on Young from DC with the way Young reacted to the press in his February Alaska appearances.

9) March 23, 2008: The New Shape of the AK-AL U.S. House Race. The article looked at the new dynamics in that race, after then-Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell’s announcement that he would challenge Young in the 2008 GOP Primary.

10) April 15, 2008: This Couldn’t Have Happened without Don Young. Links to material about Young’s pivotal role in the creation of the Chinese mob-run slave worker regime in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

11) April 16, 2008: Why Isn’t This Man Happy? Compared the wealth of newly emerging material on Young’s probable criminal activity.

12) April 20, 2008: Hats Off to Dennis Greenia and Richard Mauer. Discusses the interesting collaboration between ADN reporter Richard Mauer, and DailyKos diarist Dengre.

13) November 3, 2008: Don Young Supporters Can’t Avoid Sliming Ethan Berkowitz. Late campaign dirty tricks.

14) November 4, 2008: Alaskans for Clean Elections Respond to Young Campaign Smear. More on Young supporters’ dirty tricks.

15) January 3, 2009: Young-Berkowitz Race One of the Ten Biggest 2008 Upsets.

16) January 10, 2009: AK-AL 2010 Democrats Poll Results & Runoff Poll. Matchup of Alaska Democrats for the AK-AL 2010 seat.

17) April 15, 2008: April 15th Wasilla Teabaggers Rally. Nice pictures of Don.

18) April 16, 2008: Don Young on Socialism – From The Alaska Report. Video by Dennis Zaki from the Wasilla Teabaggers Rally.

19) September 12, 2008: How Much Does Don Young Have to Grab Before He’ll Accept That His Work for the State of Alaska is Done? Criticizes Young’s moves since he was stripped of his GOP House posts. Guest post by Howie Klein.

There were other articles about Don Young at PA, but these are most of the major ones, and a few that add depth to certain issues.

Progressive Alaska covered Young less in the late summer and fall of 2008, than earlier. Like many in Alaska, I believed the polling that showed Ethan Berkowitz a solid favorite in the race. And since the 2008 U.S. House gains by Democrats and the House GOP move to strip Young of his posts, he has been very marginal. And there has been no lack of other issues to address. I expect he will be back in the news a lot, though. Real soon.

When I first became involved in finding out more about Young, back in July 2006, as I volunteered to help Diane Benson, I told her, "You’re one phone call from the FBI away from being our next U.S. Representative."

I thought that call was going to come a long time ago.

I’ve never stopped thinking that it will eventually come.

Mark Begich Gives Ted Stevens an 85th Birthday Present – Assured Retirement

2:54 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

At just before 1:00 p.m, Alaska time, the Alaska Division of Elections posted new information on the Stevens-Begich vote count.Number counted so far today – 14,242Votes for Mark Begich – 146,286Votes for Ted Stevens – 143,912Begich lead – 2,374 votesHis lead before today, from last week’s count, was just over 1,000 votes. On election night, Begich was down almost 4,000. The trend in the late count votes has been inexorably in Begich’s favor.

The Ted Stevens office on Fireweed Street in Anchorage has been shut down, the signs gone. The Begich office, and the Anchorage Democrats’ offices are both humming with activity.

The Alaska Democratic Party (I’m an officer) feels that Stevens has no chance whatsoever of coming back. Most of the remaining late votes to be counted today are from Southeast Alaska, where Begich has been doing surprisingly well, so far.

Ethan Berkowitz has fallen a bit further behind Don Young, in the US House AK-AL seat count.