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Carpetbaggers and Primaries

"Yankees in Alaska? How evah did they git heah?"

OK, even though I haven’t lived in The South for almost forty years, I’m still a sucker for Gone With The Wind and Aunt Pittipat, so I couldn’t resist it.

Carpetbagger is a name for a class of people that comes from the Reconstruction Era South. Cheap luggage in those days was made of the same material as carpets; the good stuff was leather. After The War legions of Yankee merchants, speculators, con artists, and assorted criminals descended on the economically prostrate South. They weren’t generally the best sort of men and were marked by their bags made of carpet material; hence Carpetbaggers. Just to finish up the preambulatory discussion, the Carpetbagger’s counterpart was the Scalawag, a native Southerner in league with the Yankee authorities and the Carpetbaggers.

I’m starting to feel like Aunt Pittipat. Who are these people trying to control the outcome of my State’s primaries? The best one is the modern personification of the Scalawag, Vic Vickers. He’s running as a Republican against Ted Stevens; says he’s going to restore Alaska’s reputation in the Senate. Trouble is, he’s from Florida and only established a “residence” here just in time to file. He does have some ties here, he says, but they’re thin, thin as p**s, to use an LBJ characteriztion. He’s a lifelong Democrat who says he’s a Republican. I heard him on an Anchorage talk show today and when his lips move Democrat talking points fall out. He got some money from somewhere, claims the three quarters of a million he’s spending is his own money that he made as a lawyer, speaker and author. Trouble is, nobody’s ever heard of him and if he’s an author, there ought to be something on Amazon, but there isn’t, can’t really find anything he’s ever published. About all we know for sure about him is that he was once the Comptroller for the State of Florida. Anyway, my TV and mailbox are full of his crap. Maybe it is his money, maybe it’s George Soros’ money, but he’s not going to win, so I gotta wonder what he’s in it for and who’s going to give the 3/4 million back to him?

Now I know lots of RedStaters like Sean Parnell, but not many Alaska Republicans do. I kinda like the guy, used to work for him, but he’s dull as dirt and “I’m with Sarah” really isn’t much of a campaign theme. Some of his ads are right in there with Jennifer Gray’s “I brought a watermelon” scene in “Dirty Dancing.” In the land of the macho moose murderers even America’s hottest governor doesn’t have very long coattails. More to the point, he’s made a big thing of how he’s not going to be influenced by “corrupt” special interests and won’t take PAC money. Trouble is, well over three quarters of his campaign financing is from Club for Growth, and not a lot of that money comes from Alaska. I might have more in common with CfG than with the Sierra Club or the SEIU, but I can recognize that they are all “special interests,” and CfG’s not-PAC designation is a very fine and hard-sought distinction.

And then there’s the Democrats, Mark Begich and Ethan Jerkowitz; all their money comes from California, New York, and DC. Pretty much nobody in Alaska likes them enough to give them any money other than the usual suspects, unions, greenies, and “non-profits.”

You know, I love all you guys out there in the other 49 – in a manly way, of course – but I didn’t invite you to my state. I’m thinking we take some of that lovely oil money we’re raking in these days because you guys like caribou so much and form Alaska-PAC, coming soon to an election near you.

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