Begich Refuses to Run From Liberal Label

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) is refusing to back down from a liberal agenda that has been tied as closely as possible by his opponent, Republican Dan Sullivan, to a deeply unpopular President Obama.

A Fox News poll showed 61 percent of likely Alaska voters disapprove of Obama and 56 percent think the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, went too far.

That is even worse than in November 2012 when Mitt Romney beat Obama in Alaska, 55 percent to 41 percent.

The poll also shows that voters who are unhappy with President Obama and his policies, as is the case in most midterm elections — nobody likes the party in power — are much more likely to vote Nov. 4 than are those who support Obama.

So it would seem to follow that Democrats in Alaska would be running from Obama and anything that smacks of the word “liberal,” grabbing their Hillary Clinton autobiographies, or holding tight to their Run, Liz, Run song sheets, and heading for the ditches.

Mark Begich will not be joining them.

Begich announced his Stand Up for Alaska Women and Families Plan on Oct. 13. In it, the former mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, proclaims his support for equal pay for women, the fight for healthcare access and privacy, increased investments in early childhood education, women-owned small businesses and Alaska women caring for their elderly parents.

Begich said in a statement released with the plan that his mother raised him and five siblings alone and ran the family business, after their father “went missing.”

“As a son, brother and husband I know Alaska women work hard to improve their family’s future. Alaska families wonder how they are going to buy their first house, make sure their kids are safe and have a good education, and send their children to college while also caring for an elderly parent,” Begich also said in the statement. “As Alaska’s senator, I have fought for Alaska women and families, but I know the job isn’t done.”

A deep line in the sand has been drawn between Begich and Sullivan by women’s rights groups and Planned Parenthood. Lena Dunham, the creator of the HBO series Girls, criticized Sullivan for not taking a stand on the Violence Against Women Act.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund, on its website womenarewatching.org, has given Sullivan his own hashtag, #SlipperySullivan, because of his refusal to clarify his stance on abortion.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, as part of a multi-million dollar, multi-state blitz, began running an ad Oct. 14 that accused Sullivan of being weak on women’s rights issues.

The DSCC is scheduled to spend more than $4 million on advertising in Alaska backing Begich.

Democrats can usually count on the votes of women.

Usually.

But not in Alaska, not this year.