The Carpetbagger: A Look at the Record

Now that U.S. Senator Wannabe Dan “The Carpetbagger” Sullivan has been caught with his political pants down around his knees by the State of Maryland, it’s a near-perfect time to examine other recent occasions in his senatorial campaign when the Carpetbagger and the truth have gone their separate ways.

• In WC’s distant youth, there was a comedy troupe called Firesign Theater. One of their albums – and the title cut from side one – was How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All? The question applies to The Carpetbagger, who swore under penalty of perjury that he was a resident of Maryland, to get himself a nice, fat tax break on his $1.5 million Maryland home. And yet in his Alaska Senate candidacy petition, also made under penalty of perjury, he swore he was a resident of Alaska for the same period of time. While Sullivan loyalists are saying it doesn’t matter, and the Sullivan campaign is nattering about different kinds of “residency,” for WC this is the equivalent of being photographed on the good ship Monkey Business with a bimbo Donna Rice in your lap. If they lie while you’re watching, what are they doing to do when you aren’t watching?

• In a flyer he mailed to WC, the Carpetbagger earlier claimed to have spearheaded the “Choose Respect” campaign to combat Alaska’s high rates of domestic violence against women. No Republican is standing too close to the wreckage of Governor Sean Parnell’s “Choose Respect” campaign after the Alaska National Guard scandal, but the claim is as dishonest as Captain Zero’s respect. WC suspects Captain Zero thinks he was the spearhead, not some cabinet flunky. The Captain’s got a whole web page devoted to his paper thin accomplishments for women, beyond the slick slogan and marches and staged events that have looked an awful lot like campaign rallies. Sullivan, for a while, was The Quitter’s Attorney General, following the Talis Colberg scandal and the Legislature’s flat rejection of Wayne Anthony Ross. He officially served as AG from April 9 – November 18, 2010. Even for a guy who has job-hopped a lot, in baseball parlance that’s hanging around just long enough for a cup of coffee. So unless he “spearheaded” the Captain’s bid for the female vote while Commissioner of Natural Resources – the next tick mark on his resumé – the Carpetbagger has veered pretty far from the truth in this claim.

• In that same flyer, the Carpetbagger claims to have “overhauled Alaska’s bail system, increased sentences for sexual assault offenders, and put notorious criminals behind bars.” Mr. Sullivan must have been really, really busy the seven months and 19 days he was Attorney General. But even if he was really, really busy, bail schedules are set by the Alaska Supreme Court. Not the Attorney General. As for bail in serious cases, bail is set by the trial judges and magistrates, not the prosecutor. Alaska’s Attorney Generals don’t try cases; they don’t appear in court, unless it’s to steal oral argument in a supreme court case with political juice. At the very most, Temporary AG Sullivan instructed his criminal division to argue for higher bail. Nor does the AG impose criminal sentences; judges do that. Temporary AG Sullivan may have told his criminal division attorneys to argue for stiffer time, but that’s a long ways from “increasing sentences.” Finally, Mr. Sullivan himself didn’t put a single criminal, notorious or otherwise, behind bars. His staff attorneys may have. Look, Temporary AG Sullivan supervised a marginally effective state prosecution system. Everything else is a gross exaggeration.

• The Carpetbagger has repeatedly boasted that he negotiated “a $500 million malpractice settlement against one of Wall Street’s largest financial institutions – the settlement went to fund the retirement pension for Alaska’s teachers.” The State’s pension fund management contractor grossly miscalculated the funding requirements for the state pension funds. The problem is that the funding gap is $11 billion, and Mr. Sullivan sold the state short. Sure, any settlement is a compromise that leaves both sides unhappy, but if WC were Mr. Sullivan, WC wouldn’t be bragging about a lame result amounts to less than 5% of the shortfall. The record is clear that AG Sullivan paid an Outside law firm $91 million while only recovering $410 million out of $2.8 billion in pension fund losses through a settlement.  An ADN claim check showed that Sullivan personally negotiated the weak settlement in which he left $2.3 billion on the table and exacerbated the pension fund shortfall that state legislators have been trying to solve ever since. WC wonders if Candidate Sullivan and the truth have filed paperwork for a legal separation? And don’t even get WC started on the State paying that much dough to an Outside law firm.

• The Carpetbagger claimed he successfully defended and fought for Alaskans’ Second Amendment rights with other Attorney Generals before the U.S. Supreme Court. But in point of fact, at the direction of Captain Zero, he signed onto the amicus curiae – friend of the court – brief. Not precisely an heroic effort on Mr. Sullivan’s part, and more a claim of desperation than substance. Following your boss’s order to join a horde of other state AGs in signing an amicus brief isn’t exactly leadership material. Claiming he “successfully defended” the Second Amendment is a breath-taking exaggeration. Sullivan claimed he “took” the McDonald gun case to the Supreme Court. In fact, his only role was having his name on a “friend of the court” brief supporting the plaintiffs who brought the case.  Senator Mark Begich also signed a “friend of the court” brief in support of McDonald. But he doesn’t claim to have “taken the case to the supreme court.”

•  Mr. Sullivan cut a radio ad in which he claimed to have “passed” Stand Your Ground. The last time WC checked, Attorneys General didn’t “pass” legislation. Nor even Commissioners of Natural Resources. In fact, Sullivan’s Department of Law opposed Stand Your Ground and the law only passed after Sullivan no longer was Attorney General. WC wonders if the Carpetbagger isn’t going to get chapped lips kissing up to all the gun nuts. Not to mention a nose like Pinocchio.

•  Sullivan reportedly said in a radio interview on September 9 on station KOTZ-FM that he supports subsistence. But he’s the guy who filed the failed anti-subsistence lawsuit against Katie John. He’s been trying to cover up that record ever since.

WC takes two general observations away from this string of fibs, lies, exaggerations and distortions. First, Candidate Dan’s repeated exaggeration of his “accomplishments” – characterizing signing an amicus brief as something substantive, for example – demonstrates that Candidate Sullivan really doesn’t have any substantive accomplishments to brag about. And somehow he doesn’t mention the incredible string of lost federal lawsuits that he was involved in on behalf of his boss. He overstates his limited accomplishments because it’s all he has.

Candidate Dan Sullivan’s carelessness with the truth is even more troubling. Repeated lying, even perjury, isn’t a qualification WC looks for in Alaska’s Congressional delegation. You know, honesty? Principles? Scruples?

Something more than a charming man who will do say anything, anything at all, to get himself elected?


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