Editorial: Alaska Federation of Natives takes stance on election
"Give state Sen. Al Kookesh credit for honesty. He said last week that the decision of the Alaska Federation of Natives to forgo a forum for U.S. Senate candidates was aimed straight at Republican nominee Joe Miller.

That explanation held water a lot better than Julie Kitka's earlier explanation that pointed to a need for more delegate dialogue on subsistence and that the Senate candidates were "overexposed."

Overexposed they might well be, given that the U.S. Senate race seems to have put even the governor's race in the shade.

But overexposure wasn't the reason.

Kookesh, who is also co-chair of AFN, said first that the federation saw no gain in giving a forum to Miller, who has filed a complaint against the Native corporations' campaign coalition Alaskans Standing Together, arguing that contributions from corporations to the "SuperPac" violate federal law. Why, he said, invite someone into your house who's shooting arrows at you?

And secondly, he said, the AFN's move was "purely political." The federation had endorsed Murkowski. The federation wants votes for Murkowski. They wanted Murkowski on stage. They did not want Miller on stage.

This is political hardball, plain and simple. AFN leaders include corporate leaders, and Native corporations have, through Alaskans Standing Together, invested more than $1 million in a Murkowski victory. They weren't about to give Miller the chance to rock that boat."

Get the Story:
Our view: AFN decision (The Anchorage Daily News 10/26)

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