Alaska Candidates: Know Your Endorsement

Alaska Candidates: Know Your Endorsement

September 1, 2022

Running for public office – at whatever level – requires time, talent and treasure.  No candidate can win a race without investing significant time into the campaign, trading personal and family time for door knocking, meeting with community groups and others.  Likewise, a candidate needs to have a passion for service, along with an understanding of issues important to their constituencies, and a vision for bettering the world around them.  Campaigns take money, and unless the person running is independently wealthy, fundraising is more than a ‘necessary evil’; it is the lifeblood of the campaign, and often separates legitimate candidates from gadflies.

Throughout the campaign, special-interest groups reach out with questionnaires and surveys, designed to aid them in level-setting where candidates stand on their most important issues.  Depending on the level of engagement with the campaign and the fit between the candidate and the group, an endorsement may follow, where the group offers money, data, personnel and campaign assistance.

Too many campaigns jump on every endorsement possible, especially first-time candidates, without thinking through a simple fact: If you take a group’s endorsement, you expressly back the group and its mission.

Why spend time on this?  We recently became aware of a questionnaire from the Alaska Center, an Anchorage-based group of eco- and social-justice warriors whose mission would damage Alaska’s bright energy future.

One of their questions would kill over one-quarter of Alaska’s private-sector jobs:

“Transitioning to a 100 percent clean energy economy is necessary to avert the worst impacts of climate change while creating good jobs, boosting our economy, saving consumers money, and protecting our health. Clean energy has grown rapidly as technology prices have plummeted. However, Alaska’s economy and government services are heavily dependent on oil extraction, the emissions of which are a major contributor to climate change. Do you support transitioning to 100 percent clean energy no later than 2050 to help build pollution-free communities?”

The last time we checked, Alaska – with our oil, gas and minerals deposits – could bring tremendous opportunity for establishing and enhancing domestic energy supply chains and energy independence.  Almost two-thirds of our private-sector revenues come from responsible development, and royalties from that development not only pay for local and state government operations and the University of Alaska, but some of it is deposited into the Permanent Fund, which spins off annual dividends.

By accepting the Alaska Center’s endorsement, candidates support moving to carbon-free solutions – which would kill oil and gas development – even though there is more than 100 years of known oil deposits available in the state.

Candidates who believe otherwise should never accept their endorsement.  Likewise, candidates who can’t accept or support a mission of an organization should be wary of accepting endorsements from groups that may not fit their personal ideology.