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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

by Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage) (MCT)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — As Alaska Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan declared victory early Wednesday, incumbent Democrat Mark Begich was not ready to concede his seat.

The Associated Press called the race for Sullivan after more votes were counted Tuesday, a week after the Nov. 4 election.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to serve my fellow Alaskans in the United States Senate,” Sullivan said in a statement early Wednesday. “Our campaign was about opportunity — because I truly believe that there is nothing that is wrong with America that can’t be fixed by what’s right with Alaska.”

But as Sullivan and his campaign celebrated, Begich still saw a chance to overcome a large deficit. Begich has chipped away at Sullivan’s lead since Tuesday morning, but he is still down about 8,000 votes. On Wednesday morning, Begich referred questions to his campaign managers.

“Sen. Begich believes every vote deserves to be counted in this election,” Begich campaign manager Susanne Fleek-Green said in the statement. “There are tens of thousands of outstanding votes and Senator Begich has heard from rural Alaskans that their votes deserve to be counted and their voices deserve to be heard. He will honor those requests and will follow the Alaska Division of Elections as it continues its process and timetable to reach a final count and allow every Alaskan’s vote to speak.”

The Alaska Elections Division counted more than 17,000 votes on Tuesday, following the counting of more than 220,000 votes immediately after the Nov. 4 general election. A victory appears very unlikely for Begich, though tens of thousands of votes remain to be counted. A statement sent by the Elections Division shows a known quantity of more than 30,000 questioned and absentee ballots remain to be counted.

It was the costliest campaign in Alaska’s history. Between Sullivan’s and Begich’s campaigns and the groups supporting them, $50 million poured into the state, much of it in the form of a massive advertising blitz. The stakes were high, and not just in Alaska. In Washington, D.C., Republicans had long ago targeted Begich’s seat in the hopes of flipping control of the Senate out of the hands of Democrats.

“This was a hard-fought race,” Sullivan said in a statement. “As we move forward, I want to emphasize that my door will always be open to all Alaskans.”

Sullivan is a former state attorney general and natural resources commissioner who served in the U.S. Department of State under President George W. Bush.

Begich had been the first Democrat from Alaska to serve in the Senate since Mike Gravel, who served between 1969 and 1981. A former two-term Anchorage mayor, Begich won his Senate seat in 2008 just one week after the long-serving incumbent, Republican Ted Stevens, was convicted of federal corruption charges that were later invalidated.

Photo: SenateDemocrats via Flickr

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


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Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.