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Alaska: Begich Set to Debut TV Ads Across State Today

Democrats’ top recruit to challenge Sen. Ted Stevens (R), Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, is hitting the airwaves.

Begich is scheduled to launch a 60-second biographical spot, “Path,” and a 30-second spot, “Energy Leader,” statewide in the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau media markets starting Tuesday. The firm Murphy Putnam produced the advertisements, according to the Begich campaign.

“It’s time to end the secret deals for special interests and the special favors for elected officials,” Begich says at the end of the longer ad. “We need a Senator as independent as Alaska who puts Alaskan families first.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher blasted Begich’s new spots.

“Voters in Alaska know more about Mark Begich’s shady past dealings with donors than they do about his liberal tax-and-spend record, so it’s probably a good idea for him to start running bio ads,” she said.

Young Wins Backing of Gun Group, Huckabee

Longtime Rep. Don Young (R) got an endorsement boost last week, receiving nods from both the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s political action committee.

One of the announcements, however, perhaps did not go over as well as anticipated.

When Huckabee announced his endorsement of Young on his Web site on June 24, users posted some unfavorable comments about the Alaska Congressman’s controversial record on earmarks. In response to the online discussion, a clarification of the endorsement signed by Huckabee was posted.

“Don Young has been a consistent pro-family, pro-life vote in the Congress,” Huckabee said. “Don also endorsed my campaign [for president] and stood by me in the public arena defending my record from false attacks when other members of Congress wouldn’t be seen with me.”

In a less controversial announcement, the NRA said it endorsed Young because of his “perfect pro-gun voting record,” including sponsoring a resolution to honor the late Charlton Heston and his family.

“Don Young has a perfect pro-gun voting record in Congress, and he is a great friend to Alaska hunters and gun owners,” NRA-PVF Chairman Chris Cox said.

Young is getting his greatest challenge to date from Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (R), who has the backing of his boss, the popular Gov. Sarah Palin (R). The winner of the Aug. 26 GOP primary will face the Democratic nominee, either former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz or 2006 nominee Diane Benson. National Democrats prefer Berkowitz in that contest.

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