Alaska Gov.: Results Matter, Not Manners
Turns out that's not the only surprise the governor has for us.
Murkowski's campaign placed a full-page ad in several Alaska newspapers in which the governor all but apologizes for his brash and at times abrasive personality.
"I agree. I admit it. I'm a long, long way from perfect," Murkowski writes in the ad. "At one time or another I've made nearly the entire state of Alaska mad at me. Maybe I should consider a personality transplant."
The incumbent then pivots to argue that "sometimes it takes a strong will to make things happen." For example, he says the "dream" of a natural gas pipeline is "now closer to reality" -- a development that could bring billions of dollars of revenue to the state each year, according to Murkowski. He also touts his work on education in the ad: "today over half of Alaska's college-bound students attend the University of Alaska."
While Murkowski's mea culpa is decidedly unorthodox it may be necessary given the state of his poll numbers. According to Survey USA results released in earlier this month, only 20 percent of Alaskans approve of the job Murkowski is doing, compared with 78 percent who disapprove. That 58-point differential is the second worst in the country, behind only Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (18 approve/79 disapprove), who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges related to his failure to report gifts earlier this cycle. (We've expressed concern about automated dial polls in the past, but believe firmly that Survey USA is the best of the bunch.)
Should Murkowski win the GOP nomination, he will likely face former two-term Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles in the fall. (See washingtonpost.com's profile of the Alaska race.)
The combination of Knowles's past electoral success in the Last Frontier and the uncertainty surrounding the GOP nominee, Alaska cracked The Fix's Friday Line rankings of governors races last week.
Read the full text of the Murkowski newspaper ad after the jump.
Text of the Murkowski newspaper ad:
I admit it.
I'm a long, long way from perfect.
At one time or another, I've made nearly the entire state of Alaska mad at me.
Maybe I should consider a personality transplant.
But in Alaska, sometimes it takes a strong will to make things happen.
The Alaskan "dream" of a natural gas pipeline is now closer to reality. It will be a second Prudhoe Bay that can bring billions of dollars to Alaskans each year.
In addition, when approved by the legislature, our current Petroleum Production Tax (PPT) agreement
could provide an additional billion dollars a year for Alaskans, beginning now.
And while our gas line negotiations have been in the headlines, we have also quietly strengthened nearly every aspect of Alaska - - particularly K-12 education and the U of A system. Today, over half of Alaska's college-bound students attend the University of Alaska.
And there's a lot more.
Altogether, I believe we're on the right track. And even though I have some areas to improve on,
I believe I have the best background to successfully serve Alaska at this important time.
I'd appreciate your support very much.
The Fix confirmed that the ad ran in the Anchorage Daily News, the Ketchikan Daily News, the Juneau Empire and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. If you know of others, please post in the comments section below.
June 21, 2006; 4:07 PM ET
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