A different strategy for Cruz and Rubio

All this is premature, but if Rubio comes out of Super Tuesday still standing, Cruz will need to consider making him an offer.  “I’ll stay out of Florida if you stay out of a few states I’m targeting.”  The goal would change from knocking out Rubio to jointly knocking out Trump.  Then Cruz and Rubio could go head to head.

This tactic would be universally applauded.  I bet even Mitch McConnell would like it.  I’m sure Roger Ailes would.

Cruz will want to wait until after Super Tuesday.  Actually, I think he should make Rubio an offer right now.  I’ll stay out of Florida if you stay out of Texas.

Sen. Jack Coghill (R, Nenana)

In 1986 I was the House Minority Leader when Sen. Ted Stevens decided to make an all out push to get an amendment to the Alaska Constitution.  The Alaska Supreme Court had ruled that a law granting special preference to Alaska Natives for subsistence hunting and fishing rights was a violation of the equal protection clause.  Stevens essentially wanted to reverse that decision by amending the Constitution.

Stevens was the most powerful man in Alaska politics, and he was willing to get the 2/3 votes in the legislature by any means necessary.  Sen. Rick Halford led the opposition in the Senate, but lost when his colleague from Eagle River switched his vote.  In his district, that meant the end of his political career.  He was one of my drinking buddies, and I knew what was going on. He’d been bribed.

We had sixteen Republicans in the House Minority and we could only lose two.  I was worried about Dick Schultz from Tok.  He assured us he was solid, but he owned a NAPA auto parts store in a heavily native district.  His livelihood was at stake.  So when Halford told me the State Senator from his district, Jack Coghill, a merchant, had been threatened with an economic boycott, I knew what was going on.

Rick and I weren’t worried about Jack.  He was more hard core than we were.  But I wasn’t as sure about Dick (or Double Dick, as he liked to be called).  What Stevens was doing was a violation of federal law, and I had the Juneau agent of the FBI come to the Capitol and talk to me and Rick about it.  We never heard any more talk about economic retaliation.

We beat it in regular session, so Democratic Gov. Steve Cowper called us back into special session in the middle of the summer.  I had to cut short a family vacation in California.  We held firm again, and Speaker Sam Cotton called me to the Speaker’s podium for a private talk at the end of the special session.  He said the Governor wanted to talk to me.  I told Sam I wasn’t interested, and that was the end of that.

So when I say Jack Coghill and I go back a ways, you know what I’m talking about.  His son John is now the Senate Majority Leader, and I asked John to tell his dad about what I’m working on, the  transfer of federal lands to the State.  Jack was one of the guys who first tutored me on this issue, and what it would mean if we could ever pull it off.  I wanted him to know what I’m doing.

It’s nice to be part of a tradition.

The story of Alaska’s Donald Trump

Let me tell you a story, which I believe has a bearing our situation with Trump.

After serving one term in the Alaska House in the early 80’s, John Lindauder moved to Chicago and married into a mob family.  In 1998 Democrat Tony Kowles was seeking reelection, and Lindauer returned to Alaska with a couple million to spend on seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination.  He was a little hazy on where this money came from, but assured everyone it was his own.  He was running against my best friend from the legislature, Sen. Robin Taylor of Wrangell, and a right wing conservative lawyer from Anchorage, Wayne Ross.  Neither Robin or Wayne had any money.

Robin and I knew Lindauer’s money was dirty.  That was obvious.  But neither of us had the resources to do the digging and prove it.  Alaska media, led by the left wing Anchorage Daily News, buried the story.  After Lindauer won the primary the ADN immediately revealed the truth.  It all came from his mobster family wife.  His campaign immediately collapsed, the Republican Central Committee met and condemned and rejected him and threw its support to a Taylor write in Campaign.  Knowles won in a landslide.  Robin’s write in campaign, with no money, came in second.

Lindauer plead no contest to campaign finance criminal charges, received a one year suspended sentence, two years of probation and paid a $15,000 fine.  In Alaska we have a phrase for this. It’s called giving a blue ticket.  When you received one of these in the old days you were expected to leave the state and never return.  Lindauer quickly left Alaska and was never seen again.

The amount of dirt the media have on Trump has got to be enormous, but we’ll only hear about it if Trump wins the nomination.  If he is the Republican candidate, he will be totally destroyed.   This is the kind of thing the Queen and her hive do very, very well.  Ask Richard Nixon.

I get physically ill when I think of President Hillary.  She would be a catastrophically bad President at a time when  our future as a constitutional republic is in danger.  The only way she wins is against Trump.

I still don’t think Trump gets it.  I think last night was just a start.  Rubio has stepped up, and Cruz needs to be working with him on this, as he did last night.  For if Rubio gets all the credit for taking down Trump he’s on a glide path to the nomination.  The Cubans were a tag team, and they need to keep it up.  Take out the blowhard and settle their fight later.  This is as obvious as the nose on your face, and they need to keep it up until they blow him out of the race.

The NRA needs to get in on this.  Trump’s buddy Christie is considered a gun grabber by these guys, and they really don’t like him.  Do they really think Trump would fight for the Second Amendment the way Cruz and Rubio would?    There are probably a lot of NRA members who are supporting Trump.  They need to be disabused of that position.

A lot of people need to step up.  This is serious business.  I was on the phone with a friend of mine in the New Mexico legislature, a good Christian conservative woman.  She was trying to decide between Trump and Rubio.  I was shocked, and we had a good conversation.  She agreed to talk to others in the legislature about signing letters of support for Cruz, and was reevaluating her own position.  I’m going to continue to do this.  Everybody can do something, even if it’s just explaining political reality to Trump voters.

On the Article V front, the dysfunctional South Carolina legislature has descended into utter chaos, and nothing may pass there this year.  Oklahoma still looks good for mid-March.  Gulddenshuh and Fruth are working West Virginia hard, and are optimistic.

The best news is from Arizona, where our nemesis, Senate President Andy Biggs, is running for Congress.  An open seat in a very conservative district.  The funny thing is, on everything but Article V, Biggs is a solid conservative.  Unless we complete a Hail Mary, we’re going to be at this next year.  If Biggs is gone our path will be clear in Arizona.  Politics is business.  You can’t allow your personal feelings to interfere with doing what’s right.

So, go Andy!

The Day of Decision

I’m working with the Cruz guy for Alaska.  Al he needs to do is 1) go to Juneau to meet and listen to the legislative leadership 2)  make sure every Cruz caucus goer gets a copy of the articles I posted earlier on Trump and transfers of federal lands.  I’m trying to talk them into a radio buy.   That would be icing on the cake.  Cruz will crush the field in Alaska regardless, but the ads would create a giant margin of victory which would bring attention to the result by the national  media.  This would help Cruz in the rest of the Far West.

The threat from Trump was not that he’d win the nomination.  It was a third party run which could have cost us the White House.  So all the kid glove treatment was understandable.  The Donald would stay in the party as long as he was given proper respect.

I think the threat of a real Trump third party candidacy was always overblown, but I shared the sentiment.  You can’t predict this guy, and it would have been catastrophic.

That threat is effectively gone.  We’re almost into March, and the later it gets the harder it gets.  Ross Perot created the Reform Party in 1995.  It’s too late to do it in reality.  When he finally is exposed and rejected, he’ll talk about third party, but he won’t do it.  It can’t work and it’s expensive.  Having lost the nomination, he’d lose again, huge, in November.

So it’s time to take him out.  All four of the other candidates should start  hitting him.  And if he goes down they can all take turns kicking him.

I expect Cruz to lead the charge, and Rubio is a fool if he leaves all the fun to him.  He needs to join in, or risk being seen as lacking in courage.  All non-Trump Republicans are sick to death of watching Rubio and Cruz go at each other.

The man who gets credit for taking down the Donald will always hold a special place in the heart of every real Republican in the country.  If Cruz can pull it off he’s the nominee.

Bettors have Trump with a 72% chance of the nomination.  If I lived where gambling was legal I’d take some of that.

I think Cruz is smart enough to provoke Trump.  Watching his reaction will be priceless.  And it needs to be done over and over.  Every question Cruz gets he should turn into an attack on Trump.  Even if Trump keeps his cool the first or second time he gets hit, the punches need to keep on coming.  He could even exit the stage.

And if you get him down, kick him hard.



Sunrise over Half Dome

I was driving into the Yosemite Valley this morning at dawn.  It’s about 40 mile SE of where I live, as the crow flies.  It’s a national treasure, and should never change its current protected status.  But the Valley is a very small part of the 750,000 acre Yosemite National Park.

The Park Service is not a good steward of this land.  It’s mismanaged because  of environmental politics.  Perhaps the State of California wouldn’t do any better, but it couldn’t do worse.

As I was driving out, with El Capitan gleaming in the morning sun, I thought leave the valley alone.  But some day the people of California should have control of the land surrounding it.  They can be trusted with this land.  They live and play here.  Let them manage it.

Or does Washington always know best?