Former U. S. Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska was a notorious publicity hound. He’s famous for seconding his own nomination for Vice President at the Democratic Convention in 1972. He was so moved by his own words that he broke down in tears.
In 1974 he was reelected to the Senate. That was fine with me. I moved to Alaska, in part, to run against him. The guy was obviously a complete nut, and that Senate seat was vulnerable to a conservative Republican. If I couldn’t win in 1980 there was always 1986, when I’d be 41 years old, and in my prime.
I heard a lot of stories about Gravel, who everybody in Alaska politics hated. After he was told about some story in a newspaper attacking him, he supposedly asked, “Did they spell my name right?” When told yes, he said, “Good. I don’t care what they say about me, as long as my name is out there.”
Come to think of it, that’s sort of the way Trump operates.
For Article V, all publicity is good publicity. The Convention of States Project got their 11th state last week. It was a big one, Texas, and they got Gov. Abbott to have the press cover it. They even got on Fox News, which is a first for Article V, as far as I know.
Fox News is sinking, and they need to change course. A good first step would be regular coverage of developments with Article V. It would set them apart, and reestablish their conservative bona fides. And it’s a good story. Fox needs to be in Phoenix. They have a Phoenix affiliate, and they can do the national feed.
The Phoenix Convention of States doesn’t need publicity to succeed. But it would make it much more impactful, and educational. And we have a lot of educating to do.
When Gravel was Speaker of the House in 1967 he was in Sitka with Rep. Bill Ray of Juneau. They were checking out of their seaside hotel when Gravel told Ray to bring his bags down from his room. So Bill goes into his room, opens up the window, and tosses Gravel’s luggage into the ocean.
Then he goes down to the front desk and tells Gravel where his bags were.
Bill Ray was one of the old bulls of the Senate when I met him in 1983. He didn’t like the way I looked at him, and came close to throwing me off the Judiciary Committee just for my attitude. In my district, in South Anchorage, Bill Ray was a corrupt union thug.
But we eventually kind of liked each other, and he loved telling me stories.