Alaska is entering a period of political upheaval. The long time incumbent, Republican Ted Stevens is trailing the Democratic challenger, Mark Benich. Stevens, who has served since 1968, is vulnerable due to his corrupt practices in office and his buffoonish antics in the earmark arena.
David Cuddy is seeking the Senate nomination with the hope of keeping Alaska a red state and restoring credibility to the Republican party.
Six Meat Buffet had the opportunity to interview with Cuddy. Read on:
Ted Stevens is poorly regarded due to his “Bridge to Nowhere” and other earmark projects. Do you see this as a vulnerability that can be leveraged to receive the nomination?
This is not a vulnerability so much within Alaska, except as to its role in decreasing Alaskan credibility and reputation, and ability to get more pork. This is, however, a vulnerability outside of Alaska. It is the poster pork items for elimination of earmarks and pork – and it drives conservatives crazy to see Republicans doing what Democrats have done for so long.
According to this poll posted at the Daily Kos, the Democratic challenger to Stevens has a slight lead. How can you present Alaskans a more compelling Republican choice?
I donâ€™t have any baggage. Both Stevens and Begich have relationships and have received favors from the same Anchorage real estate developer, which will come out. If we can advance the scenario; that the dominant newspaper, The Anchorage Daily News is holding back with devastating editorial attack to help the weaker candidate â€“ Stevens â€“ get through the primary, because they believe he is the easier opponent for their Begich candidate, then I become more compelling to our Republican primary voters.
I have a very credible resume. I more authentically represent the Republican philosophy of reform, limited government, and personal responsibility and have done so throughout my 28 years of public service. In the general election, I should better be able to attract the Libertarians, Alaska Independence Party, and Pro Life votes which will gravitate to the Third Party Candidate (AIP) Bob Bird if Stevens is the Rep candidate, and Iâ€™ll keep non partisans and Independents, which is where this election will be decided.
What do you have to offer Republicans and conservatives in the “Lower 48”? The Republicans had their chance from 1994 to present to bring reform, limited government, personal responsibility, and to fix our problems of overspending and fixing Medicare and Social Security and didnâ€™t do it. In fact, they failed worse than the Democrats did.
Stevens represents the worst of the Republicans of that era. The Republicans are going to take a beating nationally for this reason. I represent the positions that the Republicans only say they want to represent.
If the Republican Party wants to regain credibility, it will have to eschew the failed politicians like Stevens and embrace the philosophically pure challengers who will bring the reform the Republicans say they want.
Stevens has done many unethical things and many conflicts of interest. The FBI believes they are illegal, but havenâ€™t charged Stevens yet. Whether he is charged or not, Stevens is definitely tainted, and this will be an issue in the General election if he is there.
It has been said that Stevens will be the poster boy for the Democrats who call upon America to throw out Republicans and give them more seats. The Stevens seat is seen as â€œin playâ€ and the Democrats will put a lot of money into this race, believing Stevens will be beaten.
What would you tell disillusioned conservatives willing to sit out the 2008 election due to the Republican’s failure to uphold the principles of small government, fiscal responsibility and high ethical standards?
I would say America is close to the â€œtipping pointâ€, the point at which our country cannot return to its strong position, if we let things get much worse. We have created many more dysfunctional families which consume government resources and cause trauma to our school system. Our Social Security and Medicare are out of trust, and must be repaired very soon, or will pass the point they can be saved. We must act now. Our national debt is $10 trillion â€“ we must balance our budget now, or out country will soon be bankrupt. Our unfunded liabilities run nearly $100 trillion. We cannot sit this election out. We must capture our country and fix these now, or we will have an upheaval and reorganization of our country that no conservative will like in 5-10 years.
You would have opposed sending troops to Iraq. Please explain why you would be opposed and how you feel about the current occupation/rebuilding efforts there. Is there a compelling reason to maintain, even minimally, a presence there?
It is easy to play â€œMonday morning quarterbackâ€ and see that our invasion of Iraq was a bad move for America. I would like to think I would have seen this as a bad move, but given the information at the time, I canâ€™t be sure I would have seen through the faulty assumptions and bad information. Looking back, there is no question that the war is causing major trauma to our economy, our dollar, the price of oil, loss of life, and loss of image worldwide. But now that we are there, we canâ€™t withdraw overnight. We have supporters within Iraq we must consider. We have made some progress in delivering Iraq to be a more democratic nation, and, having spent so much; it would be a shame to withdraw and lose everything we have done. I believe that â€œpartitionâ€ is a possible method to speed our withdrawal.
Given your position on the United States not being “the World’s policeman” what is would be
your foreign policy towards Iran’s nuclear pursuits.
I donâ€™t want to address this question at this time. I need more education on this matter.
In a head-to-head contest for the Senate against Democrat Mark Begich,
what would make you a better choice to represent Alaskans?
- I am clean – no baggage
- I am not a career professional politician
- My family business has created jobs and stimulated the Alaskan economy. Stevens and Begich have deep Alaskan roots, but mine are deeper
- Begich has corruption problems of his own, which Stevens canâ€™t talk about because of his own corruption
- Over half of Alaskans are neither Republican nor Democrat. I am very independent, and will appeal to this group. I will not be seen as part of the problem.
- Alaska wants to be a â€œRedâ€ State
The Democratic national platform doesnâ€™t reflect the views of Alaska, for example, Democrats oppose drilling of ANWR. This may be the pivotal seat which gives Democrats a â€œveto proofâ€ Senate. Alaskans wonâ€™t want this.