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Fact Checker: Don Young’s disaster-themed attack ad against Alyse Galvin

Fact Checker evaluates the accuracy and truthfulness of campaign ads
Fact Checker reviews the truthfulness and accuracy of campaign ads.
Fact Checker reviews the truthfulness and accuracy of campaign ads.(Colin Lamar / KTUU | Colin Lamar / KTUU)
Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 6:37 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - “Like Democrats across the country, Alyse Galvin is misleading voters," opens a 30-second television ad against Alyse Galvin paid for by the Don Young for Alaska campaign.

Galvin is making her second run at Young’s long-held congressional seat.

The ad, which stereotypes Galvin as a far-left Democrat, aligns Galvin with national Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi.

It’s misleading, given that Galvin is a registered Independent who’s repeatedly said she’ll work for Alaska-specific solutions to the state’s unique needs.

Still, she will appear on the ballot as the nominee for the state’s Democratic party.

The ad continues, "She said she wouldn’t support Pelosi. Then she did.”

While this is rhetoric, the Young campaign has said follow the money.

In June, Galvin’s campaign accepted $14,000 in contributions from Nancy Pelosi and her political action committee, PAC to the Future.

Federal Election Commission financial records also show groups like the House Majority PAC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are investing large sums of money to topple Young. Election finance records show that combined, the two groups have spent more than $1 million on ads opposing Young.

The issue of whether Galvin is a true Independent, or beholden to Democrats who have come to her assistance, came up as recently as when the two candidates faced off during Debate for the State.

“You’re hooked with that group whether you admit it or not. They do not like Alaska,” Young said during one exchange.

“I am so tired of the lies that have been said throughout this entire campaign,” Galvin said at one point.

Among the points of contention for the Young campaign is Galvin’s stated willingness to caucus with Democrats, something the Young campaign says she can’t do unless she adopts the group’s agenda. Galvin has repeatedly said she will bring her own mind, and not someone else’s agenda, to Washington.

“I am not for the Green New Deal. I am not for Medicare for all. I am not for destroying our Second Amendment rights. I am really upset that this campaign has come to this,” Galvin said during the debate.

The ad against Galvin goes on to draw conclusions about what Galvin’s agenda will be as a supposed Pelosi-supporter.

“What does that mean? Overturning Trump’s tax cuts, costing Alaska’s families $2,800,” says the ad’s narrator

Galvin pushed back on this claim during the debate.

“Your most recent ad talked about me saying that I am supportive of taxing Alaskans $2,800. Are you kidding me? The last thing we need to do is raise taxes on working families,” Galvin said.

The ad continues it’s list of negative things that will happen to Alaska if Galvin is elected, "...stopping ANWR, costing Alaskans jobs. Government-run health care, costing Alaskans their private insurance.”

“I do not support Medicare for all or the Green New Deal. I never have said such a thing,” Galvin said during her debate with Young.

“He said she supports Medicare for all. She does not and he knows that, and that’s the problem in campaigns. You get to say stuff that’s not true and then see if people have the money to respond,” Les Gara, a Democrat and former member of the Alaska Legislature, said during a post-debate analysis.

"She’s right to say that he’s misled people about her,” Gara said.

Ryan McKee with Alaska Young Republicans felt Galvin didn’t do enough during the debate to distinguish herself as an Independent.

“I don’t really see the Independent side of her,” McKee said. “I feel like, if she is going to claim to be an Independent, she needs to show how she is really bipartisan.”

“She is a pretty moderate person," Gara said. “I’ve known her for a long time. She came down to legislature to advocate for schools for a long time and did a very good job and worked across the aisle to do that.”

The bottom line? The campaign ad ignores Galvin’s stated positions and draws speculative conclusions.

Fact Checker is an ongoing series on Alaska’s News Source.

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