Profile in courage: Alaska governor backs congressional primary challenge

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A blast of fresh Arctic air: Alaska's Republican Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell has filed to challenge ethically-challenged Republican Congressman Don Young, and he has the backing of Republican Gov. Sarah Palin:

"The days of unquestioning loyalty are gone," Parnell said a few hours later after filing candidacy paperwork. "It's time for principled leadership."

Gov. Sarah Palin escorted Parnell into the Division of Elections office and immediately endorsed him over Young, who has held the office for 35 years. She gave no thought to the protocol of an endorsement months before the August primary, she said.

"When something's right, it's right," she said. "There's no time like the present to state your case and speak candidly about what you believe in. And I believe in his candidacy."

(Via McGehee.)

MORE: Last October, NR's David Freddoso called on the National Republican Congressional Committee (headed by Oklahoma's Tom Cole) to be ruthless in casting off the bad apples in the Republican orchard:

Republicans need an ethical Housecleaning if they are ever to return to the majority again. This will require strong leadership and creativity. The real question is just how ruthless the reputedly non-confrontational Boehner can be when his legacy is on the line. Boehner will show his mettle by how he deals with two members currently under serious ethical clouds: Reps. Don Young (R., Alaska) and John Doolittle (R., Calif.).

Freddoso goes on to point out that failure to dump these ethical liabilities not only costs credibility, it costs the party cold cash. $9 million was spent in the 2006 cycle to try to save the sorry hides of Don Sherwood (Pa., "tried to choke his mistress"), Bob Ney (Ohio, now in Federal prison), Charles Taylor (N.C.), Curt Weldon (Pa., "federal raids just before the 2006 election"), and Mark Foley (Fla., creepy IM chats with a male page). That's 11 percent of the committee's independent expenditures wasted on lost causes.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 17, 2008 7:26 AM.

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