Thursday, August 21, 2008

More On Diane Benson's Opponent

In a little less than a week, Alaskans will be voting in their primary election. Among the candidates is Slobber and Spittle Blue's Diane Benson, who is running for Alaska's at large Representative position. In a previous article on Benson, I'd made a reference to her opponent, Ethan Berkowitz:

Diane's in a very tough primary race with a Rahm Emmanuel-style challenger who has been receiving lots of backing from the Democratic establishment. That alone is enough to make me want someone else to win, but there's another reason to support her.

Update On Diane Benson

In addition to having had some difficulty with antecedents of pronouns, that paragraph didn't describe what it was about Ethan Berkowitz that evoked such disinterest in me. Today, in Progressive Alaska, Philip Munger made that clear in the course of an interview with Eric Griffey:

Eric: I just wanted to get your insight on how Berkowitz is perceived by those on the left. My lazy google searches have taught me that those on the right have cast him as a uber liberal, and many on the left think he's too conservative.

Phil: I'm pretty far left. I'd say Ethan Berkowitz isn't any further to the left than I am on anything.

On the issue of addressing the medical care crisis, he is perhaps the least liberal. Here is his solution to the crisis:

Expanding medical record-keeping technology to reduce administrative costs and improve safety through information sharing

Promote preventative care and healthy living choices

Expanding the federal SCHIP program to cover a wider range of children

Allow for small business insurance pooling.

I've heard him make statements in forums and debates that sound more hopeful, from my point of view, but they were quite vague past being promises to somehow make medical care affordable for everyone. Back in January, in a discussion I had with Ethan, I asked how his approach would help young people who graduate out of their parents' medical plans, and who have pre-existing disabilities or chronic medical problems. These people are often just plain uninsurable under the present system, and I told Ethan his plans don't seem to address these hundreds of thousands of young people. He told me he would get back to me on how to fix it. He hasn't.

I've been highly critical, as have been national liberal figures Howie Klein and Jeff Cohen, of Rahm Emanuel's PAC's list of donors.

[links from the original]

In addition to checking out Philip's article, you might want to check out the link under "his solution" above. In that article, Philip compares the answers the two have given on various policy issues.

Ethan Berkowitz is the kind of politician we already have far too many of in DC. If you think so too, please head on over to Slobber And Spittle Blue, or to Diane's website and donate.

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