The Alaska Delegation met this morning at 7am sharp for breakfast, updates, guest speakers and credentials. A lot of confusion with the constantly changing convention schedule, abrupt transportation cut-offs and with only a few spare credentials and passes.
Celtic Diva will solely be covering the breakfast meetings after this - at $25 for guests, I have to bagel it.
This national rep from the AFL-CIO got the Alaska crowd fired up! Especially with:
"Thank God for Mayor Mark Begich! He could be our 60th senator!"
Delegate Brockhurst - one of the "young" delegates - watch for him on CSPAN!
Guess where the Alaska delegation rates in the delegate "green" challenge? 100%! The Alaskan delegation has been great with carbon offsets and making sure they are all green!
Julie Anderson, a rep from the Obama campaign, came to speak to the Alaska delegation. She focused on the environmental message of Obama - that he's introduced a bill to raise fuel efficiency standards, wants to increase tax credits for hybrid and electric car owners, and, for Alaska, would like to look and incentivizing renewable energy.
And then she said the "A" word....
That's right, ANWR. Specifically, "I don't think Sen. Obama believes that is an appropriate place to be drilling at the moment."
Now, she did get a cheer from one of the delegates, but for the most part... well, do you know the whole "elephant in the room" analogy? I was wondering if anyone would say anything. I needn't have feared.
Well Alaska, if you're wondering if your Alaska delegates are working hard down here - wonder no more! They were all over the ANWR issue. I mean ALL over it.
Some of it was in regards to off shore drilling versus on land.
Delegate Rex Okakok, "ANWR is my neighbor. We strongly believe we can safely develop on-land drilling. But on off-shore drilling - we should not even talk about it... Think of those of us that breathe and live and eat because of that ocean before you even think about off-shore drilling."
Delegate Blake Johnson first asked Anderson if she'd been to ANWR, if anyone had. When she said she hadn't, but would like to, he made sure to say, "You need to come up and see it. Reserve judgement until you do."
Several other delegates commented on drilling (ANWR, off shore,) as well as Pebble Mine. Anderson said that Bristol Bay had come up quite a bit from the Obama campaign in Alaska, and they were looking to address it further.
The delegates received their bags and credentials at the end of the meeting. The fun part about the hotel the delegation is in - the delegations from Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and Minnesota are also housed there.
"The weather took some getting used to. But today - today I feel good."