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Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) raised nearly $1 million in the second quarter, giving him more than $2 million cash on hand.

The first-term Democrat brought in $993,065 from April through June, according to a Federal Elections Commission filing shared early with POLITICO.

Begich has now raised about $4 million during this election cycle, and this is his strongest quarter so far. He brought in $948,000 during the first quarter.

Sarah Palin “quit on Alaska” as governor and “ has lost touch” with her home state, Sen. Mark Begich told POLITICO.

The Democratic senator said Palin, who said Tuesday she’s considering challenging him for his seat in 2014, might not even be a resident of Alaska and is someone he won’t take seriously unless she emerges from a competitive Republican primary.

“I don’t know if she’s a resident. She’s been away from Alaska a lot and has probably lost touch with what’s going on. She should go to my webpage,” Begich said. “Most Alaskans I see on a pretty regular basis, but I haven’t seen her for a long time.”

“We’re going to continue doing what I have been doing the last four-plus years, working hard for Alaska on many fronts,” Begich says. “And at the end of the day voters will decide on have we done a good job and have we delivered for Alaska.”

He adds: “Obviously, I’m biased; I think the answer is yes.”

Republicans, who need to gain six seats to win Senate control, will try to spend the next year and a half arguing that the answer is actually “no.”

Not that their job will be easy.

Last Saturday, in a ceremony at the American Legion Post 16 that has been done thousands of times since 1776, Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, presented a combat soldier with a group of medals honoring his sacrifice and service — with one difference.

Sgt. Randy Clifford, U.S. Army, First Cavalry Division (Air), 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment, earned his medals decades ago.

“It is truly my privilege to stand here today and deliver what’s an unbelievable group of medals 42 years after you last saw your medals,” Begich said.

Along with the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal, Clifford received the Bronze Star for heroism under fire, the Purple Heart for his wounds in action and the Air Medal with seven devices, signifying that he flew at least 125 combat hours.

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is taking issue with a decision by Wal-Mart to stop buying Alaska salmon products not certified as sustainable by the London-based Marine Stewardship Council.

Begich, in a letter to the president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., asked the company reconsider making the council the “sole arbiter” of which fish Wal-Mart sells.

Fort Wainwright will gain, not lose, soldiers as the overall size of the U.S. Army shrinks during the next six years, according to Army documents provided to Alaska’s congressional delegation and others Tuesday.

An additional 552 soldiers are expected to join the 6,300 soldiers already stationed at the Fairbanks post as the Army reorganizes and cuts units from other installations.

The new soldiers, a growth of 8.8 percent for the base, would be assigned to Fort Wainwright’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team and give the unit new “engineer and mission command capabilities,” according to an Army base-by-base analysis of the service’s proposed realignment.

The Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court Wednesday. The court’s 5-4 decision to rule that a federal ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional is receiving mixed reactions among Alaska politicians.

Democratic Senator Mark Begich also released a statement expressing support for the decision by calling it a “victory for individual rights.”

“I believe same sex couples should be able to marry and have the same rights, benefits, privileges and responsibilities as any other married couple,” the statement read. “While we still have a long way to go, today, the Supreme Court confirmed that the government needs to step aside, leave the decision to states and churches, and stay out of our private lives and daily business.”

Here in Seward, not only did the J1-visa workers help process the fish, large numbers also came here every summer to work in our restaurants and hotels, and most also took a variety of second or third jobs at places like Safeway, which helped it meet the additional needs in the busy season. This year, their numbers are visibly down, and those businesses other than, but including canneries have made greater efforts to recruit American workers from outside of town. But six weeks into the busy season, many businesses are still trying to recruit their needed workforce according to Norm Casagranda at the Alaska Job Center. You can walk around the harbor or downtown Seward and see the “Help Wanted” signs on tourism business doors and windows.

“I am determined to make sure Alaska seafood industry employers have the reliable pool of seasonal help they need to maintain adequate processing capacity,” said Sen. Begich, in a press release Friday, June 21st. “Without adequate processing capacity, fishermen can’t deliver their catch, families lose income, and communities lose tax revenue.” He added: The seafood industry provides many Alaskans with living wage jobs that support their families and local economies, however, when seafood processors cannot recruit enough employees to work in their processing plants, the entire system is jeopardized.”

An amendment to require labeling of genetically engineered salmon, introduced by Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and co-sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 20, for a vote on the Senate floor.

The amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations bill would allocate $150,000 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement a requirement to label GE salmon.

“It’s high time this bill to prevent this imposter from disguising itself as the real deal is debated in front of the Senate,” Begich said. “These fake fish are a serious threat to the health of American seafood lovers and consumers have a right to know what’s on their dinner plate.”

Alaska’s U.S. senators have signed on to legislation that would limit the government’s authority to search Americans’ phone and Internet records.

Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski say there needs to be a careful balance between security and personal privacy.

The proposal, according to the senators, would require that federal intelligence agencies show that communications records are somehow connected to terrorism or other intelligence activities.