Mark Begich Logo

Get Updates:

Press Releases


ANCHORAGE- Mark Begich is standing up for Alaska’s seniors by protecting their hard-earned Social Security and Medicare benefits. For generations, Social Security has been an essential program for Alaska’s seniors, providing important financial security that allows parents and grandparents to live independently and comfortably in their later years. Retirees have paid for these benefits, every paycheck of their entire working lives, and Mark Begich knows they deserve them.

Mark Begich will continue to stand with Alaska’s seniors and continue to fight to protect them in a second term:

“For six years, I have fought to protect Social Security from those looking to gut the program or slash benefits, no matter the political party. I oppose privatization ideas pushed by Dan Sullivan’s financial backers with millions of dollars. I will continue to fight hard against President Obama’s proposal to cut benefits through an accounting gimmick known as “Chained CPI.” I have championed legislation to expand benefits for seniors while strengthening the program for decades to come, while Dan Sullivan believes seniors need to take a test to receive their benefits and that we should raise the retirement age,” said Senator Mark Begich.


Protecting the Social Security Trust Fund

Alaskans strongly support Social Security. It’s a straightforward program that provides retirement security when we need it most. Every paycheck, workers pay a small percentage into the Social Security Trust Fund to help provide for retirees. Alaska workers can be confident that when they retire, the program they have supported will be there for them. And they should be: as long as we protect the Trust Fund, Social Security will be there. For six years, Mark Begich has stood against any proposals that would weaken the Trust Fund, like privatization, and has supported commonsense steps to strengthen it.

Increasing Benefits to Reflect The Real Cost of Living

Social Security benefits are supposed to keep pace with the price of goods and services across the country, which keeps seniors from being short-changed. But the growth rate is based on the prices of what the average American buys, called CPI – it doesn’t take into account that seniors buy different things than the “average” person. They spend more on medicine and housing, which have been increasing more quickly than other costs, and their Social Security benefits should keep up with the things they are actually spending money on (known as CPI-E). Mark knows that the benefits seniors have paid for over decades of work must keep up with rising their expenses – his mom, Pegge, has made sure of that.

Improving Efficiency and Ensuring Fairness

Social Security has been a remarkably efficient program over the decades – it has a very low rate of fraud and abuse, payments are reliable, and there is very little overhead cost considering the size of the program. But there’s always room to improve, and Mark knows there are some smart steps the Social Security Administration can take. He’s also introduced an important bill, The Social Security Fairness Act, which would end an unfair reduction in benefits to public servants who also paid into separate pension programs.



Alaskans Speak Out About Dan Sullivan’s Lack of Understanding Of Alaska’s Largest Private Employer


ANCHORAGE- Senator Mark Begich met Dan Sullivan for a debate on fishing issues hosted by the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce. Reactions to the debate were front and center in reporting where one debate participant called Sullivan’s performance “embarrassing.”

Dan Sullivan originally refused to attend the Kodiak fisheries debate, an Alaska tradition. Sullivan was forced to cave when pressure from voters reached a fever pitch. Dan Sullivan’s campaign said he didn’t have a prior commitment but was just “too busy.”

Many issues were addressed in the debate, including the Pebble Mine, oil and gas development in Bristol Bay, Frankenfish, electronic monitoring and Dan Sullivan’s brother buying GMO fish.


Some highlights from the KTVA news story:

KTVA’s Reports:

“Mark Begich says he does not support the [Pebble] mine proposal. While Dan Sullivan refuses to take a stand for or against it.

“Oil and gas development in Bristol Bay was another sticking point. Begich says “No” to development in that region. While Sullivan says he wants to look at the science before making a decision.”

ALASKAN: “Also very clear that Dan Sullivan is not up on the issues that affect our fisheries here. And it, was embarrassing.”

ALASKAN: “I felt that he (Dan Sullivan) came here because he was challenged to come to Kodiak to actually to come to the debates. And I felt that he was was completely unprepared.”

Mark Begich stands up for Alaskan’s fishing industry and is honored to have the endorsements of the United Fishermen of Alaska, the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, and the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association.



ANCHORAGE- Senator Mark Begich is honored to have the support of Alaska’s fishing industry. As the chairman of the U.S. Senate committee on fisheries and the Coast Guard and as member of the Appropriations committee, Mark Begich stands with Alaskans and fights everyday to protect and strengthen our fishing industry.

Here’s what Alaskans have to say about why they support Mark Begich for re-election:

“Alaskan seafood is more than beautiful and delicious, it is also a great business. Our seafood industry in Alaska has always relied on reasonable regulation and public policy. Senator Begich has both the experience and a moderate approach to government which has served us very well. That’s why I am supporting Mark for U.S. Senate,” said Paul Dale, Co-Owner and President of Snug Harbor Seafoods.

“Senator Begich has shown that he understands the importance of commercial fishing to Alaska. He is continually seeking input from fishermen in how to help keep the industry and individual fishermen thriving. I am convinced he is by far the best candidate for making Alaska commercial fishing issues a priority,” said John Pekham, Ketchikan purse seiner for salmon.

“Having Senator Begich on the Appropriations Committee and on the Fisheries and Coast Guard subcommittee is extremely important to Alaskan Fisherman. Sen. Begich has helped with EPA discharge legislation, funding new Coast Guard vessels and moving the Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization forward,” said Thea Thomas, Copper River Gillnetter.

“Senator Mark Begich cares about Alaska fishermen and the future of our industry. Fishermen and processing workers depend on our harvest but without a strong leader in congress to defend us from Frankenfish, Ocean Acidification, Pebble Mine and implications of Magnuson Stevens Reauthorization, we are at risk. Mark brings long Alaskan experience and a respect for science to his leadership position in fisheries’ legislation,” said Stosh Anderson, Kodiak Fisherman.

Mark Begich stands up for Alaskan’s fishing industry and is honored to have the endorsements of the United Fishermen of Alaska, the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, and the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association.


Second Term Will Focus On Reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens Act, Fighting Frankenfish, and Expanding Alaska’s Fleet


ANCHORAGE- Alaska’s fishing industry is a critical part of our state’s economy, sustaining over 78,000 jobs that make our state’s fisheries some of the greatest in the world. Alaska fishermen produce over 5 billion pounds of seafood annually, 55% of America’s production, worth more than $5.8 billion each year, providing essential nutrition to millions of families across the country. Alaska’s salmon, halibut, cod, pollock, and crab lead the industry in quality, and responsible management is necessary to make sure our fish stocks are available to fishermen for decades to come.

“As a lifelong Alaskan, I know Alaska’s fisheries are a renewable resource that must be protected and cultivated. That’s why I’ve been working to reauthorize and modernize the Magnuson-Stevens Act to promote sustainable fishing policy in federal waters. It’s also why I oppose the Pebble Mine project, which poses irreversible threats to Bristol Bay, the largest salmon fishery in the world. Going forward, I will continue to fight for the Alaska fishing industry, helping to revitalize the fleet and enact smart policies that keep our fisheries sustainable and promote growth. Alaska fishermen have some of the toughest jobs in the world. I will continue to stand up and fight for what we deserve in my second term,” said Senator Mark Begich.


Proven Alaska Leadership on Fishing Issues

Mark used his clout to become chairman of the key Senate panel in charge of fishing and maritime issues – the Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, and the Coast Guard. From that position, Mark has kept Alaska’s commercial fisheries front and center and has been able to lead the charge to reauthorize and revitalize the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA). It’s the law that lays out clear rules for fishing in federal waters to maximize the catch while preserving catches for future generations.

In a Second Term, Mark Begich will:

  • Continue to fight for those impacted by failed salmon returns due to natural disasters as he has successfully in the past. Mark helped secure essential disaster assistance, like $21 million for the Chinook disaster impacting Alaska fishermen in the Yukon Kuskokwim Rivers and Cook Inlet.
  • Press forward on MSA Reauthorization, for which he held 9 listening sessions to hear directly from Alaskans on how to best move forward and meet the needs of our world-class fisheries for subsistence, commercial, and sport fishing.
  • Stay vigilant on pirate fishing in our waters. He fought to pass four international treaties cracking down on pirate fishermen and will continue to make sure they are strictly enforced – everyone must follow the law to keep our fisheries healthy and sustainable, and violators must be dealt with harshly.

Revitalizing the Fleet and Expanding Alaska’s Role

Alaska’s fishing industry has been the pride of our state for decades – generations of Alaskans have grown up fishing for salmon, halibut, crab, and other species both to earn a livelihood or meet their family’s subsistence needs. As the fishing fleet ages, with many boats more than 30 years old and some dating back to World War II, Mark has supported policies and investments to rebuild the fleet and help a new generation of fishermen enter the industry. Many current fishermen have done these difficult jobs for decades, and Mark will make sure a new generation will have the resources they need to continue this Alaska tradition.

In a Second Term, Mark Begich will:

  • Support legislation to increase loans to young fishermen who need resources capital to invest in their future in fisheries, which will pay off for decades. Cost estimates for the permits, boats, gear, and equipment needed to enter some fisheries exceed $300,000, so we must invest in our people to keep the industry robust.
  • Strengthen NOAA’s Fishery Finance Program and the Maritime Administration Title XI program to rebuild the our fishing fleets to improve safety and fuel efficiency and incorporate new technologies and techniques like excluder nets and deck sorting to address persistent issues like bycatch.
  • Beat back federal overreach from agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency by extending the small boat discharge waiver included in his Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, to make sure Alaska’s fishing fleet doesn’t have to waste valuable time on unnecessary paperwork and oversight.
  • Increase home-porting of vessels in Alaska including the fishing fleet, Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) vessels to take advantage of our unique strategic location and resources.
  • Strengthen the University of Alaska’s Oceans and Fisheries Science programs, which provide important training programs for fishermen and generate home grown talent. Mark will push to move NOAA’s state-of-the-art Alaska Fishery Science Center from Seattle to Juneau to keep experts as close to the fisheries as possible.
  • Increase shellfish mariculture opportunities in Southeast and Southcentral.

Protecting Our Fisheries and Alaska Salmon

Our fisheries are an essential Alaska resource, not just today but for the future of our state. Mark knows that smart policies that prevent over-fishing and keep our fisheries sustainable for decades to come are essential, so he has supported clear, science-based rules for all to follow. He has also fought the federal government to keep genetically modified (GMO) salmon out of Alaska waters and off the market. There is no room for these potentially dangerous Frankenfish on Alaska’s or America’s dinner plate.

In a Second Term, Mark Begich will:

  • Maintain his firm opposition to the Pebble Mine, which is the wrong mine in the wrong place. Like Governors Jay Hammond and Tony Knowles and the late Senator Ted Stevens, he knows we cannot risk the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.
  • Keep fighting the Obama Administration on Frankenfish – Mark has kept the FDA, which wants to deem these lab-created “fish” as safe for people to eat and companies to raise in huge salmon farms, in check for six years. He sponsored an effort to ban Frankenfish without full scientific approval, and he worked alongside Senator Murkowski to successfully pass an amendment to this year’s Appropriations bill requiring labeling of GMO salmon. Alaskans have a right to know that what they’re eating is real fish, not a lab experiment, and Mark will never stop fighting Frankenfish.
  • Make sure Alaska’s record on seafood sustainability serves as a national model, not as a target for overregulation. Mark took on Walmart, Sodexo, and federal agencies like the National Park Service who tried to insist on meaningless third party certification of our seafood by “experts” in London. We have the best record of sustainable management, and Mark won’t stand for Alaskans being forced to pay for a pointless certification by the same people who put a stamp of approval on Russian Pollock despite clear and serious concerns.
  • Push to increase scientific efforts in monitoring Alaska’s oceans and coastal habitats. Mark supports the Alaska Ocean Observing System to closely track changes in water temperature and acidification so we can adapt and respond as quickly as possible. He knows we need better monitoring, understanding, and planning for the future, utilizing modern buoys and other hi-tech innovations to gather data about the water’s temperature, salinity and acidity.
  • Get rid of Russian pollock from federally-funded programs, like school lunches and the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and replace it with Alaska pollock.




Sullivan was “Too Busy” to Answer Questions From Alaska Fishermen


ANCHORAGE- Alaskans have not forgotten Dan Sullivan originally refused to attend the Kodiak fisheries debate, an Alaska tradition. Sullivan was forced to cave when pressure from voters reached a fever pitch. Dan Sullivan’s campaign said he didn’t have a prior commitment but was just “too busy.”

Here’s some of what Alaskans said about Dan Sullivan’s attempt avoid questions from Alaska fishermen:

Alaska Dispatch News: Sullivan Will Miss Kodiak Fisheries Debate

“Sullivan campaign manager Ben Sparks told debate organizers that Sullivan does not have a prior commitment keeping him from the fisheries debate, but that “he is just too busy with all the traveling he is doing.” The two-hour debate is broadcast live to over 330 Alaska communities.”

KMXT Kodiak: Spokesman: Scheduling Conflict Keeping Sullivan from Fishery Debate

“A spokesman for Alaska Republican hopeful Dan Sullivan has told KMXT that inevitable scheduling conflicts are behind the candidate missing the fisheries debate in Kodiak scheduled for October 1st.”

Alaskans now know Dan Sullivan’s scheduling conflict was a fundraising trip to Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Alaska (and Ohio’s) Dan Sullivan Returns to His Hometown for a Fundraiser

“Sullivan, a Republican with a prominent family in Northeast Ohio, must be feeling at least a little positive, given that he came back to his hometown to raise more money today…According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Cleveland area is by far the biggest base of money for Sullivan, whose family runs RPM International, the coatings and sealants giant.”

The Kodiak Chamber of Commerce fisheries debate will be held tonight at 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. AKST. The debate will be livecast over Kodiak Public Radio and heard in 330 communities around the state.


State of Maryland Says Dan Sullivan Was A Resident While He Claimed to Be A Resident of Alaska


ANCHORAGE- Dan Sullivan’s million dollar home in a Washington, DC suburb where he received residency tax breaks during his time as a political appointee has Alaskans wondering why he’s been dishonest with them about his residency. The State of Maryland declared Sullivan a resident for time he spent claiming tax breaks on a million dollar home while voting in Alaska.

Alaska’s KTVA News looked into the State of Maryland’s residency determination and compared it to Dan Sullivan’s inconsistent record of residency claims:

KTVA Reports:

“Has Sullivan been a resident since 1997? According to PFD criteria: No.

“According to Maryland tax officials: No.

“According to 2009 fishing license he wasn’t a resident then.

“According to a 2010 fishing license he’d been a resident for 1 year.

“And therefore, the answer of Dan Sullivan’s residency duration is still unknown.”

Watch The Story Here:




ANCHORAGE- The State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation released its findings on the residence tax credit eligibility of U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan for his million dollar home in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Bethesda. The State of Maryland declared that while Sullivan was a political appointee collecting tax breaks on the home he was officially a Maryland resident.

Alaskans across the state can’t stop talking about Dan Sullivan’s dishonest residency claims.

Fairbanks Daily News Miner: Investigator Finds Sullivan Was Maryland Resident

KTVA Channel 11: Senate Race Plagued By Sullivan Residency Confusion

Alaska Public Radio Network: Sullivan Allowed to Keep In-State Tax Credits in Maryland

Associated Press: Official: Sullivan Didn’t Receive Improper Credits

KTUU Channel 2: Sullivan Didn’t Receive Improper Tax Credits, Was Maryland Resident

The Hill: Tax Assessor Says Alaska’s Senate Hopeful Was Maryland Resident

Huffington Post: Mark Begich Inquiry Exposes Omission in GOP Opponent’s Campaign Filing



ANCHORAGE- Today, the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation released its findings on the residence tax credit eligibility of U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan for his million dollar home in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Bethesda.

Alaskans for Begich Campaign Manager Susanne Fleek-Green released the following statement in response to the State of Maryland’s findings in relation to Dan Sullivan’s dishonest residency claims:

“Dan Sullivan’s claims have never added up, he’s given five different answers about his residency in a period of five years because he wants to buy Alaska’s Senate seat to represent himself, not Alaskans. From receiving tax breaks on his swanky million dollar Maryland home to skipping debates in Alaska to raise money in Ohio, Dan Sullivan has made it clear: Alaskans can’t trust him,” said Susanne Fleek-Green, campaign manager for Alaskans for Begich.

In Dan Sullivan’s official Senate candidate filling, he identified himself as a 17-year continuous resident of the State of Alaska. A declaration that conflicts with the State of Maryland’s assessment of residency.

Sullivan also, has not answered the following questions from Alaskans:

  • Answered what state he filed his federal income taxes in while living in Maryland.
  • Answered why the Alaska Permanent Fund declared him ineligible for a Permanent Fund Dividend Check in 2004.

Alaskans have been asking Dan Sullivan for over a year to explain his inconsistent Maryland residency claims. Today’s findings confirm that Dan Sullivan needs to come clean about his past residency and federal income tax filings.


UFA Reaffirms Re-election Endorsement of Mark Begich


ANCHORAGE- This weekend, the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) held their 40th annual conference. Hundreds of members gathered together to address issues important to Alaska’s largest private employer, the fishing industry. Senator Mark Begich addressed UFA members to outline his goal of representing Alaska’s interests in reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and how he’ll continue to stand up for Alaska’s fishing industry.

Mark Begich received an early endorsement from UFA in June and during the conference UFA members spoke with candidates for federal and state office, including U.S. Senate Candidate Dan Sullivan. After the meetings the UFA board reaffirmed its endorsement of Mark Begich to continue fighting for Alaska fishing industries.

Senator Begich will be attending the Kodiak fishing issues debate this Wednesday, October 1, 2014. The debate will be live streamed over Alaska Public Radio Network at 7:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time.

Begich Receives Endorsement from United Fishermen of Alaska


Senator Mark Begich received the endorsement of the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA), the largest statewide commercial fishing industry trade association which represents 36 different Alaska commercial fishing organizations. UFA is also endorsing Congressman Don Young. Begich is the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard, a key leadership role on fish issues, as well as other key sectors of Alaska’s economy.

UFA members span a broad array of organizations from commercial fisheries, trade publications, seafood companies, and communities like the Kodiak Island Borough. Their endorsement is reflective of Begich’s strong record of fighting for the Alaska fishing industry and keeping it strong.

“I am grateful and honored to receive the endorsement of UFA along with Congressman Young,”said Begich. “Fishing is more than a hobby for Alaskans, it makes up $5 billion of Alaska’s economy and supports tens of thousands of jobs. I’ll continue to fight against Frankenfish, crack down on pirate fishing, and push for a smart reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act that makes sense for Alaska.”

“United Fishermen of Alaska is proud to offer an early endorsement of Senator Mark Begich. We’ve given him an early endorsement because we already know Senator Begich understands how important fishing is to Alaska’s economy and history. We know the work Senator Begich has done on behalf of Alaska’s fishermen and the work he’ll continue to do for an industry that employs thousands and is worth billions. Senator Begich understands fish and Alaska’s fisheries and is ready to fight to protect our jobs and our industry’s future,” said Jerry McCune, UFA President.

Begich joins Alaska leaders like Senator Lisa Murkowski and the late Senator Ted Stevens in his receipt of the UFA endorsement.

Begich is a leader on fish issues in the Senate. He continues to lead the fight against genetically modified salmon. Begich has also secured emergency relief for communities that suffered low salmon runs in past years.

“As Alaska’s largest private sector employer, the seafood industry is an economic engine and an iconic industry that puts Alaska on the world stage. Senator Begich fully understands the importance of a strong and vibrant seafood industry and that’s why UFA supports his continued work on behalf of Alaska,” said Julianne Curry, UFA Executive Director.


Former Alaska First Lady “Supports Mark Wholeheartedly”


ANCHORAGE- Alaskans for Begich has released a television ad featuring the endorsement of former Alaska first lady, Bella Hammond. Bella Hammond is the wife of the late Jay Hammond, who was the fourth Governor of Alaska, serving from 1974-1982. Governor Hammond is most widely known and celebrated as the architect of the Alaska Permanent Fund. Jay and Bella Hammond are true icons of Alaska, known for their dedication to its people and love of the Last Frontier.

Bella Hammond supports Mark Begich “wholeheartedly” because he has deep roots in Alaska and proven record of working across party lines to stand up for the state.



Bella Hammond: “When my husband Jay Hammond was in office he was not party oriented. I was impressed with the idea that Mark Begich wanted to work across party lines, it reminded me of Jay’s attitude. I know what kind of a job it is, it is hard, but he’s doing an excellent job. I support Mark wholeheartedly.”

Begich: “I’m Mark Begich and I’m honored to approve this message.”