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“I’m Just an Actress”

How Two Lower 48 Billionaires Tried to Deceive Alaskans


Did you see this ad attacking Mark Begich with a pretend Alaskan? She’s actually from Maryland and admitted “I’m just an actress.”

The ad, paid for by two Lower 48 billionaires, is trying to deceive Alaskans.

The truth? Mark Begich is taking on the Obama administration. Demanding a fixed website and working to stop the dropped policies. Fox News reported Mark Begich has been honest about the health care law’s problems and is working to fix it.

The Whole Story

On Wednesday, November 20th, the Outside special interest group, Americans for Prosperity, funded by the billionaire Koch brothers – Charles and David Koch of Wichita, Kansas – began airing a false attack ad against Senator Mark Begich with an East Coast actress pretending to be an Alaskan voter. It’s just the latest in a series of stunts by Outside groups to mislead Alaska voters.

As newspapers across Alaska and the country have reported, the TV ad attacking Senator Begich featured an actress named Connie Bowman of Maryland who later admitted to the New York Times that “I’m just an actress.” The Anchorage Daily News commented that “with her perfectly styled hair and makeup and granite-counter kitchen doesn’t seem like a typical Alaskan.”

Bowman attacks Begich over the Affordable Care Act and asks “How can I ever trust him again?” The true question is – how can Alaskans trust negative attack ads, paid for by Lower 48 billionaires that use phony Alaskans spouting untrue attacks and trying to trick Alaskans?

The truth is that Mark Begich is as angry as voters are at the implementation of the health care law and is fighting to fix what’s wrong in the law, without throwing out what’s right.

It’s why Begich fought for and won to pass legislation to exempt small businesses from cumbersome 1099 reporting requirements in the Affordable Care Act, is taking on the Obama administration for its problems with the website, is working to stop the dropping of health care policies, and has signed up on the Alaska exchange for health insurance, turning down the federal subsidy he could have claimed as a federal worker if he signed up on the Washington, DC exchange. In Begich’s words – “I want to go through the same experience as every Alaskan.”

Begich has also proposed an additional level of health coverage to give Alaskans a less expensive option while retaining consumer protections. This “copper plan” would be geared toward young people, seasonal workers and self-employed Alaskans like fishermen.

Even Fox News reported how Mark Begich has been honest about what needs to be fixed in the health care law, with Brian Kilmeade saying “we see your quotes here, even in 2010” that the law was not perfect.

While the billionaire Koch brothers from Kansas are busy making false ads, Senator Begich is working to fix the Affordable Care Act and make it work for every Alaskan. He knows its time we work together to deliver on the promise of accessible and affordable healthcare for everyone.

The Facts

In an Attack Ad, an Alaskan Voter is really an Actress from Maryland. On November 20, 2013, The Caucus blog of the New York Times wrote, “But there is a slight problem with the commercial. The woman is not from Alaska. She is actually an actress who lives in Maryland. And to some, the elegant kitchen she is standing in, done in French country style with granite countertops, might seem out of place somewhere as rugged and frontierlike as Alaska.” [ New York Times, 11/20/13]

AFP Attack Ad Featured Actress From Maryland Pretending To Be An Alaskan. Reported the Anchorage Daily News in November 2013, “The Alaska ad features a woman who talks about Begich as if he is her senator but who in reality is an actress from Maryland. Messages for the woman, Connie Bowman, weren’t returned Wednesday but she told the New York Times she was ‘just an actress’ doing her job.” [Anchorage Daily News,11/20/13]

AFP Ad Is The Latest In A Series Of Misleading, Partisan Attacks From Outside Groups. The Alaska Dispatch reported the woman is not actually an Alaska voter and the ad is the latest in partisan attacks. “ The new ad is the latest partisan attack on the Affordable Care Act in Alaska. As reported last week, two websites in Alaska with ties to national conservative groups are also hoping to steer Alaskans away from Obamacare. . . . While Don’t Enroll is obvious in its anti-Obamacare sentiment, Know the Facts operates under the guise of neutrality, but offers Alaskans misleading information on the law.”[Alaska Dispatch, 11/20/13]

Headline: Anchorage Daily News: “Begich blasts attack ad featuring East Coast actress pretending to be Alaskan.” [Anchorage Daily News,11/20/13]

Headline: Alaska Dispatch: “Koch brothers-funded attack ad on Obamacare features ‘Alaskan’ East Coast actress.” [Alaska Dispatch, 11/20/13]

Mark Begich Is Fighting To Fix The Affordable Care Act So That It Works For All Alaskans. The Anchorage Daily News reported that, “Among other things, he introduced legislation Tuesday to allow “copper plans,” which would come with lower monthly premiums than now are available but also higher out-of-pocket costs. The plans would still include the 10 essentials required in the Affordable Care Act.” [Anchorage Daily News, 11/20/13]

Begich Introduced Small Business Relief Plan To Make Purchasing Insurance More Affordable, Simpler. Reported the Cordova Times in July 2013, “Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, has introduced a small business relief plan, a package of five bills and several provisions to make purchasing insurance for small businesses more affordable and simpler. Begich said July 18 that the plan would help remove obstacles for small businesses and simplify the purchase of health insurance. The bills would give businesses time to prepare for the new rules under the Affordable Care Act, increase competition by allowing small businesses access to multi-state insurance plans, expand and simplify tax credits in the ACA and implement sensible tax deductions for job-creating investments.” [Cordova Times, 7/26/13]

Begich Introduced Proposal To Repeal Onerous 1099 Reporting Requirements For Small Business. According to the National Small Business Association in September 2010, “Meanwhile, over in the Senate, Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) introduced a proposal to completely repeal the expanded 1099 reporting requirement and replace the revenue with surplus funds from the 2009 federal economic stimulus package. Although, Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) signed on as cosponsors, Democratic leaders opposed the proposal.” [NSBA, 9/22/10]

Begich Voted To Repeal 1099 Reporting Requirements. [CQ; Vote 49, 4/5/11]

Fox News Reported That Mark Begich Has Been Honest About The Health Care Law. “We see your quotes here, even in 2010, you said we gotta get this better,” said Brian Kilmeade of Fox News. “So that’s to your credit.” See the interview here:

Headline: Associated Press: “Alaska Sen. Begich supports letting people keep plans.” [Associated Press, 11/15/13]

Begich Signed On To Legislation To Allow Individuals To Keep Their Existing Healthcare Plans Through 2015, Supported Making Legislation Permanent. Reported the Associated Press in November 2013, “U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has signed onto legislation that would allow individuals to keep their existing health insurance policies through 2015, but his spokeswoman, Heather Handyside, said Thursday he would like to see that concept made permanent.” [Associated Press, 11/15/13]

Begich, On Plan Cancellation Legislation: “At Least Two Years Should Be On The Table.” Reported Politico in November 2013, “Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), said he was continuing to push for the Udall bill, which is also co-sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). . . . ‘I’d make it permanent if I could, but I’m thinking at least two years should be on the table,’ Begich said.” [Politico, 11/14/13]

Headline: Politico: “Mark Begich: I’m not waiting for President Obama.” [Politico, 11/14/13]

Begich: “I Am Not Waiting For The President’s Promise. I Want To See Results.” Reported Politico in November 2013, “Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) on Thursday said he is ‘not waiting for the president’ on a fix for the millions of consumers facing health insurance cancellations, and will join a handful of Senate Democrats cutting in front of the White House to propose their own solution. ‘I am not waiting for the president’s promise. I want to see results,’ Begich said on ‘Fox and Friends.’ ‘Today we’re proposing another solution to that, and I think there is a great opportunity to move forward.’” [Politico, 11/14/13]

Begich Signed Up For Healthcare Coverage On Alaska’s Individual Marketplace. Reported the Cordova Times, “Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska signed up for health care insurance on Nov. 11 on Alaska’s federally facilitated marketplace, saying he wants the same insurance opportunities as all Alaskans. The Alaska Democrat said he enrolled at the website. By doing so, Begich will not accept a federal employer contribution.” [Cordova Times, 11/11/13]

Begich Did Not Accept Federal Employer Contribution To Ensure He Had Same Experience Enrolling And Receiving Care As Other Alaskans.Reported the Cordova Times in November 2013, “As a member of Congress, Begich was given the option to sign up on the Washington DC marketplace, but instead opted to sign up on the Alaska marketplace, forgoing any employer contribution provided by the federal government that he was entitled to and ensuring that he has the same experience enrolling and receiving care as other Alaskans.” [Cordova Times, 11/11/13]