|Former U.S. Senator from Alaska|
From: January 3, 2009 – January 6, 2015
Mark P. Begich (born March 30, 1962) is the liberal former United States Senator from Alaska and a member of the Democratic Party. "Dan Sullivan defeated gun grabber Mark Begich in Alaska after a tight race in which many thought Begich was sure to win."
Previously he served as Mayor of Anchorage since 2003, where he left office with a $17 million budget shortfall. Begich served on the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation, the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. He voted with a majority of his Democratic colleagues 93.1% of the time during a recent Congress.
Begich defeated incumbent Republican Ted Stevens in 2008 after he was falsely indicted by a federal grand jury for failing to report gifts received from the VECO Corporation. All charges against Stevens were dismissed after prosecutorial misconduct.
Begich Honors Socialist Niilo Koponen
Socialist Niilo Koponen was honored at Democratic State Central Committee gala October 15, 2009.
Niilo, Fred Brown and Barry Jackson were honored at the Democratic State Central Committee gala held at the Morris Thompson Center. There was a good turnout, including Sen. Mark Begich.
On Dec. 6, 2013, U.S. Senator Mark Begich issued a statement about the passing of former state legislator and Democratic Socialists of America member Niilo Koponen.
- “Niilo was a one-of-a-kind true Alaska pioneer whose contributions to our state will be long-lasting. After helping World War II refugees at a Finnish work camp, Niilo and his life partner and wife Joan, drove to Alaska in the winter of 1952. Like many Alaskans, he worked many jobs but perhaps the most important was teaching Fairbanks elementary school students. Niilo often served as the conscience of the Alaska Legislature during his nearly 10 years in Juneau, where he advocated for the most challenged Alaskans. Niilo was a fierce champion for his beloved community of Fairbanks and his entire state. His selfless public service to the Alaska that he loved will be sorely missed.”
Budget reconciliation to pass Obamacare
On March 6, 2010, it was reported Bergich became the 50th Senator agreeable to using the highly questionable budget reconciliation process as a means to circumvent ordinary Senate rules to force President Obama's healthcare reform package into law. Opinion polls show a majority of Americans oppose the radical measures in the president's healthcare package.
- E-mail from Gun Owners of America http://gunowners.org/113srat.htm - November 5, 2014
- News blog, Niilo honored at Democratic State Central Committee gala
- Alaska Business Monthly, Begich Honors Alaskan Niilo Koponen, Dec. 6. 2013