Backhoe attacks Alaska pol during ad shoot

Dirt

Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz isn't just battling Republican Gov. Sean Parnell in the Alaska election—he is fending off rogue earth-moving machines. Berkowitz posted the outtake below from a recent advertising shoot, showing him getting clobbered by a swiveling backhoe (after the :50 mark or so). A few inches higher, and it could have been a lot worse. Berkowitz clearly thinks the outtake is funny and might endear him to voters. But he's already getting crap for the clip, with some saying his cavalier attitude around construction machinery—he's not even wearing a hard hat—demonstrates a lack of judgment. "No amount of dirt can hide being stupid about safety issues, even if it is for a media political advertisement," one safety group said in a statement. To which Berkowitz replied: "Let me put it this way: My mom saw the ad and laughed. If you're going to work around heavy equipment, which is what we need to get the pipeline going, we need people with the strength to see the job through."