GOP Lineup Goes Byzantine
The shakeup in the Alaska GOP continues. Our three party system (Dems, Republicans, and Tea Partiers) is going “byzantine,” according to the Alaska Ear. Yes, it’s inside baseball, but that’s really the only baseball that counts.
The powerful finance committee is where bills go to live or die, and it seems like a couple of entrenched GOPpers find themselves on the outside looking in – or potentially so. Bill Thomas (R) who was assumed to be a fixture in said committee, finds himself suddenly in a race for relevancy with the awesome, out-of-nowhere Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins. Their race, as you may recall, is literally tied at this point. Absentee ballots counted between today and Wednesday will determine the outcome. To the victor goes the seat on finance.
Mike Hawker, whom everyone assumed would land the powerful co-chair spot – didn’t.
Ear was planning to explain how the seat got saved for Thomas and how Alan Austerman of Kodiak ended up co-chair of Finance instead of Mike Hawker, who seemed to have an inside track to that plum assignment. Alas, the story is way too long and byzantine, so you’ll have to ask the players to explain it to you themselves. The takeaway from people who seem to know is that Bill Stoltze cleaned Hawker’s clock, politically speaking.
The Mudflats likes long, byzantine stories of wonkishness and skulduggery, but alas doubts if “the players” will lay it all out for us over tea and scones. So, we will be left to use other means to discover how Bill “the Naked Baker” Stoltze, who was the catalyst of illegal coordination between the Republican Governors Association under Mitt Romney, and the Palin for Governor campaign in 2006 [Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin, Simon & Schuster], ended up not only keeping his job, but getting re-elected, and now sitting in this position of power and authority. An ethical compass is not required to clean political clocks.
Meanwhile, the Republican takeover of the Senate seems to be heading right where we thought it would.
In 2011, the coalition, comprised of 10 Democrats and six Republicans, refused to follow the House’s lead and pass Parnell’s tax-cut plan, with leaders saying they didn’t have the information needed to make a sound policy call. This year, the coalition failed to agree on a comprehensive overhaul. The Senate ultimately passed a proposal aimed at encouraging production from new fields but it died in the House. A bill Parnell introduced during special session was criticized by lawmakers in both parties and chambers before he pulled it.