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April 17, 2021

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Dumpster Fires & Middle School Spats -

Friday, April 16, 2021

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Friday, April 9, 2021

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

No Room for Nazis, & more committee madness

NO ROOM FOR NAZIS

The good news is that the actual Nazi apologist on the Alaska Human Rights Commission was removed. Gov. Dunleavy felt that her defense of Nazi phrases was… “distracting.” I think the word he was looking for was “wrong” or “abhorrent.” But regardless, Anchorage Assembly Member Jamie Allard is off the commission even though she still sits on the Anchorage Assembly. Tuesday night, when Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson addressed the chamber saying we must speak out forcefully against Nazism and hate, she was booed by a contingent of Allard fans in the audience. It’s irrelevant what your political party is, when your supporters are booing on behalf of Nazis, you are on the wrong side.

This is why showing up to vote in the Anchorage Municipal election in April is critical. Voting in the Presidential election was very satisfying, but when it comes to this kind of stuff, local elections determine who sits in the seats that affect your town every day. The right-wing extremists, the conspiracy theorists, the anti-science brigade, and the actual Nazi sympathizers are getting organized and banging on the gates. We saw it in D.C. on January 6, and we are seeing its ugly counterpart right here in Alaska. Make a pledge to pester your Anchorage friends to return those mail ballots for mayor as soon as they come, and know who you’re voting for! What would Anchorage look like if our next mayor was on Allard’s side?

Because if you thought that condemnation of Nazis is something that all Americans could get behind, think again.

BAD BILL, GOOD BILL

BAD BILL first: 

The Voter Suppression Bill, SB39, from Republican Senator Mike Shower of Wasilla, had its first hearing this week. There are many provisions in the bill, but overturning the will of Alaska voters by hobbling an initiative they voted for that included automatic voter registration on PFD applications is one. The other will infringe on the control of local governments to utilize mail-in voting in their elections.

SB39 was heard before the State Affairs Committee, which is chaired by Shower, and it was everything you might expect. The committee also includes conspiracy theorist Lora Reinbold, and the lone Democratic Senator Scott Kawasaki.

Twitter was on fire during the hearing:

Most of the hearing involved speculation about what might happen, reports from “some people” about problems they said they had, and no real facts or evidence. The purpose seemed to be to undermine confidence in our election process and claim it is rife with fraud. Kawasaki asked that Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer and the head of the Division of Elections be brought before the committee to discuss procedures and security measures that are in place. Shower said he’d been told that Lt. Gov. Meyer would not appear. [Reminder, the Lt. Gov. has ONE job, and that’s overseeing elections – but apparently he can’t be bothered to set any of these people straight]

(Sen. Shower’s staff advertising for a sports team as he presents at the hearing)

Shower’s staffers (Terrence Shanigan wearing football swag in the committee room, and disgraced former legislator Scott Ogan over the phone) pretty much took over the meeting. They talked about the fact that ballots disappear for a period of time once they’re mailed. Ogan also used the hypothetical situation of a village fraudulently filling out 100 ballots – but then tried to backtrack by saying that he himself lives in a village (Seldovia) and so he’s “not accusing anyone of anything, but…” He also talked about the importance of ethics. The irony was not lost on anyone who remembers Ogan’s unceremonious exit from the legislature under a cloud of corruption allegations. Shower & Co. made sure to issue strong denials that suppressing the vote has racial overtones, even though the result of voter suppression tactics always disadvantages communities of color.

And, of course, Lora Reinbold brought up a bunch of false accusations about Dominion Voting machines – the same Dominion that is suing Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell for defamation for more than a billion dollars for their false accusations. 

If sowing uncertainty, and creating fake problems that need “solving” was the goal, then mission accomplished in this hearing.

*Reminder: The only party who wants to make it harder to vote is the one that knows that if every eligible voter could vote easily, Democrats would be more likely to win.

To follow what’s going on with the Voter Suppression Bill (SB39) you can either text ‘SB39’ to 559-245-2529 to enroll in text alerts, or you can follow along at akleg.gov which tells you everything you need to know about who sponsored and co-sponsored a bill, what the bill says, and where it is in the process of becoming law. Type the bill number into the search bar as below, and you’re off to the races.

GOOD BILLS!

HB66: As an antidote to the Voter Suppression Bill, be sure to check out HB66 from Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) which will actually make it easier for people to exercise their right to vote. Imagine that! We’ll cover this more in the coming days, but make sure it’s on your radar.

SB25: On the very short list of things we love that Gov. Sarah Palin did (it’s short but real!), was to put the State of Alaska’s checkbook online so everyone could see exactly what the state was paying, to whom, and when. Transparency – what a concept! And we enjoyed this transparency for many years… Until Mike Dunleavy. 

Now, for some reason ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ the checkbook is offline and has been “temporarily removed” for almost a YEAR, and nobody knows if it will ever come back. The good news is that Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) has introduced a bill that would codify the online checkbook into law, and make it searchable. Kind of like this. If they can do it in Ohio, they can do it here.

Same drill as above. If you want to follow what’s going on with the Alaska Online Checkbook Act, either text SB25 to 559-245-2529 to enroll in text alerts, or follow along at akleg.gov HERE  by typing SB25 into the search bar up top. This bill is due to have a hearing in the State Affairs Committee next Tuesday. You’ll be able to watch that live at 360north HERE.

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MADNESS

A big sweeping bow to Matt Buxton of The Midnight Sun for doing the best job of bringing us right into the belly of the Judiciary Committee beast and reporting on Chair Lora Reinbold’s first whack at a committee meeting. The covid/election denier and anti-masker invited a controversial Swedish doctor who pitched his anti-mask/pro-herd immunity strategy to speak to her committee. And she’s also not wild about vaccines, but has huge opinions about how the way the administration has been handling covid is unconstitutional. As Buxton points out:

“Why it matters: This is a bad look for Reinbold and a bad look for the Senate Majority that has given her this platform.” [my emphasis]

Bingo, aaaaand bingo. Reinbold is who she is, and has never gone out of her way to hide it. So I’m not sure how productive it is to blame her for any of this. The people who voted for her have a hand in it, yes. But most of all, right now, we can plop this squarely in the lap of the newly formed Republican Senate Majority. They’re no different than Republicans at the national level right now, who invited the snakes (and their flag) into the tent, and now don’t know how to get them out. Alaskans should know better than most the importance of keeping bad things out of tents, but apparently the “moderate” Republicans in the Senate missed that lesson. They had the opportunity to caucus with Democrats – like they’ve done in the past – to keep the ship of state upright. But they chose instead … THIS.

[Reinbold speaking to DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum]
“You guys have had front and center for 10 months, you’ve had the media, everybody eating out of your hand for the last 10 months. This was and opportunity for question and answer in my committee so I gave you tremendous leeway, next time it will not be this way. … It’s really, really important to never forget what our founding fathers did, what the oppression that they dealt with and what the pilgrims and founding fathers and the oppression they dealt with and what they did to fight and die for the freedoms that we have now and a lot of the freedoms have been very, very much under attack over the last 10 months…”

BREAKING: Reinbold (who had threatened to cancel a Judiciary Committee meeting if Dunleavy didn’t send over Dr. Anne Zink to be interrogated by her about covid response) just canceled the Judiciary Committee meeting… Stay tuned for more on that!

THE STATE OF THE STATE HOUSE

Have the 20 Republicans in last year’s minority and the 20 D’s, R’s, and I’s from last year’s multi-partisan majority figured out how to organize yet? They either will form a broad coalition including Ds, Rs, and Is like last time, figure out how to take turns and share, or there will be an all-Republican majority and it will end up just like the Senate is right now. 

Here’s a live update of how it’s going so far:

We’ll keep you posted.

Comments

comments

Comments
One Response to “No Room for Nazis, & more committee madness”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    Most of the hearing involved speculation about what might happen, reports from “some people” about problems they said they had, and no real facts or evidence. The purpose seemed to be to undermine confidence in our election process and claim it is rife with fraud.

    This is what magats do and say, without a shred of evidence. They want the public and the courts to trust their words because they have nothing to offer of voting fraud. Magats are the latest iteration of de-evolving wingnuts who want to turn the clock back a hundred or more years when wasicu wastey men ruled America and minorities knew their places.

    Minus 24 temp around 8:30 today in mikey land, nw iowa. Looking for the same tonight.

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