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May 26, 2018

Anti-Net Neutrality? Follow the Money.

It’s time for a field trip! Before we take a special excursion to the Political Olympics today, let’s try a little experiment. Listen carefully. “Net neutrality.” Did your eyes glaze over? Are you checking your phone? Hey, you in the back of the bus – eyes forward! It’s a problem. And I’m going to resist the temptation to slip into wonkiness and lose you. Because it’s too important of an issue to lose you and there are plenty of places you can go if you want to get into the weeds of net neutrality. The bottom line is that your…

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GOP Parasite TransCanada Finally Shed

The divorce between Alaska and TransCanada became final this week. The Legislature voted to buy TransCanada’s share of a prospective natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. How the state ended up in that shotgun marriage is a lesson in corporate power and Republican legislators’ willingness to kowtow to it. Our story begins with Gov. Sarah Palin’s attempt to encourage a natural gas pipeline. It wasn’t a terrible idea to try to get an independent pipeline company directly involved in the project. When the Legislature passed the Alaska Natural Gasline Inducement Act in 2007, the idea was to incentivize a…

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Obama Comes to Alaska: We Have to Break the Ice, so We Can Save It.

As I drove, I imagined having to explain to a Secret Service agent that the reason my boots set off the sniffer dog is because the last two places I wore them were a pig farm and a gun show respectively. So, there was a perfectly good explanation why I smelled of gunpowder, and fertilizer. “No really! I swear! I still have the pictures on my phone!” I was glad I had allowed extra time. I had allowed so much extra time, it turns out, that I was the first member of the press at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) and waited in…

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Obama Comes to Alaska: We Have to Save the Ice so We Can Break It

As I drove, I imagined having to explain to a Secret Service agent that the reason my boots set off the sniffer dog is because the last two places I wore them were a pig farm and a gun show respectively. So, there was a perfectly good explanation why I smelled of gunpowder, and fertilizer. “No really! I swear! I still have the pictures on my phone!” I was glad I had allowed extra time. I had allowed so much extra time, it turns out, that I was the first member of the press at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) and waited in…

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Send in the GOP Clowns

It’s politics as usual in Juneau. As Alaska burns, Alaska Republicans bloviate. We’re staring down the barrel of multibillion-dollar state budget deficits as far into the future as we can see. Are the Republicans majorities in the Legislature acknowledging that their misguided spending and tax policies got us into this fix? Are they prepared to set a new course? Not bloody likely. Rather than rolling up their sleeves, trying to come up with constructive solutions, they’re trotting out the usual gimmicks to divert public attention from their failures. So, by the lights of legislative leaders, what’s the big problem in…

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Begich and Parnell Concede

Mark Begich has officially called to congratulate Dan Sullivan on winning the senate race. I’m thinking maybe a constitutional challenge is in order now that Ohio has three senators. Alaskans didn’t used to fall for the carpetbagger who moved here just for a senate seat. But the times they are a-changing. The following statement was released by Begich, after calling Sullivan today. “Alaska is a place unmatched by any other, and the opportunity to represent Alaskans and all of Alaska’s communities in the U.S. Senate has been a tremendous honor for which I am eternally grateful. Alaska deserves a bright…

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AP Calls Senate Race for Sullivan, but…

The Associated Press last night called the Alaska Senate race for Republican Dan Sullivan. So, is it over? Well, not quite yet. There are still more than 20,000 votes to count, and overseas ballots still have almost a week to arrive. There are votes yet to come in from villages in which Mark Begich expects a high level of support. The campaign released the following statement even as Begich is back in D.C. for his probable but not definite lame duck months. A statement by a campaign structure that has seen their candidate win several elections by the slimmest of margins…

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Alaska… You Crazy! Election Recap

On election night, one state in the nation voted to legalize marijuana, raise the minimum wage, and add an extra level of environmental protection for sensitive ecosystems facing development. It’s largest city also voted to overturn an anti-labor ordinance which was the brain child of a Mayor (running as a Republican for Lt. Governor) who appears to be about to go down in flames to a non-partisan gubernatorial ticket. That’s like a cool, edgy progressive place to live, right? What if I told you that this very same state has elected by a comfortable margin, a majority in the legislature…

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Notes from Election Central

Here we go again! 8:30 – No numbers yet. Sitting in a sweet spot with lots of plug-ins and within earshot of the table belonging to Ethan Berkowitz and the Party Planner who are interviewing talk bloviator Dave Stieren who is loudly and intently talking about Mark BAGitch (learn the name!) “Every election is about the next election,” he drops the pearls of wisdom on the floor for us to scramble after. Now something about Joe Miller, and the Democrats sending out flyers for Mark Fish the Libertarian candidate, hoping to split the Republican vote. The Party Planner nods in…

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Cruz to Wasilla

Fueled by Jitters coffee and a sugar cookie the size of a frisbee, I was as ready as I was ever going to be. I and two companions were on a political road trip north to the Valley. As we arrived in Wasilla, a small plane flew laps over the AT&T sports center, towing a sign that read “Sullivan for Senate.” In a media market filled to capacity with political ads, this apparently was the only air time left. Inside, Toby Keith, Neil Diamond, Eminem, Corey Hart, and an unlikely play list of songs presumably chosen for themes of freedom, America,…

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