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April 24, 2014

GOP Leader Threatens Sexual Assault Council

sidney+whiplash

Speaker of the House Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) is throwing rape victims under the train to get the governor’s out-of-state buddy on an Alaska gasline board. You’ve got to hand it to him; the lengths to which he will go to demonstrate his lack of common decency are not half-assed. In a state where 37 percent of women report having experienced sexual violence, and where rape statistics are three times the national average, Mike Chenault proves that for those like himself, there are more important things. Like getting the governor’s Texas buddy on the gasline board. The premise of Chenault’s latest legislative…

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Anchorage Muni Voter Guide

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The editors of The Mudflats don’t always agree, but this time we’re unanimous. What we agree upon most of all is that everyone must get out to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, April 1. Local elections are the most important, and least well attended. This one is particularly critical, so no excuses. Here’s your down and dirty voter guide. Anchorage Assembly Races East Side  Adam Trombley vs. Pete Petersen vs. Mao Tosi Trombley has rallied the troops at the Anchorage Tea Party “Day of Resistance,” spent most of his time trying to distance himself from an increasingly unpopular Mayor who hand-selected him…

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DC Dan’s Embryonic Memory

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US Senate hopeful Dan Sullivan (R-OH–>DC–>AK) has decided to boost his nonexistent Alaska cred by campaign-branding the most traumatic event in Anchorage history. In addition to slapping his logo on the Good Friday Quake, Dan pours on the “we remember.” Given that the quake hit our city roughly 8 months before Sullivan’s birth in Ohio, his precocious, in-utero grasp of geological phenomena like the shifting of tectonic plates must have been impressive. The actual Alaskan in the Senate race shows our visitor from Ohio/DC how it’s done: Translation: “There’s no need to explicitly remind you I was born and raised here….

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Social Media Wins & Fails of AK Politicos

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ANCHORAGE, AK— There are two types of Facebook stati: those providing the reader with value of some sort—informational, cautionary, or even just escapist entertainment value—and those benefitting only the writer: appeals for sympathy or money, self-congratulatory piety, boastful one-upsmanship, you know all the flavors. The second type is never in short supply, but here are three examples of effective social media use by public officials which—while of benefit to constituents and the public, indeed for that very reason—will also pay dividends when the candidate makes an ask around campaign time. The Feedback Loop Fairbanks Rep. Scott Kawasaki’s approach highlights an…

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Farewell to a Historian and Mentor

claus

“WHY do YOU have to argue with the professor EVERY class?! Can’t you just let him talk so I can write this stuff down, take a test, graduate and get a job?!” Oh, that was a weekly conversation with some of my UAF classmates. (You’re shocked, I know.) I sat enraptured by Terrence Cole’s take on history. He was right, the historical truth was often most boldly told in political cartoons rather than in textbooks. I listened in Dr. Pierce’s class. He was quite old, with even older maps. I told him once the continents had moved since his maps…

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Contraception’s Bang for the Buck

Dyson hates abortion, but opposes policies that makes it less likely.

JUNEAU, AK—Opposition to abortion rights has been the political hallmark of Alaska State Senator Fred Dyson (R-Eagle River). He is also, as these ironies invariably go, opposed to expanding contraceptive access. “By and large, sexual activity is recreation,” the senator intoned today during floor debate on SB49. “The state shouldn’t finance other people’s recreation.” Does the senator favor elimination of all state parks? What of the Department of Fish & Game—some of which relates to subsistence, but which also serves recreational endeavors? Is he aware that it is public, state-financed roads taking us to our state’s ski resorts, or does he imagine…

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Miller Time: My Sunday With Joe

myBFF

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand? —Jimi Hendrix FAIRBANKS, AK — All three Republican US Senate candidates—Dan Sullivan, Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell—attended the Tea Party-ish Day of Resistance event in Wasilla last Sunday. But only one, Joe Miller, then braved the cold of the interior to attend the rally in Fairbanks. It appears Sullivan and Treadwell would like to peel off a few of the conservative and libertarian activists who are Miller’s base, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience them into having to head north. It was just as well, as candidates of tony…

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Democratic Frontier: Q&A with the State Party Chair

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With the governorship, a US senate seat, our lone Congressional seat, and SB 21 repeal all on the statewide ballot, 2014 is a critical election year in Alaska. Given recent gerrymandering and the influx of outside political money, the state represents significant challenges for Democrats. The Mudflats spoke with Democratic Party Chair Mike Wenstrup about the state of the state, his party, and its future. Alaska doesn’t seem to be a very hospitable place for Democrats these days, so what compelled you to want to run the state party? Alaska values are Democratic values: Respect for personal privacy, government restraint, maximizing public benefits…

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AK Wants Equality. Bigots Want Cash.

MinneryRainbow

Bigots don’t like being called bigots, and they’re not pleased with the idea of equality if it applies to people who are different than them. But if you open your wallets, the world might still be saved. On Monday, Alaska Senate Minority leader Hollis French (D-Anchorage) introduced a resolution that would eliminate Alaska’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. As a straight, married man who already enjoys those legal benefits, he could have sat this one out, but to his credit he made the decision to support those who only wish to enjoy the rights he does. “I believe that we…

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No Gov’t Handouts for Private Schools

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Today in Juneau, hundreds of  concerned parents, students and community members assembled on the steps of the Capitol building to support an increase in school funding (by raising the Base Student Allocation) and to oppose government handouts to private and religious schools. “We just cannot divert public money to private schools. It’s simply a bad idea,” said Dave Noon, a parent of a public elementary school student and a history professor. “As you look through history, there is no roster of heroes who opposed public education.” “Constitutional Conservatives” who usually advocate for the Constitution as an unassailable, and unchanging document,…

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