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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Open Thread – Basic Training

This weekend, anyone who’s anyone in progressive politics is going to have noses to the grindstone, shoulders to the wheel, boots on the ground, hands in the air, and brains focused on the Democracy for America Campaign Academy. We’ll be learning all kinds of fun things you need to know to win campaigns, and make the progressive community in Alaska more effective. Detailed information is HERE. Hope to see you there!

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Freedom of Speech (that doesn’t offend Dan Sullivan)

  By Shannyn Moore My sister and I were doing homework and talking about a boy in our junior high school. We were laughing about the dirty high-water pants he seemed to wear every single day. I looked up to see a tight-faced Pop. I was confused until he said, “There was a time I only had one pair of pants. Do you think he wears them every day because he has a choice? You don’t have to remind him he’s poor; he knows.” I managed a “Sorry, Pop,” and went to my room. I closed the door, sat on…

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Are You Ready for Campaign Boot Camp?

Raise your hand if you are frustrated at the current political climate in Alaska. Raise your hand if you are ready to stop wringing your hands and are ready to do something about it. OK, everybody better have raised their hands that last time. And this is a very good thing, because your opportunity to do just that has arrived! The fine folks at Democracy for America (DFA) have heard our cries for help, mounted their noble steeds, and are galloping north to hold a Campaign Academy! (I wait politely while the squealing, clapping and bouncing dies down) This is…

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Mayor Appoints Schoolbus-Following Guy to the (School) Budget Advisory Committee

  By Linda Kellen Biegel Here at The Mudflats we did a post not long ago about an incident discussed during an Anchorage School Board Meeting. It seems that Bob Griffin, a twice-failed candidate for the school board, was pulled over by the police. Here is the explanation in the words of School Superintendent Carol Comeau at that meeting: Carol Comeau — I have no idea what he said or what he’s doing. I do know that shortly after the election he was following the bus route of one high school, middle school and elementary school and the bus driver…

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Stop the Sunset at the Anchorage Assembly Meeting Tonight

He’s at it again. Mayor Dan Sullivan has found a new way to stifle the voices of Anchorage residents, and keep them from making all those pesky suggestions and complaints – you know, “citizen participation.” Apathy and disconnection is far more appealing to the current administration. But, tomorrow, there is a public hearing in which you, dear Anchorage resident, may make your voice heard anyway. The mayor has decided to trim the fat, and cut, or sunset many of the city’s volunteer boards and commissions. The city admits that this has nothing to do with saving money. So why put…

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IMPORTANT: TODAY — Redistricting Plan Public Testimony in Anchorage!

Redistricting is going on across the country as a result of the 2010 Census. It is the single most important political event happening this year because these are the districts we’ll all be voting in for the next 10 years. Lucky us…the way that Alaska’s Board selection is set up gave us 4 Republicans out of 5 members this time! So, you can imagine how some of the proposed districts look. Example: in Board Option 2, Sen. Wielechowski’s District J moves from Muldoon, Mountain View and Wonder Park (traditionally more Progressive areas) farther north to the military base and Eagle…

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APOC Taking Public Testimony on Proposed Regulations Today! *UPDATE*

You may remember that earlier in the month, Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) held several days of workshops so that people could better understand the proposed changes being made to their regulations. The workshops went quite well (I attended them all by teleconference) and I was very pleased not only that APOC had them but that there also seemed to be so many participants. You now have the opportunity, Alaska, to weigh in on those changes. APOC is holding their regular meeting this week and tomorrow will be dedicated to these sections of regulations: 1) Lobbying and lobbyist, 2) Legislative…

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Will The AK Liquor Lobby Benefit From Its Investment In The AK Legislature? *UPDATE*

When the word “lobby” is used in Alaska, the first thing that logically springs to mind is Big Oil. However, there is a very powerful lobby which has reigned supreme in this state longer than the oil companies and it revolves around Alaska’s favorite drug-of-choice, alcohol. Why is the alcohol lobby so influential in Alaska? The first picture that comes to mind is that of Alaska’s early Wild West days, including the Gold Rush of the 1890s. Along with these hopeful gold miners came early entrepreneurs and colorful vice-peddlers who discovered a different kind of “gold mining” in the “Land…

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Anchorage School Board Wrap-up. Gains made.

~Linda Kellen Biegel testifies at the School Board meeting Thanks to all who showed up last night at the special meeting of the Anchorage School Board. The room was packed, and the public testimony was moving, and heartfelt, and practical. We put our money where our priorities are, and nobody wants to live in a city where the next generation is not a priority.  It was amazing to hear employees of the Anchorage School District talk about the job descriptions of positions that were on the chopping block, speaking up for people who have dedicated their lives to making a…

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Vitamin Democracy: APOC wants YOU!

The Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) is in the process of updating the regulations covering the three areas within its purview: Campaign disclosure, Regulation of lobbying, and Legislative and Public Official financial disclosure.  Usually, this process is done by making the changes public on the APOC website and then through a series of formal meetings where they take public testimony. It can be a very intimidating process generally only used by those subject to the regulations (public officials, aides, candidates and campaign workers) as well as geeky, watchdog types (ahem). Here’s the good news! APOC listened to the requests of many…

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