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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

SB21 Repeal Referendum Certified!

After taking the maximum allowable time under the law (go figure), Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell certified the application for a referendum petition filed last week by Vote Yes – Repeal the Giveaway, a grassroots Alaskan group formed to challenge the controversial new law known as Senate Bill 21.  The certification allows a signature drive to move forward to put this oil wealth giveaway to a vote of the people in 2014.  The group is now waiting for petition booklets from the state. SB 21 dramatically lowers Alaskans’ oil income, transferring billions of dollars from resource owners to multinational oil companies.  It…

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Alaska Eyes 2014

The legislative session in Juneau has ended, and our elected officials have flown away from the carnage they either created, or endured. The stalwart among us, the political junkies who don’t need to take time off to lick wounds, yell at clouds, or throw chairs, will begin to think of… 2014. The courts have ruled that the redistricted map used for 2012 is not Constitutional. We literally go back to the drawing board to rework legislative boundaries. And the insanity will begin all over again. But wait, that’s not all!   U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES We’ve also got our one…

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ACLU Investigates Censorship in Juneau

Last week, on two consecutive days, an assortment of government vans from at least two different entities, parked in front of the Capitol building in Juneau, blocking protesters who had come with signs to demonstrate. The protesters had been clearly visible from certain offices in the Capitol. Joe Miller’s blog describes the situation as reported by en eyewitness: “The trucks were parked across the street from the capital building, in the “active loading and unloading zone” and in the road congesting traffic, obviously in answer to a command to block the protesters. There were witnesses at the protest who heard…

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Who Blocked Protesters at Capitol?

This week, a group of Alaskans rallied against abortion in Juneau. Some anti-choice folks rolled out huge billboard signs of chopped up babies — gruesome images intended to disturb those coming in and out of the Capitol. The signs could be seen from some legislative offices and the Governor’s Office. At some point, several large State of Alaska vehicles drove up and parked in front of the signs – blocking them from the view of legislators and Capitol visitors. One driver was asked what he was doing. Following orders, he said. Whose orders? Gov. Sean Parnell issued a statement saying…

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What You Can Do About SB21

The Republican-dominated Senate just voted to give Alaska’s future away. So, what are you going to do now? Disneyland? Wrong answer. The savings that Alaska has accrued from it’s oil tax revenue will now go straight into the pockets of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world. We have no guarantees of any increased oil production, jobs, or exploration. History tells us we won’t get any of it. For a summary of what happened, with quotes and video clips of important moments, click HERE. Nine senators (7 Democrats and 2 Republicans) stood up for you, and withstood…

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Sen. Calls Oil Giveaway “Crapshoot”

Senator Kevin Meyer conceded that it is not known whether Senate Bill 21 will actually lead to significant oil production increases, despite a giveaway of billions of dollars from state coffers. “Realistically, we all would expect new oil,” Meyer said. But he added, “It’s kind of a crapshoot. You really don’t know, and the industry certainly isn’t going to say one way or the other, because you know their motivation is to try to keep the rates down as low as they can.” A billion dollar a year crapshoot! Yay! Anyone want to play? I didn’t think so. Oh, and…

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Oil Taxes on the Table Monday

This is it, everyone. It all comes down to this weekend. The Senate is likely to vote on the historic oil wealth giveaway this Monday. It is time to stand up for Alaska’s future. You have homework. Alaska owns its oil. That means YOU own YOUR oil, and the wealth it provides your state. Where you put your money is squarely where your values are. Do you want money for schools, for roads, for infrastructure and for jobs, or do you want your money to fill the bulging pockets of the wealthiest multinational corporations in the history of the world?…

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I love my city, and I love my job

“It’s starting to feel like a rock concert.” I agreed with the anonymous voice drifting over the mass of people, packed like sardines into the lobby of the Assembly chambers. Bright lights were on, TV cameras set up, and people were fanning themselves with folders, and papers. Everyone was here to testify on Ordinance 37, the mayor’s attempt to take advantage of the current makeup of the Assembly to push through a law that would restrict workers’ rights, and curtail collective bargaining for public unions. The turnout was impressive. I wasn’t sure if anyone had shown up to testify in…

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Tuesday Testimony for Ordinance 37?

Despite confusion from the Administration, Public Testimony on Anti-Worker Ordinance 37 is officially scheduled to start TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH sometime after 6:00 pm. This ordinance would freeze Muni employee pay and benefits forever, gut collective bargaining rights, and sets up “managed competition,” in which city employees would bid against private contractors for work. There has been conflicting information circulating about when public testimony is supposed to begin. Assembly Chair, Ernie Hall announced to a Working Group held last Friday between the Assembly and the unions that the testimony would begin on Wednesday, February 27th. Mayor Sullivan repeated that same announcement…

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Alaskans Gone Wild – Say No to Frankenfish!

(Insert Jaws theme here) The Frankenfish is coming!  Unless we all speak up… The push to introduce a genetically-modified, farmed Atlantic-Pacific-Salmon-Eel hybrid into the marketplace continues, but we have time to stop it. Alaska’s entire congressional delegation is all on our side on this one, so no excuse to call it a “partisan political issue.” This is about Alaska’s greatest sustainable treasure, our wild and wonderful salmon. The FDA has already issued a draft Environmental Assessment with a finding that genetically modified Atlantic salmon caused no significant environmental impact. Really? Sorry, FDA. Alaskans are smarter than that. We know that contamination…

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