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November 28, 2014

Parnell Ignored Guard Sexual Assaults

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By J. Pastrick As a U.S. Army National Guard veteran, I’ve watched with dismay as Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration ignored reports of unpunished sexual assault in the National Guard. The stories sounded all too familiar. When I was in the Alaska National Guard, sexual harassment was all too common. As the only female recruiter in the Alaska Army National Guard, I was subjected to harassment by my immediate supervisor and two male recruiters to the point where it was intolerable. I reported sexual harassment, and a subsequent investigation confirmed it. However, the harassment did not stop. The “good ol’ boy”…

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Parnell, GOP Continue Guard Scandal Coverup

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Earlier this year I received a loose-leaf notebook bulging with documents that detailed the sexual assault coverups and corruption in the Alaska National Guard. I spent a few months compiling information and interviewing as many people as would talk, trying to understand the players and the broad outlines of a mind-blowing scandal with real victims. People talked to me even though they were afraid. Terrified, actually. For years those who had spoken up against crime in the guard had had their careers destroyed. Nevertheless, a handful of brave souls tried to sound the alarm — even going directly the governor…

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‘Grand Oil Party’ Sues Unity.

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I was having dinner in New York City a few years ago with some media muckety-mucks. They asked me why I wouldn’t move to The City for work. “I’d be bored,” was my answer. This was another interesting week in Alaska politics and proved sticking around Alaska has been worth the price of admission. The legislative ethics adviser, Reggie Drummond, who just took his job a few months ago, has mysteriously resigned. Perhaps someone took a look at his twitter feed, which included such poetic yarns as “Liberal = industrial sized stupid, put that one in your dictionary” and a…

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Pebble Mine is Really Sorry (They Got Caught)

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These past few weeks have been bad ones for the Pebble Partnership and its attorneys. Here’s the statement issued last week by Pebble Limited Partnership, the Pebble Mines Corp. and Jermain, Dunnagan & Owens, their law firm, the defendants, and the Renewable Resources Coalition, the plaintiffs, in a long-running lawsuit. RELATED: AK Beat: Billionaire mining investor says Pebble “will not be built” The “Renewable Resources Coalition and Pebble Limited Partnership have today announced a settlement of their litigation pending in Los Angeles. In that litigation, Renewable Resources Coalition alleged that Pebble had unlawfully purchased its confidential records and information from…

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The Naked Baker Must Go

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If you are a Mudflats reader, you know him as The Naked Baker. Bill Stoltze may have earned his moniker by his unfortunate hobby of baking cookies for charity auctions in the nude, but sadly this is not the most horrifying thing about this Alaska legislator. Stoltze figured heavily into the book I co-authored, “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin” (with Frank Bailey and Ken Morris, Simon & Schuster, 2011), for something worse. He was the force behind the coordination of the 2006 Sarah Palin for Governor campaign, and the Republican Governor’s Association then headed by Mitt Romney. Sounds important, like…

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Parnell Ignored Guard Rape for Years

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“This culture of mistrust and failed leadership in the Guard ends now,” according to Gov. Sean Parnell, the failed commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard for the last four years. Unfortunately, if you’ve been paying attention, you know there isn’t the slightest chance that Parnell will hold himself accountable for ignoring years of guardsmen pleading for his help — in some cases with soldier rape victims and their advocates almost literally banging on the door of his office. Instead he’s in weasel overdrive in an attempt to escape responsibility for his inaction and blatant lack of concern. You…

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What Could Go Wrong? This.

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There’s a game most of us play. It’s called “What Could Go Wrong?!” You know, like I’m going to hand my nine year old an automatic weapon – “What Could Go Wrong?!” Or, why not go bare-headed and drive a motorcycle really fast? “What Could Go Wrong?!” Then there is the always present, Why don’t we build a giant mine at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon fishing run in the entire world? “What Could Go Wrong?” Many Alaskans have asked this question over the last decade regarding the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. When the state government…

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Big Brother Feels Bad. Really.

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Remember 1984? The book, not the year. You probably read it in high school. It’s a dystopian novel, published in 1949, that takes place in a world of perpetual manufactured war, state sponsored torture, omnipresent and intrusive government surveillance, and propaganda posing as news, all controlled by an elite and privileged “Inner Party” bent on squashing independent thinking and dissent in order to keep itself in power. The whole shebang is controlled by a powerful, merciless entity called “Big Brother,” who may or may not be just one person. No really, it’s just a novel. The hero of the story,…

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Sullivan Fails to Stand His Ground

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I support the Second Amendment. I have guns and, because we have some lunatics on the loose in this state, I conceal carry. But I didn’t support the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law that allows people to shoot those they fear without trying to retreat first. If you can retreat safely, you should — rather than take someone’s life. It was a controversial bill that many believed would lead to more violence, so you can imagine my happy surprise when Sarah Palin’s then-attorney general, Dan Sullivan, opposed the bill and helped kill it in 2010. I was impressed that Sarah…

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Judge Confirms Lt. Gov’s Incompetence

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The job of Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor really has only two duties to speak of. 1) Care and maintenance of the state seal. Not the animal – that would be hard, and require lots of work. I’m talking about the little round metal disc that turns stuff official. I don’t really know what care and maintenance that seal requires, but I’m guessing there might be buffing involved, or maybe some kind of chemical paste and a soft lint-free cloth. Perhaps it’s nestled in a velvet-lined wooden box, and needs to be checked on from time to time, to make sure nobody’s…

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