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December 8, 2016

Capitol Couches Could Be Killing You

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I rarely like to print press releases but the title of this one was too good. Sent by Senator Wielechowski’s office through the Senate Democrats e-mail list the press release below discusses the pervasiveness of a certain hazardous chemical that might be in children’s foam products and Juneau’s Capitol buildings couches. – Zach Capitol Couches Could Be Killing You Sen. Wielechowski Announces Results of Testing of Couches in the Capitol Building for Toxic Chemicals Senate Bill 111, legislation proposed by Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) and recently moved to the Senate Judiciary Committee, would limit the amount of a certain category of harmful…

GOP Parasite TransCanada Finally Shed

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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…

Alaska Lemming Caucus Over the Edge

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This has been a difficult week for many Alaskans. So much uncertainty as 10,000 pink slips go to our friends and neighbors working for the state. Fairbanks Sen. Pete Kelly argues they aren’t pink slips, because there’s an “if” in them, as in “You’re not laid off if a handful of senators get their poop together.” Of course, we know there’s no chance Pete and his collaborators will get their poop together. Instead of pink slips, people online are calling them “Pete slips.” Our current legislative crisis is the handiwork of a small cabal of senators who refuse to compromise their misguided ideology. The…

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…

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…

AK Wants Equality. Bigots Want Cash.

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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…

Parnell Stacks the Deck for Oil. Again.

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The muck-raking writer Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” He wrote that after running for governor in 1934. It would seem the business of politics was even more messy than the meat packing industry he exposed. I’d go a bit further than Sinclair. It’s difficult for someone to continue getting a salary if he does understand some things and still acts on them. It’s a bit of a long story, but I’ll give you the skinny. Most of us are familiar with the…

Ma’o Tosi: Pattern of Poor Judgment

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******UPDATE FEB 20th 11:55 PM****** Yesterday, Ma’o Tosi appeared on Dave Stieren’s KFQD radio show. During the course of the interview, Stieren asked him about his tax issues. Tosi assured him everything was fine: “…Our CPA has filed the extensions for our taxes within the non-profit so those aren’t issues as far as filing…” Really? When LKB spoke to Mrs. Somebody at the IRS (after being on hold seemingly forever) she was very thorough in questioning her about “extensions” and the rules involving 990s. According to the IRS: A) A non-profit’s 990 is due the 15th day of the 5th…

Heeeere’s the Kickoff! Let the Session Begin!

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They’re back! Those wacky kids at Alaska Robotics are in Juneau to call the legislative session play by play. Grab a bag of peanuts and a beer, and enjoy. Also, be sure to “like” Alaska Robotics on Facebook! And mind the drones!

Recall Effort Advances

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Anchorage State House Representative Lindsey Holmes got one step closer to political oblivion yesterday. She’s the Democrat, elected to serve West Anchorage, one of the most liberal districts in the state, who got to Juneau and went “>>POOF!<< Guess what? I’m a Republican now!” Those who knocked doors, donated money, put up yard signs, and gave their vote to Ms. Holmes were (needless to say) not amused. A group of the unamused decided to do something about it, and fire the nouveau Republican from her job. And that takes a lot of work. Signature gathering of District 19 residents began…