My Twitter Feed

June 21, 2018

Transparency? You can’t HANDLE transparency.

Let’s talk about why some Republican Senators actually said right out loud that the public should be kept in the dark about ethical issues surrounding legislators who may be voting despite a declared conflict of interest. Let’s just say for a minute that you work for a candy manufacturer. Pick your favorite. Mine is Butterfinger, so we’ll use that here. So, there’s a big Butterfinger factory somewhere in Alaska, and you work there. And let’s also say you’re a member of the Alaska legislature – a senator. Butterfinger is happy to let you work 7 or 8 months of the…

Anti-Net Neutrality? Follow the Money.

It’s time for a field trip! Before we take a special excursion to the Political Olympics today, let’s try a little experiment. Listen carefully. “Net neutrality.” Did your eyes glaze over? Are you checking your phone? Hey, you in the back of the bus – eyes forward! It’s a problem. And I’m going to resist the temptation to slip into wonkiness and lose you. Because it’s too important of an issue to lose you and there are plenty of places you can go if you want to get into the weeds of net neutrality. The bottom line is that your…

Epic Non-Apology for ‘Serious Retaliation’ from Wasilla Senator

You’ll all be pleased to know that the Alaska legislature is still the best reality show on the internets. And as per history, Wasilla Republicans continue to deliver the goods. For those of you who need a little background, I’ll try to make this as quick and painless as possible. Senator David Wilson (R-Wasilla) was outed on the AK Landmine for committing a weird and distasteful display of vulgarity and all-around inappropriate creepiness to a well-respected high-level staffer. We’ll call her Ann Smith [not her name]. The bottom line is that Wilson was trying to get a listen to a…

Alaska Needs a Hostage Negotiator

Relationship counselors get a bad rap. Probably because it’s too late by the time one person insists it’s important to do. Oh, you go along, and at some point the therapist looks at you and rolls his eyes and tells you you’re nuts to stick around for more crazy town. OK, maybe that was just my experience, but it’s going to take more than a fancy talker with comfy sofas to help what’s going on in Juneau. They need a hostage negotiator. A terrorism expert. I’m talking Bruce Willis in “Die Hard” caliber. I’m sure some precious snowflake lawmaker is…

Capitol Couches Could Be Killing You

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

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

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

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

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.

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…