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July 30, 2014

Alaskans! Run!

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The recent boondoggle with the Anchorage legislative office remodel is appalling enough by itself. However it also represents a much greater issue with this legislature. Members of that body are elected and sworn to act in the best interests of Alaska. Currently, they don’t. In negotiating a disastrous lease, they have Alaskans paying for an extensive remodel to a building we don’t own, and then a fivefold increase in rent, and finally locking us into a decade-long lease. This is a bad deal all the way around for the state, and a dreadful misappropriation of funds. Meanwhile, the lessor, a heavy campaign…

Legislature Cuts the Brake Lines

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A friend of mine just returned from Juneau. “Shanny, it’s a scary ride down there. The wheels are still on the bus, but the brake lines have been cut.” Elections have consequences, and the result of November’s vote put us all on the same ride. There are multiple bills introduced this session, written up by Outside think tanks funded by John Bircher millionaires. So, besides the lack of brakes, the people driving the bus are under the influence of much more intoxicating influences than their constituents. Now it would seem the bus has decided to go off road and take…

Parnell Pees in the Pool

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The critical vote on a controversial bill involving the dumping of cruise ship waste in Alaska waters has been put off until next week. This is good news. Your outrage, and contacts with your legislators are having an impact. The cruise ship dumping legislation favored by Governor Sean Parnell would kill key provisions of a 2006 citizen’s initiative, voted in by the people, that required cruise ships to meet clean water standards at the point of discharge by the 2016 cruise season, instead of allowing them to release sewage, heavy metals, and other waste into “mixing zones.” Mixing zones are…

Jesus Gets Punked by Exxon

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Election day may be over here in Alaska, but now is when the fun begins. The results of a couple close races are hinging on absentee and questioned ballots yet to be examined, and shiny new lawmakers are angling for committee assignments and chairmanships. Pundits, meanwhile, examine and expound upon the results of the Citizens United meets Big Oil meets Jesus campaign machine. Let me be one of them. During this time, it’s good to remember the lessons of the past. The genius of Ronald Reagan was his ability to unite two completely different groups of people—with completely different policy…

The Wrath of Captain Zero

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Well, somebody’s still mad. After he didn’t get his way during the legislative session, he broke his crayons and went home. After Governor Sean Parnell’s embarrassingly botched special session that cost Alaskans upwards of $30,000 a day, in which his woefully underprepared administration tried in vain to get the Alaska Senate to green light his second $2 billion dollar a year, no-strings-attached, prezzie to the oil companies, he’s now got another plan. Revenge. It didn’t register with the governor that Alaskans actually didn’t like his oil tax plan. They didn’t like the idea of moving $10 billion over the next…

The Senate Heros vs. Captain Zero – Get Ready to Rumble!

The internet is a beautiful thing. How else could a political junkie snuggle into the couch in jammie pants with a cup of coffee, and commiserate with other like-minded souls for an event that rivals all this baseball stuff that everyone else seems to be talking about. I speak to you of…. (dramatic pause) the Alaska State Senate Resources Committee Meeting to discuss the governor’s newest oil tax plan. Before you roll your eyes, and click to anything but this, hear me out. Especially if you’re an Alaskan, this is one of the best reality TV shows around. It’s got…