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September 20, 2021

Gov is definitely NOT scared of the recall. Definitely.

 

OH, LOOK!

No worries about changing the name of this newsletter any time soon, because they just can’t get over the fact that he’s tall. A new pro-Dunleavy group has sprouted up like a mushroom in the night. “Stand Tall With Mike” has just registered itself with the Alaska Public Offices Commission as a political group whose mission is to “oppose signature collection effort to recall Governor Dunleavy.” You know – the signature collection effort that the governor is completely not worried about and was totally not the reason for the ouster of his former chief of staff, Tuckerman Babcock and his also former Budget Director Donna Arduin.

The pro-Dunleavy crowd has beefed up their game from gathering supporters’ signatures on yellow legal pads at the Fair last month. The filer of the new group, and its treasurer both held the same roles for another group called “Dunleavy for Alaska” – not to be confused with Dunleavy’s official campaign “Alaskans for Dunleavy.”  Actually they got confused all the time, and that was kind of the point.

Dunleavy’s shadowy brother Francis and real estate developer Bob Penney were the ones who dumped about 3/4 of a million dollars into the not-official campaign coffers between the two of them. Bob Penney is a friend of Dunleavy’s, but candidate Dunleavy assured us “When it comes to policy, Bob is going to be treated like any other constituent.” But his grandson Clark, it turns out, ended up with a sole-source no-bid contract worth up to $441,000 once Dunleavy settled in to the governor’s office. That was just crazy coincidence probably, because Dunleavy said it had nothing to do with his grandfather’s $350,000 donation to the campaign. Not a bad return on investment if you think about it.

But we digress.

 

THE GANG’S ALL HERE

Just like Dunleavy for Alaska, Standing Tall With Mike was filed with APOC by former Anchorage Assembly member (and Mayor Dan Suillivan’s Budget Director) Cheryl Frasca, who has been the subject of chatter speculating that she may become Dunleavy’s new Budget Director after the dismissal of Donna Arduin from that position. But more notable is Treasurer, Bob Griffin who also was the treasurer of Dunleavy for Alaska.

You may remember him as the guy who got in trouble for tailing school buses in his car, and making notes about how many kids got on and off at all the stops. He said he was gathering data on behalf of a Koch brothers-funded organization in Alaska in the hope of proving some theory about the inefficiency of public schools (of which he, like the governor, is not fond). It never occurred to him to think of how creepy it might appear to have some guy following the same school bus on three separate routes during the day, and writing stuff in a notebook when the children got off. Eventually police were called and dispatched to the scene, and let’s just say he’s probably not going to do that again.

[Not that kind of child check]

Griffin also ran and lost multiple races to win a seat on the Anchorage School Board (go figure), and in the process got in trouble with APOC for numerous campaign violations including: accepting a cash contribution in excess of the statutory limits; accepting anonymous contributions; converting campaign funds to personal income; and failure to forfeit the anonymous funds to the State of Alaska.

The APOC staff gave Griffin three and a half months to fix the problems, but Griffin ignored them. This, from the APOC staff report:


“Staff acquired the full scope of Respondent’s violations through the investigative process. After the complaint was filed, APOC staff repeatedly requested Mr. Griffin’s bank records, both orally and in writing. The bank records were not provided voluntarily and Staff subpoenaed the records from Mr. Griffin… Respondent’s records show a number of irregularities…”


The fact that APOC had to actually subpoena records from anyone is remarkable in itself, and the “irregularities” included the fact that his deposits did not match his reported contributions, and that cash withdrawals from the campaign account were made from ATMs in California and Hawaii “because his personal bank cards were not working.” He eventually transferred the money back, but came up $11.75 short. When all was said and done, he had to forfeit $79.61 to the State of Alaska; return $100 to one donor; pay a civil penalty of $4000.00; pay $1700.00 for staff costs; and was told he must attend an APOC candidate training program prior to running for office again. Now he’s the treasurer of Standing Tall With Mike. What could possibly go wrong?

 

SPECIAL INTERESTS

The Stand With Mike campaign website says that “Special Interests seek to thwart Mike Dunleavy’s conservative agenda at every turn.” If Alaska is a “Special Interest,” then this is true. Remember that two of the three co-chairs for the recall effort are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, and many of the Republican senators who served in the legislature WITH Mike Dunleavy are opposed to his destructive budget, and fiscal policies. I guess giving away state money for massive private corporate subsidies is suddenly a “conservative agenda.” Don’t tell those free-market economists!

And finally they warn, “Right now in Alaska, Mike Dunleavy’s opponents have near total control of the airwaves and the news most Alaskans are seeing, hearing, and reading.” Which can’t help to bring to mind those old words of wisdom, “Is it everyone else? Or is it you?”

HINT to the tall one:  It’s you.

The governor may feel a particular sense of urgency to stay in office as things develop this week, because schmoozing and angling for a spot in the Trump administration at this point in time may be a risky professional bet.

 

 

TAKE TWO!

If you’d like to get involved in a different group whose mission is more productive and good for the state, check out the Vote Yes for Alaska’s Fair Share website and Facebook page. The Dunleavy acolytes may want you to believe differently, but like the recall group, it is composed of both Democrats and Republicans who recognize that if we were getting our historical fair share from our oil wealth (like we used to), our fiscal woes would all but vanish. Think funded state services and programs we all value, AND a full statutory PFD without bankrupting the state. It’s funny that back before SB21 and all of its unforeseen consequences and tax loopholes, we weren’t having these problems. Coincidence? We think NOT. So go sign up and volunteer to assist a group of smart people who have this all figured out. Alaskans just about defeated SB21 back in 2013, and now that everyone can see that yes, the sky DID fall, it’s going to be an easier time at the ballot box for this one.

 

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, DO EXACTLY THE SAME THING AGAIN.

After the untimely passing of Senator Chris Birch, the Alaska Republican Party sent names to the governor so he could choose a replacement in the Senate. Ultimately, Rep. Laddie Shaw (far right in the photo), from one of Birch’s two House District areas was chosen to replace him and required a majority of the Senate Republicans to vote yes.

The most controversial and passionate argument in the legislature (in case you hadn’t noticed) is the size, scope, and formula of the PFD, and how future payments will be handled. Birch said small PFD and balanced budget. Shaw said full PFD and annihilate state services and programs. In other words, Birch opposed the governor’s agenda and Shaw approved it. Senate President Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage) came out with a statement that basically said no offense to Laddie Shaw, but no thanks. We want someone more like the person who is being replaced – someone who will vote for a smaller PFD and not go running off to Wasilla when leadership tells you to go to Juneau.

So what did Dunleavy do? He has now gone “off-list” and picked the other Representative from Birch’s Senate District, Josh Revak (back row 4th from the right in the photo). As you can see, he’s also a member of Team Wasilla and also is a Dunleavy rubber stamp.

There’s no telling where this is going to end, but do not expect a Senator Revak any time soon. Conveniently, the governor has said no special session until the legislative seats are all filled. So even if Revak magically got approved, his current seat in the House would then have to be filled. So don’t hold your breath for another special session dealing with the PFD. But we’re pretty sure that somehow this will all be the fault of Democrats and moderate Republicans. You’ll be able to read all about it in the attack pieces sure to come in the next election cycle.

 

 

THE BEST LAID PLANS

Oh, and the governor announced the amount of the PFD today. It’s… it’s…

$6700

$3000

$1606

But it’s ok, because we’re still giving the oil industry $1.2 billion a year off the taxes they owe us.

Because we’re nice like that.

 

 

*This article is reposted with permission from the Alaska Democratic Party

Comments

comments

Comments
5 Responses to “Gov is definitely NOT scared of the recall. Definitely.”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    One last item, for those who used to be so prevalent around here, I enjoyed sharing garden stories and this was a year to top all years and it started 2 months later than I usually planted. Seed potatoes were all sprouted and dried up from waiting for the garden to dry enough to till. needless to say, I have the best potatoes I have ever grown as far as individual size was cioncerned. I had more Kennebecs and Red LaSoda potatoes that weighed more than a pound than I probably had in all my 41 years of gardening on this farm.

    We are having snow flurries and freezing temps and I still have some potatoes to dig. I give or trade most of them away. Enjoy your weekend, whoever is still out there. mfi

  2. mike from iowa says:

    https://youtu.be/I5I5qv_UCdk The battle for Pebble Mine is worth watching if you haven’t seen it.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    What has become of all the concerned, intelligent people that used to flock to this site? Where did they all go? Your state and country needs your voices and support.

    Maybe they are too busy digging themselves out of the shitshow Drumpf and stoopid effing wingnut have dumped over all of America.

    • AlaskaPi says:

      We’re here mikey.
      Some worn down, some worn out, but we’re here.
      Record summer heat made for a bad salmon season in SE and gardens which went to seed in the long light (we don’t know how to garden without rain in our rainforest) topped off with a record setting early October storm that flooded buildings, washed out streets,caused mudslides…yikes.
      All that before you even get to the horsepunky the current gov and his hooligans have been up to. Pffft!!
      Bright note? It was such a pleasure to sign the recall petition- waiting for the second one. RECALL!!!

      • mike from iowa says:

        Than you for the response, Ms Pi. Been wondering how things your way were going. I wonder the magnitude of increase in mudslides when Drumpf logs off the rain forest near you? I think someone whispered in his tone deaf earst the rain forest needed to be logged to make way for Pebble Mining disaster. I can’t swear to this, but In can swear, bigly.

        Here is wishing you good health and a good, positive recall and the best health ever endured by a super woman. still full of it, MM 🙂

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