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June 13, 2021

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Alaska Republicans Say the Darndest Things

TALL TALES from Juneau

Eyes on the Dunleavy Disaster

NEVER LET A GOOD DISASTER GO TO WASTE


That’s the hallmark of Republican politics. Remember the Patriot Act that got shoved through during the immediate aftermath of 9/11 – chock-full of provisions to trample civil liberties and violate the Constitution? It was basically ready to go, and waiting for an opportunity. Well, don’t think that COVID-19 isn’t going to have its own set of nefarious legislation that gets implemented during these days of crisis when people are looking the other way.

We’ve already seen public money dumped into funding the private Ambler mining road that cuts right through Gates of the Arctic National Park (and which Alaskans won’t be allowed to use). Now it seems that along with a handful of other state dealing with the coronavirus, Alaska has deemed abortion to be “elective surgery” and has prohibited abortions in the state until June 15.

If you are thinking to yourself that this is completely unconstitutional and playing partisan politics with people’s most fundamental rights, you are not alone. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are on the case and planning immediate action on this.

And of course, there’s Alaska’s independent financial auditor who says that the state is concealing oil tax records. “Department of Revenue management denied auditors access to relevant financial records,” auditor Kris Curtis wrote in an official filing last month. Specifically, the state denied auditors permission to examine records on a discontinued tax credit program for oil drillers.

The State denies that the abortion decision is political, and says that divulging the oil tax records sought by the auditors would “violate their ethical rules.” And if you believe either of those things, we’ve got a Bridge to Nowhere to sell you.

 

OH NO SHE DIDN’T…

Jennifer Johnston, a Republican from the wealthiest road-system district in the state, is the latest to cast aspersions on rural communities and Native Alaskans. According to the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s far-right Managing Editor Andrew Jensen, who published a piece titled “OPINION: Finance co-chair doesn’t trust rural Alaska with early PFD,” Johnston rationalized her vote against a proposed stimulus dividend by asking him,“Have you ever been to the villages at dividend time?” and that “social services would be overwhelmed.”

Wow.

For once it’s not David Eastman coming out with a gem like this. Johnston has since apologized for her reprehensible comments, professed her “deep respect” for the Native community, and says, “This is a learning process.” Not sure what is supposed to be a learning process – not making racist statements? That should have been learned a very long time ago. No one has declared a run against Johnston yet, but keep an eye out.

 

 

RED PEN REDUX

Republicans in the House Minority (like Sarah “all the red pens” Vance from Homer) will be thrilled that their favorite red Sharpie has been dusted off and put to use again. What better time than a pandemic when vulnerable Alaskans are even MORE vulnerable to gut the budget again? Hacked to the bone once more are Medicaid (Health care? Who needs it!), the Alaska Marine Highway System, public radio and TV (Emergency communication? Pffff.), education from pre-K to the university, school bond debt reimbursement to local communities, ocean rangers (which cost us nothing), fisheries, community assistance, libraries, and … wait for it… coronavirus response to mitigate homelessness. All things he vetoed before, plus some.

So, keep in mind, just because everyone is focused on other things, doesn’t mean Dunleavy has suddenly become more competent, less extreme, or a better governor than he was before. He has not suddenly prioritized families, and workers, and seniors, and kids, and Alaska’s most vulnerable. And just because we have to practice social distancing, doesn’t mean Alaskans can’t request a mini-home booklet for gathering recall signatures. You can do that HERE. Please.

Even the Attorney General is sending people to the Recall Dunleavy page! (Yes, he really did that.)

 

 

SPOTTED ON TWITTER

We told you, Eagle River. We told you you should have voted for Stephany Jeffers. Now we’ve got THIS. Jamie Allard looks to be the next Assembly member from Eagle River, but we are holding our applause for what appears to be a pretty great election for Anchorage until the final results have been certified.

 

 

 

EXCITING NEWS

At posting time, the first-ever Alaska Democratic party-run primary is coming to a close. Yesterday we picked up the last ballots from the post office and today we will have everything tabulated thanks to a stalwart army of socially distancing volunteers in masks and gloves. If you want to be notified as soon as possible with the results, just go to www.alaskademocrats.org and join the email list!

Also, be sure to like and follow on Facebook. Those results will be available as soon as possible on Saturday, April 11. We’re proud of the respect and due diligence we’ve given to every candidate. The final tabulation will count votes for: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, and Undeclared. This reflects the inclusion of candidates who have “suspended” their campaigns, but wish their votes to be counted and potentially receive delegates. All other campaigns have “withdrawn” meaning any votes for them on our ranked choice ballot will roll to the voter’s next choice.

 

 

 

ELECTION DEBACLE

(image: AP News)

No, not us. Republicans from the state level in Wisconsin to the conservatives on the US Supreme Court put lives at risk this week because they disagreed with them politically. That’s the bottom line. NO ONE should be forced to risk their health or their life to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.

In Alaska the Democratic Party was proud to change our plans for the presidential primary on the fly to shift to all mail-in ballots. We extended our deadline, we made ballots downloadable online, and we closed in-person voting to protect the health and safety of voters and volunteers. And for counting ballots, our staff and volunteers are practicing stringent social distancing and safety protocols as we process and tabulate the results.

ALASKA DID IT. And it can and should be done everywhere.

 

 

 

IN OTHER DISASTER NEWS

There’s a train wreck to report, and as you’d imagine it involves the Republican Party apparatus. It seems that the position of Party Treasurer has suddenly become vacant. This just in from the Alaska Landmine – a copy of Treasurer Donald Handeland’s resignation. I think Glenn Clary and Ann Brown are going to need some burn ointment next time they go on a supply run.

**If you are interested in being a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this August, you can find all the instructions and forms you need to get the ball rolling HERE. *Pro-tip: It starts with House District virtual caucuses next week, so don’t delay! Then it moves to our virtual state convention on May 16. We promise it won’t be a dumpster fire! And you don’t have to have delegate aspirations to attend the House District caucuses. If you are interested in party organization and making a difference, this is the place to start!

 

 

THANKS REP. SNYDER

Ok, she’s not the Rep. from East Anchorage yet, but we’re counting the days until the constituents of House District 27 push the eject button and catapult Republican Dunleavy lackey Lance Pruitt out of his seat. Check out this amazing compilation of links for COVID-19 resourcesshe’s put together on her webpage, and bookmark it.

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One Response to “Alaska Republicans Say the Darndest Things”
  1. akbright says:

    Ahhhh, this blog is like a breath of fresh air. -thanks!

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