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September 22, 2021

Alaska GOP Goes Full Cannibal

BUT… BUT… HE’S TALL!  

It’s like we were saying in 2018. It’s not a good idea to vote for someone because they’re tall. Voting for an ineffective State Senator who says whatever his base wants to hear whether it’s true, or achievable, or not, will get you exactly where we are. CNBC has rated Alaska the worst state for business, and much is due to Gov. Dunleavy & Co. sabotaging our potential, or being unable to get things done, like statewide broadband.

From the article:

“This month, Dunleavy vetoed more than $200 million in state spending approved by the legislature, with cuts aimed at everything from tourism marketing to mental health services.”Dunleavy also vetoed $8.5 million in funding for Alaska’s ferry system known as the Alaska Marine Highway System, a link to the outside world for communities like Skagway. “And he relentlessly slashed the University of Alaska’s budget, with cuts totaling $70 million over three years. That hurts the state’s ranking in Education, where it finishes No. 47.”

It’s still true, as it has always been, that you can’t cut your way to prosperity. But try telling that to Republicans. 


DON’T BET ON IT.

The governor does seem to have at least one idea to increase revenue to the state  – GAMBLING! 

And he’s already slapped $400,000 on the table to do a “feasibility study.” Not kidding.

The Midnight Sun gives the background:

“The biggest problem facing Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposal to constitutionalize the dividend is the more than $1 billion structural deficit his proposal would create and the uncertainty on how it’d be filled. Most expect a deficit of that magnitude would require a combination of deep cuts and steep taxes, both of which the Dunleavy administration would very much like to not talk about until after the state locks the PFD into the constitution. 

“When pressed by legislators less willing to buy into his “C’mon, just trust me” plan, his administration has offered only vague details about “new revenue measures are very different than any tax that we’ve seen in Alaska” with the only specifics coming around a proposal for legalized gambling in Alaska, a move that has raised eyebrows for its potential social impact and what would likely be drop-in-the-bucket revenues.”

But before you start worrying about giant casinos and all their associated ills flooding the streets of Las Vanchorage, it’s unlikely anything will come of it.

Co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Bert Stedman said, “I’m not interested in legalizing gambling, I’m not interested in legalizing prostitution to fix the problem. So, we’ll see what comes to the table.” 

SPOILER: It probably won’t be dice.


REPUBLICANS ARE CANNIBALIZING THEMSELVES. AGAIN.

For some reason all Republicans are still only called “Republicans,” but at this point the Trump wing has gone so far off the rails and down the embankment that the Republican Party can hardly be thought of as a cohesive entity anymore. Neither of their factions is good, but they’re now completely different flavors of BAD, engaged in the bloody political hand-to-hand combat which will ultimately cause their own well-deserved demise. We saw this years ago when the Alaska GOP under Tuckerman Babcock made it its mission to purge any sign of sanity or cooperative spirit from its ranks. New, inexperienced, extreme legislative candidates received backing from the AKGOP and toppled Republican incumbents. And now, Alaska Republican cannibalism has gotten so bad, it’s even making national news.

[Monday night on the Rachel Maddow Show]

Even with their very own incumbent Republican U.S. Senator (Lisa Murkowski) who voted with the Donald Trump White House a full 74% of the time, who voted for uber conservative Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who does whatever oil companies say, and who even voted AGAINST Biden’s landmark bill, the American Rescue Plan (that put checks in Alaskans’ pockets, shots in their arms, is lifting half of poor children in this country out of poverty, and helping businesses rebound) it’s still not enough to earn an endorsement from the Alaska GOP as it stands today. Why? It’s sure not because Murkowski doesn’t act like a Republican, because she does. It’s only because Trump said so, and when Trump says jump, the cult asks how high.

On Saturday, the State Central Committee of the Alaska Republican Party endorsed random Alaska political newcomer Kelly Tshibaka. She left Alaska in her teens and spent her career as a Washington DC bureaucrat, including an appointment as Chief Data Officer in the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General under BARACK OBAMA. (They don’t tell you that part on her website)

This Obama DC insider then charged the state $80,000 to move here, demanded a new made-up six-figure job for her husband in the Alaska Department of Education, worked for less than one Dunleavy administration, quit, and now wants to be a US Senator by raising money from a bunch of Trumpers. The AKGOP voted 58-17 to kick Murkowski to the curb.

And this schism runs all the way down to the state legislature where Rep. Kelly Merrick (R-Eagle River) got a similar 52-10 vote which ensures she will get no financial support from the party if she decides to run again. Her crime? Caucusing with Democrats in the State House to get things done.

One thing’s for sure, the Republican Party is now the Party of Trump, with all the delusion, lies, corruption, insurrection, and lunacy that goes with it. Nobody who still bears the R deserves to be in political life claiming to be helping the people. Full stop.


SPEAKING OF WHICH

Who did the Republican Party invite to  their meeting in Fairbanks to fawn over and take pictures with? None other than talking head, CPAC golden boy, Chair of the Texas Republican Party and now gubernatorial candidate (because current Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott isn’t crazy ENOUGH) Alan West. 

West’s ignominious military career was ended when he was relieved of his command in Iraq as Lt. Colonel after he admitted holding an Iraqi police officer captive, punching him in the face, conducting a mock execution, and dry-firing an unloaded pistol held against his head. Super great guy.

[GOP Vice-Chair/Bronson Chief of Staff Craig Campbell, Allen West, Anchorage Assembly member Jamie Allard, and Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson]

He’s also got a long history of comparing Democrats to Nazis and communists, and was welcomed with open arms by Anchorage’s own Nazi defender Assemblywoman Jamie Allard, Mayor Dave Bronson, his Chief of Staff Craig Campbell, and a host of other Republican politicos and elected officials who couldn’t wait to schmooze.

Apparently while here, West got in hot water in his home state for attending the Fairbanks fundraiser which was called “Alaska’s Heart is Bigger than Texas,” but explained to Texans that it was just a joke from a state (Alaska) that “has a complex about Texas.” 

He recently emailed his Texas Republican Party Vice Chair and told her she was “a cancer.” She is a cancer survivor.

[Says the bullying egomaniacal jerk who still supports the former bullying egomaniacal jerk-in-chief]. 

He was recently asked to step down from his position as Texas Republican Party Chair after he declared his candidacy for Texas governor (due to obvious conflicts of interest) but has refused to do so. And did we mention that Craig Campbell is both the Vice Chair of the Alaska Republican Party and Mayor Bronson’s Chief of Staff?

Birds of a feather.



SQUARE ONE

The newly formed legislative “Fiscal Working Group” is meeting ahead of the August special session of the legislature which will deal with all the things (like the PFD) that haven’t been dealt with yet. 

If you recall, a few intransigent Republican Minority members held the legislature hostage by not voting for the “effective date” attached to the budget. A few finally did in exchange for seats at the table for a working group. 

[image from @alaskalandmine Twitter]

The working group has two members from each caucus:

House Majority: Reps. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka) and Calvin Schrage (N-Anchorage)

House Minority: Reps. Ben Carpenter (R-Kenai) and Kevin McCabe (R-Big Lake)

Senate Majority: Sens. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) and Lyman Hoffman (D-Bethel)

Senate Minority: Sens. Jesse Kiehl (D-Juneau) and Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks)

Nothing that happens here is binding, but it’s a vehicle to extend conversations and hope that somehow, some way, the kumbaya fairies will sprinkle magic dust in the HVAC system and everyone will find the perfect compromise plan.

Buxton also reported that the continual Republican nitpicking of graphs presented on slides and questioning factual data makes him less confident this group will be able to get its massive amount of work done by August 2 when the next special session begins. *sigh*


CANCELING HISTORY

One legislator is so eager for the next legislative session to start, that he’s already pre-filed a new bill! He’s one of the members of the Republican ‘McCaucus’ of extreme right-wing and inexperienced freshmen legislators (McKay, McCabe, and McCarty). Tom McKay is the one from South Anchorage who apparently is trying to make a name for himself in the three-ring circus by proposing a bill to … you guessed it… ban Critical Race Theory in schools. The Anchorage School District happens to lead the NATION in diversity by the way.

Rep. Tom McKay, Republican from South Anchorage

Critical Race Theory is the newest in a long line of things that conservatives have decided to freak out about. Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potatohead have run their course apparently.

The Alaska Republican propaganda blog quotes Education Week saying that CRT asserts that, “racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.”

Yes. You know, like the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision that said Black Americans could never be citizens. Or when African-American GIs who fought in World War II weren’t eligible for the benefits of the GI bill. Or when banks redlined areas on the map around communities of color where loans were not to be given. And Jim Crow. And segregation. And forced relocation of Alaska Native children to boarding schools trying to eradicate their language and culture. And on and on. CRT says this is important and these horrible beliefs and ideas which were legal at the time actually affected history. And history affects the present. And we should learn from that. Radical, right?

Apparently none of this is ever to be discussed in Alaska schools because, according to the aforementioned blog, “The topic has been controversial because in many classrooms, white children are being discriminated against, and made to feel badly about their race or heritage.”

We can’t learn about systemic racism so we can maybe make it better because, “white children are being discriminated against?”  The mind reels.

Look for more of this nonsense when the next session starts, and rest assured that under a Democratic majority it will go nowhere. BUT remember that this Democratic majority is slim which is why you need to become engaged and elect Democrats to seats like the one in South Anchorage currently held by McKay. Because if the current Republican minority can cobble together a majority, stuff like this could actually become law.


AND NOW FOR SOME GOOD NEWS!

Yesterday was the first day Alaskans will start receiving a monthly tax credit check of up to $300 per child as part of the American Rescue Plan! Thanks to President Biden and Democrats, and no thanks to Republicans in Congress who unanimously opposed this relief plan. This plan will provide additional relief of up to $1,600 per child to the families of 167,000 Alaskan children, lifting 12,000 children out of poverty in our state!

Isn’t it great having a competent, compassionate President in the White House whose focus is on helping people and not on himself? And isn’t it also great to have a Democratic majority in Congress with the right priority for the American people?

STOP voting for Republicans. Any and all of them. Full stop.

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One Response to “Alaska GOP Goes Full Cannibal”
  1. Nut Ball says:

    holy crap the Dunleavy trumpians are so stupid!

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