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October 26, 2021

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Secret Mormon fascist outed in the Department of Law?

WHY THE LATEST LAWSUIT AGAINST DUNLEAVY IS A BIG DEAL

Power Cost Equalization. Don’t leave! I know it sounds dull and wonky, but the implications of this one are far-reaching.

Back in the 80’s Alaskans were trying to figure out how to help reduce energy costs for all Alaskans. Some regions got giant infrastructure projects like concrete dams for hydropower. Other regions didn’t, and their energy costs showed it. So, in 2000 a fund was established so rural residents got something called “power cost equalization” which means what it says – the state put some money in an account that would help equalize the cost of power for all Alaskans, fair and square. For this to work, the fund needed to live in perpetuity as an endowment so it would be there every year – just like a dam. Now, thanks to Mike Dunleavy, power cost equalization (PCE) is in trouble.

Hydropower supplies 100% of Sitka’s energy needs.

The constitution says that at the end of every fiscal year in July, most accounts are to be “swept” which means any money in them is cleared out so we start the new fiscal year with a clean slate. But the PCE endowment was not subjected to that sweep, which kept it safe and intact. That is until Dunleavy and his erstwhile failed out-of-state budget director Donna Arduin got their hands on it and decided to interpret the constitution and the budget in their own way, declaring that the PCE funds were sweepable for the first time ever. This happened in 2019 and it was a mess.

Since Dunleavy’s “new interpretation” meant the PCE was suddenly being treated like all the other general fund accounts, a vote had to be taken (which required ¾ of the legislature to vote yes) for the money to be put BACK into the account for the next fiscal year. That’s called “the reverse sweep.” 

Welcome to 2021, and leave it to this latest crop of Republicans to take the once sacrosanct rural PCE program and put it in serious jeopardy. Enough of them voted no that we didn’t get the ¾ vote necessary to reverse sweep the PCE funds. That means more than 84,000 rural Alaskans are about to face some really tough decisions as winter approaches and heating bills skyrocket to two or three times their normal size. It could be heat vs. food for some, but all will feel a huge financial pinch.

Dermot Cole has an excellent analysis of this entire debacle HERE:“It is impossible to get a three-quarter majority of the Legislature to agree on whether the sun is shining, which gives the minority veto power over the majority. And since more than one-quarter of state legislators are part of the Dunleavy wrecking crew, willing to sacrifice all on the dividend altar, they have no hesitation about using the PCE as a bargaining chip.Governors and legislators who preceded Dunleavy believed that the electric endowment never fell under this three-quarter requirement and the process for funding rural utilities worked well until Dunleavy came along.”

Indeed.

Last week, the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) and several other organizations sued the Dunleavy administration, saying that Dunleavy & Co. should never have swept the funds in the first place. 

So what is Dunleavy saying about all this? 

Prepare yourself.

Predictably, Dunleavy is taking the “Who me? I never did any of the things I did that still exist at THIS LINK RIGHT HERE” defense. It’s a pattern, it seems. Screw up, back pedal, deflect, blame others. Rinse, repeat. 

Check this out.

One would think if the governor wanted to protect the PCE, he and Donna Arduin wouldn’t have put it under dire threat in the first place. And you would think that his staunch allies in the legislature wouldn’t be the ones voting against it.

Watch to see how this one plays out because the results of this court decision are going to be consequential. If the courts say Dunleavy is correct that the funds can be swept, guess what ELSE can be swept too? Oh, just the earnings reserve of the Permanent Fund. 😱

Here’s a great piece from Matt Buxton at the Midnight Sun that details what could happen and why it matters.


IF ANYTHING NEEDS SOME SWEEPING AROUND HERE…

It’s the Department of Law. It’s hard to keep track of all the skullduggery happening over there since Dunleavy took the reins. First we had not one but two AG scandals with two different (now former) AGs involving sexual harassment of a junior staffer and a minor respectively. THEN, the current AG who (with a nudge and a wink) allowed Dunleavy’s former Chief of Staff to immediately jump directly from the governor’s office to ConocoPhillips because surely he’ll let us know if he’s going to be doing anything he shouldn’t be. Ethics shmethics.

And now. The little old Alaska Department of Law has made international news for an Assistant Attorney General who was outed for being a member of a white supremacist Mormon extremist group called Deseret Nationalism, and posting misogynistic, anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist tripe on Twitter for years under a pseudonym. “Deseret Nationalism” calls for the creation of a white Mormon ethnostate which operates as a theodemocracy. 

Several corners of Twitter are on fire over this one.

I’m not sure at what point you can call the department “beleaguered” but I think we’ve crossed that line.

This incident has some very interesting implications. The Dunleavy administration, on the first day of its existence, fired two Jewish, female Assistant Attorneys General because they had been critical of Donald Trump on social media during their free time, and using their real names.(First Amendment lawsuit ongoing)

So what is Dunleavy going to do now that he’s faced with someone who not only espoused hate, but at the very group(s) of which the two previously fired AAG’s are a part? This fascinating analysis from Libby Bakalar, one of the very AAGs who was fired for being critical of Trump, is definitely worth a read.

As you contemplate the finer points of the First Amendment, and the hypocrisy of the Dunleavy Administration, and WHY there are so many bad apples in the Department of Law, here are a few notable screen shots from my trip down the wormhole. Former Gov. Sean Parnell was in charge when he got hired, but now he’s dumped squarely in Dunleavy’s lap. Meet Matthias Ciccotte (aka @JReubenCIark). [source]

He represents the Alaska Department of Corrections in litigation against the state, including in civil rights cases brought by inmates and advocates – of all religions, ethnicities, colors and genders. Bear that in mind, and buckle up.

*If you’re looking yourself, note that the second letter in CIark on his Twitter handle is actually a capital i, not an l. His account is still active as of this writing, although some material has been deleted.

Before we go on – yes, he believes Helen Keller was a hoax. Not that there’s some hoax about her, but that she herself was not a real person and never existed. This is apparently a thing.


This is the #DezNat version of the 14-word Nazi slogan you can read about HERE.


This is a slogan which was designed by an alt-right group to “provoke a reaction” and was later spread by neo-Nazi groups and politically organized white supremacists, including former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and The Daily Stormer. A report by the Anti-defamation League states that the phrase itself has a history within the white supremacist movement going back to 2001 when it was used as the title of a song by a white power music group called Aggressive Force as well as fliers with the phrase being spotted in 2005 and the slogan being used by a member of the United Klans of America. [source]



A little anti-Semitic misogynistic rhyme, longing for the good old days when white men had their proper place. (Depending on the definition, ‘yenta’ is Yiddish for an ill-mannered, gossipy, vulgar woman)


This discussion is about Kyle Rittenhouse who shot and killed two Black Lives Matter protesters last summer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. James Fields intentionally drove his car into a crowd of peaceful protesters at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 35 other people. Fields had espoused neo-Nazi and white nationalist beliefs before driving to the protest from his home in Ohio. He was convicted of Heyer’s murder, eight counts of malicious wounding, and hit and run. 


He has his own feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement. More forgiving of Unite the Right, apparently.


And has lots of compassion for insurrectionists.




It’s “go time” for annihilating public education.




From his long list of ways he’d change society. The 19th Amendment affirmed women’s right to vote. Why do I get the feeling he’s not really sorry?



Solidarity with Kim over executing immodest pop stars.


I’m going to stop here, but the fact is I could go on, and on, and on…

Think about this for a moment. The person responsible for bringing lawsuits, including civil rights cases, on behalf of incarcerated people in the state of Alaska believes women shouldn’t have the right to vote, Black Lives Matter protesters should be jailed “or worse,” girls should be teen brides, public schools should be wiped out and religion should be taught, is an apologist for white nationalist crime, spouts neo-Nazi slogans, thinks parents who acknowledge trans kids should be jailed, and spouts homophobic and misogynistic hate speech on a regular basis, including his reaction to a Drag Time Story Hour event in Long Beach, California where he wrote of a drag queen: “This demon should be burned to death and everyone responsible for that library event should be in prison.”… and on, and on.

The fact is, as much as we here in the 49th state feel removed from the rest of the nation, and like to think that people like this aren’t our problem, they are. The alt-right and extremist groups represent a threat to our democracy, and to all those who don’t think or behave or look like they do. It doesn’t have to be running over protesters with a car, damage can occur in the workplace, in personal relationships, and most certainly in the political sphere. We need to be vigilant and we need to know who we are dealing with.

Right now, Mr. Ciccote is being investigated by the Department of Law and has been removed from his caseload for the moment.

The department has not said whether Cicotte has been suspended, but in a brief statement Thursday, department spokeswoman Grace Lee said Cicotte “has been removed from his caseload and his status with the department is subject to change at any time as the investigation continues.”

The “woke mob” awaits the results.

***UPDATE: As of July 28, 2021, Matthias Cicotte no longer works for the Alaska Department of Law. They were unwilling to say whether he had been fired, or resigned.

Cicotte had been working on cases involving the Alaska Department of Corrections.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations had called for Cicotte’s firing. In a statement Wednesday, Robert McCaw, the group’s government affairs director, urged Taylor to review any case Cicotte worked on “that involved racial or religious discrimination to ensure that the case was handled properly. We welcome the fact that an individual who apparently espouses bigoted views will no longer be administering justice in Alaska.”

The group sued on behalf of Muslim inmates in 2018, arguing that meals provided to the men during the holy month of Ramadan did not meet caloric standards under federal health guidelines. They also said the meals were cold when others received hot meals and sometimes contained pork at odds with their faith. A settlement was later reached with the Department of Corrections.

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