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October 22, 2021

Headlines:

Mayor Pulls Security AND Spit Guard -

Friday, October 8, 2021

GOP “leadership” & Alaska’s COVID catastrophe -

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Whole State Has Gone Mad – a Tour. -

Friday, August 27, 2021

AK lawmaker speaks at Pillow Symposium & the losingest losers lose again.

THE LOSING STREAK CONTINUES

In the recent history of Alaska legislative elections, there’s never been someone so smug, so obnoxious, and so mansplainy that his loss deserved celebration like Lance Pruitt (R-East Anchorage). His Twitter trolling, and actual stalkerish drive-by’s of his opponent’s home taking pictures were the icing on the cake.

Then there was this, on the day before the election.

File that one under “This Aged Badly.”

Dr. Liz Snyder pulled off a win IN HOUSE DISTRICT 27 and sent “Speaker Pruitt” (yes, he’d moved into the office in his mind) packing. He was even fined almost $20,000 for multiple violations of campaign finance and disclosure laws which the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) described as “widespread,” and “serious.” They also remarked on his “unconvincing” and “self-serving” testimony. 🔥 🔥 🔥

But, of course, Pruitt did not go quietly into that good night. He challenged his loss in court. Parts of the challenge were messy and ridiculous. 

And he lost.

Snyder got slammed with huge legal bills and sought to have Pruitt reimburse her for his “frivolous, erroneous, and withdrawn filings.”

Snyder won. 
Then Pruitt appealed. 
His appeal was just rejected.

RECAP:

Election: LOST ✅

Recount: LOST ✅
Lawsuit: LOST ✅
Attorney fees: LOST ✅
Appeal: LOST ✅

Pruitt loses so much, maybe he’ll be Dunleavy’s next AG!

Congratulations to Rep. Liz Snyder for a successful end to these Republican shenanigans. She put up with a LOT during and after her campaign, and has navigated her first session in Juneau with flying colors. Thanks to her for her hard work, and service to the state!

And luckily for all of us, the best person won.


LOSING IS HIS SUPERPOWER

[Unofficial Dunleavy legal scorecard]

I’ve lost count, but if you’re a betting person, putting all your chips on Dunleavy losing in court is a pretty sound strategy. 

Once again, a big loss for the Dunleavy administration is a big win for Alaskans. This time it’s all about Power Cost Equalization. If you need a refresher from a couple weeks ago, you can click HERE.

The long and short of it is that the suit brought against Dunleavy and his new interpretation of the Constitution by the Alaska Federation of Natives and others, was successful! A judge ruled that the precious funds that protect rural residents who don’t have the benefit of urban energy infrastructure (like hydropower dams) is NOT, we repeat NOT subjected to “the sweep” of funds at the end of the fiscal year. 

This means the endowment is protected from the Republicans who have been trying to claw that money away from rural Alaska to use in other ways, or simply to hold as a bargaining chip to leverage what they want.

The moment before they lost

To put the money back where it’s supposed to be, under Dunleavy’s interpretation, would require a 3/4 vote from the legislature. And unsurprisingly, Dunleavy’s Republican allies in the House were withholding their votes. The tally was under the 3/4 mark, endangering the ability of rural Alaskans to heat their homes as winter approaches. Yep, they went there.

But now, that’s not going to happen. Dunleavy announced Thursday that he will not appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Maybe he’s tired of losing. We’ll see…


REPUBLICAN PILLOW FIGHT!

David Eastman’s (R-Wasilla) travel journal is going to be chock full of tomfoolery this year. First,  he went to the Capitol on January 6 for the “Stop the Steal” rally. We know how that turned out. Then he went on a guided tour of the Maricopa County “fraudit” to learn the secrets of how ultraviolet light and bamboo fibers would tell the real story of the presidential election.

Now this week, he took off on a jaunt to South Dakota to a marathon 72-hour no-break symposium on election cybersecurity hosted by… Mike Lindell aka “The My Pillow Guy,” the Trump sycophant who sells foam pillows, and is also apparently now a cyber security and elections expert? 🙄

No going back. It’s going to be a defining point. (Remember this part)

Eastman was actually a speaker at the event, condemning those who “refuse to answer reasonable questions” and praising the Constitution.

But as the day wore on, Lindell’s mood darkened.

Alas, the unbroken 72-hour torturefest was not to be.

Right in the middle of Wednesday’s event, news broke that a federal judge had denied the pillow salesman’s bid to dismiss voting machine maker Dominion’ $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against him. Two other billion-dollar defamation suits against former Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani will also proceed. This news caused Lindell to flee the stage and break his promise of a 72-hour marathon.

The judge said Dominion had viable claims that Lindell and My Pillow™ had sought to profit financially by spreading false and inaccurate information about the election. 

After Lindell fled, the livestream of the symposium went to a reel of news stories and an image of Lindell hugging a pillow. Later he blamed ANTIFA for sabotaging the event (the same ANTIFA David Eastman blamed for the insurrection on 1/6).

On the third day, as the symposium melted down, none of the promised “irrefutable data” of election fraud was delivered, the expert who was hired to make the case said it couldn’t be proved after all, and Mike Lindell was nowhere to be found. Steve Bannon turned on him for lack of evidence, Alex Jones never showed up, and Fox didn’t even cover the event. 

But David Eastman (R-Wasilla) stuck it out. Thursday morning he was still urging people to tune in for the live stream, and he stayed until the bitter end.

But wait, there’s more. Today, Friday the 13th of August, is the day Lindell promises that the former President will be reinstalled as President and take over where he left off. And it’s supposed to be happening… *looks at watch*… RIGHT NOW!

Don’t hold your breath.


THE NUMBERS ARE HERE

It’s that once-a-decade time again when the United States undergoes a federal census. There were delays this year, but the census numbers are finally here, and they will have big implications for political districts across the state.

With the new census numbers comes “redistricting.” That’s when a board actually redraws the lines for House Districts based on the population and other factors to create “fair and effective representation.” There have been 6 redistricting processes since statehood. 

Of course, there’s no truly objective way to have 40 exactly-equal and fair districts, so the board hammers out something most of them can agree on, and if it violates the rules it gets taken to court. This has happened more than once in the past. In 2010 it took 3 years of legal wrangling to get the 2013 maps we use today.

But something big has happened since then.

In a 2013 US Supreme Court case, the Voting Rights Act was gutted, which got rid of a thing called “preclearance.” Any state that had a history of racist voting practices (all the southern states, and states with large Native populations including Alaska) had to take their finished district map and send it to the U.S. Justice Department so they could look it over and make sure it was fair and equitable before it was put in place. We don’t have that anymore.

There are still rules and guidelines for drawing districts, and the board is made of diverse members from across the political spectrum, but we’ll need to keep a sharp eye on the end product and make sure it’s a good one.

Here’s a message released by the Redistricting Board on Thursday.

Here’s a link to the information we have now, which comes to you as a series of Excel spreadsheets. 🤔

More will come soon, including actual maps. And here’s Alaska Public Media’s take on the numbers dump. We may end up with an entire new House District in the Mat-Su Valley, so here’s your periodic reminder to donate generously to the Alaska Democratic Party.

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