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December 3, 2021

Headlines:

Ex-Palin lawyer reported source of Gosar’s ‘most toxic’ media -

Friday, November 19, 2021

McConnell/Trump Alaska Cage Match -

Sunday, November 14, 2021

‘Full of madness!’ -

Friday, November 5, 2021

‘Full of madness!’

SEVEN LEGISLATORS ATTEND COVID DISINFORMATION PARTY

The site of the latest COVID disinformation campaign was not the Anchorage Assembly chambers this time. The usual crew of maskless testifiers, along with their de facto leader, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson, migrated to Change Point, a local conservative mega-church, to listen to speakers who disagree with the vast majority of medical providers and science. The event had been hyped as featuring a “Mystery Guest” who turned out to be the Mayor himself. Greeted with cheers by those who’d arrived to hear about how vaccines are bioweapons designed to alter your genes, Bronson made the following statement, explaining why his organization of the event was happening “behind the scenes.”

“For political reasons, we didn’t want my fingerprints all over it,” he said.

But, alas for Bronson, his sneaky admission was heard far and wide. Because this is the 21st century and we have the technology.

Perhaps equally as disturbing as Bronson’s bear-hug embrace of conspiracy and bad science, was the presence of not one, not two, but at least 7 members of the Alaska legislature from Homer, Eagle River, Anchorage, Big Lake, and Kenai.

Dr. Urso, who made the original tweet which we labeled above, is a founder of America’s Frontline Doctors. The Daily Beast covered the Bronson debacle and reminds us:

“America’s Frontline Doctors is the subject of a House select subcommittee inquiry for its alleged role as one of the top purveyors of ‘questionable treatments nationwide’ for COVID-19.”

As Alaska reels from its ignominious status as the worst state in the nation for covid cases, and Anchorage as the biggest hotspot in the worst state in the nation, these elected officials are driving a wedge between citizens and science, all in the name of partisan quackery. Especially worth noting are the out-of-step legislators from Anchorage – Sen. Roger Holland and Rep. James Kaufman, both representing South Anchorage/Hillside.

For a great unpacking of the whole event, check out Matt Buxton’s article in The Midnight Sun HERE.


“FULL OF MADNESS!”

And as if Bronson hasn’t been busy enough rounding up snake oil salespeople, he’s managed to find time to relocate his latest unqualified and failed appointment. Now, the whole hinky business of Bronson’s Real Estate Director has resulted in what seems to be a pattern of in-your-face cronyism. After being rejected by the Assembly, Jim Winegarner was appointed to be the [checks notes] “Senior Policy Advisor on Real Estate for the Municipality of Anchorage.”

You can find all the details at The Blue Alaskan who always has a finger on the erratic pulse of the Municipality.”It seems probable that the mayor is playing a similar game with Winegarner that he played with Judy Eledge when he proposed that the Anchorage Public Library (APL) be moved under the scope of the Parks and Recreation department in what appears to be a blatant attempt by Mayor Bronson to circumvent the Anchorage Assembly’s authority to confirm appointments — especially those not qualified to hold their positions.”

But wait, there’s more!

And while we’re on the Bronson administration (because we can’t look away as the state’s largest city unravels before our eyes), another appointee has bitten the proverbial dust.

This time it’s Stephanie Golman Williams, the Bronson campaign’s volunteer coordinator – now the head of Boards and Commissions. It seems she’s been venting her spleen on social media. The Blue Alaskan was there again revealing screenshots of the whole thing, including calling Assembly members “criminals” for passing an emergency mask mandate, saying that they “are full of madness” and that they’re communists out to steal your freedom in the dead of night. There’s so much more. 😳

You can check it all out for yourself HERE.


‘IT WAS SO OBVIOUSLY DOOMED’

Stick a fork in the series of Dunleavy special sessions – they’re done.

“I have been in the Legislature since 2007 and watched it long before that, I can say that this fourth special session of the 32nd Legislature has been one of the least productive special sessions I have taken part in or observed.” Sen. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks)

And there you have it.Why were they so unproductive? Dunleavy kept calling them back to address issues that had already been discussed, debated, and resolved. The one thing that did happen was the House held a few committee hearings related to the some of the recommendations of the Fiscal Policy Working Group on the PFD, spending limits, and new revenue. The bipartisan recommendations did included new revenue (but no agreement on how or how much). The Ways & Means committee also met and once again let us know that it’s not actually possible to have no new taxes, retail adequate state services, and have enough left for a full or supersized PFD. That’s what happens when Republicans refuse to make oil companies pay their fair share for our oil.
Rep. Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) points out that “This current fiscal year (FY22) will be the ninth straight year of using savings to balance our budget. We will have less than $1 billion left in our reserve accounts by the end of this fiscal year. The governor’s proposed FY22 budget would have left us with a $2 billion deficit.”
So hey, it could have been a billion dollars worse! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 
“The good news is that because it was so obviously doomed, we spent much less on this special session than we usually do,” said Sen. Jesse Kiehl (D-Juneau). Another silver lining.

And once again we may get a reprieve of sorts from a recent bump in oil prices, but as we know the price of oil is anything but stable. Certainly not something to bet the farm on.


Mark your calendars for mid-January when the session becomes regular again, and we have another chance to get it done.


CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?!?

If you’re wondering what to get certain right-leaning members of the Alaska Redistricting Board for the holidays, consider an ear trumpet.

The board has wrapped up in-person public comment, and has started their work sessions, drawing the new political map that will determine the fate of partisan politics in Alaska for the next decade. 

We were concerned at the beginning that certain board members wouldn’t really be listening to testimony they didn’t want to hear, and we may have been right. There was LOTS of testimony from East Anchorage residents that they didn’t want to be paired with Eagle River. There was also LOTS of testimony from Eagle River residents that they didn’t want to be paired with Anchorage. After all, these are the folks who are threatening to sever ties with the entire Anchorage Municipality in an “Eaglexit” maneuver so they can pretend Anchorage doesn’t exist.

And yet.

Bethany Marcum, Dunleavy’s pick to be on the Redistricting Board, and CEO of the Alaska Policy Forum, (a right wing group tied to Americans for Prosperity that lobbies the legislature against public schools, unions, the ferry system, and for massive cuts to state services, etc.) has decided that she’s “married” to the idea of hacking off pieces of East Anchorage and Muldoon and sinking them into deep red Eagle River where their voices again will likely be silenced.

Fairbanks is another area where hinkiness abounds. First, they are in danger of not getting full representation with the number of legislators they ought to get, and second it appears in a last-minute brainstorm, the area of Fairbanks represented by Rep. Grier Hopkins (D) is going to be put in the same district as that of Rep. Mike Cronk (R-Tok). For non-Interior people, that’s almost a 4-hour drive between two regions that aren’t anything alike no matter how you slice it.

You can still email testimony to the board at: testimony@akredistrict.org


RANKED CHOICE 101

There’s lots of armchair strategery going on about the 2022 elections which are now just a year away. Adding to the usual mix is the implementation of ‘Ballot Measure 2’ which passed last year and is due to go into effect for the upcoming primary in August and general election in November. There are always a number of ballots tossed for not being filled out correctly – don’t let yours be one of them!

Here’s something to remind folks when you overhear chatter at the dog park, or the water cooler (or the Zoom breakout room).

That’s right. The primary is NOT ranked choice. There will only be one primary ballot with everyone on it – It’s not separated by party any more. So even though ALLLL the candidates (Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Undeclared, Alaska Independence Party, etc.) will be on your primary ballot, you only get to choose ONE.

The ranked part comes in the general election in November when you can rank up to four candidates if you want to. 


HAPPY STUFF!

ADP’s 2021 Holiday Benefit Auction

And just because we could all use a little something to look forward to, don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Alaska Democratic Party’s 2021 Holiday Auction! If you’ve never been to one of these, they really are a load of fun and a great place to soak up some good positive political energy all while helping the party raise funds so we can clean some house in 2022 like we did in 2020. (I don’t see Speaker of the House, Lance Pruitt, do you?!)

There will be music, and fellowship, and some really great auction items up for bid. We’ll be supporting local businesses and have some travel packages and other cool stuff as well. Details will follow, but mark your calendar now for Friday, December 10 at 6pm and CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. You can also RSVP at our Facebook event to make sure you are updated as we get closer, and share the invite with friends.

GET CRAFTY!

Are you working on a crafty project? Knitting, thank you notes, label making, wreaths, jewelry, hot glue mania? There’s a seat at our ZOOM table for all you Democrafters who want to craft and talk politics. Just click HERE to join. They meet every Sunday from 1-3pm. Invite a Democratic friend!

This article was reposted with permission from the Alaska Democratic Party

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