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May 16, 2021

Alaska Girls Kick Ass & Midterms Matter

If you live in Alaska, you’ve seen that bumper sticker a hundred times if you’ve seen it once. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when I arrived in the Great Land. As the years passed, I did things I’d never have done if I had stayed in east coast suburbia. I camped in bear country, and wolf country; I sailed in high seas in the Gulf of Alaska; traversed mountain passes with a baby on my back; almost tumbled into a gorge on a 3-wheeler; pulled up my share of halibut from the deep sea; had Thanksgiving in…

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Parnell, GOP Continue Guard Scandal Coverup

Earlier this year I received a loose-leaf notebook bulging with documents that detailed the sexual assault coverups and corruption in the Alaska National Guard. I spent a few months compiling information and interviewing as many people as would talk, trying to understand the players and the broad outlines of a mind-blowing scandal with real victims. People talked to me even though they were afraid. Terrified, actually. For years those who had spoken up against crime in the guard had had their careers destroyed. Nevertheless, a handful of brave souls tried to sound the alarm — even going directly the governor…

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Alaska Marriage Equality Has Day in Court

Courtroom 1 at the Alaska District courthouse was full to overflowing. Courtroom 2 held those who couldn’t find a seat. The fates (and a friend) ushered my daughter and I to seats right in the jury box, which was a wonderful surprise. A TV monitor to my left showed a distant room which I knew to be in Fairbanks, because there was Gary Black from the Newsminer! Juneau was with us also, and had to be asked to mute their sound because of laughing and merriment. The mood was optimistic, but cautious. Alaska’s LGBT community has had victories within their grasp, and…

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Take Back the Senate, Alaska!

Remember the good old days of the Senate Bipartisan working group, where legislators from both parties chaired committees, and worked together to accomplish things? Divisive wedge issues were shelved, and the Senate work was focused on things we could do together. Back then the fringe group of Republicans who refused to work with Democrats formed their own minority and sat in the corner snapping blue crayons and not doing any work. Well, Sean Parnell got his way after new district lines were drawn and we ended up with one party in control of the Senate and the House, and they…

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The Naked Baker Must Go

If you are a Mudflats reader, you know him as The Naked Baker. Bill Stoltze may have earned his moniker by his unfortunate hobby of baking cookies for charity auctions in the nude, but sadly this is not the most horrifying thing about this Alaska legislator. Stoltze figured heavily into the book I co-authored, “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin” (with Frank Bailey and Ken Morris, Simon & Schuster, 2011), for something worse. He was the force behind the coordination of the 2006 Sarah Palin for Governor campaign, and the Republican Governor’s Association then headed by Mitt Romney. Sounds important, like…

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Walker & Mallott: Alaska’s Unity Ticket

The mood in the Quarter Deck room at Anchorage’s Hotel Captain Cook was electric. Cameras on tripods ringed the perimeter, and the rows of green chairs reserved for reporters were full. The event was being heralded as the biggest news in Alaska politics since a former governor got the VP nod from John McCain. A large red and blue sign “Walker for Governor” with the yellow stars of the Big Dipper stood in front of a lectern. Another on the wall behind, had a smaller blue sign attached to it, also with the Big Dipper, which said “Mallott for Governor.” There was…

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The Silver Lining on Prop 1

Congratulations, Alaska! Thirty-one percent of registered voters decided for 100 percent of us what is “best for Alaska” in an election this week. Last week I knew we were in trouble when employees of oil companies were bussed to the early polls. Buses with gift baskets and snacks. Must be nice. The election worker balked when I asked for a Republican ballot. I smiled. I voted. Voting early on Tuesday, I drove into town and kept seeing signs made of bed sheets on the overpasses. One in particular got to me. It was the eight gold stars with “Vote Yes”…

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Primary Post Mortem

Alaska’s primary election night is over, but the election itself is not quite done. About 14,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted, and the final results will not be known for days. That said, it will be a tough hill to climb for the passage of Ballot Measure 1, which would reinstate the ACES oil tax system put in place by former Governor Sarah Palin and a bipartisan coalition in the Alaska legislature. Sean Parnell, former ConocoPhillips lawyer and lobbyist, and Palin’s former Lt. Governor dismantled ACES with Senate Bill 21 which would give billions from Alaska’s treasury to the…

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Election Central Live Blog

9:15pm Ok, Mudflatters… I’m martinied (is that a word) up, and here at Election Central. There’s a decent crowd and the first returns are coming in. I’ll report on the Republican Senate race and Prop 1, and anything else that is a surprise. Right now, the first numbers have come up on the big board: Sullivan – 39% Miller – 33% Treadwell – 23% Prop 1 Yes 50.01 No 49.9 Miller has a better showing than people expected. But, he did that last time. A 6 point margin can be made up in the remaining precincts. Prop 1 is an…

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Awkward Kid Explains Oil Taxes

Totally confused by Prop 1 on Tuesday’s ballot, or just want to see an awkward kid totally own the oil companies. Either way, here’s a coffee break treat! We love this kid. And this video (especially the sign part). The oil companies have spent millions of dollars to confuse you, and make you think it’s all just sooooo complicated. It’s actually not that hard to figure this whole thing out. This kid sure did. The numbers are close, Alaskans. And to keep from sending our treasury to big fancy glass offices in Houston, and London, we need to do one…

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