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October 26, 2021

Headlines:

GOP Senator Says Firearm Might Help Pass Agenda

FINANCE FIREWORKS About the most exciting thing to happen so far in the current special session was the fireworks display in the Senate Finance Committee this week. Granted ‘fireworks’ by Senate Finance Committee standards sounds to most people like ‘stern words’ but for the Senate Finance Committee, that’s FIREWORKS. The purpose of the meeting was to hear from Alexei Painter, the Director of Legislative Finance, to summarize the fiscal situation of the state and to go over the governor’s heinous hacking of the budget. The governor got uniformly raked over the coals for his vetoes.  Donny Olson (D-Golovin) was extremely…

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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…

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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…

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The Good, the Bad, & the Beginning of the End

NO BY PROXY Remember a few months ago when an angry rioting mob stormed the Capitol in Washington D.C. armed with bear spray, flag poles, baseball bats, and other assorted weaponry and tried to hunt down members of Congress, and overthrow a legal democratic election? Apparently some members of Congress would like to just gloss that over. Last week the House of Representatives voted 252-175 to create a bipartisan committee to investigate how that happened and what we ought to do about it. 35 Republicans voted for it. Don Young was not one of them.  Don Young has missed 14.2% of roll…

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Sullivan, Murkowski & Young cry racism? WHAT?

Hey, Republicans – you’re doing it wrong. In a time when the most NON-political issues have become political third rails like, I dunno… basic hygiene during a pandemic, the Republican party never ceases to amaze. As the Black Lives Matter movement rolls forward, demanding that Alaskans and all Americans look hard at reforming our law enforcement agencies in the wake of decades of horrific inequities and violence against people of color, toxic seeds of racial division are being sown even by our Republican Congressional Delegation. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. IT’S ONLY RACIST IF THERE’S OIL…

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Alaska Mining Project Threatens Salmon, Water, and Native Communities

Trump Administration officials have fast-tracked permits for the largest open-pit mine in North America. The proposed Pebble Mine had previously seemed paralyzed, after more than a decade of relentless opposition by Alaska Native elders and youth. Now, plans for the mine are being rushed forward. The final public comment period for the proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permits ends on June 29, 2019. Under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote that it would result in a “complete loss of fish habitat” (PDF) in a proposed determination to block Pebble Mine. The mine is planned to…

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Governor/Koch Brothers’ Roadshow Ends. Alaska Shows Up.

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Administration The End of the Road(show) That’s all, folks! The Dunleavy/Americans for Prosperity/Koch brothers’ roadshow hit the end of the road. Let’s just say it didn’t go quite as the sponsors or the governor had hoped. After a giant protest and a RECALL DUNLEAVY banner in Anchorage, and a schooling in civic engagement in Nome, the roadshow had its final stops in Fairbanks and Wasilla. There were notably zero stops in Southeast where the governor plans to gut the Marine Highway system. THE ROAD SHOW, FAIRBANKS – THE 400 Fairbanks was having…

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Alaska’s Fiscal False Choice – Don’t swallow it!

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Babcock/Dunleavy Administration Open up! FALSE CHOICES ARE YUCKY In case you haven’t noticed, Republicans are holding your nose and trying to shove a spoonful of false choice down your throat. And the false choice goes like this: Would you rather have: A full PFD, and a state with sub-par education, a crippled university, devastated health care and no viable transportation in southeast Alaska, OR A state you want to live in, and give up part of your PFD. But imagine if you will, a different choice, perhaps something like this: Would you rather…

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Alaska Republicans Get What They Wish For. Aaaand it sucks.

  TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Babcock/Dunleavy Administration  ‘Take it easy there, big fella’ Edition   REPUBLICANS, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU TELL EVERYONE YOU WISH FOR We’ve been hearing for years now from Republicans in the legislature (after Parnell gave away the farm to the oil companies, and signed budgets that drained our billions in savings) about how we need to cut. Cut, cut, cut our way to prosperity, they said! The budget was cut by 40 percent, and STILL they said more cuts! Well, guess what? Republicans now have that balanced budget they’ve been yelling about, and…

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Why Alaskans Hate the Government

You know that old song from the 70s, “If you can’t report on the governmental body you know, report on the governmental body you’re with.” Or something like that. Anyway, I’m here, so… DATELINE: DELTA JUNCTION, ALASKA – Somewhere south of the Granite Mountains, somewhere east of Fairbanks, west of the Canadian border, and squarely in the middle of what most Americans would call “nowhere.” The current temperature is about -20F with the wind chill factor. I don’t even know what it is without the wind chill factor because frankly, here, it doesn’t matter. Wind chill factor is everything. The…

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