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May 17, 2021

Walker or Begich? The Moderate’s Dilemma.

Alaska voters, we need to have a conversation. And I know this may hurt a little. It’s about Bill Walker and Mark Begich, the two “moderates” in the 3-way race for Alaska governor – the first, a former Republican and incumbent, the second, a Democrat and former US Senator. The third player in our little melodrama is Mike Dunleavy, a former Republican right-wing conservative state senator from Wasilla who quit in the middle of his term. In the end, your vote is your choice and yours alone, but I can’t let you step behind the red, white, and blue curtain…

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Primary Night at Election Central

Election Central is one of those weird Alaska traditions that make this state and it’s political life all the more interesting. It’s a spot where candidates can come talk to the local media, and where regular folks and politics wonks and candidates and staff can watch the returns pour in on all the races. And where there’s booze. Frankly, every state should have one, and much praise to The Anchorage Daily News and the Alaska Landmine for making it happen. This year, the festivities occurred at the Dena’ina Center in downtown Anchorage. There was some very strict totally-volunteer security happening…

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Obama Comes to Alaska: We Have to Break the Ice, so We Can Save It.

As I drove, I imagined having to explain to a Secret Service agent that the reason my boots set off the sniffer dog is because the last two places I wore them were a pig farm and a gun show respectively. So, there was a perfectly good explanation why I smelled of gunpowder, and fertilizer. “No really! I swear! I still have the pictures on my phone!” I was glad I had allowed extra time. I had allowed so much extra time, it turns out, that I was the first member of the press at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) and waited in…

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Obama Comes to Alaska: We Have to Save the Ice so We Can Break It

As I drove, I imagined having to explain to a Secret Service agent that the reason my boots set off the sniffer dog is because the last two places I wore them were a pig farm and a gun show respectively. So, there was a perfectly good explanation why I smelled of gunpowder, and fertilizer. “No really! I swear! I still have the pictures on my phone!” I was glad I had allowed extra time. I had allowed so much extra time, it turns out, that I was the first member of the press at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) and waited in…

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Send in the GOP Clowns

It’s politics as usual in Juneau. As Alaska burns, Alaska Republicans bloviate. We’re staring down the barrel of multibillion-dollar state budget deficits as far into the future as we can see. Are the Republicans majorities in the Legislature acknowledging that their misguided spending and tax policies got us into this fix? Are they prepared to set a new course? Not bloody likely. Rather than rolling up their sleeves, trying to come up with constructive solutions, they’re trotting out the usual gimmicks to divert public attention from their failures. So, by the lights of legislative leaders, what’s the big problem in…

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UPDATE – Repub ‘Dr.No’ Stops Veteran Suicide Prevention Act

Updated at 9:30pm est Dr. No has done it. Outgoing Senator Tom Coburn has single handedly managed to prevent the passage of the Clay Hunt SAV Act this Congressional session. IAVA’s Paul Rieckhoff posted this to facebook earlier this evening. Post by Paul Rieckhoff.     In a rare bi-partisan show of support, both Senators Murkowski and Begich co-signed a bill that looks to provide 22 million dollars in funding for suicide prevention among veterans. The bill is called the Clay Hunt SAV Act, and if you watched Rachael Maddow the other night [see above] you’d know that a lone Senator is…

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Begich and Parnell Concede

Mark Begich has officially called to congratulate Dan Sullivan on winning the senate race. I’m thinking maybe a constitutional challenge is in order now that Ohio has three senators. Alaskans didn’t used to fall for the carpetbagger who moved here just for a senate seat. But the times they are a-changing. The following statement was released by Begich, after calling Sullivan today. “Alaska is a place unmatched by any other, and the opportunity to represent Alaskans and all of Alaska’s communities in the U.S. Senate has been a tremendous honor for which I am eternally grateful. Alaska deserves a bright…

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AP Calls Senate Race for Sullivan, but…

The Associated Press last night called the Alaska Senate race for Republican Dan Sullivan. So, is it over? Well, not quite yet. There are still more than 20,000 votes to count, and overseas ballots still have almost a week to arrive. There are votes yet to come in from villages in which Mark Begich expects a high level of support. The campaign released the following statement even as Begich is back in D.C. for his probable but not definite lame duck months. A statement by a campaign structure that has seen their candidate win several elections by the slimmest of margins…

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Alaska… You Crazy! Election Recap

On election night, one state in the nation voted to legalize marijuana, raise the minimum wage, and add an extra level of environmental protection for sensitive ecosystems facing development. It’s largest city also voted to overturn an anti-labor ordinance which was the brain child of a Mayor (running as a Republican for Lt. Governor) who appears to be about to go down in flames to a non-partisan gubernatorial ticket. That’s like a cool, edgy progressive place to live, right? What if I told you that this very same state has elected by a comfortable margin, a majority in the legislature…

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Notes from Election Central

Here we go again! 8:30 – No numbers yet. Sitting in a sweet spot with lots of plug-ins and within earshot of the table belonging to Ethan Berkowitz and the Party Planner who are interviewing talk bloviator Dave Stieren who is loudly and intently talking about Mark BAGitch (learn the name!) “Every election is about the next election,” he drops the pearls of wisdom on the floor for us to scramble after. Now something about Joe Miller, and the Democrats sending out flyers for Mark Fish the Libertarian candidate, hoping to split the Republican vote. The Party Planner nods in…

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