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May 16, 2021

Hey… Where’s this thing going?

Hey… Where is this thing going? As several journalists have pointed out – August is supposed to be a slow news month. But like many other things in Alaska, that’s been turned on its head. The Dunleavy steamroller is juiced up and going full speed. And so is the recall effort. Almost 40,000 signatures have been gathered so far in the first phase of the recall which will draw to a close on September 2. Phase 2 will come after the application is approved, and will require over 70,000 signatures (which looks extremely do-able at this point), and then after…

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FAKE NEWS COMES TO ALASKA! SAD!

Gov. Mike Dunleavy didn’t come out and call it “fake news” but he may as well have. In his journey down the Trump copycat trail, he’s now blaming the media as a convenient excuse to not have to answer uncomfortable questions. Here’s the headline that got the governor’s nose out of joint. He said it was inaccurate. He would have preferred a headline that read: “The legislature chose that $1600 value of the Permanent Fund Dividend and he decided not to veto it.” And for the want of that awkward headline, he’s decided not to talk to the press anymore….

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Governor Arsonist/Firefighter is ready for your praise

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy Disaster ABOUT FACE!     THE GOVERNOR LAST WEEK THE GOVERNOR TODAY A CONVERSATION Remember the “unapologetic” governor, who two weeks ago all but assured us he’d re-veto his terrible budget cuts despite thousands of Alaskans showing up to testify, writing, and calling to oppose them?  Apparently, he doesn’t exist anymore. The shiny new governor that made an appearance this week is now furiously walking back everything he’s said about how necessary these cuts are and how everyone knew exactly that this would happen when they voted for him. SPOILER: Neither of…

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The Corrupt Bastards are back!

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Ben Stevens administration A trip to the WayBack Machine CORRUPT BASTARDS 2.0 If anyone had a momentary sigh of relief when they heard that former Republican Party Chair Tuckerman Babcock was demoted from Governor Dunleavy’s chief of staff to “adviser,” it was short-lived. We’ve gone from extremist Koch Brothers lackey, straight back to the Corrupt Bastards Club of 2006, only without the official hats. Yes, none other than Ben Stevens – black sheep son of former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens – is now in the coveted role of governor’s right-hand man. If…

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High Drama in the Legislature!

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration HIGH DRAMA in the Legislature This may, or may not be an actual photo of Lora Reinbold ACT 1 – The House Today the House voted to rescind their previous vote, and in one final last-ditch effort managed to cobble enough votes together to pass a capital (construction) budget, and a “reverse sweep” to re-fund all the accounts that had been drained at the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. The governor can still line-item veto items in the capital budget itself, but programs re-funded by the reverse sweep…

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Greetings from the Rubble!

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration Dispatches from the Rubble… JUNEAU IT IS Governor Mike Dunleavy, having seen the error of his ways, has “amended the call” of the PFD-focused special session to include the capital budget. He’s also called the location as Juneau, instead of Wasilla. And so, the sparkly hopes and dreams of the Republican House Minority die on the vine. They were waiting and wishing for torches and pitchforks and arm-twisting and even arrests. But after a disastrous week, including the downgrading of the University of Alaska by Moody’s to two-notches-above-junk-bond-status, and the tidal…

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Hey, Alaska! Stop being Big Oil’s Giving Tree.

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration THE END OF THE ROAD -ish   SINE DIE The first of at least two legislative special sessions is over. They have gaveled out “sine die” which is Latin for “without day,” meaning “without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing.” Most people pronounce it “SY-nee DIE” which is completely wrong. If you want to impress your friends at a post-special session barbecue or cocktail party this weekend you can tell them it’s actually “SIN-uh DEE-uh.” So, now that we’ve got our obscure procedural Latin phrases in order, here’s…

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Where’s the $3000, and Who’s Vetting These People?

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Administration   The big news today is that the Senate passed their version of the budget, and everyone’s talking about how it contains a $3000 PFD, which is true. But lots of other things happened, and we’ll get to that in a moment. But before we do, there are a couple other happenings worth noting. “WHO’S VETTING THESE PEOPLE?” Stephen Moore Alaskans have been saying that since the very beginning of the Dunleavy appointment process. Remember Quick & Chance? No, not a quaint Dickensian law firm – the first two casualties of…

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You Can’t Fire a Fetus & Other Lessons from the Alaska Legislature

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration It’s been a week since the marathon joint session convened and voted on Governor Mike Dunleavy’s appointees to boards and commissions – and there have been a few developments with some of the rejected nominees. “EAGLEXIT” First, there was Mike Tovaliero. He was the one rejected from the Board of Realtors for several reasons including: his seeming lack of understanding of which board he was nominated for;  his losing interview strategy of being belligerent to legislators and not forthcoming when asked questions; and his problematic Twitter feed which featured both original…

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Alaska House Republicans are Off the Rails

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Administration The House Minority goes off the rails *Quick refresher: The House Majority is made up of a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who came together because they shared the desire to get something accomplished, and together they represent the majority of legislators who couldn’t abide the thought of the far-right types running the show. The House Minority is made up of the leftovers (all Republicans) who think Dunleavy’s budget is super great (or doesn’t go far enough), that moderate Republicans are “traitors,” and Democrats are all socialists who are out…

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