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May 14, 2021

Misfire and $$ Down the Toilet

SHOW ME THE MONEY It’s budget time in Juneau, and we’re looking at a strange set of circumstances that is complicating the process. Weirdly, it’s a giant influx of cash! You were not expecting that, were you? Joe Biden’s amazing American Rescue Plan means Alaska will receive about $1.1 billion, plus hundreds of millions more for education from K-UA, tribes and local governments, and infrastructure projects. You’ll recall Sen. Murkowski, Sen. Sullivan, and Rep. Young all voted against this bill. Guess they are not interested in bringing home the bacon anymore. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Now, the Alaska House and Senate must determine how to legally invest the money for the greater good of all Alaskans. Thankfully, there…

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‘Where do they find these people?’

TODAY IS THE DAY! If you’re in the Anchorage Municipality, don’t say we didn’t tell you this one is important! You get to decide whether Anchorage has a responsible, decent mayor or a homophobic Alaska Family Council homeless-hating right winger. (yikes!) You also get to decide whether you get thoughtful, intelligent school board members, or ones who joke about corporal punishment and obsess about racism not existing on their social media posts. And if you’re in Midtown you get to pick between keeping Felix Rivera, a caring hard-working Assembly Chair, or letting a bunch of Q-azy, anti-masking, storm-the-Assembly-chambers wackos turn out to vote…

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Anchorage Assemblywoman – “Wear your mask!”

TALL TALES from Juneau and the D.C. Debacle   OOPS After last week’s edition of Tall Tales hit your screen, Dan Sullivan let all Alaskans know how it feels when your United States Senator can’t even tell the difference between two civil rights icons that he served with in Congress. He expressed his obligatory regrets at the passing of Rep. John Lewis by posting a picture of himself in front of the Smithsonian’s new Musem of African-American History and Culture with… the late Rep. Elijah Cummings. He wasn’t the only one to make this cringe-worthy gaffe – His fellow Republican…

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Ghosts in the Political Machine. No, really. Ghosts!

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Babcock/Arduin/Dunleavy administration Subscribe to TALL TALES here   HOORAY! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE GAY… Kelly Tshibaka, Gov. Dunleavy’s replacement pick for Commissioner of Administration (after first pick, Jonathan Quick, the “yogurt entrepreneur” was found to be lying on his resume) is certainly qualified for the job on paper. Nevertheless, she has some ideological issues which ought to raise serious concerns for someone wanting a position overseeing a very large and diverse government workforce. In 2002, Tshibaka (under her maiden name Kelly Hartline) wrote the following in the Harvard Law Record about “National…

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Oh no they didn’t… the week in gaffes, goofs and OMGs

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Babcock/Arduin/Dunleavy administration Oh yes, they DID.   It’s been a week of face-palm inducing, cringe-worthy, jaw-dropping gaffes and goofs in Juneau and beyond. It’s hard to know where to begin. So, we may as well start with the “beyond Juneau” part.   SEN. DAN SULLIVAN The Senate Armed Services Committee recently questioned top generals on President Trump’s “national emergency” declaration along the U.S.-Mexico border. Sen. Dan Sullivan was unsurprisingly supportive of the national emergency. To justify this support, he asked U.S. Northern Command General Terrence O’Shaughnessy how many Americans were killed by opioid…

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Anchorage Bans Plastic Bags

It’s been a process, let’s just say, as these things normally are. Should we ban those hideous one-use plastic grocery bags that end up clogging storm drains, wreaking havoc with water treatment facilities, getting stuck in trees and bushes, blowing across the road, and ending up in waterways and the ocean where they break down into the dreaded “microplastic” particles that get into the fish, and eventually us? Or should we just ban the really thin ones but not the medium ones or the thick ones? Or should we ban the thin, AND the medium? And on the public testimony…

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Plastic Bag Ban on the Horizon for Anchorage?

One word: #PlasticBagBan That’s what residents came to testify about at last night’s Anchorage Assembly meeting. Many communities in Alaska have already banned plastic bags including Wasilla, Palmer, Emmonak and several other rural villages. Now it’s Anchorage’s turn to decide. My hunch? We’ll all be doing THIS fairly soon, and good. In 1998 a voter initiative on the ballot to ban billboards read: The bill states findings and intent that Alaska be forever free of billboards. It defines billboards as any signs or forms of outdoor advertising not allowed by law. The bill also repeals a law recently passed by…

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Anchorage Secessionist Wants to be its Mayor

I’ve been lucky enough to reside in several parts of Alaska. When I lived in Fairbanks, I heard constantly how Fairbanksans were “real Alaskans” and people in Anchorage couldn’t handle a real winter. Anchorage, on the other hand, barely acknowledges the existence of Fairbanks — you mean that little town with ridiculous weather and bad air? Southeast Alaska is viewed as North Seattle. And Kodiak is a rock with rockets — more Pacific island than piece of Alaska. But the real “us and them” is between residents of the Mat-Su Borough and Anchorage. That rivalry has barbs. I’m not sure…

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Coffey Tape Reveals Illegal Donations (AUDIO)

The following is a press release from Michigan public radio reporter, and former Anchorage radio personality Aaron Selbig. The audio tape is the subject of this week’s Alaska Dispatch News, and Mudflats column by Shannyn Moore. Her commentary can be found HERE. *** The audiotape of former Anchorage Assembly members Dan Coffey and Bill Starr discussing illegal campaign contributions first aired February 26, 2008 on the Aaron Selbig Show on KUDO 1080AM. It was later replayed by KUDO hosts Camille Conte and Shannyn Moore. The tape came to Selbig after it was recorded on the home answering machine of former…

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Coffey Spilled the Beans Long Ago

Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey has a problem — a big problem. I’m not sure if it’s a medical issue that has affected his memory of events over the last decade or so, or if it’s just way easier for him to pretend some of the things he’s done or said didn’t happen. Shall we climb into the not-so-way-back machine? Oh, it was an exciting time, and I was in the middle of it. We’re only going back to 2008 — for now. There was this wonderful character named Alan Tesche. He was an assemblyman and used to get on…

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