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October 26, 2021

Headlines:

Mayor Pulls Security AND Spit Guard

THREE CHEERS FOR FAIRBANKS! Before we dive in to the usual shenanigans from the local to the federal level, let’s all take a moment to marvel at what just happened in Fairbanks and take a look at the faces that will grace the Borough Assembly and the School Board. Some will return, others are new, but all were enthusiastically supported by the Interior Democrats! At a time when the importance of rational local governance and local elections have never been more plain to see (more on that later), Fairbanks rallied the community with great candidates, solid plans and policies, hard-working…

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GOP “leadership” & Alaska’s COVID catastrophe

NOT THAT SPECIAL Welp. Another special session has come to a close, with the legislature settling on an $1100 PFD – pretty much the same as we’ve had for years and no thanks to the governor who could have had this outcome long ago, but in an interesting choice vetoed the PFD down to nothing, and started the process all over again. It was actually a nail-biter for a second and it looked like Alaskans might have no PFD at ALL. But we drove back from the edge of that cliff. There will be no veto this time, but before you think…

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The Whole State Has Gone Mad – a Tour.

This week has been particularly mind-boggling everywhere from the Capitol in Juneau to the Anchorage Assembly chamber, to the Kenai Peninsula, Fairbanks, and the Mat-Su. All I can say is suit up, because we’re going to take a dive and look at it all. IN JUNEAU The Special Session took a crazy turn Wednesday night. The legislature was slated to vote on what was shaping up to be an $1100 PFD, to fund scholarships, and get it done, and the floor session was ready to start… But 18 of the 38 legislators who were in the Capitol decided not to show up. Taking into…

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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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Shenanigans & a Secret Stalker!

It’s a shortened week because of the holiday, the legislature has gaveled out for now, and it seems that most of the political world was quiet during the fourth of July weekend. With one major exception. THE GOVERNOR DID SOMETHING GOOD! No, you don’t need to clean your glasses, he really did. Okay, granted, it was totally by accident and not what he intended to do at ALL, and he tried to worm out of it once it was done, but none the less. Last Thursday, Dunleavy made the big announcement that he was going to veto a proposed $4…

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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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