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May 16, 2021

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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Legislators AWOL while Alaska burns

TALL TALES from… Juneau Wasilla? Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration     3 RINGS OF DYSFUNCTION Well the “special session” in Wasilla was every bit the circus you may have imagined. The gymnasium was set up like the two chambers of the legislators and everyone had a name card. Spectators sat in the bleachers, and Sen. Mia Costello and Rep. Lance Pruitt were the ringleaders. Inside, rogue legislators received adulation from supporters. Outside, we asked this guy what the flag stood for and he said it was a Belgian flag, but he brought it because it looked scary. A bunch…

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Public comment deadline looms; Pebble opponents vow to fight illegal permit application

As people prepare to submit their public comments on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Pebble Mine, before the final deadline this Monday, July first, Bristol Bay defenders are dissecting permitting documents and past statements in search of legal grounds and legislative options to derail the Trump administration’s rush to ram through permits for the proposed mine. Describing the Pebble Partnership’s current application for federal permits, Joel Reynolds said, “To avoid public focus on the scale of the harm that they are going to cause to the world’s greatest wild salmon ecosystem, they…

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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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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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Gov. holds education funding hostage

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration The Final Battle CONVENIENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL This week the discussion in the Capitol focused a lot on education and its funding. The first thing to know is that the Alaska Constitution requires adequate funding for education. It’s pretty cut and dried. That’s the backdrop. The conflict comes because – remember how the governor and his people were all fired up about slashing public education funding this year? His first budget called for hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts. But what they hadn’t counted on is that education had already been forward-funded…

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The call is coming from inside the House!

The End is Just the Beginning…       DAY 122 IS DAY 1 The regular legislative session is over. The constitution says that the 121st day shall be the last! Unless of course they extend it for 10 days. Or unless someone calls a special session to deal with particular legislation, which is exactly what happened last night. Before legislators gaveled out, or had the chance to call themselves back to special session, Gov. Mike Dunleavy summoned the press to tell them that he’d be calling a special session on the crime bill, the PFD, and the budget. No…

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