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May 18, 2021

Rep. Could Cash in from Bridge

A legislative audit recently revealed that Alaskans could be on the hook for up to $1.4 billion dollars as a result of insufficient projected toll revenue from the Knik Arm Bridge (aka KABATA, aka The Bridge from Hell). Not only that, but a land ownership analysis found that at least one state Representative in Juneau could stand to cash in from road construction to the area.  The family of Representative Lynn Gattis (R-Wasilla) just happens to own land adjacent to the Knik Arm Bridge approach in the Mat-Su Borough, and would see her land become much more valuable as a result of the…

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Corrupt Bastard Comes to School Board **VIDEO UPDATE**

UPDATE: Mr. Corkran withdrew his name for consideration on Sunday afternoon. On Monday, Thomas P. Corkran will be sworn in as a School Board member. He was selected by the Anchorage School Board after four rounds of voting to fill the seat vacated by Gretchen Guess. The board had boiled the candidates down to two, and selected Corkran over the CEO of Avant-Garde Learning Alliance, Kameron Perez-Verdia. There were 41 applications: why did they pick this guy? Do our School Board members know how to Google? I’m hoping the answer is no. Why? Because the alternative is spooky.   Mr….

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The Conoco Coup

Pick. Click. Giveaway. We’ve all heard the ads, “ConocoPhillips: Alaska’s Oil And Gas Company.” They should change that to “Alaska: An Oil Colony of ConocoPhillips, BP and Exxon.” Fifty-five years ago Alaskans voted for statehood. We were tired of Outside corporations dominating our fisheries at the expense of Alaskans. It looks like we need to wage that fight once again as large Outside companies – this time oil companies – have taken over our government in a nonviolent, post Citizens United coup. Former ConocoPhillips lobbyist Sean Parnell runs our executive branch. He’s the guy who also worked for the law…

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What You Can Do About SB21

The Republican-dominated Senate just voted to give Alaska’s future away. So, what are you going to do now? Disneyland? Wrong answer. The savings that Alaska has accrued from it’s oil tax revenue will now go straight into the pockets of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world. We have no guarantees of any increased oil production, jobs, or exploration. History tells us we won’t get any of it. For a summary of what happened, with quotes and video clips of important moments, click HERE. Nine senators (7 Democrats and 2 Republicans) stood up for you, and withstood…

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Senate Votes to Give Big Oil Billions

Here’s your highlight reel from the Senate oil tax debate. Late Wednesday night the Alaska State Senate voted 11-9 to give billions from the state treasury to the oil industry. A 10-10 vote would have killed the bill. Amendments and debate took all day, and went well into the night. The bottom line is that the senate voted to give away the farm, in exchange for nothing. No increased promise of production, exploration, or jobs. It might incentivize them to do something though. Magically. If we’re lucky. That’s the argument of the 11 Senators who voted for this historically bad…

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Sen. Calls Oil Giveaway “Crapshoot”

Senator Kevin Meyer conceded that it is not known whether Senate Bill 21 will actually lead to significant oil production increases, despite a giveaway of billions of dollars from state coffers. “Realistically, we all would expect new oil,” Meyer said. But he added, “It’s kind of a crapshoot. You really don’t know, and the industry certainly isn’t going to say one way or the other, because you know their motivation is to try to keep the rates down as low as they can.” A billion dollar a year crapshoot! Yay! Anyone want to play? I didn’t think so. Oh, and…

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Murkowski Disingenuous Says NARF

Natalie Landreth is a senior staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) in Anchorage, Alaska. Founded in 1970, NARF is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.     By Natalie Landreth Last Thursday, March 7, President Obama signed into law the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Nationwide, many celebrated the new provisions allowing tribal governments to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault. It was a long overdue fix for a jurisdictional loophole. Absent from the press coverage…

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AO37 Testimony Ends, Vote May Be Delayed (VIDEO)

Last night was the last round of scheduled public testimony on Anchorage Ordinance 37,  which would take away the rights of municipal unions for binding arbitration, the right to strike, and would restrict annual raises. AO37 would also utilize managed competition to outsource city work done by public employees to private companies. For another five-hour session, city workers and supporters of labor stood on the podium and gave their three-minute testimony. Sadly, their opinions and experiences seemed less interesting to the Mayor than his manicure. Ultimately, police officers, firefighters, city employees, and concerned citizens were left standing in line to…

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Begich to Reintroduce Safe Villages Act

In the wake of revelations about specific amendments added by Sen. Lisa Murkowski to the Violence Against Women Act, passed by Congress last week, Senator Mark Begich will seek to reintroduce a relevant bill. His legislation would remove inequities that leave Alaska Native women vulnerable and unable to pursue justice for domestic violence and sexual assault cases on the same measure as tribal women in the Lower 48 states, who can legally address these issues in tribal court when the offender is non-Native. Natalie Landreth, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund explains: “We are tired of the separate…

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Murkowski Responds to Accusations

Sunday afternoon Senator Lisa Murkowski borrowed a move from Sarah Palin and responded on her Facebook page to an article I wrote yesterday which first appeared in The Anchorage Daily News, and on The Mudflats. “It’s incredibly important to clear up the confusion created by Shannyn Moore’s piece today — and I want Alaskans to hear it directly from me. The amendment she misconstrued focused on tribal jurisdiction over non-Natives who are accused of domestic or sexual assault on reservation land. Of Alaska’s 229 federally-recognized tribes, Alaska only has one reservation: Metlakatla. My amendment was introduced to spell out in…

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