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October 26, 2021

Headlines:

Dunleavy urges anti-vaxx cops to come to Alaska

MURKOWSKI AND SULLIVAN VOTE NO ON VOTER PROTECTION Both of Alaska’s Republican Senators decided to take a ball-peen hammer to the knees of democracy this week. It’s not surprising, but it’s disappointing. As the U.S. Congress weighs the heavy topic of the sustainability of our very democracy, Murkowski and Sullivan aren’t even pretending to care about voting rights – the foundation of everything. They didn’t vote against anything in particular, mind you, they voted to filibuster the entire Freedom to Vote Act. They don’t even want the subject to come up for debate. They have abused the filibuster to harm democracy,…

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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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Alaska Gov Pals Around With Insurrection Instigator

DOZENS ATTENDED! The on-again-off-again fundraiser to fight the Recall Dunleavy campaign has finally happened after being canceled earlier this summer. The governor, who decries “east coast elites” and out-of-state influence on Alaska campaigns, brought at least a dozen Alaska Republicans with him to Donald Trump’s east coast elite golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey to collect out-of-state money to influence an Alaska campaign. Donald Trump, you may remember, is the one who fomented a violent insurrection attempt to overthrow of the United States government because he lost the election. He and the Tall One are buddies. The dozen or more Alaskans…

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Sen. Dan Sullivan – Leading in the Wrong Direction

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN ADDRESSES THE LEGISLATURE BUCKLE UP To say it was mind-numbing to listen to Sen. Dan Sullivan in his address to a joint session of the legislature is an understatement.  To say that was surprising wouldn’t be true. Mind you, he’s not up for reelection until 2026. His job security is solid. He doesn’t need to pander and whip up “the base” to get votes any more. This was the perfect opportunity to deliver a positive address, looking to the future, reassuring the 44% of Alaskans who didn’t vote for him that maybe he wasn’t so bad, and…

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Anti-masking Alaska Senator Banished from Capitol. Maybe.

Welcome to the theater of the absurd. If you’re getting tired of watching Alaska Senator Lora Reinbold’s middle school “you’re not the boss of me” antics, you’re not alone. Even her fellow Republican Senators have had enough – and they’re the ones who thought she’d be just swell as part of their “Caucus of Equals,” and installed her as the chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee. Because what could possibly go wrong? Should we still be talking about this? No. Does Sen. Reinbold (R-Eagle River) make that impossible? Yes. Since the CDC-compliant mask mandate went into place at the Capitol, Reinbold has been wearing…

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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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Governor’s Appointments – Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration The Governor’s appointments and how they went down   THUMBS UP/THUMBS DOWN Well, that was a whopper. The governor’s appointees to commissioner positions and to boards and commissions were up for confirmation yesterday, and the joint floor session with members of the House and Senate took 7 hours and 48 minutes to wind up. At the end, all of the governor’s picks for Commissioner positions (even the most controversial) were passed with a majority of votes, but 6 appointees to the many boards and commissions in the state were rejected. And…

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