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May 15, 2021

You Can’t Fire a Fetus & Other Lessons from the Alaska Legislature

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration It’s been a week since the marathon joint session convened and voted on Governor Mike Dunleavy’s appointees to boards and commissions – and there have been a few developments with some of the rejected nominees. “EAGLEXIT” First, there was Mike Tovaliero. He was the one rejected from the Board of Realtors for several reasons including: his seeming lack of understanding of which board he was nominated for;  his losing interview strategy of being belligerent to legislators and not forthcoming when asked questions; and his problematic Twitter feed which featured both original…

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Walker or Begich? The Moderate’s Dilemma.

Alaska voters, we need to have a conversation. And I know this may hurt a little. It’s about Bill Walker and Mark Begich, the two “moderates” in the 3-way race for Alaska governor – the first, a former Republican and incumbent, the second, a Democrat and former US Senator. The third player in our little melodrama is Mike Dunleavy, a former Republican right-wing conservative state senator from Wasilla who quit in the middle of his term. In the end, your vote is your choice and yours alone, but I can’t let you step behind the red, white, and blue curtain…

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The Pete Kelly Lisa Murkowski Surreality Show

State Sen. Pete Kelly, a Republican from Fairbanks, has introduced a bill to allow University of Alaska students to carry guns on campuses and into dorms. That’s public policy even more harebrained than putting pregnancy tests into bar bathrooms. Did Pete go to college? Did he live in a dorm? If so, he apparently didn’t notice that dorms aren’t exactly hothouses of good judgment. Adding firearms just increases the opportunity for adolescent bad judgment to become truly tragic. I sure wouldn’t send my kid to live in a dorm populated with gun-toting teenagers. I haven’t figured out what Kelly does…

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The Oath Keepers in Ferguson

Standing on top of a boarded up beauty shop, silhouetted men look out over the street. I can faintly see the outline of a rifle, an AR-15? M-16? I don’t know guns well enough to make a guess. I walk carefully over to the building, hands half raised. The weather in Ferguson has turned cold, and as I get closer I can see their breath in the night air. I’m trying to think of what to say. There’s lots of stories about these guys. People down the street are connecting them to the rumors that the KKK is in Ferguson. Some…

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Haters Sad. Don’t Understand Government.

Local purveyor of gay and uterine control, Jim Minnery of the Alaska Family Council, has taken to the emails again to vent his sadness and outrage about how the government works. “Like a good soldier, Alaska District Court Judge Tim Burgess, fell right in line with the rest of the activist courts across the country and ruled yesterday that Article 1 Section 25 of our State Constitution defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman was unconstitutional.” That’s right. That George W. Bush appointee, Tim Burgess, is a gay activist… just like every single other court that…

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Alaska Celebrates Marriage Equality

Tonight a jubilant crowd gathered at Mad Myrna’s in downtown Anchorage to celebrate a judge’s ruling that declared Alaska’s current restrictive marriage laws unconstitutional both on the grounds of equal protection, and due process. It felt historic and happy, and long overdue. There was lots of smiling, and love, and laugher, and cake with rainbow sprinkles. Monday morning, Courtney Lamb and Stephanie Pearson, litigants in the case, will apply for a marriage license in Anchorage. It was a good day for equality, personal liberty, and constitutional justice. Congratulations to us all.

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Marriage Equality Comes to Alaska!

It happened more quickly than most were expecting. Judge Timothy Burgess ruled Sunday afternoon that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The finding in the case Hamby v. Parnell read in part as follows: “The court finds that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognize same sex marriages lawfully entered in other states is unconstitutional as a deprivation of basic due process and equal protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” The Hamby suit was filed in May by five same-sex couples – four of whom sought to have their marriages in other states…

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Alaska Marriage Equality Has Day in Court

Courtroom 1 at the Alaska District courthouse was full to overflowing. Courtroom 2 held those who couldn’t find a seat. The fates (and a friend) ushered my daughter and I to seats right in the jury box, which was a wonderful surprise. A TV monitor to my left showed a distant room which I knew to be in Fairbanks, because there was Gary Black from the Newsminer! Juneau was with us also, and had to be asked to mute their sound because of laughing and merriment. The mood was optimistic, but cautious. Alaska’s LGBT community has had victories within their grasp, and…

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Big Brother Feels Bad. Really.

Remember 1984? The book, not the year. You probably read it in high school. It’s a dystopian novel, published in 1949, that takes place in a world of perpetual manufactured war, state sponsored torture, omnipresent and intrusive government surveillance, and propaganda posing as news, all controlled by an elite and privileged “Inner Party” bent on squashing independent thinking and dissent in order to keep itself in power. The whole shebang is controlled by a powerful, merciless entity called “Big Brother,” who may or may not be just one person. No really, it’s just a novel. The hero of the story,…

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Begich – “If you’re pro-choice, you’re pro-choice.”

“There is no middle ground,” says Alaska Democratic Senator Mark Begich when asked about his firm pro-choice stance. “I’ve never run from these issues. I can’t speak for other Democrats, I just know where I’m at. These are not issues that I run from. People know where I stand.” That might not be a controversial position for a Democrat in California, or New York, but in a state that’s voted for a Republican president every cycle since the Johnson administration, it sounds like a risk. Alaska carries a mere 3 electoral votes, and with the notable exception of a certain VP nominee…

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