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June 21, 2021

Headlines:

Alaska Gets Gouged

I’m never surprised by the unabashed glee with which those on the right shill for the rich and powerful, but the Republican support for the fuel price gougers here in Alaska has even me flabbergasted. Alaska’s gas prices are through the roof. Why? Oiligopoly. Two refiners control virtually 100 percent of the gasoline market — with Tesoro controlling 80 percent and Flint Hills, owned by the Koch brothers, controlling 20 percent. You know the Koch brothers: job creators extraordinaire. They’ve enjoyed a decade of low taxes, fired 13,000 workers since 2007 and seen their net worth skyrocket from $34 billion…

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Anchorage Moves to Certify, but There is Still Time

  By Shannyn Moore Remember standardized testing when you were a kid? You’d fill in those ovals with that Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2 until your eyes bugged out. Schools provided “smart snacks” of carrots and apples on testing days. Now imagine if they let you grade the tests. I’m sure you’re good, honest folks, but what a horrible position to put you in. “Oh, I knew this answer, I just forgot.” That’s basically what Anchorage Assembly chair Ernie Hall and the “election commission” appointed by Mayor Dan Sullivan, did this week. They graded their own performance on a debacle of…

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Quitter 2.0 – Parnell Breaks Hockey Stick, Says ‘Puck You.’

    And the crowd goes wild! Remember when I compared the Resources Committee meeting of the State Senate to a hockey game, and said I thought that they ought to have a rule just like in the peewee leagues, where when one team is like 20 points up they just call the game so the other side can slink away and lick their wounds instead of continuing to endure the public humiliation? Well, guess what? Even though that rule doesn’t exist, Bryan Butcher, Bruce Tangeman, and Co. have been recalled back to the locker room. That’s right – Parnell’s…

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Municipal Election Commission Releases Report – Let the Whitewashing Begin!

~The security seal used to secure memory cards into Anchorage’s insecure Diebold AccuVote machines. Today in the Mayor’s conference room in City Hall, the Election Commission released the results of its report and recommendations, including revised numbers that say that 65 of 121 precincts ran out of ballots at some point during the day – a higher total than the 55 previously reported. The commission’s report came after two meetings with voters and poll workers who spoke one-on-one with an individual election commissioner. Mudflats contributor Elstun Lauesen was there today when Commission Chair Gwen Matthew read the entire report aloud….

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Professor of Oil and Energy Economics Challenges the Governor to Debate

There has been a tremendous amount of press about changing the ACES  (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share) oil tax system, and hardly any press for keeping ACES in place. This guest editorial is from Dr. Douglas Reynolds, a professor of Oil and Energy Economics at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. If the governor really believes his new oil tax plan is for the best, then he shouldn’t mind debating the issue, right? From Dr. Doug Reynolds During a recent visit to Juneau and Anchorage, I met legislators, staffers, oil industry employers and ordinary citizens. Talking to all these people convinced me that…

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A Letter to My Senate Heroes

As the “not so special session” rolls on in Juneau, the Heroes of the Senate square off against the minions of Governor Sean Parnell who want to give away the farm (farm = $2 billion/year) with no strings attached. Senate Heroes vs. Captain Zero, if you will. Here’s a great letter to those heroes from Mudflats’ contributor Elstun Lauesen. To: Senator Bert Stedman, Senator Bill Wielechowski, Senator Joe Paskvan, Senator Hollis French, Senator Gary Stevens Dear Senators, I am a lifelong Alaskan well into his 60s and I have lately come close to losing hope that this State, which I…

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Steve Aufrecht’s Interview with Guadalupe Marroquin, Former Anchorage Election Chief

by Linda Kellen Biegel Steve Aufrecht’s blog “What Do I Know” is an often in-depth look at issues dealing with politics, cooking, travel and snippets from everyday life. Yesterday, Steve came up with quite the “get” — he’s the first one who was able to publish an interview with Guadalupe “Lupe” Marroquin, former Deputy Clerk in Charge of Elections for the Municipality. (One of the first things an independent investigator should “investigate” is why the Muni Clerk’s Office never hired a replacement after Lupe left. Instead, the “additional duties” were given to Deputy Clerk Jaqueline Duke, even though there is…

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Baked Alaska: Yet Another Election Crashes and Burns on the Last Frontier

  By Brad Friedman [Read the entire excellent article at BradBlog.com. Extensive excerpts below] …And then there are the election officials of Anchorage, Alaska, where, on April 3rd, there was another disastrous election, held on Diebold op-scan systems, in a state becoming known for its disastrous elections. “Those are amazing machines – utterly amazing,” Anchorage Election Commissioner Gwen Matthews told members of the Anchorage Assembly last Friday night during a working session as they tried to unravel the latest disaster. “It is impossible for them to go haywire,” she misinformed the law makers. “They are highly accurate. I think that I could…

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Indications of Malfeasance and Election Fraud Surface in Anchorage

By Jeanne Devon and Linda Kellen Biegel Friday’s Assembly work session at the Loussac Library was a chance for Anchorage Assembly members to ask questions of the key players involved in the botched Municipal election of April 3. They’d be speaking to Gwen Matthews, Chair of the Election Commission; Barbara Gruenstein, Municipal Clerk; Jacqueline Duke, Deputy Municipal Clerk; and Dennis Wheeler, Municipal Attorney. Validity of Votes Cast First up was Gwen Matthew who spoke of her role checking for the validity of the votes cast. She assured the Assembly that her team was examining everything with all the tools at…

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Minnery Misrepresents One Anchorage Fundraising

by Mel Green (Originally posted at Bent Alaska) Nearly 1,100 Alaskans — about 75% of contributors — have so far donated to One Anchorage, a March 7 press release announced. But it didn’t take long for anti-LGBT leader Jim Minnery to claim that “Outside Gay Rights Funds Bankroll Prop. 5 Supporters,” completely ignoring One Anchorage’s numerous in-state contributors. Minnery, president of the antigay/antitrans Alaska Family Council and chair of its associated 501(c)(4) advocacy organization Alaska Family Action, is also chair of the anti-Proposition 5 group “Protect Your Rights — Vote No on 5.”  Proposition 5, the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative,…

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