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June 21, 2021

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Anchorage's City Budget – Where's the Outrage?

By Elstun Lauesen The Assembly Voted last night for the $435 M budget that cuts services and raises property taxes by half a mill. Basically, this budget was predicated on a set of assumptions that misrepresented facts of a greater magnitude than those alleged by Assemblymen Chris Birch, Dan Coffey and Bill Starr against then Mayor Mark Begich. We all remember the hand-wringing over the ‘overly optimistic’ assumption that set Starr into meltdown mode in early 2009. Alleging ‘criminal’ activities by the Begich administration, Starr made unauthorized visits to the FBI and Bond Council, in essence, trying to undermine the…

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Why Won't Joe Miller Concede? (Answer: It Doesn't Matter)

Alaska’s Democratic Senator Mark Begich made a statement yesterday that was covered in Politico and the Anchorage Daily News, calling for Joe Miller to abandon his legal challenges to the U.S. Senate election that has Lisa Murkowski unofficially declared by herself and the Associated Press as the winner of the race. “It is time for Joe Miller to put Alaska interests ahead of personal ambition and allow the state of Alaska to certify Lisa Murkowski as the winner,” Begich said. “Without both senators, Alaska’s interests will be at risk on critical issues from energy development to job creation and reducing…

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Anchorage Assembly Meeting 2011 Budget – What are People Saying? (Live blogging)

I’m here at the Assembly Chambers as public testimony is being taken on the Anchorage municipal budget. (See previous post)  I’ll try to hit the highlights for those of you who couldn’t make it.  There is a long line of people waiting to testify and the room is packed to standing room only. Guy in weird hat and American flag scarf thinks the mayor is doing a great job. Thinks the Assembly should buy their own lunch. Quoting from a book “citizens are a milk cow ready to give buckets of money… absurd taxes, bla bla bla.” 18th Century, Declaration…

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Time to Storm the Castle! Sullivan's Budget

OK, boys and girls.  The election is (almost) over and now it’s time to redirect our focus just a tad.  It’s kind of like when the dishwasher overflows, and the dog is barking to get in, and someone drops a glass…  Then when you finally get it all sorted out, you look over in the pantry and you see the five year old elbow deep in a bag of chocolate chips, with scared eyes and melted goo all over his face.  He thinks because you haven’t had time to pay attention during all the chaos, that he could just keep…

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The Alaska Senate Race – It Ain't Over Yet…

The following was just released from the Joe Miller campaign: Today the U.S. Federal District Court in Anchorage ordered the U.S. Senate race not to be certified until vital legal issues are resolved. The Court recognized serious statutory matters have been raised by Joe Miller concerning what standard of review should be used to count the write-in ballots. The Miller campaign has consistently held that the state law must be applied, as written. Its provisions could not be clearer: “A vote for a write-in candidate…shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name,…

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Voices from the Flats – Brad Friedman

The article below, by Brad Friedman should be required reading for every legislator and every voter in the state of Alaska. As we march closer to the end of the Alaska senate race, there are still many questions that need to be answered.  The most important thing that can come from this election is not simply coming to a determination about who won this particular race. We have an opportunity to take back our elections from a system and a process that is inherently flawed, has been proven unreliable, has been shown to be vulnerable, and yet is still entrusted…

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Why Joe Miller Has a Point

Something  in Alaska stinks. Again. Not just an ordinary low tide smell. Not like something you’d blame on the dog. It smells like an infection. For me to plug my nose, I’d have to overlook some curious facts. I’ve written another piece like this. It was after the last election. I said it the three elections before that. In the words of baseball great Yogi Berra, it’s Déjà vu all over again! I’m writing and talking about the same thing, in what has become an even-year ritual: Alaska doesn’t count votes properly and hasn’t for years.  Alaska still uses the…

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Mr. Wrong is Right, and Other Strange Tales from the Alaska Senate Rabbit Hole

We should all be used to it by now. Alaska politics will turn into something far more complicated than we believed was possible. The Corrupt Bastards Club, the Ted Stevens trial, the Don Young Coconut Road fiasco, some half-term governor run amok in the Lower 48, and now this – the Alaska Senate race of 2010. It’s always interesting when you find yourself with a strange bedfellow. That happened quite a bit when Palin had the VP nomination. People who were following the race from Alaska will remember that there were local Republicans a-plenty who wrote some really great scathing…

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Bad Guy v. Bad Guy in Battle for Good. Alaska’s Election Under the Magnifying Glass.

Well, goodness me.  The Alaska Senate race has certainly summoned an interesting cast of, um… ‘characters’ to the far north. First, we learned that Lisa Murkowski has employed the services of a certain Ben Ginsberg for her legal team dealing with the vote count. If you haven’t heard of Benjamin Ginsberg, let me illuminate you.  He was one of Bush’s attorneys working on the Florida recount in 2000.  He was also one of the attorneys behind Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, the 527 group whose purpose was to assassinate the character of John Kerry. This is who’s in Lisa Murkowski’s corner….

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Breaking: New Alaska Senate Poll Shows McAdams Surging Past Embattled Joe Miller

A new poll conducted by Hays Research confirms what we already intuitively know. Alaska U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller’s candidacy is in big trouble. The percentage of those who feel either “somewhat negative” or “very negative” about Miller has skyrocketed in recent weeks to an unbelievable 68%. Only 8% feel “somewhat negative” and the remainder, a jaw-dropping 60%,  feel “very negative” about Miller as a candidate. A series of gaffes, inconsistencies, and controversial statements to the press, in addition to the arrest of a journalist by Miller security guards have come one on top of another, causing a trend that can only be…

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