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May 18, 2021

Walker & Wielechowski – Alaska First

It’s summer. I don’t watch TV in the summer. I fish. So I first heard about the Domino’s ad, “powered by pizza,” with its slam on halibut, by reading the Mudflats blog. Yes, I know, Domino’s “thought halibut was a funny word.” The ad shows a lonely man in a dark room spitting halibut into a pie plate as the announcer says, “No one ever had a world-changing idea over halibut. NO way…” Having just returned from my hometown, the “Halibut Capital of the World,” Homer, Alaska, I had almost 20 pounds of fresh halibut fillets on ice. (Thanks, Pop!)…

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WE DID IT, ALASKA! Oil Giveaway on the Ballot.

  Moments ago, the Alaska Division of Elections announced that they had received enough valid voter signatures to put the question of repealing SB21, the massive giveaway of state money to oil companies, on the primary ballot in August of 2014. After achieving his stated goal of a Republican majority in the State House and Senate (albeit using redistricting lines later found to be unconstitutional), Governor Sean Parnell got the vote he wanted in the 2013 legislative session. The vote in the Senate was made possible by two legislators who are literally employed by ConocoPhillips. Last month, Parnell signed into…

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And Now, a Message from Gov. Sean Parnell

Governor Parnell and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, headed up by Daniel Sullivan, rejected a petition on Friday filed by local citizens seeking to protect wild Alaska salmon streams from coal strip mining in Upper Cook Inlet. And by Upper Cook Inlet, I mean directly across from Anchorage in the villages of Tyonek and Beluga. The massive Chuitna Coal project would need to drain wetlands, and completely remove productive salmon streams which are home to all five species of Alaskan salmon in a totally unprecedented act that would make all salmon streams in the state vulnerable to the bulldozer…

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“Second Battle for Statehood” A Mudflats Video Report

Senator Bill Wielechowski called the effort to repeal Gov. Sean Parnell’s massive giveaway to oil companies “the second battle for statehood.” Alaska navigated its first battle over fish, and now must again rise to assert primacy over the rights to its resources. This time, it’s Alaska’s oil and gas wealth at stake. The Mudflats was there on the historic day that more than 50,000 signatures were submitted to put the repeal on the ballot. Here’s our report.

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Mudflats Chats: Paul Begala on Pebble & Democrats

I sat down with Presidential adviser Paul Begala, and asked him his thoughts about the proposed Pebble Mine project, Senator Mark Begich, blue lawmakers in red states, and what it really means to be a Democrat. One of the lead advisers to President Clinton, Begala and James Carville shaped a moderate campaign agenda that focused on balancing the budget and creating 22 million new jobs. I’d been told that Begala is an avid hunter and fisherman, and has been fishing near Bristol Bay. So, I knew where I wanted our conversation to begin – with an issue that is of…

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Why Big Oil Fears This Man (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

More than 50,000 signatures were gathered in the effort to put the question of repealing SB21 on the ballot in August of 2014. The massive no-strings-attached giveaway to big oil companies will drain Alaska’s coffers into the bank accounts of the wealthiest multinational corporations in the history of the world. Alaska gets nothing – no commitment to exploration, production increases, or jobs. We do get to sacrifice the future of education, infrastructure projects, parks, public safety, and other critical needs. It’s not much of a deal. And yet, the Parnell administration and most Republicans in the legislature voted for it,…

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Blimps in the Last Frontier!

Thursday, I attended the Cargo Airships for Northern Operations Workshop
.  That’s right, the Blimp Convention! Earlier this year, I reported that a blimp was coming to Alaska this July for the first time since the 1920s. And not just any blimp – we’re talking the 200-foot long Skyship 600. Even though, to my disappointment, it was not coming up to give people rides, I had still planned on trying to blog the event and get some pictures if it came to Anchorage. Sadly, that never happened. But the dream is not dead, my friends. And there are many smart and motivated…

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Alaska Patriots Submit Petitions for SB21 Repeal (VIDEO)

An energetic crowd gathered at an the obscure office of the Alaska Division of Elections on Ship Creek Avenue today. The sunny Saturday did not keep the hardcore advocates, and activists away. They gathered to submit 898 petition booklets filled with the signatures of Alaskans who want to see the Parnell oil tax rollback overturned by the people via ballot initiative. The bill would give billions from Alaska’s coffers to oil companies with no strings attached. A total of 30,000 signatures were required from 40 separate districts across the state to get the repeal measure on the August 2014 primary…

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Begich on a Palin Senate Run

Remember that line from Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you?” Well if Sarah Palin were Jake Gyllenhaal and Alaska were Heath Ledger, she’d have been all, “I’m outta here!” And now that she’s considering a run for the Senate in the very state she quit, the Senator whose seat she’s looking to fill had a few things to say about that. “I don’t know if she’s a resident. She’s been away from Alaska a lot and has probably lost touch with what’s going on… “Most Alaskans I see on a pretty regular basis, but I haven’t…

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1 Simple Act You Can Do to Save Alaska

On this day when even the most ardent curmudgeon can’t help but feel a little patriotic stirring, even if it’s only for what has been… or what might yet be, you have something to do, Alaskans. Santa says. And so does this guy.   Yes, I am talking to YOU. NOW. This is the last week to sign the petition to repeal the most devastating legislation Alaska has ever seen – Senate Bill 21 (SB21). You don’t have to think of him as Uncle Sam. He can be Uncle Jay (Hammond), or Uncle Wally (Hickel), or Uncle Bob (Bartlett), or…

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