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September 17, 2021

Murkowski Disingenuous Says NARF

Natalie Landreth is a senior staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) in Anchorage, Alaska. Founded in 1970, NARF is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.     By Natalie Landreth Last Thursday, March 7, President Obama signed into law the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Nationwide, many celebrated the new provisions allowing tribal governments to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault. It was a long overdue fix for a jurisdictional loophole. Absent from the press coverage…

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Murkowski Responds to Accusations

Sunday afternoon Senator Lisa Murkowski borrowed a move from Sarah Palin and responded on her Facebook page to an article I wrote yesterday which first appeared in The Anchorage Daily News, and on The Mudflats. “It’s incredibly important to clear up the confusion created by Shannyn Moore’s piece today — and I want Alaskans to hear it directly from me. The amendment she misconstrued focused on tribal jurisdiction over non-Natives who are accused of domestic or sexual assault on reservation land. Of Alaska’s 229 federally-recognized tribes, Alaska only has one reservation: Metlakatla. My amendment was introduced to spell out in…

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Murkowski Excludes Native Women from Protection

President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act this week. Finally, something bipartisan passed! American women are better protected from coast to coast — but all the way up north? Left out in the cold. First, you should know a few facts. Native American and Alaska Native women are 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other American women. The vastness of Alaska works against victims here. We have about 140 villages with no state law enforcement. Gov. Sean Parnell believes he can get some help to them in the next 10 years. In the meantime,…

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Poke’s on You!

Look! We got a poke suggestion from Facebook. This is not photoshopped, we promise. It’s Rep. Lindsey Holmes (D—>R – Anchorage)!  May it be in the virtual eye?  

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$8.3 Million to be Cut from Health Budget

In its ongoing quest to make Alaska an unpleasant place to live, the House Health & Social Services Finance Subcommittee has recommended an $8.3 million reduction to critical Behavioral Health Services. The Republicans are trying to teach us slow-learners that the best way to deal with a problem is to ignore it, and then it will go away. If we don’t allow abortion, women just won’t have them. If we don’t fund public schools, then we can all just be rid of them and send our kids to church 6 days a week. And, if we don’t fund local, community…

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Parnell Chickens Out – Again

If you squint really hard, and clear your mind, you’ll be able to see a new sign in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Juneau. The author of the legislative fisheries newsletter Laws for the Sea, Bob Tkacz, is one of my favorite reporters in our state’s capital right now. He and several others attended the Governor’s press availability in the Capitol last week. He, like many Alaskans, had watched in dismay as the Governor’s Cruise Ship dumping bill as it sailed through the legislature, despite massive amounts of misinformation. One particular example Tkacz cited in his question for the…

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They Think We’re Idiots. Are We?

BY: SHANNYN MOORE I will admit to outrage fatigue. The “Shock and Fraud” campaign in Juneau is working. Legislators, drunk on one-party power, are trying to jam so much crazy through — well, it’s mind-boggling. We’ve just passed the halfway point of the session — think of it as solstice; Alaska’s future only gets darker from here. We had it too good for too long and didn’t even realize it. The petty, preposterous, personal-issue bills were ignored for years. But now that we’ve solved our energy issues, jobs are plentiful and every education challenge is behind us, the Legislature has…

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GOP Senators vs. Polar Bears

In case you missed it today, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the capital of our fair Republic (Washington DC, not Juneau) upheld the 2008 decision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to include polar bears on the list of threatened species. Because they are. But like another Wasilla Republican we know, Senate President Charlie Huggins finds himself disappointed with the facts. “The federal appeals court decision is incredibly disappointing,” he sniffed. “America could be on its way to energy independence if only the federal government would free us to develop our vast natural resources. Federal overreach is…

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HB69: A National Disgrace

The most controversial bill in recent Alaska history – and beyond – might be this session’s House Bill 69, sponsored by Speaker Mike Chenault. This House legislation was advertised as a declaration of state sovereignty as it related to owning firearms in Alaska. But that was more of a side note to the actual threat the language of the bill presents. HB69 includes provocative language stipulating that state authorities could, should the bill pass, arrest federal agents who attempted to enforce federal law regarding gun regulations. For instance, if Washington DC passed a law tomorrow stating that high capacity ammo clips are…

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Sen. Coghill Needs a Doctor STAT!

John Coghill can’t seem to find credible doctors to attack Alaskan women’s reproductive health. Imagine that. In a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, not a single doctor from Alaska was allowed to testify for or against a bill that would restrict access to safe and legal abortion for low-income women in our state. Gems of wisdom from the out-of-state doctors that the bill’s sponsor Senator John Coghill chose to testify on SB49 include these debunked falsehoods: “Abortion exacerbates existing mental health illness,” and “Women who have an abortion have an 81 percent increased risk for mental health problems.” –Dr….

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