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June 13, 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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The Mystery of Joe Miller and the Vanishing Emails.

Sounds like an awesome new Hardy Boys book, but alas… it’s just the latest chapter in the fiasco of Alaska politics. The nation is still keenly aware that Joe Miller has not conceded the senate race to Lisa Murkowski. It’s like Coleman vs. Franken in the 2008 Minnesota senate race – only it’s more like Coleman vs. Coleman.  And while moderates and progressives are no fans of Joe Miller, a full hand count reconciliation of a state-wide election is a result many completely support. We’ve needed it for a long time. That said, Joe Miller has other problems than people…

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Former UA Professor Receives Cook Inletkeeper’s Highest Award

A Commentary By Susan B. Andrews and John Creed KOTZEBUE—Finally, he’s getting a dinner. For almost 30 years, Rick Steiner toiled away at the University of Alaska, rising through the ranks to become one of the most accomplished, high-profile professors in the history of UA’s Marine Advisory Program. But when Professor Steiner left our state’s public university system earlier this year, the employer to which he dedicated virtually his entire career showed him less regard than it would a temp. Most UA faculty members who rise to the rank of “full” professor and serve as long as Steiner are conferred…

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Joe Miller's Lawsuit – Highlight Reel

This Joe Miller lawsuit thing may seem to be getting complicated, so here’s a (hopefully) simple breakdown and a “highlight reel” of most of the important things you need to know.  It’s not every little thing, but it’s enough to have a reasonable discussion at the watercooler without people thinking you’ve become an election wonk. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Heck, some of my best friends are election wonks. OK, fine. I’M an election wonk.  But here’s the dill (as our former governor would say): Write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski spent a lot of time focusing on spelling this…

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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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Examining the Vote Count – the Alaska Senate Race Goes On…

…and the beat goes on. Today the Joe Miller campaign issued a press release regarding the latest news on their attempt to get information out of the Division of Elections.  Think of the Joe Miller campaign as a dentist, and the Division of Elections as a rabid hippo with a toothache. The Miller campaign is certainly not the first to have issues with the mechanics and transparency of the Alaska vote count.  They’ve even taken the chance their press release will spontaneously burst into flame, and have cited and linked to the complaint from the Dems back in 2004.  They…

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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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