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May 18, 2021

Parnell & Crew “Summit” Mt. Hypocrisy

Two weeks ago I wrote about the upcoming, state-sponsored “Federal Overreach Summit.” Well, Alaska, they dug to the bottom of the barrel and managed to make a meeting of it — trotting out all the usual tea party nonsense about how tapping Alaska resources without having to answer to the feds on environmental issues is the embodiment of democracy. But this summit wasn’t just a pathway to pillaging resources. It was a dog-whistle concert for every wing nut they could get in the door. The governor’s policy director, Randy Ruaro, said there had been a funding request for “proactive science.”…

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Alaska: Hand Out, Finger Up

The State of Alaska has one hand out palm up, and the other raised with one finger prominently extended — again. The upcoming “Federal Overreach Summit” to be held at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage seemed like a tea party function. I don’t have a yellow flag with a snake on it or a three-cornered hat, so I didn’t pay much mind. Until this week. An email found its way to me from a Department of Natural Resources employee. Karrie Improte signed an email announcing the “very interesting news; on page 1 there is an announcement on the Commission sponsored…

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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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SCOTUS Sticks it to Alaskans

Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States decided on a 5-4 vote to gut the Voting Rights Act. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has a central provision, Section 5, that requires some state and local governments, mostly in the South, and also in Alaska, to get permission from the Justice Department or a federal court before making changes in their voting laws. Indeed, it was the Voting Rights Act that was at the heart of successful efforts to stop states attempting to cut back on early voting hours and instituting voter identification laws that would have dramatically affected minority…

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Parnell’s Petty Party

The concept of letting someone else do all the work and then stealing the glory is reprehensible in general, but to the men and women who serve in the military, that violation of basic honor and integrity cuts close to the bone. So does using the men and women who serve our country as a partisan political backdrop, just because it looks good in a photo op. If you were on Facebook this week, you might have seen the following picture posted on Sen. Kevin Meyer’s page featuring Sean Parnell signing several bills affecting the military. But one in particular…

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Don Young’s Legal Fees. Follow the Money.

Don Young’s second ethics investigation rolls along. The FBI investigated Alaska’s lone congressman, but in 2010 it said it didn’t have enough evidence to convict him and turned the whole thing over to the House Ethics Committee.  They looked it all over, and decided to launch their own investigation in March of this year. He allegedly improperly accepted gifts, used campaign funds for personal use, and lied to federal officials. Say it ain’t so. So that means a whole host of new legal bills. Just this spring, Young forked over $60k from his legal defense fund to the DC law…

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ACLU Investigates Censorship in Juneau

Last week, on two consecutive days, an assortment of government vans from at least two different entities, parked in front of the Capitol building in Juneau, blocking protesters who had come with signs to demonstrate. The protesters had been clearly visible from certain offices in the Capitol. Joe Miller’s blog describes the situation as reported by en eyewitness: “The trucks were parked across the street from the capital building, in the “active loading and unloading zone” and in the road congesting traffic, obviously in answer to a command to block the protesters. There were witnesses at the protest who heard…

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Who Blocked Protesters at Capitol?

This week, a group of Alaskans rallied against abortion in Juneau. Some anti-choice folks rolled out huge billboard signs of chopped up babies — gruesome images intended to disturb those coming in and out of the Capitol. The signs could be seen from some legislative offices and the Governor’s Office. At some point, several large State of Alaska vehicles drove up and parked in front of the signs – blocking them from the view of legislators and Capitol visitors. One driver was asked what he was doing. Following orders, he said. Whose orders? Gov. Sean Parnell issued a statement saying…

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Hall Gets Flamed by Fire Department

A letter to Anchorage Assembly Chair Ernie Hall, from Tom Wescott, President of the Alaska Professional Firefighters about Ordinance 37, which is scheduled to be voted on by the Assembly on Tuesday, March 26. Mr. Hall is up for re-election on Tuesday, April 2. Hall is opposed by write-in candidate Nick Moe. Click HERE to learn what you can do to support Moe’s campaign, and to see if you are in the district. March 25, 2013 Chairman Hall, I am writing you to express my disgust in the role you have played in AO-37. As someone who assured our local…

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AO37:The Bill Remains the Same

Friday was billed as the last Working Group on Ordinance 37: “An Ordinance Amending Anchorage Municipal Code Chapter 3.70, Employee Relations, With Comprehensive Updates Securing Long Term Viability and Financial Stability of Employee and Labor Relations.” In other words, an ordinance established to decrease union contracts and establish a process called “managed competition” — a program through which it is easier to outsource various job functions within the Municipality. (See: “ALEC” legislation across the nation). In spite of efforts by Assembly Members Gray-Jackson, Traini, Flynn and Honeman to potentially scrap this ordinance and start over with employee and community participation,…

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