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June 22, 2021

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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…

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…

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…

Sen. Backpedals About Alaska’s Dimwit Voters

There’s backpedaling, and then there’s Backpedaling. Sen. Lesil McGuire (R), my friends, is a double-down Backpedaler. It’s actually quite impressive. It’s almost… what’s the word I’m looking for… “Palinesque.” With the current legislature out of touch with actual Alaskans on so many issues, it’s a skill the majority of Republicans are going to have to master. House Majority Leader Lance Pruitt, and Speaker of the House Mike Chenault have already backpedaled to varying degrees that they laughed out loud at the thought of legal same-sex partnerships, despite the fact 70% of Alaskans think it should happen. This time it’s about…

BREAKING: AK Lawmaker- No Room for Transparency

Alaska Senator Pete Kelly (R), Co-Chair of the Finance Committee, has a space problem. Alaska has a transparency problem. While Republicans in the Senate are stripping bills from certain oversight committees, that doesn’t seem like enough. Now Senator Pet Kelly just wants a hiding spot. In a memo sent to lawmakers on February 14, Kelly announced Alaska’s business, because of lack of room, would be holding meetings in the private offices of lawmakers.  I know! I was hoping for flowers and got a hacked up version of Democracy. He wrote: “Due to the hectic Nature of the 90 day session,…

Same-sex Civil Unions? Republicans LOL.

[A similar story is posted at The Huffington Post HERE]   Oh, it was a rollicking good time at the House Majority press conference this week. Mark Miller of the Juneau Empire pointed out that only 30% of Alaskans were opposed to legally recognizing same-sex partnerships in some way. That means 70% of the population in our great state thinks that gay people should have the right to a legal union. That’s what they call, in statistical terms, “a ginormous majority.” In light of these overwhelming results, Miller asked the Republican House caucus if they would support legally recognized civil…

Legislature Cuts the Brake Lines

A friend of mine just returned from Juneau. “Shanny, it’s a scary ride down there. The wheels are still on the bus, but the brake lines have been cut.” Elections have consequences, and the result of November’s vote put us all on the same ride. There are multiple bills introduced this session, written up by Outside think tanks funded by John Bircher millionaires. So, besides the lack of brakes, the people driving the bus are under the influence of much more intoxicating influences than their constituents. Now it would seem the bus has decided to go off road and take…

Recall Lindsey Holmes Meeting Sunday

They say elephants never forget. Donkeys apparently don’t either. This Sunday will be an organizing event for the effort to recall Rep. Lindsey Holmes. She’s the one who ran as a Democrat, raised money from Democrats, joined in on fundraisers with other Democratic candidates, garnered campaign workers from a thinly stretched pool of Democratic volunteers during a busy election cycle, and then decided to become a Republican before she was even sworn into office. The price of her political soul? A seat on the finance committee. Not a co-chairmanship, a SEAT. While there are Democratic legislators who choose to caucus…

Parnell Pees in the Pool

The critical vote on a controversial bill involving the dumping of cruise ship waste in Alaska waters has been put off until next week. This is good news. Your outrage, and contacts with your legislators are having an impact. The cruise ship dumping legislation favored by Governor Sean Parnell would kill key provisions of a 2006 citizen’s initiative, voted in by the people, that required cruise ships to meet clean water standards at the point of discharge by the 2016 cruise season, instead of allowing them to release sewage, heavy metals, and other waste into “mixing zones.” Mixing zones are…

‘Crock of Shit Gate’ Latest Developments

The legislature is in full swing, things are heating up in Juneau, and the emails are flying. But one recent email in particular has painted the office of boorish lout, Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, in a particularly boorish, loutish, light. Go figure. Picture if you will, the lovely and hard-working Sheri Pierce, City Clerk for Valdez ,Alaska, sitting in her office one morning. She’s clerking away for her fine city, fires up the computer, takes a sip of coffee, and sees something in the in-box. Look, it’s an email from Rep. Mike Chenault! She clicks on the email,…