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June 22, 2021

Headlines:

Government Funding for Mat-Su Madrassa?

That’s what the Christian Conservatives are pushing for this legislative session, even if they’re too obtuse to know it. Chalk up another one to the Constitutionalists of Convenience – you know, conservatives who squawk and flap about libruls and leftists who want to “shred the Constitution,” and then turn around and fire up the shredding machine for the very document they purport to love. The fair-weather founding father fans now have their sights on one of the hallmarks of the Alaska Constitution – public education. The Alaska Constitution specifically prohibits using public money to fund religious schools. It’s quite clear….

VITAMIN DEMOCRACY! Alaska’s Salmon Need You!

You may think Governor Sean Parnell plays lap dog to oil industry – and you’d be right. He does answer to more than one master. The Miami Mob, the cruise ship industry whistles and he comes running. SB29 and HB80 are the governor’s sweetheart deal to cruise ship industry. You may remember we Alaskans, through a ballot initiative, raised standards on cruise ship water dumping and implemented a head tax several years ago. The governor rolled that back saying visitors to our great state were going to cross a cruise to Alaska off their bucket list because of a $50…

Fox, Vice Chair of Henhouse, “No worries!”

State Senator Peter Micciche (R), an employee of ConocoPhillips*, says that while there will be billion dollar decisions made about oil and gas issues in the legislature this session, there is no conflict of interest with his seat on the Resources Committee, nor as vice chairman of the the special committee taking the first look at the governor’s oil-tax bill. You know, the one where the governor wants to give almost $2 billion a year to the oil companies, screwing smaller independent oil producers and favoring the “Big Three” – BP, Exxon and ConocoPhillips?* *Hmmm. In his own persuasive argument, the…

Integrity? How Ironic.

An Open Letter to State Rep. Lindsey Holmes (D) (R), of Anchorage, from a constituent, regarding her change of political parties, just days before the legislative session. Dear Representative Holmes: I wanted to share something with you that I found on the Internet. I know that you’re not supposed to believe everything that you read there, but I thought this was an interesting snippet: When someone goes to your reelection website, this is the first image and statement they are presented with.. How Ironic. “Public service is about integrity, hard work, and an honest concern for the future of all…

AK Must Redraw District Map

Remember the new district map for Alaska? Well, it has had a tumultuous, though brief life span. Some hated it, some disliked it, some said it was fair, and a lot of Democrats clutched their pearls and gasped, “Don’t make a stink, because it could be worse!”  Um. Worse than losing the bipartisan coalition in the senate, and maintaining a solid minority in the house? Gee, I’m glad we didn’t go there. Well, the kerfuffle over the map went all the way to the Alaska Supreme Court, and the divided opinion said … (drumroll please) … Back to the drawing…

Leg Office Space for Hate Group?

It’s not every day that an experienced legislative staffer gets ousted, and banned for life from rehire by the legislature. What could cause such a response from the Committee on Legislative Ethics in the Alaska State House? How about literally giving legislative office space and the keys to the Legislative Offices to some guy from an anti-muslim hate group?  Oh, you Mat-Su Republicans can still surprise me after all these years. Before the start of the new legislative session, Rep. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) has announced the “resignation” of her Chief of Staff Karen Sawyer after the ruling came down.  Hughes…

Parnell Pounds the Table

There’s an old saying, “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side, pound the table.” But in Alaska, when it comes to cutting oil taxes, that strategy really isn’t a winner. With all-time high levels of employment and investment on the North Slope, and the oil companies raking in record profits, the facts are definitely not on the side of the Big Oil Tax Giveaway. With a constitution that requires Alaska to reap the maximum benefit for our natural resources, the law…

The House 34 Horse Race!

By Scott McAdams Politics have always been important to Alaskans. Unlike much of the world, we often know our leaders personally, expect our ideas to be considered in the policy making process, and understand that our future requires our voice. As many of us evaluate candidates this election season, most of us in this small community called Alaska do so based on the personal relationships and past experiences we’ve had with those who place their names on the ballot. In my community, there is a race for State House between two men I have come to know over the past…

Bob Bell is Oh So Super Special

You know those politicians whom nobody can stand – the ones that think the rules apply to absolutely everyone? No exceptions. Except for them. I got one for you. Remember that scandal that had Director of the Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation, Corey Rossi, in the headlines for weeks? Rossi and his croneys from the Board of Game got busted flying into rural Alaska and pretending to subsistence hunt muskoxen for food. You see, there’s a really really expensive way of hunting muskoxen, and there’s a much less expensive way. One way, you have to enter a lottery for a permit…

Repeated Gaffes from Wasilla Republican

(This piece is cross-posted at The Huffington Post – HERE) Wasilla City Councilman, Republican State House candidate (and former candidate for Alaska Lt. Governor in 2010), Mark Ewing just keeps talking. And then trying to untalk. And then talking again. And it’s just not good. In a recent debate at the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce candidates forum, Ewing squared off with his Republican primary opponent. All started predictably with both candidates in favor of a controversial coal mine, a controversial copper mine, and another boondoggle bridge to almost nowhere. But soon Mr. Ewing distinguished himself in the Rock ‘em…