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May 16, 2021

The View from Juneau

An old saying goes something like this, “We hate in others what we hate in ourselves.” I don’t think I’ve seen a better example of that than this 28th legislative session. I flew to Juneau to watch the last days of the session for myself. Home in Anchorage, I spend a remarkable amount of time watching Gavel to Gavel – I even Tivo it. But the cameras don’t show what’s really going on in the Capitol, restaurants and bars; they don’t show the lobbyists following lawmakers into the bathroom or to the smoking porch. (I have to wonder whether the…

Postmortem: Wisconsin, Obama & Elections

Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye, ‘Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument, Persuade my heart to this false perjury? —”Love’s Labour’s Lost,” William Shakespeare Madison, WI—Was it the money? Was it a weak candidate? Was it the President’s and DNC’s indifference? With Karl Rove and national Republicans dancing in the end zone, the soul searching and recriminations among Wisconsin progressives are now in full swing. The bulk of national commentary—including from generally sympathetic outlets like MSNBC and the NY Times—has generally been useless. And since we can have for more impact on what we do than on…

Florida’s “Walking While Black” Shooting — Could It Happen In AK?

by Linda Kellen Biegel I’ve been waiting to see what crappy legislation (considered to be “a lesser of evils” by legislators who desperately want to trade for votes on their own bills, or shore up their second amendment credentials) would show up this session. Ding, ding, ding, ding…we have our winner! House Bill 80 has cropped-up as one with a long list of sponsors in both the House and the Senate. As we are told, HB 80 sailed through the House and now has “broad bi-partisan support” in the Senate. What is HB 80? It is another bill that has…

ALEC v. the Middle Class

By Thomas Dewar The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed corporations. —Thomas Jefferson ALEC is a dating service for state legislators and corporations. —Ed Muir, AFT Who Is ALEC? If you really want to know who and what is behind something in government, follow the money. It’s not a coincidence that the recent assault on workers and their unions occurred simultaneously in different states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey and others. Or that, closer to home, there is now a war on Alaska’s public schools. Funded…

The War on Alaska’s Public Schools — The Basic Outline

by Linda Kellen Biegel Last school year, I wrote a post about the proposed cuts in the Anchorage School District budget and how they would affect a family of a middle school student. It was then I became aware of the outrageous fees Mayor Dan Sullivan was charging the school district–for example: 100% of the salaries and benefits of those Anchorage Police–called Resource Officers–who only service the School District about 70% of the time. I tried to show how they were taking millions of dollars away from our kids. (Note: As of this week, these fees have not changed.) Sadly,…