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September 22, 2021

Contraception’s Bang for the Buck

JUNEAU, AK—Opposition to abortion rights has been the political hallmark of Alaska State Senator Fred Dyson (R-Eagle River). He is also, as these ironies invariably go, opposed to expanding contraceptive access. “By and large, sexual activity is recreation,” the senator intoned today during floor debate on SB49. “The state shouldn’t finance other people’s recreation.” Does the senator favor elimination of all state parks? What of the Department of Fish & Game—some of which relates to subsistence, but which also serves recreational endeavors? Is he aware that it is public, state-financed roads taking us to our state’s ski resorts, or does he imagine…

Senate Votes to Give Big Oil Billions

Here’s your highlight reel from the Senate oil tax debate. Late Wednesday night the Alaska State Senate voted 11-9 to give billions from the state treasury to the oil industry. A 10-10 vote would have killed the bill. Amendments and debate took all day, and went well into the night. The bottom line is that the senate voted to give away the farm, in exchange for nothing. No increased promise of production, exploration, or jobs. It might incentivize them to do something though. Magically. If we’re lucky. That’s the argument of the 11 Senators who voted for this historically bad…

Dems Denounce GOP “Crap Shoot”

  Welcome to the day of reckoning. Monday came and went without a vote on SB21, the highly controversial oil tax bill in which the governor and the governor’s hench-legislators would like us to give away almost $2 billion a year to Big Oil in exchange for … nothing. You know, just to be nice, so that then they might decide to be nice to us. If they want. No pressure. The vote is scheduled to happen Wednesday, and Democratic members of the Alaskan Senate say they remain hopeful a series of amendments can prevent Alaska from falling off its…

Senate Fundraising Report

We all know that the Citizens United ruling means an unprecedented amount of cash will be flowing from the coffers of well-funded special interest groups into our eyes and ears via political advertising this year. But those well-honed messages don’t always coincide with a candidate’s actual level of support from constituents, or the voting and donating public. Worthy of note is an article in today’s Anchorage Daily News that talks about the actual campaigns and their fundraising ability so far. Those examined are the competitive Alaska State Senate races which will determine the makeup of that body for the next…

Alaska Civics 101 With Rep. Berta Gardner.

I made  it a point to roust myself this morning to go hear Representative Berta Gardner give a talk at the Unitarian Universalist Forum.  She was there to talk about the legislature, and her talk was fascinating and very well received.  The thing I liked about it was that she was able to explain, in layman’s terms, what actually goes on in the “legislative bubble” that is Juneau, from a Democratic perspective.  She is charming, and intelligent, and speaks from the heart.  She talked from a place of both idealism and pragmatism, the two “isms” that often enter into an uneasy…