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September 18, 2021

One Day, Three Bills for Alaska’s Organized Militia

Passing a bill is a big deal in the legislature. It often seems like it should be easier than it is, but it’s a long (sometimes years-long) tedious, slow, painstaking process often made worse by partisan bickering. So it’s nice when everyone can agree on something, and when THREE bills are signed into law on the same day in the same place, it’s an event to notice. And it took place today at the American Legion Auxilliary Post #1 on Fireweed Lane in Anchorage. I’ve done quite a bit of reporting on Alaska’s unorganized militias, and even wrote a book…

UPDATE: HE’S GONE! Meet the New Republican Senator from the Mat-Su!

  As Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla) steps down from the state senate to run for Governor, Gov. Bill Walker was tasked with choosing one of three possible replacements to fill out Dunleavy’s term. Walker opted to choose from outside the shallow pool of nominees from the Mat-Su Republican Party’s options, and appointed Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Randall Kowalke. The fabulously-coiffed Kowalke was at least an already-elected official in some capacity. Walker took a risk by choosing from outside the list, and quickly felt the wrath. The arguments on the surface were difficult to discount. It’s the normal custom of the Party to…

Obama Comes to Alaska: We Have to Break the Ice, so We Can Save It.

As I drove, I imagined having to explain to a Secret Service agent that the reason my boots set off the sniffer dog is because the last two places I wore them were a pig farm and a gun show respectively. So, there was a perfectly good explanation why I smelled of gunpowder, and fertilizer. “No really! I swear! I still have the pictures on my phone!” I was glad I had allowed extra time. I had allowed so much extra time, it turns out, that I was the first member of the press at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) and waited in…

The Economic Freedom to be Poor

New kids at my high school were rare. Most of us had been together since what felt like the beginning of time — and that wasn’t always a good thing. Remember the time Eric barfed in the lunch room? Yeah. Remember when the elastic in Kim’s sweatpants surrendered during fourth-grade dodgeball? She froze like a statue. New kids were suspect curiosities. It took a while to figure out if they were going to be one of “us.” I remember one in particular. He complained constantly about how lame Homer was. He was in town to live with his relatives for…

Speedo Sinks Alaska Gov’s Appointee

Amid a firestorm of gasps, giggles, and moral outrage, Alaska’s Governor Bill Walker (I) has withdrawn from consideration an appointee to the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct. Jeff Landfield’s own conduct came under scrutiny after several Facebook photos came to light, which the governor’s spokesperson Grace Jang said were “disrespectful” and “misogynistic,” a characterization Landfield disputes. No specific images were cited, but Landfield’s personal Facebook page is a cornucopia of party pics, poolside Las Vegas romps, and boozy musings. The position Landfield hoped to take for the Walker administration handles complaints filed against state judges – an unpaid appointment which…