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May 14, 2021

When it’s quiet in Juneau…

Any parent of a toddler knows that feeling when you’re going about your business, and suddenly you realize… it’s been quiet for a while. Welcome to this week. We’re in between special sessions 2 and 3 (TBA) and a hush has fallen. Enjoy the quiet because pretty soon we’re going to discover WHY. TAKING IT TO THE PEOPLE Since deciding that the press is mean and fake (wonder where he came up with THAT?) Dunleavy has decided that he’s now going to just deliver the real news to the people directly from the government. That’s how it’s supposed to work…

Voters Duped by Pot Initiative Says GOP Senator

Monday, the Alaska House of Representatives voted to legalize the farming of industrial hemp (the kind that doesn’t get you high). The Senate passed the vote unanimously but only after Sen. Johnny Ellis, the Democrat at the helm retired and gave the bill to a Republican to carry. Because anyone knows that good ideas can NEVER EVER come from Democrats. And by gum, we’d rather stop entrepreneurs from launching new businesses, and stonewall local farmers, let great legislation wither and die in committee, and fold our arms in the corner than give credit where credit is due. Things I learned in…

Thank You, Johnny Ellis

I was thinking about the retirement of Sen. Johnny Ellis this week. He has served Alaska for more than half the years we’ve been a state. It’s not a secret that I’m one of his most ardent fans and I am considering asking him for an 8-by-10 signed glossy photo to put on my desk to help me get through next year’s “Gavel to Gavel”coverage.  I wasn’t able to attend his retirement party because the sockeye were flooding Tutka Lagoon and they wouldn’t wait or find my fish smoker by themselves. I used to have a standard summer rant. It…

Alaska Lemming Caucus Over the Edge

This has been a difficult week for many Alaskans. So much uncertainty as 10,000 pink slips go to our friends and neighbors working for the state. Fairbanks Sen. Pete Kelly argues they aren’t pink slips, because there’s an “if” in them, as in “You’re not laid off if a handful of senators get their poop together.” Of course, we know there’s no chance Pete and his collaborators will get their poop together. Instead of pink slips, people online are calling them “Pete slips.” Our current legislative crisis is the handiwork of a small cabal of senators who refuse to compromise their misguided ideology. The…

Heeeere’s the Kickoff! Let the Session Begin!

They’re back! Those wacky kids at Alaska Robotics are in Juneau to call the legislative session play by play. Grab a bag of peanuts and a beer, and enjoy. Also, be sure to “like” Alaska Robotics on Facebook! And mind the drones!

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…

Denali Kid Care Now! (Photos)

      Several dozen protesters showed up yesterday at noon at the Legislative Offices in downtown Anchorage to show their support for Senate Bill 5 which would restore the level of inclusion in the Denali Kid Care program (SCHIP) to where it was in 2003. Last session, a bill was introduced that would have restored health care services (matched 70% by the federal government) to more than 1200 poor children and infants, and 200 pregnant women. The bill was vetoed by Governor Sean Parnell because the Alaska Constitution, according to a Supreme Court decision, provides that medically necessary legal…

Whalehuggers and Greenpeace Stimulate Alaska’s Economy!

After I moved to Alaska in 1991, I was quite surprised when I realized that Alaska is not full of granola-crunchin’, bunny snugglin’, tree-huggin’, biodegradable cleaning supply usin’ environmental activists whose main focus is maintaining their pristine wilderness.  Who knew? It’s been a twenty year learning process to understand Alaskans and their relationship with wildness.  It’s a complicated one, and there are Alaskans from one end of the spectrum to the other.  It’s the ones on the extreme end of “other” that tend to irritate me.  The particular mindset to which I refer can be summed up by a bumpersticker…

Gov. Sean Parnell Inherits Flaming Pants from Palin & Denies Children Health Care

Governor Sean Parnell, who has framed himself as an advocate for women and children, last week vetoed a bipartisan bill passed by the Alaska Legislature that would have provided health care for 1300 Alaskan children and prenatal care to more than 200 pregnant Alaskan women. These, most vulnerable Alaskans are those that fall between 175% and 200% of the federally recognized poverty level. Those that fall below that level are already covered by the state program, called Denali KidCare. What made the governor decide to veto the bill? He just discovered, he said, that some of the money allocated would…