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September 21, 2021

Social Media Wins & Fails of AK Politicos

ANCHORAGE, AK— There are two types of Facebook stati: those providing the reader with value of some sort—informational, cautionary, or even just escapist entertainment value—and those benefitting only the writer: appeals for sympathy or money, self-congratulatory piety, boastful one-upsmanship, you know all the flavors. The second type is never in short supply, but here are three examples of effective social media use by public officials which—while of benefit to constituents and the public, indeed for that very reason—will also pay dividends when the candidate makes an ask around campaign time. The Feedback Loop Fairbanks Rep. Scott Kawasaki’s approach highlights an…

Alaskans! Run!

The recent boondoggle with the Anchorage legislative office remodel is appalling enough by itself. However it also represents a much greater issue with this legislature. Members of that body are elected and sworn to act in the best interests of Alaska. Currently, they don’t. In negotiating a disastrous lease, they have Alaskans paying for an extensive remodel to a building we don’t own, and then a fivefold increase in rent, and finally locking us into a decade-long lease. This is a bad deal all the way around for the state, and a dreadful misappropriation of funds. Meanwhile, the lessor, a heavy campaign…

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!

Parnell Signs SB21 While Protesters Gather

Inside, former ConocoPhillips lobbyist and current Gov.  Sean Parnell was signing away billions of dollars of Alaska’s oil wealth to BP, Exxon, and ConocoPhillips. He was handing them new roads and road improvements, he handed them schools, he handed them public safety officers, and bridges. And in return, we get nothing. Outside, a crowd gathered during their lunch hour to protest the action. The Republicans who backed the Governor’s giveaway either tried to rush through the crowd without making eye contact , or they entered the lobby of the Dena’ina Center from the other side. It was a parade –…

French, Gara Collect Signatures for SB21 Repeal

  Senator Hollis French, and Rep. Les Gara will be gathering signatures on the “Repeal the Oil Wealth Giveaway” referendum Friday, May 10th from 12-1pm at the Barnes and Noble on Northern Lights Blvd in Anchorage. “Reversing the $1-2 billion giveaway will give us the chance to write a better law. Alaskans want a law that encourages production and does not take Alaska off the fiscal cliff,” said Representative Gara. Democratic Legislators offered a tax solution that would have required investment in Alaska, and increased production from companies to qualify for tax breaks. The Republicans’ idea, SB 21, gives billions…

HB69: A National Disgrace

The most controversial bill in recent Alaska history – and beyond – might be this session’s House Bill 69, sponsored by Speaker Mike Chenault. This House legislation was advertised as a declaration of state sovereignty as it related to owning firearms in Alaska. But that was more of a side note to the actual threat the language of the bill presents. HB69 includes provocative language stipulating that state authorities could, should the bill pass, arrest federal agents who attempted to enforce federal law regarding gun regulations. For instance, if Washington DC passed a law tomorrow stating that high capacity ammo clips are…

Parnell Pees in the Pool

The critical vote on a controversial bill involving the dumping of cruise ship waste in Alaska waters has been put off until next week. This is good news. Your outrage, and contacts with your legislators are having an impact. The cruise ship dumping legislation favored by Governor Sean Parnell would kill key provisions of a 2006 citizen’s initiative, voted in by the people, that required cruise ships to meet clean water standards at the point of discharge by the 2016 cruise season, instead of allowing them to release sewage, heavy metals, and other waste into “mixing zones.” Mixing zones are…

Parnell Dumps Citizens’ Initiative Overboard

This just in from the Alaska Democratic Party. Republicans overthrowing the will of the people to serve their own self-interest and that of their corporate donors? I’m shocked. Shocked, I say. Today House Republicans passed Gov. Parnell’s bill to allow discharge of sewage and untreated wastewater in Alaska waters, repealing a provision of the 2006 citizen initiative that protected Alaskans’ health and state fisheries. Parnell’s bill would allow the release approximately 1,064,448,000 gallons of sewage and wastewater into Alaska state waters every year. Republicans rejected Democratic amendments which would have required disclosure of the location of sewage discharges and protected…

Laptops of Love!

Are you looking for a way to help kids that will fill you with the spirit of Christmas? Yes, you are. Today Rep. Les Gara and the foster care group, Facing Foster Care In Alaska (FFCA), are launching the third annual Laptops for Foster Youth Holiday Drive.  Over the past two years this drive has resulted in approximately 200 matches for youth in Alaska!  “Laptops are crucial to helping youth improve their chances of success in school, and establishing normalcy in very disrupted lives of youth who often have very few material possessions,” said Gara, a former foster youth whose father was killed…

Here Come the Attack Ads

Corporations will use new unlimited election spending rules to try to sway your vote this November. The smart move is to take attack ads and flyers from corporate groups you’ve never heard of with a grain of salt. Roughly 80 percent of these ads will be negative and deceptive. They were last election. The corporate spending goal is a one-party state, that will give away $2 billion/year in poorly crafted oil tax breaks under a governor’s bill that lets companies take that money and spend it outside Alaska. A Legislature that has balance on both sides of the aisle, and…