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May 14, 2021

Walker or Begich? The Moderate’s Dilemma.

Alaska voters, we need to have a conversation. And I know this may hurt a little. It’s about Bill Walker and Mark Begich, the two “moderates” in the 3-way race for Alaska governor – the first, a former Republican and incumbent, the second, a Democrat and former US Senator. The third player in our little melodrama is Mike Dunleavy, a former Republican right-wing conservative state senator from Wasilla who quit in the middle of his term. In the end, your vote is your choice and yours alone, but I can’t let you step behind the red, white, and blue curtain…

Primary Night at Election Central

Election Central is one of those weird Alaska traditions that make this state and it’s political life all the more interesting. It’s a spot where candidates can come talk to the local media, and where regular folks and politics wonks and candidates and staff can watch the returns pour in on all the races. And where there’s booze. Frankly, every state should have one, and much praise to The Anchorage Daily News and the Alaska Landmine for making it happen. This year, the festivities occurred at the Dena’ina Center in downtown Anchorage. There was some very strict totally-volunteer security happening…

Driving To Alaska’s Political Madness

My parents first came to Alaska in the ’60s, driving a red and white Volkswagen bus. They came from Virginia and like so many Alaskans, they came for one year – that was almost 50 years ago and they never left. I’m happy to report I’m making the trip they did, though by a more northerly route. It’s a bit of a shock to my Alaskan mind to drive through four states in a day without going through a foreign country. There is so much to take in on open road and border crossings. You can drive for days on…

Poll: A Write in For Mark Begich?

In a classic Alaska election flashback to 2010 we could see another write in candidacy for the US Senate. This time people might have a easier time writing in this candidate, at least when it comes to spelling than they did in 2010. In a statement to The Midnight Sun and in an interview with KTVA former Senator Mark Begich won’t rule out a write-in campaign. Midnight Sun: “I’m getting a lot of calls from people who say they are not satisfied with their choices and they are not interested in seeing another Miller Murkowski fight, I will keep listening to…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

Alaska National Hazards Center – Losing Place and Losing Hope THE ALASKA NATIVE TOWN of Newtok is expected to be under water by 2017, according to the Army Corps of Engineers (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2009). The town is hardly an exception; there are eleven other tribal communities in the Arctic Circle that are in the same predicament (GAO, 2009). However, it is unlikely that these towns will be able to move to higher ground any time soon without the creation of a federal framework that can assist, overlook, and fund their relocation. ADN.com – Fear of a Begich bid for…

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…

Send in the GOP Clowns

It’s politics as usual in Juneau. As Alaska burns, Alaska Republicans bloviate. We’re staring down the barrel of multibillion-dollar state budget deficits as far into the future as we can see. Are the Republicans majorities in the Legislature acknowledging that their misguided spending and tax policies got us into this fix? Are they prepared to set a new course? Not bloody likely. Rather than rolling up their sleeves, trying to come up with constructive solutions, they’re trotting out the usual gimmicks to divert public attention from their failures. So, by the lights of legislative leaders, what’s the big problem in…

A Sullivan Win Puts Alaska Last

Poor Dan Sullivan, I think he was born with a pair of silver flip flops on. His Cleveland, Ohio, parents were caught last week by the Center for Public Integrity trying to funnel $300,000 to a super PAC supporting their son. The contribution was originally listed as coming from the Glenmede Trust Company — a wealth management company that manages over $25 billion for rich folks. Unfortunately for the Sullivans, they mistakenly listed their $3 million beachside condo in Florida instead of Glenmede’s Philadelphia address on their filing. Oops. This donation is on top of the other $250,000 that Dan’s…

Begich – “If you’re pro-choice, you’re pro-choice.”

“There is no middle ground,” says Alaska Democratic Senator Mark Begich when asked about his firm pro-choice stance. “I’ve never run from these issues. I can’t speak for other Democrats, I just know where I’m at. These are not issues that I run from. People know where I stand.” That might not be a controversial position for a Democrat in California, or New York, but in a state that’s voted for a Republican president every cycle since the Johnson administration, it sounds like a risk. Alaska carries a mere 3 electoral votes, and with the notable exception of a certain VP nominee…

Dan Sullivan’s Website of Lies Continues

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a dramatic title for this piece, as we’re not talking about something criminal, just criminally stupid. Over the past couple months I’ve written about many of DC Dan’s awkward photographic adventures into Alaska, eventually causing him enough shame to switch his photos to ones actually taken in Alaska. I thought DC Dan’s adventures were finally done – his campaign long out of the early stages, and running at full speed, raising hundred of thousands of dollars. I would have guessed that he might actually have gotten some researchers to join his staff, maybe even some locals…